Originally Published in 2013 on Bukrepublik.com
It started far behind schedule and I was angry. My team were. We had waited for minutes unattended to, peering at the seats carved in large silver lined coal pots, partly mattressed, two in number. They were the hot seats. We had to leave for a while.
We had returned to see Tony Marinho, a Gynaecologist and Author of several books published by giants, Evans publishers, Bookcraft Limited; he was on his feet. He was the Chef. Maybe the seat was too hot, that he had to stand.
Sincerely, when I was invited by the Chairman and he told me about Dr. Tony Marinho, that he would be the Chef and that a University Don was the Host, I salivated. I nursed the thoughts that it would be a food and drinks galore. But it was more than that.
In between the short and long pieces Chef Tony Marinho shared, to the fairly populated audience, the beautiful daughters of the Host were around with trays of groundnuts and puff-puff. The Chef had too many excerpts, too many short stories and poems, and facts, and experiences to share with the audience.
People came. Stakeholders in the book industry. Celebrated authors and literary enthusiasts like Femi Osofisan, Bode Sowande, Remi Raji, Matthew Umukoro, Ropo Ewenla and several authors, one who hid his face with folded shoulders and refused to exchange pleasantries with fellow writers. He had even refused to eat from the puff-puff served by the beautiful, lively ladies.
One of the high moments was the unveiling of the ANA baby, a new sound system and amplifier. The unveiling was done by the ANA President, Prof. Remi Raji, and stakeholders like Dr. Matthew Umokoro, Prof. Francis Egbohkare and Prof. Femi Osofisan eulogized the innovation and stated it that the new ANA Oyo executives are bound to do great things.
Comments poured in from the literary circle. Celebrated Playwright, praised Dr. Tony Marinho for his great contribution to Nigerian writing. Bode Sowande, who said he has been an avid follower of Tony Marinho’s writings declared he is not surprised he is being celebrated today, and that he is proud to be his friend since childhood days.
Of worthy note, was a teacher who gesticulated in between long sentences and reinforced the fact that Tony Marinho should be able to classify his writing, defining the basis of being an Echo poet. In his response, Chef Tony Marinho defended he is not in the right position to classify himself as a writer, and that would be the responsibility of his readers. He finally appreciated his colleagues and readers for their words of encouragement over the years, which he said has kept him writing.
Comment: The ANA OYO literary feast is a largely successful one, and most importantly a creative one that should be promoted and encouraged.