In this Part you will meet three writers who live in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. One has changed the whole landscape of African SFF both as an editor and a writer. Another has had a huge international success late in life. The third exemplifies the struggles faced by so many Africans who write.
You can read through the whole chapter by following the “next” links at the end of each interview, or jump to a specific interview by using the links below. You can always return to this chapter index by clicking on the “100 African Writers of SF—Part Ten” link at the top of each interview, and return to the overall project index by clicking on the 100 African category, or clicking here.
Chapter Eleven will return to South Africa to talk with four writers in Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.
Abuja was built to be a city of the future. It is Afrofuturism solidified as roads, an international airport, planned parks, and ministerial buildings.
“When you work with a writer who has the craft to take their work to the next level, there’s nothing more beautiful I feel than being able to say, ‘OK these are signposts. See if you can follow it there and you’re going to have yourself an excellent version.’ Some writers are able to do that, some aren’t. When it all does come together, it’s like music.”
“For instance, it’s still difficult for a poor man to send his children to school. It’s difficult for a poor man to get a power supply because all of the rich people use power generators. Fela sang about a society without light, a society without water. You think ‘Oh we are in the twenty-first century things should be better’, but they are getting worse.”
“In 2013, I saw a lot of conversations going on social media about Nigeria’s challenges, problems, how terrible the government is and all that. Every day, every minute, there was just bashing going on and on and it. I know it is true, but every opinion I read sounded so lacking in hope, so frustrated, so bitter, and so angry.
“I felt what we really need is to hold onto hope that things will be better.”