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OF MEN AND COWS

cattle-rearer

I haven’t ranted in a while so here goes: You all remember Baba Alakyo, right? The old man in Nasarawa State who led his cult to ambush and murder 74 security personnel sometime last year. You remember how the SSS boss, who lost many men in this bestiality, said they had forgiven Baba Alakyo and his men for the murders when they should have led the charge to arrest this man and bring him to justice. Anyway, Baba Alakyo, had been living large since the massacre. Despite being indicted for the murders, there was never any attempt to arrest him and it had been reported that he had been receiving politicians who wanted him to “fortify them with jazz” and boost their political careers.
Life was good until some of his people stole about 500 cows from Fulani Herdsmen. Now these “Fulanis” are not as magnanimous as the SSS Boss. They don’t forgive. And they really don’t give a damn about Baba Alakyo’s magic powers. So they raided his village and reportedly killed everyone in sight, including the powerful jazz man. The Fulanis acknowledge that the man stole their cows but insist it wasn’t them who did it. Whatever, don’t ask me why Baba Alakyo’s jazz failed? Or how the attackers got the better of him. This is old news anyway because it happened last week. What I am wondering is that: so in this country, a man can get away with killing 74 MEN (husbands, fathers, sons, breadwinners) who were doing the duty the country assigned them to do, but he won’t get away with stealing COWS?

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Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

The Guardian carried out a survey of today’s most established authors for tips for successful authorship. Here are Zadie Smith‘s ten rules for writing fiction.

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1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3 Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9 Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

10 Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

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