Final Publications for 2019 with SLM
The winner of this giveaway is Felix.
Growing up in Nigeria and discovering my flair for writing, there were so many things I wish I had. Most significantly, beyond the walls of the literature classes and teachers in schools and friends who read my poems out of empathy, I wish I had a mentor or a coach. I also wished I had access to books that I would like and sufficient resources such as airtime to contact friends like the co-founder of SLM, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola to discuss endlessly about poetry, our writing pursuit or themes we are both passionate about such as feminism which significantly influences our work. All the things I wished for as a writer while living in Nigeria didn’t happen until I got out of Nigeria. While I wished sufficient opportunity and resources that I desired were available at home – a familiar environment, the opportunity to take myself out of Nigerian allowed me to see the problem more objectively and become a solution to it.
When the SLM Mentorship Programme began in January 2018 with 9 mentees, it was a big leap. We tried to guess as much about what the mentors and mentees will need, providing what was within our capacity. Upon the programme conclusion, we depended heavily on feedback from mentors and mentees to know how to improve the programme for the next cohort. August 2018, we took a stab at serving a larger cohort of 20 mentees, extending the programme period and providing a more in-depth manual. The fame of the programme rose quickly as we received 121 applications for the August cohort compared to the 21 applications we received in January 2018. Again, based on the feedback we received, we decided to try again and try better. Last-minute into the start of the June 2019 mentorship cohort while reflecting on the kind of resources I wish I had as writer living in Nigeria and seeking mentorship, a very costly idea popped up – provide weekly N200 airtimes, paid access for a month to books through an app (BamBooks) and weekly contest with N2,500 for 1 or 2 winners per week. I consulted with the SLM team and some of the mentors who affirmed this was a great idea that would remove learning barriers during the mentorship.
Out of 136 applicants for the third cohort of the SLM Mentorship Programme, 30 were selected to become mentees in June 2019, receiving the resources mentioned above in addition to a detailed programme manual. 80% of the programme participants completed the requirements and received their certification.
If God was a Nigerian
ASUU would strike him
till his sorrow grows a beard.
He would be a Yahoo boy or a pimp or a drug dealer
or an innocent girl on the cold & dark streets of
Italy tendering white men’s amorous dreams
or all of the above.
He would be a potbellied politician
that swallowed (y)our children's future,
& that of their children's children.
They would have slaughtered him, like
Ramadan rams, in Benue or
bandaged him with bombs in Borno.
Lost in the wildness of my youth,
I greyed without knowing.
Same tongue that takes me to heaven
cuts me into halves.
Another storm has compelled them to dream,
another hunger has set their beds on fire.
Blind at night,
the city is nowhere near safety.
All I know is what I don't know,
what I don't know is everything.
Love melts me, takes me to heaven and back.
I was the shooting star you saw last night.
I am everyone but myself.
THE WINNER OF NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019's BOOK GIVEAWAY COULD BE YOU. POST TWO COMMENTS ON ANY OF OUR CURRENT PUBLICATIONS TO STAND A CHANCE OF WINNING.
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