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Nigerian Literature now Global Brand like Afrobeats, says Author Chika Unigwe

According to Chika Unigwe, a creative writer, Nigerian literature, like music, has become a global brand.

Unigwe is a Nigerian creative writing professor at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.

On Sunday, she spoke on the online interview show 90MinutesAfrica, presented by Rudolf Okonkwo.

According to Unigwe, writers of Nigerian descent are becoming as well-known as their counterparts in the music industry.

The laureate of the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature stated that the global impact of Nigerian music is felt more since, unlike books, many people may listen to music at the same time.

“It is a lot easier for music to transcend boundaries than it is for books,” said the author of the novel ‘On Black Sisters’ Street’.

“Reading is a very solitary activity. You are not reading aloud to other people.”

Nigerian musicians have made a strong presence on the international music scene, winning important awards.

Afrobeats, a body of genres dominated by people of Nigerian descent, is now a global music brand.

Chika Unigwe, whose latest work ‘The Middle Daughter’ recently hit bookstores worldwide, acknowledged that she has had meetings with people who don’t know anything about Nigeria but they sing and dance to Nigerian music.

Unigwe reiterated that global recognition is also happening to Nigerian writers, although at a different scale.

She said Nigerian writers are also having a moment as their works appear in important literary spaces worldwide.

“Chibundu Onuzo’s Sankofa was Reese Witherspoon’s Book of the Month sometime last year, Ayobami Adebayo’s book was on Good Morning America in February, Akwaeke Emezi was on Trevor Noah’s Show,” she said.

“Chimamanda was on Trevor Noah’s Show etcetera. These are the ways Nigerian writers can go global. So it is happening but at a different scale because both arts are completely different.”

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