Our Reporter, New York
Nigerian Professor of Creative Writing at the Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Georgia, USA, has said that Nigerian writers are well recognised globally as much as their counterparts in the music industry. She made the remarks while appearing as a guest at the online interview programme 90MinutesAfrica hosted by Rudolf Okonkwo on Sunday.
The winner of the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature said the global effect of Nigerian music is felt more because, unlike with books, many people can tune in to music simultaneously. She reiterated that this global recognition is also happening to Nigerian writers, though at a different scale, because music is a popular culture.
“It is a lot easier for music to transcend boundaries than it is for books. Reading is a very solitary activity. You are not reading aloud to other people,” the author of the novel, On Black Sisters’ Street, said.
Nigerian musicians have made a strong presence on the international music scene, winning important awards, including the prestigious Grammy Awards. Afrobeats is now a global music brand with people from around the world identifying with its melodic and danceable rhythm.
Chika Unigwe, whose latest work, “The Middle Daughter,” just hit bookstores worldwide, acknowledged that she has had numerous “meetings with people who don’t know anything about Nigeria, but they sing and dance to Nigerian music.”
Furthermore, the author said Nigerian writers are also enjoying their global moment as their works appear in important literary spaces worldwide.
“Chibundu Onuzo’s Sankofa was Reese Witherspoon’s Book of the Month sometime last year, Ayobami Adebayo’s book was on Good Morning America in February, Akwaeke Emezi was on Trevor Noah’s Show, Chimamanda was on Trevor Noah’s Show etcetera. These are the ways Nigerian writers can go global. So it is happening but at a different scale because both arts are completely different,” she revealed.