Category Archives: Africa

Lost and Found in Morroco

June 30
Dinner at the Marrakesh Medina

The bane of the Nigerian traveller must be his bank issued Visa dollar card failing to work in a foreign country! Be rest assured I will call them first thing Monday and do some yelling. What saved me was a spare $100 I had else I wouldn’t have been able to pay for the hotel.

In changing said paper to #Moroccan dirhams (MADs), I took an adventure into the old city where I’m staying, in a bid to find a bureau de change. I managed to get lost promptly, found a bureau de change by mistake and got the MAD.

Though still lost, I decided to get dinner. Ordered this. About $6. Tasted okay but meh. But then, I was damn hungry!

How did I get “home”?

I’d downloaded the Google Maps for #Marrakech so I could use it offline. Just on a whim. It proved faithful where GT Bank failed me. I was able to amble about (longer days, shorter nights) and when in the general area, asked a group of kids who led me to the door.

Today’s lesson? Google Maps gets thumbs up. (Unnamed Nigerian) Bank gets a howl of outrage.

Good night.

– Ra.


On The Rabat – Marrakesh Line

One the Rabat – Marrakesh line

So, the decision to travel from #Rabat to #Marrakech by train was one of the best I’ve made. Very comfortable 2nd class cabin for $13, about a four hour trip.

Got a sense of #Morroco and its people. The kingdom is rapidly expanding its railways and transportation infrastructure. One senses a country of optimism and ambition to expand its stake in Africa. Nigeria can only cope if we get our act in order and fast.

Else, I’ll flip nationalities. Become #Rwandan or something.

Will share my photos. Here’s a selfie meantime, I was aiming for Indiana Jones as Nerdy Professor.

Wrote a new poem, the sketch of a travel piece as well as of a blog post so a very productive trip too.

– Ra.

On “The Names of Continents” at Kigali

My poem, “The Names of Continents”, was performed @transpoesis End Violence, Empower Women poetry performance in #Kigali last week. It was read by Amina (in the rose blouse) accompanied by the guitar. Many thanks to Dr. Andrea Grieder and her team.

I stand in the street in the crowd with my aunts and sisters, we cause

Tremors and our leader who looks like my mother unties a child and

Feeds it from her own breast while the world of lies falls silent. She says—

Africa and Asia and America and Europa are named for women because the World

Itself is a woman, words for “seed” or “boy”, “song” “rain” or “man” from our womb is birthed

For there can be no words without sound and women are the sound and the soundness

Of all creation

From, The Names of Continents.

What is “Konya Shamsrumi”? It is a new African Poetry Publishing House


Konya Shamsrumi? Four weeks ago, Kechi NomuUmar Abubakar SidiFunmi GajiRasaq Malik Gbolahan and I quietly launched a new project, a publishing house called Konya Shamsrumi. We had formed ourselves into the KSR Collective, and you might have seen the hashtag #KSRCollectivehere and there. Konya Shamsrumi is a poetry publishing house.

Our dream is, simple, to—
1. Create great poetry content, ranging from interviews to essays to poems.
2. Publish 2 collections (Richard, Sidi) and three chapbooks (Kechi, Rasaq, Funmi).
3. Sell 2000 units of our poetry box set of all five.

We started with weekly interviews on the blog and have published interviews, called “5 Questions”, with Unoma Azuah, Peter Akinlabi, Alexis Teyie and DM Aderibigbe. Our website has had 2,580 unique visitors who have dropped by 4,953 times. We are so pleased, thank you thank you. And many thanks to Umar Saleh Gwani, who made the first pre-order.

Our unusual name is a homage to the Persian Sufi poet, Rumi, who is strongly associated with a village called Konya (in Turkey) and his friend, Shams of Tabriz, who inspired a lot of his poetry. Poetry can be so much more when we share.

So, this tag is to ask you to:
—share this post and all our content when you see the #KSRCollective tag
—bookmark and explore it today
—like our Facebook page
—follow us on Twitter @KonyaShamsrumi
—visit our blog regularly and enjoy the content
—pre-order our box set at a discount

If you have any inquiries, you can reach out to the Editor, Kechi Nomu at any time. Partnerships and collaborations are welcome.

– Ra.

To My African Friends Concerned About the News From Nigeria

It is true have been having serious separatist issues, accompanied by hate speech, spearheaded by someone called Nnamdi Kanu who wishes to channel the nostalgia for the short lived Republic of Biafra. We fought a civil war over that in the 60’s. He is a charlatan who was coddled too long until he got out of hand. It was a serious issue, including ethnic hate speech and violent extremist violence too.
A few days ago, the Army submitted its analysis that his group is a terrorist group. The state governors from the southeast have proscribed the organization yesterday. We are waiting to see what happens after. There was some tension even in my hometown, which is in the north-central Nigeria, but it’s been contained.
So, don’t worry too much. Now you see a bit of why I laugh at you guys for your political impasses. Nigeria is far more complex, the crisis is as routine as the corruption is vast. This is a federation overheating, but this is also a federation that always manages to let off steam.
I’m okay. Thanks for the concern.
– Ra.