Mogono – Ebo Nwannediuto
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A sweet life does not require sugar to coat it.
The role of the Arts – a multifaceted role that is compacted by aesthetic concentrations – in the sustenance of humanities for the present and the future is not insignificant. In fact, this is a role that, unarguably, comes to the fore. This explains why the Arts has been a connector of individuals and human populations in their vicissitudes, victories, voices and visions, rolling back the frontiers of class, creed, ethnicity, race and other postures that have been dividing lines.
From its inception, Lunaris Review has been guided by the recognition of this role. This is shown by the consistent and inexorable effort of its publications to represent, explore and project our humanities in their absolute essence. Like My Saviour, Mogono is also a pastiche of generic variants from visual to creative arts. It is nevertheless a special piece because of its unique form of experimentation. It is a hybridised text, a compendium of fiction and poetry forming a single story that is interspersed with photographs to create a digression.
The story, a prosephotry (prose plus photograph plus poetry) as it were, is Ebo Nwanneduito’s Mogono. It is a story deftly in motion. This is not so just because it keeps the reader oscillating between two different but complementary narrative forms; it is so more importantly because the story is told by a first-person narrator, Mmachi, duplicated into two distinct voices. As the protagonist in the prose narrative part, Mmachi is ignorant of the actuality around her considering the author’s use of suspense. As a poet persona, however, the narrator is fully aware of the world around her, of fate; hence, the lyrical tone of the versified part of the story and the sober mood of the poet persona.
It is instructive, similarly, to add that the digression created by Nwanneduito’s photographs is far from being a distraction; rather it is pleasure. In fact, it could be said that the photographs as a visual text are picturesque realisations of some aspects of setting and characterisation in the prose/poetry orthographic text. Photos like ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’ can be, for instance, clearly read in relation to the versified part.
Mogono, therefore, is a commendable attempt by an ingenious Ebo Nwanneduito to aesthetically compact our plural and diverse humanities into a singular, yet complete and unabridged whole. Thus, the good job that this hybrid is cannot be overestimated. On this note, I have taken the above extract from Toyin Falola’s Counting the Tiger’s Teeth to perform a eulogistic service on my behalf in appreciation and celebration of Nwanneduito.
Dear estimable readers, I have no doubt that considerable creative and editorial skills have been put into Mogono in a bid to serve you better. I, therefore, believe you will find it to be a precious gift for opening a new and promising year with Lunaris Review. Do have a pleasant reading.
Ibrahim A. Odugbemi
University Scholar, Department of English,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ebo Nwannediuto is a poet, writer and a photography enthusiast who enjoys short story writing and loves to shoot spontaneously. Her writing is almost three years old, way older than her photography; but her love for the Arts has a long history. Though unpublished, she has quite a number of works to her credit. As a lover of photography, nature and landscape are her attractions. She’s got love for good music and considers herself a life artist.
“Mogono is great, sad with a multitude of hope.”
“Nwannediuto’s Mogono is reminiscent of European post-independence collection of prose and visuals of African artists. Unlike those hardbacked collections, this baby-sized work is a light motif with its configuration of prose, poetry and photography soothing to the eye. The poetry matches the gray tones of the photographs; oneiric and light yet profound:
For I have learnt to breathe without air
To live and not to be alive…”
“Mogono, slow paced like one throwing pebbles one by one into the stream, is absolute hybridism, avant-gardism and topicality in the realm of creativity. When one reads through, one will, obviously, see the marriage of a story, different captured scenes and poems. They are well stitched into a complete whole and, at the same time, give the same taste. It is no doubt that the emotion this creativity carries is immediate and felt out rightly.”
“Mogono is a short hybrid of poetry, prose and photography. Interwoven to tell the story of a young girl, Mmachi, and the aftereffects of suddenness of death on a family. From eloquent prose and finely crafted poetry to monochromatic photographs that tell stories. Mogono is definitely a promising read.”
“Herein is inter-textuality at its purest, far reaching beyond the terrains of complementing supplements, or pieces hemmed together, composite whole – as filigree cut from different, albeit infinite sources. Herein is a genre redefined by the sum of its parts; it is like Nwannediuto functions as a conduit pulling “one end and the other” to make “two ends meet” or in this case three ends. Herein is the creative ingenuity that is solely Nwannediuto’s – her prose, her poetry and her photographs are ends that not only meet but also transcend. Without one, there isn’t the other. There are no fault lines, no racket, no genre tremours. No delineation. All there is, remains Art: a story and its functionalities, both as a didactic transaction and an aesthetic material. Herein, truly, is what it means to create a hybrid. Mogono is what ensues when an artist such as Ebo Nwannediuto attempts to unite the prodigals of literature – of art.”