Write Pad

Read my chicklit and speculative fiction flash stories straight from my write pad.

AkeFest19 Review Series: Art at Aké

Art exploring Black Bodies, Grey Matter.

Enjoy this curated review of Art exhibited at Aké Festival 2019 which I was privileged to attend 24th-27th October at Alliance Française|Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.

See; Ameh Kanny’s Solo exhibition, ‘What Lies Beneath’ the Aké exhibition, Body Art & Henna, Functional Art and the Festival Mural.

Solo Exhibition: Ameh Kanny

Selfie by Ameh Kanny

Mosaic Artist, Ameh Kanny debut solo exhibition at Aké. Shot in front of her stall of vibrant Beads Artworks.

I’m super proud of Ameh for finishing in time to exhibit at Aké. I met Ameh at KabaFest and since become close friends. All her pieces are handmade with beads and mixed with some acrylic painting.

What Lies Beneath’ an art exhibition curated by Byanyan Jessica Bitrus and Roli Afinotan for Aké Arts and Book Festival 2019. It’s a thought provoking exhibition of 19 works photography by Etinosa Yvonne, Haleem Salaam, Halima Abubakar, Niyi Okeowo (not featured below) based on the festival’s theme, ‘Black Bodies, Grey Matter’. (Culled from Curatorial Statement)

Fatima (Writer)

Etinosa Yvonne’s photographs curating experiences of survivors of violence around Nigeria. Uche (Content Creator and my teammate)

Victor Adewale (Photographer) in attendance to support Etinosa. Image sourced from him.


‘In Sight of Self’ Portraits of Uche Uba by Niyi Okeowo. Both images sourced from Fatima.


Hakeem Salaam’s intimate photographs explore Vitiligo.


Halima Abubakar’s fragmented photographs explore scarification through beautifully captured facial marks and tattoos.


Body Art and Henna from Sterling Experience Tent

Kaks (Doctor, Volunteer). Image sourced from her

Henna on Lara’s hand. Image sourced from her

Tamanda, Festival Guest and Contributing Writer in ‘Water Birds on the Lakeshore’ anthology

Functional Art

Temmie Ovwasa, Singer and spoken word poet at Sterling Bank Experience Tent.

Image source: Sterling Bank

How beautiful are these stage chairs made out of Ankara cushioned Ìkòkò onírin. Traditional pots used to cook the famous Naija Party Jollof rice. Little wonder our panel discussions and book chats brought the heat, sweetness and truth. The stool is shaped as a beating drum.

Festival Mural

Aké Festival Mural is a collaborative, mixed media artwork by the Artist-in-Residence, Sayo Adetunmobi, and everyone who attends. Within its 4 days, the mural can be designed by anyone under her watchful eye.

Let’s see what the talented Sayo Adetunmobi intially displayed on 24th and the process to our final 27th collaborative piece.

Initial Mural on eve of 24th.

Progress by the 26th.

Final piece on display outside Art Gallery on 27th. A visitor intepreted the lefthand side woman without a nipple is a tribute to breast cancer survivors. This final collaborative embodies how we all see and create space for our black bodies, adorn them, and decorate our resilient minds with affirmations.

Copyright: Photos not taken by me are used with permission and/or referenced. Use any of these photos and reference Amethyst Saw and other owners.


My look embodies the festival theme. Won’t you agree?

Thank you for reading this far.

Asexual Awareness Week

October 20th-26th is Asexual Awareness Week in Nigeria.

Asexuality is largely understood in the ace community as a lack of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is different than sexual desire. To be asexual does not necessarily mean to be without sexual desire, but without sexual attraction. Although many asexual people do not engage in sexual activity, some do, and this does not invalidate their asexuality.

If you’d like to know more about being Asexual or navigating Asexuality in Nigeria, AceandNigerian has remarkable resources and community.

My jar of Chapman and all the floral sweetness above is raised in cheers of Ace Week 2019.

Also in celebration I’m republishing my story, The Peace That is You published in June. It’s a story of acceptance and navigating intimacy with an asexual love interest.


THE PEACE THAT IS YOU

Whenever I see a woman on low cut, whether golden, wine, brown or black curls or coils she rocks cropped. I think of you. Of the night I met you and how your smile injected peace into my tired face. Of how I was so sure you would be mine. In less than 2 mins, sitted beside me, your fair skin beaming in the night, you dispelled my assurance. You were for yourself, alone. I didn’t stutter that I hadn’t meant I wanted to own you. Instead I nodded and knew from then on. I knew we’d never fry plantain or ofada stew together and watch the orange sun set. You would stop responding to my texts. I cancelled our first date because of stabbing menstrual cramps during a thunderstorm.

I saw your post online some weeks ago. I was surprised I still followed you. I thought I unfollowed you after realizing you were ignoring my calls and texts. I remember feeling my anger and jealousy dispel as I gazed at your right cheek, arched pink lipped smile, delicate eyelashes and small breasts obscured by the dress. I felt at peace. Your caption had said you had been searching for peace.

My full eyebrows shot up surprised. You found it. Where? I wasn’t surprised. What made me surprised was that you didn’t know. You could simply look at yourself and be at peace. You see, you are an enlightenment in herself, drapped with serenity, colored warm with kindness.

You could have simply let me see you again. So you could look into my brown eyes, which would have been cleansed by shed tears from the chopped purple onions and fried palm oil smoke. So you could look and see that you are peace. But it isn’t simple. Probably won’t have been simple even if I swam across Mile 2 to Lekki, my womb perforated raw.

You were searching. For yourself. I’ve taken that journey. I still would have kissed your soft cheeks and their tiny blond hairs while leaving the jazz club I never came to. Today I saw another woman. She had this golden brown-winish low cut. I thought of you. I prayed you had found the peace that is you.

END.


Thanks for reading Gem!

Book Cover Reveal of TJ Benson’s ‘The Madhouse’ from Masobe Books

TJ Benson has a novel, The Madhouse, being published in 2020 by Masobe Books. Huge congratulations to TJ🎉

The Madhouse vibrant, mysterious book cover was revealed on Twitter earlier this week. Its stunning art. I can’t wait to read, photograph and review it!

Book Cover Designer: Anderson Oriahi (Brand Consultant, ZBM.

Fun Fact: The Madhouse is (geographical) set in Kaduna state, Nigeria. A calm place I’ve visited a couple of times. I worked with KabaFest (Kaduna Book and Arts Festival 2019) in September. Grateful I met my Queen there. I have family and friends there and absolutely love Kaduna. The book cover reminds me of how the Kaduna weather can switch from bright and sunny to cold and rainy. Books set in none mainstream Nigerian cities, towns or states always excite me.

Book Blurb
The Madhouse chronicles the lives of an unorthodox couple; a young woman, her husband and two children, and an abandoned house which becomes both a place of refuge and a place of torment for them. This richly-written and dreamscape-y novel spans the military regimes of Nigeria in the eighties to the present.

(Culled from their Twitter account)

Visit Masobe Books for more information of book launch dates, book reading events, and more