Chuma Nwokolo (standing) reads from his poetry collections, Memories of Stone, at yesterday's BookJam - the fourth edition also featuring (from left) Binyavanga Wainaina, Sade Adeniran and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Nwokolo followed his reading of a poem on old shirts with an excerpt from his book, 'Diaries of a Dead African'. The hilarious passage brought the house down and probably led to quite a few sales of the book for the author to autograph afterwards.
Wainaina was the first reader, followed by Sade Adeniran (who read a funny 'wormy' episode from Imagine This, after which the main character, Lola Ogunwole misguidedly plots her expulsion from a hated school by opening her legs).
Adichie read work the of two participants in the ongoing Farafina Writing workshop, the pieces actually produced during the sessions. The workshop writers were all at the event - and yes, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma did make it after all.
The BookJam packed them in, into the Lifestyle Bookstore of the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island. This being an event involving Adichie, BookJam 4 also had its share of the now familiar 'Chimamanda groupies' who can't ask a question or comment without beginning with 'Oh, I love you sooo much. You are so wonderful. I can't believe you're here in front of us etcetera etcetera'. The spontaneous burst of declared affection is now usually drowned out by the ohhhs and ahhhs of a knowing crowd - as yesterday's main contender discovered, while someone said 'pass the tissue!'
Usually held on the last Saturday of the month, BookJam was moved forward this month because the Farafina literary event of readings and music which traditionally closes Adichie's workshop, holds next Saturday (at the Civic Centre, Lagos).
Sade Adeniran continues her book tour at the House of Makeda today.
- Images by MW - see Igoni Barrett's photos here