Sọ̀rọ̀sókè: an #Endsars Anthology, edited by Jumoke Verissimo and James Yeku is now available.
The memories of a nonviolent protest to raise awareness about SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) violence against young Nigerians are still fresh in many Nigerians’ minds.
Unfortunately, some of the protestors who took to the streets to condemn the police’s impunity are no longer alive today.
Efforts to keep their memory alive are, nonetheless, continuing.
One such example comes from a new book that gathers contributions from poets from all walks of life in an attempt to guarantee that the tragic legacies remain unforgotten.
The editors have gathered thirty-two poets using their art to push back against the violent suppression and intentional brutality perpetrated against Nigerians, especially the younger generation.
This new anthology contains poems that reflect on the various dynamics surrounding the event, ranging from the tragic violence against tens of civilians that occurred in Lekki on October 20, 2020, to other instances of violence that were never documented, as well as private ruminations on the state of the nation.
The anthology boasts remarkable poets like Gbenga Adeoba, Biodun Bello, Yejide Kilanko, Tayo Bello, Rasaq Malik, Uchechukwu Umezurike, Soji Cole, Kola Tubosun, and several other poets and scholars.
Editor James Yeku explains why they decided to bring these poets together:
“It is important to articulate what motivates our project as poets. In the direct contexts of #EndSARS, we write to archive the self and preserve the memories of the fallen. The poets in our anthology trenchantly demonstrate the power of poetic justice to demand real change and liberation from the shackles of tyranny. This is why we write.”
The book began as a project hosted online at the thick of the protest before being released in print and eBook editions, thanks to a collaboration with Professor Ainehi Edoro, along with her team at Brittlepaper, whose assistance further aided the initiative’s success.
Jumoke Verissimo and James Yeku, both scholars and writers, edited Sọ̀rọ̀sókè: an #Endsars Anthology, published by Noirledge Publishing in Ibadan.
Verissimo is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alberta, studying literary representations and legacies of the Nigeria-Biafra War, while Yeku is a University of Kansas Assistant Professor of African Digital Humanities.
Copies are available on Amazon and across bookshops in Nigeria.
Profits from copies sold would be donated to charities that promote the objectives of the #ENDSARS project.