A collaborative book convened by Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria, facilitated by booksprints.net. Nameless strives to inspire change in Nigeria. Eight budding Nigerian writers; Rafeeat Aliyu, Fola Lawal, Kalu Aja, Chioma Agwuegbo, Pearl Osibu, Yas Niger, Elnathan John, and Azeenarh Mohammed, reflect a common vision for their nation’s future. Nameless is about the complexities that is Nigeria.
This publication aims to spark a conversation among young people ahead of the 2015 national elections in Nigeria about the future they want? The group of eight Nigerian writers worked together for five days on a common vision for their country, hoping to inspire others to think about the same.
Some of the writers have a background in fictional writing, poetry, and satire, and so it was agreed that fictional stories may be more thought-provoking than another book of well-meant recommendations. This is especially exciting for the Book Sprint team as it is turn out to be their very first Fiction Book Sprint!
Nameless is a city. A country within borders. A boundless space of ideas. A cosmos with realities, stark and painful, quiet and loud. A space crippled by fears. Nameless is populated. West African. It is in the minds of its people, black and proud. Sometimes Nameless is human. An idea. Sometimes it is in the past. Often times is the now. Other times, it is the future. It remains Nameless. The oldest residents know its dreams, its origins, beginning in a major stream and ending in a clear deep pond. The youngest residents know its pulse, feel its heat, its blood coursing through the veins of the country the history they know is happening right before them, good and bad and ugly. Everyone knows its hopes.
Afele is the heart of Nameless. The market place of items and ideas; the Centre where all things meet, where the blood of Nameless converges and gets pumped out into homes and heads and souls. It is the meeting point. It feeds Nameless and starves it. Nameless is ambitious. And in the third world. In darkness. With in adequate infrastructure. Darkened by the lack of electricity. Nameless is in light. Brightened by the hope in the eyes of its inhabitants. Slowed down by the pot holes on the roads. Sped up by anticipation of change by desire. Nameless is rich. And poor. And in between. Nameless is oppressed. Under surveillance. Nameless is free. To dream. Of change. Free. To dare. To live. To express. To break open the boxes in which sexuality and gender and tribe exist. Stifled and stifling. Free. To love and not to take oppression in the garbs of love. Free from the dubious bonds of religion and tradition, disguised as law. Nameless is many things. It is the present we loathe. It is the past that haunts us. It is the future we want.
Nameless is what we own, the things we are ashamed of, the hurt that binds us, the leaders who stain our pre sent. Nameless is the clarity we have. It is the knowledge that things can not remain the same. The hope that our children will only know our tears as history. It is all we must do to move us from the things that cage us to being able to fly free to a place beyond where nothing can stop us.
We are nameless.
And Nameless is us.
Nameless is about the complexities that is Nigeria.