If you’re reading this piece, then you are most likely a staunch internet user. Who for some reason, wasn’t around for BookHub The Event. I would exempt people who couldn’t make it due to proximity issue but I doubt your love for books if you were in Lagos on the 5th of March, and you weren’t at this event. I can only weep at how much bookish fun you just forfeited.
With the rise of literature appreciation within our generation, Nigeria has seen an emergence of several events to cater to the increasing hunger:
Port Harcourt Book Fair.
These are but a few of these events that have gained popularity in recent times.
Some weeks ago, Bookhub Africa began to raise awareness for a small meet-up for book lovers. They promised heaven on earth and willed us to use a certain link through which we could generate tickets for the event.
The hype was impressive, Nigerian book lovers were reposting and retweeting on various social media platforms. The guests and incentives they advertised made attending irresistible.
Seriously, who doesn’t like free books that come along with small chops and drinks?
BookHub’s The Event
I got to the venue a little early because I didn’t intend on missing any part of the event. Sadly, the program scheduled for 2 pm, started around 3 pm. We need to tackle this African time wahala.
I busied myself with my current read so I wouldn’t blame myself for getting there early. The event eventually commenced and the host, Chika Jones, introduced the moderator for the panel discussion, Wana Udobang.
The first half of the discussion was done with guests, Dami Elebe and Chimeka Garricks. Dami, an OAP and a self-taught scriptwriter, drilled us on her journey towards scriptwriting and how important it is to keep practising one’s skills. Chimeka, a novelist and author of Tomorrow Died Yesterday, contributed to the lessons learnt from Dami.
A curious attendee asked Chimeka how he dealt with writer’s block. His answer was short and precise. “I read other people’s work”.
I discovered that Dami was the scriptwriter for a popular web series, Skinny Girl In Transit.
Whoever said literature was boring?
The panellists also shared their views on the roles of social media in story-telling. They gave upcoming writers (like myself) a few tips on how to align the two.
So in addition to all the goodies, we got free writers’ training. Are you close to tears yet?
During the 15 minutes break issued by the moderator, we visited the book stand set up by Roving Heights. Attendees who were among the first 20 to get their tickets for BookHub The Event were given free books. Sadly, I wasn’t part of these lucky bunch. But, thanks to their Twitter giveaways, I went home with Binti and Binti #2. I know, you’re in shock.
Poetry and Social Media
Titilope Sonuga and Paul Azino discussed the rise of poetry in the country and how social media has influenced poetry on the second panel. “I am far more concerned about writing my truth than what is ‘hot'” Titi said, in a bid to explain why she doesn’t allow trendy topics on social media affect her poetry.
Paul expressed concern on how plagiarism on these platforms could affect the credibility of modern poetry. However, they both agreed that the need for validation on social media and beyond can interfere with the real writing process.
A few minutes to 5 pm, Wana rounded up the discussion and the merriment began. Small chops that would literally make your mouth water and soft drinks; nothing could beat this! To add the star to the Christmas tree, all attendees were given a book-themed tote. In a way, providing us with badges to find ourselves in future.
“Oh! You attended Bookhub The event?”, A girl would later ask me on my way back from the event.
I left the venue with a head full of knowledge, new friends and a well-fed stomach. This book lover couldn’t ask more of a bookish event.
I can tell you’re biting your fingernails in regret at the moment. Worry not, similar events are just around the corner. Till then, take a few minutes away from your books and surf the Internet for these ‘goodies’