By Japhet Davidson
AFTER many years of reporting others in many media houses, culture journalist and former Arts Editor of The Guardian, Anote Ajeluorou finally joined the league of authors as his first novel, Igho goes to farm finally hit the bookstands.
It was indeed a well-deserved honour and commendation galore as friends and literary lovers listened with rapt attention during the author’s book reading at Freedom Park, Lagos.
According to the author, “the book was first received by Professor Soyinka (Kongi) at his Ijagba home. Then Germany came calling and off Igho goes. Then the long list of The Nigerian Prize for Literature 2019 arrives with Igho securely in it. It can only be Oghene-Agbadagbruru, Obe nute akpo ruru!!!”
The event which was the second annual Lagos Book Fiesta, organised by Enugu-based writer & publisher, Mr. Dillibe Onyeama of Delta Book Publishers, tagged: Profiles at the Lagoon where Creative celebrities were conferred with ‘The Tutuola Palm for Poetry’ featured the presentation of awards to deserving Nigerians who have contributed to the growth and development of the nation. Among those honoured were Dame Ambassador Olatunkunbo Awolowo Dosumu, Sir Eriata Oribhabor and Sir Folu Agoi.
Apart from the presentation of awards, the event also featured launching of the 2019 edition of the literary magazine, The writer, a keynote address delivered by world-class professor of Linguistics, Samuel Olajide Asobele, titled: The Inimitable Use of the English Language by Amos Tutuola: The Poetic Effects in Poetry, Song, Dance & Drum, and Drama and exhibition of books.
The book exhibition featured many books by Dilibe Onyeama and others, but the stand that made the difference was the stand of Igho Goes to Farm, a children’s novel by Anote. Guests who had come to celebrate with him and even those who were meeting him for the first time commended the Isoko-born author for his creative work especially in portraying the Isoko language. Apart from the reading, one other thing that attracted the attention of those present was that all the copies of the book exhibited on the stand were sold.
The book, Igho Goes to Farm, a delightful children’s book dedicated to his 10-year- old daughter, Oghale-Oghene is about the result of the abuse of modern technology, the GSM phone by young people who take much of their time surfing the internet at the expense of reading their books. The young Igho in the story did not perform well in the promotional exam due to his love for the phone and as a punishment, his mother banished him to the village to spend his holidays while his siblings will visit Disneyland in America. How did Igho spend the holidays in the village, how did he cope without his siblings? Igho goes to Farm has the answer.