Achebe: My Literary Friend

by Jennifersoter Ezewi

The fluid of a writing pen has been exhausted;
Yet, the paper maketh an outcry.
Who can quench the infused passion for oil?
Whose echo resounds for Ages without fear?

Strength! What is expedient?
At the point of departure of thy master,
Who screamed for hope?
When the journey beamed
At the Invisible exit,
The seeds scooped out
The voice of continuity.

Integrity has left a legacy;
Weep not, Memo!
For the social prestige lieth awake.

Professor Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe (16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013). Photo credit: Stuart C. Shapiro.


In Conversation with Jake Okechukwu of SCAF Nigeria

The Easter comedy show Resurrection Laughter will be hitting the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja this Sunday, the 31st of March. A.R.T sat down for a chat with Jake Okechukwu from the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) of Nigeria, one of the organizations supporting the Resurrection Laughter Easter show.

Tell us about SCAF.

Jake Okechukwu
Sickle Cell Aid Foundation [SCAF] is a non-profit and non-governmental organization established to amplify awareness on Sickle Cell Anaemia and to raise funds solely for the provision of quality medical care for sickle cell persons, especially for the indigent in Nigeria.


What is the biggest concern about sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria?

Jake Okechukwu
Nigeria has the highest number of sickle cell incidences in the world. According to a 2006 report by the World Health Organization, more than 150,000 children are born with sickle cell anaemia every year in Nigeria. The number has definitely increased because the population of growth since then. From the report, it means that over 410 children are born with sickle cell anaemia every day in Nigeria and the troubling side to those statistics is that more than half of the children born to sickle cell will die before their 5th birthday because of the absence of access to proper medical care, nutrition and special attention.

And how much awareness is out there about this?

Jake Okechukwu
Permit me to say that there is little or no awareness. We conducted a survey in August 2011 in the Federal Capital Territory with 600 respondents being interviewed. 47% did not know their genotype! Isn’t that alarming? They did not know what ‘genotype’ is about, neither did they have an idea about sickle cell. That calls for an emergency intervention. Even the people that know their genotype and know about sickle cell anaemia either do not have the proper information or sufficient knowledge.


Is that opportunity to create awareness part of what interested SCAF about the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
Yes. We were intimated by Pius Bluetooth Momoh to collaborate with him on the show. He has volunteered with us and has a passion concerning sickle cell issues too. We see it as another opportunity to create awareness on sickle cell and to help provide an avenue where we can conduct free genotype tests for people who don’t know their genotype

What does SCAF hope to achieve by supporting the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
We just want to aid. We will be carrying out free genotype testing for a number of attendees who don’t know their genotype and would want to be armed with the requisite knowledge of their genotype.


They say laughter is the best medicine, do you worry that a show like Resurrection Laughter can put hospitals and healthcare agencies out of business?

Jake Okechukwu
[Laughs] Why don’t we wait and see if Resurrection Laughter can bring that on! Impossible is nothing.

But on a more serious note how important would you say humour is to health?

Jake Okechukwu
Well, my people say that when an only kolanut is presented with love, it carries with it more value than a whole pod of several kolanuts. What am I trying to say here? Imagine if our physicians and medical personnel in our hospitals and clinics would do their work with smiles and laughter on their faces? Patients will feel more comfortable and undergo less panic. How many doctors crack jokes with their patients? If I was ill I know I would start feeling better if I see smiles and laughter and happiness around me. Humour helps.

Are you a comedy man or a dancing man?

Jake Okechukwu
I choreographed professionally for 4 years so I enjoy dance. But as for comedy, who doesn’t love comedy? I love both.

Going back to health issues, what does SCAF offer people with Sickle Cell Anemia?

Jake Okechukwu
At SCAF, our vision is reposed on two pillars: First, to provide intense and exigent awareness campaigns to prevent new sickle cell cases. And second, to provide quality specialist health care for sickle cell patients, especially the indigent. This we hope to achieve by establishing sickle cell specialist centers in the state capitals of our nation. These centres will provide pre-marital counseling and testing and will most of all offer quality treatment to sickle cell patients. With these we can prevent sickle cell births and more so reduce the copious deaths arising from the dearth of healthcare for sickle cell patients.

That’s very positively ambitious.

Jake Okechukwu
Yes and we are positive these and more can be achieved. Our vision is: a Nigeria free of sickle cell anemia and an excellent standard of healthcare service for those already living with the condition. Our mission statement is: to annihilate the inheritance of sickle cell disease by a wide-spread and persuasive awareness, and to provide the best healthcare for sickle cell patients in Nigeria, by working towards the creation of sickle cell aid specialist centers in all the states of the federation.

Have you got any advice for people living with sickle cell anemia? Any tips? Is there any home care, perhaps?

Jake Okechukwu
Well some good tips to help people who are living with sickle cell: drink a lot of water; take your medication; avoid extreme temperatures – when too hot or too cold; eat a balanced diet; avoid stressful conditions; rest when you feel the need to; understand your body and know when to stop; for the girls, avoid heels if you can; and when your pain is building up, go to the hospital.

Will you, Jake, be at the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
Sure, with my friends and colleagues too! I will be carrying out free genotype tests so I will be collecting blood samples but I hope to catch on some laughter.

How can you be contacted?

Jake Okechukwu
Our website is and you can contact me on my number +2348029012291.

Resurrection Laughter will be live in Abuja on the 31st of March, 2013. Come over to the Lawn Tennis court at Area 3 Pro-Cathedral and share some of the healthiest laughs you’ll have all year!! Tell a friend!

Check out our interview with the organizer of the Resurrection Laughter show Mc Bluetooth. Find out more about the show here.

Want to book your seat ahead of time? Tickets for the show are available online.

To Achebe

by Cuba Ukoh (@CubaUkoh)


Tell me it’s not true, say it isn’t you

From childhood I watched

As age in its tender pace

Began to contour your face

Still I swore I would get to meet you

If only I wrote and wrote faster

My wish would come true!

But beyond day dreams conjured,

Life happened…

And as all things that come, they go

But even from death’s embers I know,

Your legacy shall eternally glow

And though now you tread a dead man’s path,

Things do not fall apart

Your words will always traverse my heart

As you remain for now and always;

A man of the people




In Conversation with Mc Bluetooth: Resurrection Laughter

Artist: Mc Bluetooth
Real name: Momoh Pius Oshogwemoh Valentine Peter Lawroo etcetera
Talent: Stand-up comedy, acting, and going loco.
Event: Resurrection Laughter, an Easter Event (Details here)


How long have you been doing stand up comedy?

Mc Bluetooth
Well it’s relative. Though I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh I wouldn’t claim to have been cracking comprehensive jokes in form of stand up comedy since birth, as musicians would claim to have been singing from the womb. But I’ve been a compère and a Master of Ceremony since my secondary school days in Federal Government Boys College, Apo boys, as we were called. Officially I began stand up comedy in the University (University of Abuja) where I anchored a lot of programs then realized humor was something I could greatly explore. And solo artistry is one of its basic forms so I guess it just stuck on me. Aside comedy I also act and it was through that medium (acting) that I also realized that this “mumuing” don dey blood since.

What inspired you to do the Resurrection Laughter show?

Mc Bluetooth
Hmmm! Resurrection Laughter, as the name implies, signifies the rejuvenation of joy, of excitement, and fun. It’s a pet project of mine under the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) in the Pro-Cathedral Abuja. It’s all about fun and joy that entertainment brings. The event is scheduled to take place every Easter, and, just as Easter signifies Christ’s Resurrection, we also want to use the opportunity to bring back joy through humor.

Nigerian stand-up comedy has seen a decline of sorts, do you think the new generation of comics can bring it back?

Mc Bluetooth
Well I wouldn’t say stand-up comedy is on a decline, I’d rather say it isn’t greatly appreciated as a form of art that can stand the test of time in Nigeria, and perhaps Africa as a whole. A mistake that I hope we correct in time. Nigeria is full of great minds and talents ready to explode and this young generation is the major catalyst to ignite that flame. One reason we might note a decline is the fact that events of this nature aren’t so often organized in Abuja, and in the event that they are, it receives little or no patronage. This has always been the biggest challenge mostly in Abuja, but I sincerely hope and pray that given the caliber of talent the city has to offer, the status quo will change for the better. Resurrection Laughter is a name that has come to stay and we’re aiming to reinvent and reignite the comedy scene not just in Abuja and Nigeria, but Africa as a whole.


Looking at the upcoming show itself, tell us a bit about the other young talent that will be performing.

Mc Bluetooth
In one word – crazy! Resurrection Laughter will feature the hottest, sickest talents to grace any event. I’m talking of outstanding solo performers in comedy, breathtaking musical acts and spectacular dancers all performing on one stage! We’ve got mad comedians like: D2, Orolee, M.O.G, Washington, Mc Kogi, as well as my humble self Mc Bluetooth. Bursting the sound waves musically we have prolific acts like FO, Gullyryda, 6Foot+, Mac P, I-sick, Dj X on the wheels of steel and more. Amongst the earth benders, as I like to call dancers, we’ve got The Magic Steppers, Elevator and G-next. Believe me you’ll be amazed the energy these guys will be bringing on stage. Also to make an appearance are juggernauts in the Abuja entertainment scene. Big shots of comedy like Fred Bright, Onome Di Saint, Wahala, Stainless and a few other surprises. Not to be left out are other hot shot celebrities such as Willy-willy and Yaks Man of Wazobia fm. So its a fully loaded package.

What is your most memorable moment on stage?

Mc Bluetooth
All moments are memorable, but I can never forget events such as Warri Conneqshun with Otota Live & Naked, back then in the University of Abuja; also Fellows Night of the National Institute of Chartered Economist of Nigeria, where I was given recognition by the special guest of honor in his remarks – though I wouldn’t want to name drop. Lots and lots of memorable times. But one which always reminds me that “talent pays” is an end of year party and send forth of corps members held at a Federal ministry. I was given a standing ovation for my performance and the DG personally doubled my original commission for that event. It was inspiring.

It’s great to see the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) involved with the show, what do you hope to achieve through that partnership?

Mc Bluetooth
Normally I feel the best way to organize an event is to have a general theme every one can relate to, something that would have a positive impact on the environment. Sickle cell awareness is something that has been pushed to the sidelines when it comes to general health care and by partnering with SCAF, we hope to re-conscientize the public on genotype awareness and sickle cell anemia. One way SCAF will be doing this is by providing free genotype tests for all present at the event. So Resurrection Laughter is a bumper package of entertainment and health awareness. As time goes by we’ll be looking to infuse other areas where we can make our impact felt.

Aside from SCAF, are there other partners or sponsors involved with the event?

Mc Bluetooth
Of course there are. The Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) our Lady Queen of Nigeria is the umbrella body under whose social and entertainment programs Resurrection Laughter is a pet project. They are also providing the arena for the event. The red carpet coverage will be undertaken by Urban Reality TV, the graphic designer Justus Eselebor (@Justnation5) has done great work on the graphic materials. Hypnotics Sound has supported immensely in the area of sound production. Also, very importantly, Resurrection Laughter is the first comedy show to have it’s tickets and publicity materials sold and advertised on Nigeria’s top E-retailing company, Jumia. So people can visit Jumia Nigeria’s website to book tickets and find out more about the event. From that angle Jumia Nigeria has been a great partner. And not to be left out, you guys, A.R.T your contribution has been awesome as well. We’re still looking forward to having more individuals and corporations key into our brainchild.



Nigerians love humour. We laugh at everything. At ourselves, our friends, our leaders. Sometimes with positive intents, other times not so. What do you think gives us such affinity to humour?

Mc Bluetooth
Nigerians are peace loving people. I can beat my chest to say that, in creation, God gave us very large funny bones. Comedy and humor is our second nature. Our environment also contributes a great deal. With our different tribes, languages and ethnicity I’d say comedy was and is made for Nigerians.


Whose your favourite comedian, whether home based or foreign?

Mc Bluetooth
It’s hard to say, because I have so many favourites. But definitely a few instantly come to mind. For the foreign acts I’d say Rowan Atkinson aka Mr Bean. The guy cracks me up even in my sleep. He is a legend when it comes to facial expressions, and even in his solo performances he nails it every given time and with every audience. To me the guy is the Godfather of British comedy, be it stand up or pantomime. Then in the Nigerian comedy scene I’d say Bovi aka Akpos. That guy is from a species out of this world! His timing and delivery are awe. And his performances are so spontaneous. If I were Dr Frankenstein I would merge these two guys into one and plant them into my brain.

If you could have one super power what would it be?

Mc Bluetooth
(Laughs)Chai! Very tricky question. Make I no lie ehn, I’d rather have a genie offer me one wish, then I’ll use that one wish to wish for ten extra wishes and when I’m down to my last wish I’ll use it to wish for ten more. (He laughs mischievously.) For the super powers I’d say Superman, but without all that “kryptonite allergy palaver”. Super strength combined with super speed, the ability to fly, super hearing, x-ray vision, that’s just awesome.

Now finally, this Bluetooth! Bluetooth! I dey look your mouth since I no see any bluetooth.

Mc Bluetooth
(Laughing) People always ask this same question. It’s kind of a coincidence that a device is named after me (Sniggers.)Actually I realized that I always have had a way of connecting to the audience and taking advantage of the fact that I have very conspicuous dentition – although not blue oh – I realized its best to yab myself first and get it over with before some one scores a cheap joke on me.


Find out details about the Resurrection Laughter show here. Visit Jumia Nigeria to book or purchase tickets.



Faith, Trust, or A Word of Four Letters is a short film about a girl who leaves her hometown in Nigeria to acquire an education in the UK. She faces challenges to her identity, her faith and her background when she is cruelly betrayed.

The film is part of a film production project by student film-maker Chioma Idigo.

If you’re a talented actor/actress in the UK, and would like to be part of this, auditions are to take place in QS/021 Arts Workshop, York St John University on Wednesday 20th March between 1pm and 3pm.

If you are unavailable at this time but would like to audition please email:

Please note: being a school project, services of actors/actresses are being requested on a volunteer basis.

REMEMBRANCE a short play by Africa Ukoh

Check out this lovely short play written by A.R.T administrator Africa Ukoh and published on the Victoria City Media website. The play is titled Remembrance and it tells the tale of a lady who has to confront a horror from her past. The technique used in the writing is brilliant!

Read the play here.