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Thursday, 27 October 2016

56 Years of Nigerian Literature: Chikodili Emelumadu


With only a few days left of my celebration of Nigerian women writers, today the focus in on writer and broadcaster Chikodili Emelumadu.

Photo via Sub-Q Magazine
On writing and broadcasting, Emelumadu notes in this interview on Geosi Reads that while they both 'revolve around telling stories' ... writing deals with the written word as a method of reaching people while broadcasting is audio/video. Still, for Emelumadu, 'writing is not new' - as she discusses during an interview on Sub-Q:

I've been doing it since I could write words. And before I could write, I was telling stories. Before I could tell them, I thought them and dreamt them and felt them and was them.  

Emelumandu is currently working on a novel about a group of girls on a quest. Although after trying many different formats - plays, poetry, novels and novellas - she notes in her interview on Geosi Reads that she has 'finally "settled" on short stories'. Well, her story, Bush Baby, in African Monsters was one of my favourites in the collection - and this is an entire collection I gushed about. Her works can also be found in a number of publications including: Soup in One ThroneCandy Girl (nominated for a Shirley Jackson Short Fiction Award in 2014) and Soursop in ApexJermyn and Pure Water in Eclectica, Tunbi and Bossy Boots in Luna Station Quarterly, The Fixer in Sub-Q, and Story, Story: A Tale of Mothers and Daughters in Omenana. 


Some fun facts about Chikodili Emelumandu: the story Soursop was inspired by something she read from the Nigerian food blogger Kitchen Butterfly:

Well, it was the end of my workday and I was browsing 'the internets' when I decided to check out this blog [Kitchen Butterfly]. This was my second time on the website and I was omery from writing so slowly all day and being frequently interrupted, I just wanted to 'eat' with my eyes, something that I did not create. 
There on the front page was a photo of what she called 'custard apples' but which I knew as 'Sweetsops' from reading another Jamaican blogspot a few years ago. The fruits reminded me of their cousins, 'Sour sops' which we have in Nigeria and which I used to devour with relish. I started to salivate and eureka! The story slammed its way into my taste buds. I think it took about an hour and a half or two hours to write. I was just there.

... she rants about life, Igboness and whatever seizes her fancytranslated Toni Kan's story Cotyledons in the Ankara Press Valentine's Day anthology into Igbo, and has reflected on being 'not just a vagina' and how 'women have been othered beyond comprehension' by some men, making women's 'experiences seem alien':



Definitely do 
check out her blog, where there's also a link to learn commonly used Igbo words.

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