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A Basket of Kola Nuts

by Bongasu Tanla Kishani

Bold, original and stimulating in its inspirational insights, A Basket of Kola Nuts explores Cameroon’s cultures as remarkable pivots of moral rectitude and such sickening vicious-circles as bribery and corruption. Ethnically grass-rooted and globalizing rather than alarmingly exotic and exclusive, this poetic diction of form-content aims at revitalizing its material contents to sever it from extinction and revamp cultural values that break the patience of silence to question deviation rather than the concrete interface of cultural identities and differences. Uprightly appealing, this poetry gathers kola seeds that fall apart in crisis to invite readers world-wide to taste its kolaly aroma.

ISBN 9789956558551 | 86 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2009 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback



“In A Basket of Kola Nuts we encounter a poet preoccupied with the surrealism Chinua Achebe had highlighted in his novel Things Fall Apart. In the novel the kola nut is portrayed as life-giving and therefore a sacred entity amongst the Igbos. Bongasu takes a step further. He laces together all the countries in which kola nuts are produced and in a graphic presentation of his poetry he compresses history, politics, sociology, philosophy and geography in one notch. We see the meanings of the poems intertwined with the shape of the poems. Where the kola baskets are overturned they build into pyramids of hope and despair but with hope superseding. Where they are upright, they uphold the camaraderie kola nuts engender – the poet’s substratum. As such, the poetry is grotesque, astute, enriching and fascinating.”

Professor Alobwed’Epie, novelist – University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon



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