Saturday, 28 November 2009

Sentinel Literature Festival 2009


As part of the celebration of its 7th year in service to world literature from its base in Britain, Sentinel Poetry Movement is set to run a three-day Festival of Poetry, Fiction, Music and Fun. The time for the performances is 7pm to 10pm on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December 2009.

The festival will open with a short report on 7 years of Sentinel Poetry Movement by founder Nnorom Azuonye who also doubles as the Festival Director. This report will then be followed by poetry and fiction readings and performances, and live music by, among others, the headline acts: Harry Zevenbergen poet, performer and citypoet of Den Haag, author of “Punk in Rhenen”, Tony Fernandez - author of “The Sound of Running Water” and Editor of Africa Awakening magazine, Lookman Sanusi - a theatre practitioner, fiction writer and author of “Skeleton”, Nnorom Azuonye - editor of Sentinel Literary Quarterly and author of “The Bridge Selection: Poems for the Road”, Clare Saponia – a young voice with publications in The Recusant, Platform, Red Poets, Inclement and Pennine Ink. There is also Afam Akeh – founding editor of African Writing and author of “Stolen Moments” and “Letter Home and Other Poems”, Chika Unigwe - author of the bestselling novel “On Black Sisters’ Street”, and Malgorzata Kitowski – one of the foremost Poetry Film-makers in London and author of “Doppelgangers”. The three-day play will be concluded on the 3rd of December by the performance of “Sampo: Heading Further North” by the Middlesbrough duo Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie. SAMPO: HEADING FURTHER NORTH is a spoken word and music extravaganza of story telling, lyric poetry, beat sensibilities and postmodern experimentation by poets Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby with musical collaboration by world music duo Gobbleracket based on the Finnish myth cycle Kalevela connecting to their north eastern identity, it has toured the north to critical acclaim and is now heading further south! With its South London Premiere. Live music on the first two evenings of the Festival will be provided by South Africa-born Italian Folk Jazz singer songwriter Aletia Upstairs. The line-up includes new songs and others from her debut album, “Possibility”

The Festival will take place at two venues. On Tuesday the 1st and Wednesday the 2nd of December, the events will take place at Waterloo Gallery, Waterloo Action Centre, 14 Baylis Road, London SE1 7AA. Then on Thursday the 3rd of December the festival moves to Play Space, 1 Coral Street, London SE1 1BE. Both venues located across the road from the Old Vic are literally 2 minutes’ walk from Waterloo Station (Northern Line and British Rail), and about 4 minutes from Southwark Station (Jubilee Line).

For convenience, the £6.00 per day tickets can be purchased in advance from the Festival website, or at the door.

More information available at


Tel: 0870 127 1967 or 07812 755751

Nnorom Azuonye

Festival Director

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sallah Greetings from Sentinel Nigeria

Hello everyone!

Sallah greetings to you all,

The last week has been full of activity at sentinelnigeria and we are putting final touches to the website. The blog is up and running and our call for submissions has been enthusiastically received by writers within Nigeria. We have received a lot of interest from countries as far afield as Ghana and Ethiopia. Submissions are already coming in and the numbers are encouraging.

If one can tell beads by seeing the now, then I am sure that the future of your magazine is going to be a glorious one.

I would like to thank our media friends, Chude Jideonwo, Temitayo Olofinlua and all the rest for keeping us in the news. Not forgetting all you sentinelnigeria group members who have kept the buzz going online and offline.

I pray the blessings of the Eid last you through the year ahead. Ameen.

Richard Ugbede Ali


Sentinel Nigeria Magazine

08062392145, 07092077711

Friday, 20 November 2009

Champion Poems

#1 2009/11
ISSN 2042-5228
Edited by Andy Willoughy and Bob Beagrie
£3.95 (UK), £4.95 (Overseas)

Champion Poems is a new magazine published by SPM Publications - a division of Sentinel Poetry Movement in the United Kingdom. As the title suggests, Champion Poems are selected poems from the on-going Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition Series.

At the end of every competition, there are three poems that win cash prizes. In addition to these, the judge looks for 32 poems in total from the entries that are strong enough to be published in the magazine.

The maiden issue of Champion Poems is edited by Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie. The design, typography and print-production is handled for SPM Publications by Last Chance Before Bathtime (LCCB), Kidderminster, UK. LCCB has set the publication date at 27 November, 2009.

This magazine will be available for one-off purchases or subscription after the release date.

To keep up with information about Champion Poems go to


Life Before Death by Sylva Nze Ifedigbo


Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

I have heard enough of that crap. And no, I am not an atheist. I just think that logically as it is in the English alphabet, there should be an “A” before a “B”. If that sequence is generally accepted, I therefore refuse to be continually harangued by the talks of life after death. No, enough of that crap.

Logically, there could only be a life after death when there is a life at the present. Does it make sense to worry about tomorrow when it is still dawn today? Why worry ourselves sick about a life after death when we are not living at the moment? If you ask me, we have proceeded just too fast for our senses. Far away from reality. Guess it’s time we do a little reverse and begin to ponder a little more about life before death.

What is this guy talking about I can almost hear you asking aloud. It’s so simple. I am speaking on behalf of the little boy in rags who approaches your car window in the traffic, with a dirty old rubber bowl in hand. You see him approach, and quickly wind up your window, your face either bearing pity or disgust.

I am speaking on behalf of the six year old girl hawking pure water under the scorching sun at an hour children her age should be in school. She has not even slippers under her feet. Her hair is dirty and unkempt and strings of catarrh hang down her nose. Her eye pleads with you as she announces the sale of her ware. Does she remind you of your daughter of the same age?

I am speaking on behalf of the pre-pubescent girl who is married off to a man three times her age by parents who need the money to keep them selves alive. You read such things in the paper and it sounds so distant. No, you really do not read it, you simply flip past it to more interesting stories about celebrities and beauty pageants.

I write on behalf of the many children who are destined to live but a few days on earth because of the accident of their birth. Children that suckle hungrily at dry flabby breasts. Children that are at the mercy of the elements both hot and cold. Children who can not access common chloroquin to fight malaria. Children who were better of not born.

I speak for the farmer who has watched his produce dwindle every passing year. He doesn’t read in the papers of his Local Government Chairman’s boasts of spending millions on fertilizer every year. I speak for the Cocoa farmer who has lost his sons and helpers to the scramble for the city. I speak for the palm oil farmer who is losing his trees and house to erosion.

I speak for those women who will die and are dying for trying to bring forth others to this life. Those who have never heard of ante-natal. Those who must continue to satisfy their husbands crave for more children. Those women who are raped and are too scared to say they were. Those who sign up for shipments to Italy not because they find it pleasurable. Those who are forced to give or throw away their nine months pain.

I speak for that child who is condemned by HIV. And the mother who bore him/her. And the father who has lost his job because his bosses heard he is positive. I speak for those who queue for days to get a dose of the antiretroviral. Those people who we establish NGO’s for. NGO’s that make us rich. NGO’s we administer from the comfort of our air-conditioned four –wheel drives. NGO’s that don’t exist.

I speak for the child who learns from under a tree. The child who has an AK47 hanging dangerously from his neck. The Child who pushes that barrow around behind us in the Market. That child that has never seen a television. That child who forms the character of our more touching stories. Those stories that win international literary awards.

I am shouting aloud for that graduate who has lost every faith in himself and his country. The one whose shoe tell a million tales. Tales that make the wonderful degree certificate he carries about in that worn out brown envelope seen like a huge joke. He has lost his voice and can’t speak anymore. He is close to losing his spirit too. He has no money to take the next bus.

I am weeping along with that man who just lost his job. The man who has to layoff his workers ‘cos the books are not balancing anymore. The barber who can’t work ‘cos his tiny generator has broken down. The okada rider who can’t buy the spare part to fix his bike. That man who has been paying his tithe and waiting for a miracle. A miracle that only his pastor experiences. The pastor who keeps talking about a life after Death.

No, enough of that crap. I really would wish to know some life now not after. So stop threatening me about what would happen after I die which is very soon given my current state. Stop asking me to wait. I am tired of your deception and sweet talk. Stop postponing my joy. Give me something to hold unto today. Tomorrow will sure worry about it self. I need a life before death.

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

Sylva is the Features Editor of

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s love story to Nigeria

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s love story to Nigeria

By Ireyimika Oyegbami

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s love for her fatherland goes deep. “It is not only Tayo and Vanessa’s love story, it is also a love story to Nigeria,” the writer said of her debut novel, ‘In Dependence’, at the Lagos leg of her reading tour of Nigeria on November 7 at Quintessence, Falomo, Ikoyi.

Tunji Lardner anchored the event where Manyika calmly took questions, ahead of her later reading at Pen & Pages, Wuse, Abuja, on Tuesday, November 10.

Though not born in the Nigeria of the 60s which she uses as a setting for the novel, the writer - born of a British mother and a Nigerian father - had an idea of what the period was from her parents. And though her grandparents opposed her mother’s marriage to a Nigerian—not unlike Tayo and Vanessa in the novel – Manyika insists ‘In Dependence’ is not her parents’ story. “Tayo is a dashing young man, my father is quite handsome so maybe that informed the way I portrayed Tayo. But save for the landscape descriptions which I’m quite familiar with, the story is a work of fiction,” she said.

See full article at Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s love story to Nigeria

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Welcome to our blog

Thank you for stopping by Sentinel Nigeria blog.
Richard and his team will soon get it buzzing around here.