This story is for the first true artist I ever knew. I was 11 years old and he was my intro to making wonder and awe out of empty pages and boredom. (King from Niger House also existed, but Tobi had the X-Factor). Recently, he helped me remember the title of a book we wrote together when we were in Junior Secondary and basically saved me from the numbness that has been circling me concerning my future as a writer.
In W. O. Akosile’s recently discovered graphic novel & art project; Kekere, four teens from Lagos find themselves transformed into superbeings after unexpectedly drowning, at various times within a certain week, in an underground pool of sentient rainbow-oil. The cover is painted to look like a rectangular slab of said oil, with thin near-invisible threads which glisten like petroleum on water breaking across the thick paper when it is angled towards certain lights. Gloss, shade and texture give the entire affair an indelible impression of viscous black oiliness. The title glows orange from the centre of the cover, as though made from the brightest rays of a late sunset. Each tiny letter is set a substantial distance from the next and the impression is one of the word Kekere burning within the oil of the cover, or out, in the incalculable ink of space. Continue reading