By Chinelo Chikelu
Author and medical practitioner, Segun Adigun has embarked on a book tour to traverse 40 cities in 4 continents; 24 across Nigeria, and 15 cities within Asia, Europe and Australia.
Tour of Awakening, however, is not your traditional book tour, where the focus is marketing the author’s recent and previous publications, rather to promote friendship and oneness amongst peoples and nations.
Self-funded by the writer, the projected N36m project which began in Enugu State last week, is expected to round off in 18 months, before Christmas Eve of 2018. The author says the skeletal and haphazard map of the tour was a deliberate strategy to enable easy navigation of set schedules. Although, he affirmed there may be changes to the map before the end of the tour, resulting from requests to appear in other locations not featured in the tour guide.
Tour manager, Jerry Adesewo of Arojah Concepts, notes that the event will not only expose Adigun’s poetry to the literary world but unleash its (poetry) much needed therapeutic powers on the ailing world. Lagos, Ibadan, Ekiti are the next cities stop of the tour in August.
Addressing how he felt devoting his 20-year life savings to a project without an assured means of returns, Adigun responds that any investment towards building a legacy is worthwhile. The writer aims to use the podium in rallying other creatives to engage in social responsible activism, and hopes to share his experiences with younger artistes in a publication to be released after the tour.
The tour has recorded a success at its first stop in Enugu, where 100 students and staff of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), across three departments, responded positively to the theme of friendship and unity.
“I was delighted when the audience in Nsukka, a reflection of the south-east Nigeria, where its situated responded, ‘Alaeku Salam‘ unanimously, to the greetings of peace ‘Al Salaam Alaeiku‘ while reading the poem Aishatu from my poetry anthology Mwalimu (illumination). It indicates their comprehension of that call for peace and oneness across all frontiers,” enthused Adigun.
At the Enugu Literary Society (ELS), congregated at the Radio Nigeria in the coal city state, the writer shared the podium with other artistes, reading excerpts from his poetry collections, including Kalaakini, Bard on the Shore, Mwalimu, Princess of the Harmattan, and his recent publication A Child of Smell.
So far, the tour saved about 55 per cent of the N400, 000 budgeted expenses for the city, though he hopes as the tour gathers momentum, more people will support the cause.
Meantime, he describes the forthcoming interruptions to his medical career, in the next 18 months, a much-desired escape from the regimented and strenuous practice.