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50 cultural troupes for Imo Day

Today, Saturday, November 20, at Abalti Barracks, Ojuelegba, Surulere, Imo indigenes in Lagos under the aegis of Imo State Towns Development Association(ISTDAL)  mark this year’s Imo Day/cultural carnival of 50 cultural troupe.

The event will be observed under the theme “Ana esi  n’ ulo adinma”(charity begins at home).

Ahead of the event last Tuesday, president of ISTDAL, Mazi Tony Ohakwe said the yearly cultural festival, provides an opportunity to showcase Imo traditional dishes and  culture involving dance groups from different localities in Lagos, adding that it brings them together as a people to interact and be in solidarity with each other.

Rolex Young Laureate, Ikegwuonu plans for Africa

Twenty Eight years old Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu who recently won the $50,000 Rolex Young Laureate Award plans to build on the achievements of his Smallholders Foundation – which is already broadcasting 10 hours daily to 250,000 listeners on Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio – by establishing a communications network reaching 3.5 million farmers in almost 5,000 villages in his own region, Imo State.  In a recent interview, he says he plans to expand to other African countries.

Not only will farmers receive advice on a wide range of topics – from sustainable farming practices to HIV/Aids and opening and running a bank account – they will also be able to contribute information, thanks to interactive mobile radios, known as AIR devices. These small, solar_powered machines allow listeners to send voice messages, free of charge, to radio stations, which can, in turn, broadcast them. Imo State’s farmers will have a platform to share experiences, ask questions and receive answers in their own language. Ikegwuonu’s long-term ambition is to extend the service to other regions in Nigeria and Africa.

Ikegwuonu,  born in 1982, lives in Imo State. The Rolex Young Award said he was identified because of his reported dedication to improving the lives of rural people and his commitment to environmental protection and sustainable agriculture.  “In Nigerian state of Imo, where Ikegwuonu lives, farmers are suffering because of their isolation. Via the Smallholders Foundation, which he set up in 2003, he has been broadcasting by radio 10 hours a day to give 250,000 farmers news in their own language about farming and marketing techniques. He has now begun using interactive technology in order to serve farmers across his state.”

Umaisha’s Hoodlums comes to town

In Hoodlums, the nation is morbid, insecure, derelict and falling. The militants in ‘Militants’ (p. 9) would not stop, the soldiers must launch attacks and reprisals; 6-year-old Tene is thrown into grief with the explosion that ‘shatters’ her mother’s life; so also her peers in ‘another loud explosion that rent the air’. The rioters in ‘After the Riot’ (p. 12) have forced Zabi into madness, he gets himself naked, feigns insanity to escape the ‘calamity’; now, he’s ‘mad’ – looking for his wife and kids but he never sees them again… in this bedlam of a nation.

The hoodlums in the title story, ‘Hoodlums’ (p. 16), slaughter one another to pronounce their difference; Muslims against Christians, Christians against Muslims, and the Police too could not curtail the restlessness, so they join the hoodlums to kill the ‘unethical’ journalists who do not know, between religion and ethnicity, what stir the riot… in this bedlam of a nation.  Coming from the Northern part of the country bedeviled by drought of writers with
craft, Sumaila Umaisha has let loose a number of critical, cultural, religious, social, political and psychological issues that beckon immediate comparative analyses and discourses.

First is the characterization, tthe short short stories as in Hoodlums  aren’t extensive enough for desired character development, true genius of the subgenre still attains mastery of characterization painting homo fictus  fictional character, according to E. M. Forster’s Aspect of the Novel  that equates the semblances of homo sapiens.

But none counts as the convincingness of the characters.’ Hoodlums neglects minute details that paint the atmosphere and psyche of a developed character (and setting); it attains believability in portrayal of a ‘sensitive’ character.


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