This was an event organised by Wide Wale Entertainment. It held on the 26th of February, 2014 at the Eko Fm Hall. The programme had been organised to celebrate creativity, while underscoring the problems hampering intellectual innovation – the biggest one, being piracy. The invited speakers or guests were among the best in their field. They include Professor Femi Osofisan, a celebrated writer and author. His works include Women of Owu and Maami. Dr. Funmi Akingbade is a celebrated columnist of the Punch Newspapers. Kaine Agary is a columnist as well as the self published author of Yellow Yellow. Also present was the chairman of Literamed Publications, Otunba Yinka Solarin. Tunde Kelani, the brilliant filmmaker, who was also celebrating his birthday that day, was present. Karim Adepoju aka Baba Wande and Paul Emmenna were also present. The Director General of the Copyright Commission also sent a representative with a presentation. Wole Soyinka, Amaka Igwe and Governor Fashola were “unavoidably absent” but Amaka Igwe sent a representative.
I was able to attend this programme courtesy of the Law Students Society, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. Although, there were a few hitches here and there, I have decided to summarise a few of the recurring points.
- To be a good writer, you have to read a lot. This is also a good way of increasing your vocabulary
- The reading culture or lack thereof is a drawback for publishing. Publication is a business and publishers invest in manuscripts that are likely to bring profit. So, a publisher would rather publish a book that is in a school curriculum than that of an obscure up coming writer
- Being a columnist means specific research, subject matter and target audience. Criticisms are a given but you must be persistent.
- Self publication is always an option to consider, since publishing houses do not take kindly to unsolicited manuscripts. This means the marketing and generating of sales falls on you.
- Marketing is not easy, and piracy makes it even more difficult.
- In film making, scripts have been inspired by the works of other writers. For instance, Tunde Kelani’s Maami is an adaptation of the story written by Prof. Femi Osofisan.
- The Copyright commission has prosecuted 47 cases since 2011.
So, that is basically all there is to it. While Piracy is a big deal, there are also laws in place to check it. However, we all know that Nigeria’s problems cannot be solved by making new laws. They will only be resolved when there is a proper implementation of the existing laws, but new laws must be made to reflect the changing times.
P.S I do hope the organisers don’t relent, but they must improve on the planning in the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that. Plus, I think the tickets were too expensive. Fifty thousand Naira? That’s huge. I will try to upload more pictures later.