Dul Johnson, Jide Badmus, and Austin Oroko in crowd

Dul Johnson, Jide Badmus, and Austin Oroko in crowd

The Abuja Writers Forum hosted Dul Johnson, Jide Badmus, and Austin Oroko for the April edition of the Guest Writer Session on April 29. The event was hosted at the Aso Hall, Nanet Suites, Cental Business District, Abuja.

The Abuja Writers Forum was established to encourage the creative writing potentials of Nigerians and people of the sub-region of Africa. They also plan to promote the development of Nigerian Literature in English and the indigenous languages. They also publish journals, writing workshops and other literature related activities.

There was a celebratory mood as The Abuja Writers Forum hosted the April guests of the much loved series. This month the guests were Jide Badmus, Dul Johnson and Austin (Aush) Oroko.

Jide Badmus was born and bred in Ilorin, and hails from Omido in Irepodun LGA, Kwara State. The first of four children, he studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Ilorin and bagged a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management at Binary University, Malaysia. He is a practicing Electrical Engineer in building services.

Badmus has had a flair for creative writing as a child and started writing poetry in 2002. He has a wide range of collections on various themes and shares his short stories, critical opinions and poetry on his blog www.inkspiredng.com. Some of his works have been published in national dailies and online platforms.

His debut book collection, There Is A Storm In My Head, appeared this year on the imprint of Words Rhymes and Rhythm Ltd (WRR). The poems depict a storm of emotions as a result of life’s uncertainty, disparity between dreams and reality, and the thin line between love and lust. The author’s writing style is defined as simple and deep; his poems are usually brief and fast-paced, the readers are left out of breath and asking for more. He is inspired by nature and beauty.

Jide is married to a beautiful wife, Linda and has an adorable daughter, Nora. He is a Christian and a soccer lover; he is a Manchester United fan. Watching soccer, reading, writing and watching movies are his hobbies. He lives and writes from Lagos.

Dul Johnson is a filmmaker and author from Plateau State and currently lectures, as a Professor of Literature, at Bingham University, Karu. He began his career as a drama director with the Nigerian Television AuthorityJos, and worked for many years before retiring into Independent Filmmaking and teaching. He has won national and international awards with his films and dramas, including There is Nothing Wrong with my Uncle (a cultural documentary), The Widow’s Might (a feature film), Against the GrainWasting for the WestBasket of Water, and many others.

Johnson began writing in his undergraduate days, trying his hand at drama, poetry, journalistic writing and short stories. From the mid- to late 1970s he wrote plays for radio (Rima Radio, Sokoto) and for the stage – some of which were produced in his undergraduate days.

Johnson has published five major works: Shadows and Ashes, Why Women Won’t make it to Heaven (short story collections), Ugba Uye: The Living Legend (a biography), Deeper into the Night (a novel) and Melancholia (a play). The last two were presented to the public on 28 October 2014.

His latest publication, Across The Gulf, is a novel that explores loyalty, resilience, nationhood, love and tradition bridging two generations and an entire nation.

Austin Oroko hails from Utonkon, Benue State and is a graduate of the department of languages and Linguistics Nassararwa State University, Keffi. He speaks French and Italian as well as a little German.

Born in Lagos, he likes to describe himself as growing up all over the world with his six siblings as they accompanied their father, a former diplomat, on his official postings.

At the age of fifteen he started writing and singing his own songs with a dream to become a star that will influence the world through his music. Although he owned a keyboard when he was younger, it was his love for the guitar that caught his fancy and has become his mainstay as a performer.

Oroko has been on several notable platforms including AM Express, AIT,NTA Entertainment among others. He spent a lot of time listening and studying classical musicians and the likes of Tracy Chapman and Stevie Wonder who have had a deep influence on him.

His music can be classified as Indie rock with a touch of soul and has recently released a single, Oxygen,

The Guest Writer Session also featured a raffle-draw for books.