The second issue of Agbowó, themed on “Limits,” is set to make its appearance on the African literary scene on July 22, 2019.
In 2015, University of Ibadan students Dolapo Amusat and Habeeb Kolade set up the “Uites Write” platform to showcase literary work by fellow students and alumni. The initiative completed two publications in poetry and prose named Uites Write Anthology and October Stories. They received plaudits and effusive introductions from Olayinka Egbokhare, Adam Abubakar Ibrahim and Kola Tubosun.
In 2017, the team decided to emerge from the University of Ibadan and open up to the rest of the continent picking Agbowó, the name of the street opposite the university. They published their first anthology, or magazine, in July 2018 under the theme “X.” For a startup, they did pretty well with contributions from among others Kola Tubosun, Logan February, Tade Ipadeola, Toni Kan, and Romeo Oriogun.
Since the anthology dropped last year, the team acquired the Ìbàdàn-based initiative “Arts and Chill” to curate events that grow local communities of young literary and visual artists. They have already hosted two themed events – “Arts and Politics,” moderated by short story writer Bunmi Familoni and “Arts and Mental health” (in partnership with MANI) moderated by poet Pamilerin Jacob.
This month, the Agbowó team has two things for lovers of the written word to partake. The first of these, for the Ibadan community, is a poetry workshop facilitated by Dami Ajayi on July 20th for 20 participants. On the same evening, the poet will read from his sophomore collection, A Woman’s Body is a Country, recently shortlisted for the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.
The second, for the wider African community, is the publication of the second issue of Agbowó which this year was themed “Limits.” The contributors are a mix of new, emerging, but powerful voices and artistic verve from Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, DR Congo, Malawi, and Kenya. They are Sarah Lubala, JK Anowe, Jonathan Durunguma, Akhona Mbange, Ernest Ogunyemi, Tokunboh Sangodoyin, Kofi Antwi, Penda Diakité, Kemi Falodun, Adedayo Agarau, Jarred Thompson, Eko Adetolani, Ifeanyi Michael, Wesley Macheso, Chrissie Chinebuah, David Adamu, Ebuka Prince Okoroafor, Erhu Kome Yellow, Dela Aniwa , Tolu Oloruntoba, Alex Nderitu, Edaki Timothy, Oyewole Bukunmi, Fatima Okhuosami, Sihle Ntuli, Ignatius Bambaiha, Ohimor Oghenerume Yinkore, Aaishah Mayet, Efua Traoré, Prudence Emudianughe and Damilola Onafuwa. It also features an interview with visual artist Osaze Amadasun. Amadasun, in conversation with Agbowó’s Sheyi Owolabi, discusses his artistic origins, inspiration, process and filling what he perceived a critical visual gap in 16th century Benin art.
To get early access to this new gem please click here.