AFAS REVIEW 2016: SEPALS & PETALS
Writing the editorial note of the maiden edition of the AFAS Review dubbed Sepals & Petals gives me the feeling of a maiden handpicked for the crown prince. The specialty of this task is entrenched in the realization of an objective considered wayward and uphill. Giving room for widespread inclusion of creative works headlined the Call for Submission circulated online and offline about 2 months ago; interestingly, that headline has a congruent body in this publication. Capitalizing on the flexibility of the internet, the year 2016 has been of tremendous, literary harvest for the University of Ibadan as many literary publications mostly magazines and anthologies were birthed amid eulogies. However, AFAS Review’s conception witnessed discontent and mild reproof due to its novelty and ‘perceived boringness’. Without having to say much in this regard, I put it to you that this publication aptly portrays the literary and artistic excellence that should be associated with a faculty as prestigious and ‘letter-oriented’ as ours. I dedicated time to researching on the makeup of both Harvard Review and Association of Nigerian Authors’ Review before working alongside members of the editorial team to produce this delectable literary offering.
Subtitling the Review ‘Sepals and Petals’ connotes an impeccable harmonization of works by prominent voices like Professor Francis Egbokhare, Eriata Oribhabor, Brandon Marlon (UK) and budding, petalous writers such as Kanyinsola Olorunnisola K-tops, Binogun Winnie, Oyin S. Oludipe, Akwu Sunday Victor, Alozor Michael Ikechukwu, Tobi Idowu, Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju, Francis Annagu, Makinde Damilola Peter, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Benjamin Elemide, Peter Kwanqe and many others. As it is expected of sepals to support petals, the presence of these known voices lends credence and amplifying attributes to the emerging voices. Undoubtedly, African Literature is becoming increasingly fertile and invigorating due to the abandonment of shadows for nucleus of the sun by contemporary writers. This assertion is affirmed with words of Professor Wole Soyinka who said ideological spasm had “inhabited a number of very talented writers, crippled their sense of liberal creativity, forced them to try and narrow themselves into a very tight prism of viewing phenomena, humour, relationships, even politics. Fortunately, this next generation has been freeing itself and the result is really marvelous, varied – the women in particular”. It is symbolic to note that an initiative primarily driven by students is part of this ongoing revolution within the African literary space.
This anthology – a superlative collection of creative works oxygenated by various forms of arts: visual arts, poetry, flash fictions, short stories, essays and reviews – is timeless and boundless. Its contents delve into variegated themes as important as corruption and terrorism; and as ordinary and amusing as ‘cancelled classes‘ and ‘unwillingness of a woman to moan’. The thematic expansion is credited to the differences in backgrounds of the contributors whose nationalities include Nigeria, United Kingdom, Ghana and India. We partnered with a foresighted photographer, Olasubomi Jay Cole and two young and extremely talented artists, Steve Koncept and Jason Legendary Arts for the inclusion of visuals accompanied with scintillating captions.
Taking note of the initial complaints made at the displacement of the Image Magazine, this maiden edition of the AFAS Review is breathed with eye-appealing, heart-enlivening and mind-refurbishing works. We hope that our intents for this project are approved by your satisfaction. Peace!
Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom