Emerging poet and culture producer, Samuel Osaze, will unveil his new collection of poems, Der Falsche Mond von Yenagoa / The Strange Moon of Yenagoa, to the public on June 25, 2022 at the Goethe-Institut Nigeria on Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos . The time is 12:00 p.m.
The launch of Osaze’s book is also the inaugural edition of a new program of the Institute, the Goethe-Institut Readers’ Corner.
The book is a collection of old and new poems published in German and English by Akono Verlag, Leipzig (Germany).
As part of the launch, there will be an engaging conversation between the poet and journalist and writer, Anote Ajeluorou (author of Igho Goes to Farm and Libations for Africa).
The speech will focus on the problems of the Niger Delta region, with relentless oil exploitation that continues to despoil the ecosystem and negatively impact people since the discovery of oil in the 1950s.
Osaze and Ajeluorou will also delve into other thematic concerns of the collection such as police brutality and the performative nature of African oral literature and how the past could be used to shape the present. How do past and present merge to forge a truly independent and self-sufficient Africa?
“Samuel Osaze’s book of poetry, The Strange Moon of Yenagoa, is Akono Verlag’s first poem,” says Jona Krutzfeld, Founder/CEO of Akono Verlag. “The book has aroused a lot of admiration and emotion among us at the German publisher and readership. We are all the more pleased that, thanks to the support of the Goethe-Institut Nigeria, the book can now be presented to its home readership.We wish Samuel Osaze continued success for his important poetry which comments on contemporary Nigeria in an evocative manner.
In a statement ahead of the unveiling, Osaze said many of the poems in the collection also illuminate the new trajectory of his creative journey as a poet and culture advocate. “In addition to writing protest poetry, the need to use poetry as a bastion to document culture also arose,” he said.
Citing UNESCO’s predictions on endangered minority languages; the poet said that some languages are threatened with extinction, “especially minority languages like the Esan ethnic strain, from Edo State, Nigeria, where I am from. Since language is the vehicle through which culture is passed on, you will find that some of the poems here are literally reservoirs of certain cultural practices that are on the verge of extinction, and again there is a deliberate infusion of flora and fauna, folk tales , songs and the rich oral tradition of the Esan people in my poetry, it is a conscious effort to contribute my quota to the quest to save a dying culture.
Osaze said the book also dwells on the 2020 Nigerian Youth Protest Against Police Brutality (#EndSARS) and how peaceful protesters were violently dispersed by the Nigerian military.
He said the killing of young protesters had sparked widespread shock across the world and reaffirmed the government’s cruel treatment of its young people. According to him, “what is now known as the October 20, 2020 Lekki Massacre will continue to reverberate and gain popularity in the Nigerian literary ecosystem.”
The readers’ corner of the Goethe-Institut will serve as a focal point for writers, journalists and creative people in general. It is an interactive platform where meaningful dialogue and other intellectual engagements capable of positively influencing society are held on a quarterly basis.
Osaze’s The Strange Moon of Yenagoa, translated from English to German by veteran German international journalist, Andrea Jeska, is available for sale in Europe, Nigeria and online platforms.