I met prince Adewale on Facebook, one of those young people who are quite passionate about literary things. It turns out that he has a book of poetry under his belt and there's quite an interesting story about how he got his cover model for the book. Read on...
Well, to start with, I am the humble author of Sad Nectar; a collection of poems. Its a book that illustrates meticulously on life, love and death! I published and launched my book myself, two weeks to my final exams in the prestigious Faculty of Law; University of Lagos at the time. On the 27th of July, 2010. I found my self at the biggest mall on the Island. The Palms. And in it is the most exquisite bookshop I have seen in Nigeria. The Hub. With books of different genres, sizes and colours. I was there for a meeting with young Mr. Chux Ogene, the one who designed my book cover pro bono!
I first met Chux the Saturday before that week at a youth seminar and we agreed on how the front page should look. The mere fact that he understood my poetic insight into how the front page should look really convinced me that he was the man. Very creative, artistic and dynamic a young man. He was willing to do my work even to the extent that I had to cut his zeal down a little. He wanted to make all the pages glossy, he wanted all the poems to have an image adapted to it vis-a-vis its message. He really wanted it to be a master piece.
For the model, Chux said that the lady's face must be long, she must be dark, low cut would be preferable or loosened hair. That she must also be pretty with almond-like eyes. At that point, there was just one person I could think of, a Diploma in Law Student at the time, but she could not make it. But then, I said to myself, 'Wale, you are at The Palms', 'it is probably the biggest shopping mall in Lagos', 'Lagos; the heart of Africa! Every kind of person is here, Wale. Every kind.' So I took the challenge and walked down the aisle of the mall; of course with my nerd frames. I looked and looked.
Soon I found myself going into Shoprite; one of the shops in the mall. Immediately I stepped into Shoprite, one of the attendants caught my sight; she was very dark, as dark as her black shirt, she had white eye balls and she wasn't all that pretty and she had her hair all plaited. Making her a second choice, if a better option surfaced. In there that day, there were lot of ladies, from the fat to the slim. Africans to Non-Africans and so on. I tried my best and just when I was about to go and search for the attendant, I saw Kubiateno!
She was chocolate in colour and would pass for beautiful. Her eyes, were wide and milky and her face was quite long. Her hair wasn't plaited and her looks were just simple. Simplicity I must agree seduces me. She was just the breathing picture of the lady I had been searching for. As friendly as I could, I walked up to her and said that I would love to talk to her, she obliged. I explained my plight slowly to her. I explained who I was and how the book of poetry meant much to me. She agreed to do the photo shoot. 'Seriously?', I said. 'Yes', she said. Then I became afraid with all kind of thoughts rushing down my spine. But Kubiat's smile led me on.
As we walked back to Chux, 'Don't worry', she said, 'I will do it for you.' She informed me that she didn't stay or school in Lagos. She has lived all her life in Akwa-Ibom State and the only reason she was in Lagos was to attend an interview at the American Embassy. She was going to be in the United States in couple of week's time and here I am with her. Is this really happening? It seemed so much as if I was opening pages of a book of dreams! 'Yes, dreams'. It was a prayer answered, a miracle to behold!
As to what is now my cover page; I use this medium to dedicate it to her. The sweet nectar that dripped from the dewy flower. Miss Kubiateno Ekong.
In fact, just by her sad expression, one could easily tell what Sad Nectar entails. The yellow flower etched on her face is a personification of sought, depicting the mood and aura of simply a pretty lady who has gone sad! Who is the lady? What does she represent? Is she a work of art or just a reportage? Is this another work of allegory? The lady or the Nectar could be said to be you and I! It could be said to belong to pessimistic or optimistic hearts! It could be said to be Africa or the world at large!
It should be noted that in interpreting works of art, everything matters, everything! In works of sculpture, even the material used matters, whether mud, gold or sticks. Iron could depict that the person or thing orchestrated is or was strong in a rough way. Diamond could represent that the thing was indestructible and precious. The fact that this black colour was on a paper is a sigh of optimism thus, soon enough the paper will wither and the blackness shall be no more! The sad times shall shiver and die! Death, in fact shall die! Sad Nectar tells of hope, peace, love, care, optimism and how to live life as it lay; good or bad. Read it slowly and calmly, for everything and anything is something!
Excerpts from the Book
1. SONG OF HOPES: Every day is the last/... Live your life to the height/... And remember to do it right/... For tomorrow might come to hunt
2. IS SHE HUMAN???: As she glowed so bright/... Sparkling like rainbows/... Drenched in silveric tint/... Radiating my lonely heart/... Behold the God of beaut/... You have created on this planet/... A perfect being with eyes/... So gorgeous and milkily wet/... You are too priceless to be owned/... Too valuable to be seen/... Too pretty to be touched/... And too angelic to be human/...
Where to Buy
Sad Nectar is available at The Hub in The Palms Shopping Mall, The Lifestyle Book Shop in the Silverbird Galleria and Terra Kulture!