In light of the recent event at the Brittle Paper and the uproar it has caused among Nigerian writers, some young Nigerian writers, in solidarity with Otosirieze have published a letter to state their take on what happened.
I was worried when the hastag to boycott and cancel The Brittle Paper was almost going to start trending, but after reading this letter, I am proud of this generation of writers I associate with, because in the heat of it all, they have taken a pulse to reasoning and fairness, and justice, which is exactly what Brittle Paper, in all its esteem had failed to do.
However, they have not failed to state their stand in it all. It is unacceptable. To cut one off at the time they should enjoy the proceeds of their hard work is unacceptable.To relieve Obi-young of his duties from The Brittle Paper in this manner is unacceptable. To tarnish his image as a person, who we all know have walked the path of truth, is unacceptable, and worse, to tell us how to report the evil, and shit our government and leaders have fed us over the years is purely unacceptable. I mean, had it been a post in praise of the ex-first lady, for supporting a literary festival with so much money, this issue of editorial expectations will not come up, and there won’t be need to edit, cut off or change the title. They feed us shit daily with reckless abandon, why can’t we call them out with reckless abandon?
This generation of writers are noble and angry, and can no longer cower to the weight of oppression. This has always been my dream. I also love that in the bid to show this they have applied reasoning. They have refused to be the evil they fight daily.
All of us at Arts Lounge stand with this letter. And Otosirieze, as long as he stands for truth, is our hero. This whole anger will pass. This heat will calm down, but it is very necessary that we don’t take this event, which for me is so important for our literary revolution for granted. Maybe something wants to teach us something. Maybe this is the time we have always waited for, maybe it’s time to take a stand, and we stand with the Obi-young that has refused compromise.
For the love of African Literature.