Africa in Words hosts Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe is a novelist, political commentator and essayist whose writing has been praised and championed by leading voices in African literature including Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.  His first novel Arrows of Rain was published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series and described by Ernest Emenyonu as ‘a blueprint for the second generation of African novelists’.  His second novel Foreign Gods Inc. (Soho Press) was published in January 2014 and has received rave reviews across the Guardian, Independent and New York Times.  He currently teaches African and African Diaspora literatures at Brown University.

Africa in Words is delighted to be hosting Okey Ndibe at the University of Birmingham on Monday 27th October (in collaboration with Knowing Each Other) and at the University of Sussex on Monday 3rd November (in collaboration with the Sussex Africa Centre).  Find more details about these two exciting events below.


Okey Ndibe Reading from his novel Foreign Gods Inc.
University of Birmingham
Monday 27 October 2014, 4.30-5.30 pm

Venue: Danford Room, Arts Building (2nd floor)

Okey Ndibe’s visit is hosted by the project ‘Knowing Each Other: Everyday religious encounters, social identities and tolerance in southwest Nigeria’. We are delighted to host Okey Ndibe whose most recent novel, Foreign Gods, Inc., explores many ideas that resonate with our project, particularly religious plurality, the global commodification of religion and tradition, and changing relations between religions in contemporary Nigeria.

Okey Ndibe at the University of Sussex

Monday 3 November 2014, 4.00-6.30pm
English Social Space (Arts B, 274)

4pm Travelling Nigeria:  The Circulation of Politics, Art and Literature
Panel Discussion with Okey Ndibe (Brown University), Rebecca Jones (University of Birmingham), Uche Igwe (University of Sussex) and Kate Haines (University of Sussex).  Chaired by John Masterson (University of Sussex).

The University of Sussex hosting Okey Ndibe offers an exciting opportunity to start an interdisciplinary conversation reaching across Politics, Global Studies, Media Studies and Literary Studies that explores the ways in which representations of Nigeria circulate and travel.

Ndibe writes a popular, hard-hitting column that focuses on Nigerian politics, syndicated by several Nigerian newspapers and websites.  As a result of his unsparing stance on corruption he was put on a list of ‘enemies of the state’ by the Nigerian government, and has been detained several times when trying to enter the country.  Ndibe’s recent novel Foreign Gods Inc. tells the story of Ike, a highly educated Nigerian making a living driving a cab in New York City who hatches a plan to steal and sell his old village’s chief god to a Manhattan art dealer.  This panel discussion uses both Ndibe’s political writing and fiction as a starting point for a conversation about how ideas, writing, people and objects travel and circulate into, out of and around Nigeria.

Alongside Okey Ndibe himself, contributors to the panel include Dr Rebecca Jones (University of Birmingham), who will share material from her recent study of study of writing about domestic travel – Nigerians travelling within Nigeria – in Yoruba-speaking southwestern Nigeria between 1914 and 2014; Uche Igwe (University of Sussex) who will put his own PhD research on political corruption in Nigeria into dialogue with Ndibe’s political writing; and Kate Haines (University of Sussex) who will talk about the work of publishing company Kachifo in launching and marketing the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Nigeria.  The panel will be chaired by John Masterson, Lecturer in World Literatures at the University of Sussex, who works on contemporary African writing and is a contributor to a collection of essays Ndibe edited with Chenjerai Hove entitled Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa.

5.30pm Okey Ndibe in Conversation with Bookshy (Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, University of Sussex)
Acclaimed African literature blogger Bookshy talks to Okey Ndibe about his writing and invites him to read from his latest novel Foreign Gods Inc.

The event will be followed by drinks.

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