BBC Radio 4 has released an audio documentary on the literary tradition of Nsukka, the small Igbo town that is home to Nigeria’s first indigenous university. Titled Nsukka Is Burning and produced by the Nigerian journalist Deborah Shorinde, it focuses on how the University of Nigeria, Nsukka ensured that “one tiny Nigerian town became a center of writing and resistance.” It is narrated by the poet Inua Ellams and features the historian Nwando Achebe, the writers Chika Unigwe and Arinze Ifeakandu, and the writer and journalist Otosirieze Obi-Young, our editor at Folio Nigeria.
Here is a description:
Playwright Inua Ellams explores how writers from Nsukka, a university town in southeastern Nigeria, have continued to bloom in spite of erasure and exile.
Producing some of the most formidable voices in African literature, like Chinua Achebe, Ifeoma Okoye and Chimamanda Adichie, this Igbo town has burned bright as a beacon of resistance in Nigeria.
Nsukka’s harmattan season brings about an unusual chill but this is likely the only cold thing about this place. As one of the first areas invaded and burned in the Nigerian Biafran war, we trace Nsukka’s history of creativity right through to the stories and spaces of resilience that exist today.
Inua speaks with Nwando Achebe, oral historian and the daughter of Chinua Achebe, about the war’s impact on the town and how creativity was nurtured at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The writer Chika Unigwe talks about her memories of Nsukka and how she returns in her work. And Inua hears from writers Otosirieze Obi-Young and Arinze Ifeakandu about The Writers Community that is continuing a tradition of resistance and platforming young artists.
Sound Engineer: Charlie Brandon-King.
Voiceover Artists: Chidimma Nwodoh, Uju Ejizu and Obi Maduegbuna.
Sound Designer and Composer: Alexis Adimora.
Producer: Deborah Shorindé.
Executive Producer: Hannah Marshall.
Animation: Rabia Ali.
A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4.
Listen to Nsukka Is Burning HERE.