Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The tours

The next Cassava Republic tour will be with Abidemi Sanusi in late November 2006, promoting her book Kemi's Journal (as well as its sequel, Jack's Story). Meanwhile, here is a review of the recently-concluded tour of 26a with Diana Evans.

Diana Evans tours Nigeria

The recently concluded Diana Evans’ tour of Nigeria with her award-winning debut novel 26a took in four cities: Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Katsina. In Lagos, she addressed audiences at the new-look British Council (winner of the RIBA award in international architecture) and at famed culturati hotspot Jazzhole on Awolowo Road. As well as a reading from her book, both events featured performances from local upcoming artists, in line with Cassava Republic’s mission to promote emerging performance talent. A young female artiste by the name of Savannah lulled the gathering with her sweet and soaring voice. Next up was a performance poet by the name of Hassan the Sage, with his rapid-fire witty delivery.

After seeing some of the sights of Lagos and attending a couple of private receptions in her honour, Diana travelled up to Kano and Katsina, reading her work to enthusiastic crowds. This was Diana’s first trip to Northern Nigeria, giving her a flavour of some of Nigeria’s contrasting landscapes and cultures. She discussed her work at length with a British-council based reading group. After the Kano event, the tour continued onwards to Abuja, with a reading at the British Council (this time featuring the extraordinary talents of Jos-based musicians Marphy and Christine) and an outing at the Signature Gallery (in partnership with the Abuja Literary Society).

Finally, it was time to return to Lagos, with one last reading – this time at the Media Store at Galleria. Diana was happy to have ventured back to Nigeria for the first time in over a decade, and hopes to visit much more frequently in the future. Meanwhile, Nigerian readers eager to lap up new literary talent enjoyed their opportunity to meet with a rising star in the Nigerian diaspora.

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