Great artistry is not achieved by impulse, but by a deliberate effort to rise above the ordinance of normalcy. The birthing of Libretto Magazine can be described in this way, and the publication of this maiden/first online issue was a process that took many months of planning to ensure that we leave a lasting impression on your consciousness.
In this issue, Libretto Magazine presents an assortment of art in varied compositions. Collating the works that made it into this issue was an arduous task for our team of editors, as we were inundated with a trove of contributions from some of the finest young writers on the African literary scene. We don’t take our position as custodians of these works for granted, and it’s why we have chosen to publish the very best as a way of ensuring that you have a noteworthy experience.
Over the last few years, Nonfiction has gained a well-earned attraction among African writers, and we have decided to place it at the vanguard of our offering because we believe it takes a great deal of skill, courage, and dedication to compress lived human experiences into a few thousand words. In Tosin Oguntuase’s Home is a Feeling, we delve into the realms of introspection, as we take cognizance of the emotional contraptions that ultimately define our relationship with home.
In the second nonfiction piece in this issue, Therapy, Ola Halim takes us through a personal journey of recovery and the reverberating effects of a mental health disorder in an intriguing story that is as daring as it is sublime. These two nonfiction narratives, both of which bring the rudiments of idea and technique into unison, provide the perfect anchors for the body of poems that follow after them.
A dozen poems in all grace these pages, each resplendent in its own artistry. At some point we felt like publishing as much poems as we can, and the editorial team felt a pang of guilt, like a shepherd leaving behind a flock of sheep during a storm while trying to save the most he can. Perhaps in subsequent issues we will revisit some of these poems that had our thoughts in a knot. Poetry, unlike most other literary forms, lifts the veil on the hidden beauty and lyricism of language, and the poems we have chosen are bursting with passion and inventiveness. With the array of poets featuring in this issue, we believe you will attest to the merits of our choice.
The fiction stories that made it through can be described as being sufficiently complimentary to the thematic embroideries of creativity. Temitope Akinleye’s Sins and Shadows is a tale of lost love and the difficult strain that comes with overcoming the entanglements of memory. Chidi Illukwe’s The Day starts off like a dream chaser’s fantasy and ends with a flurry of revelations that brings the story into a broader perspective. Mujahyd Ameen’s Refugees is the kind of story that not only tugs at the heart in a tender way, but reaffirms the human capacity to rise above adversity.
The last fiction piece, Into the Terror of the Daybreak by Adesina Ajala, is a cathartic tale of suspense and heartbreak. The vibrant and impressionist paintings of Ajenifunja Adetokunbo conclude this issue, with his portrayal of children in Childhood Memories a fitting tribute to nostalgia and the harmony of innocence.
The great German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said the essence of all beautiful art is gratitude, and we are inestimably grateful to everyone who contributed to making this issue a pleasant reality. We feel greatly honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility of sharing these works with you. At Libretto Magazine, we intend to light the path for emerging African creatives, as we align with them to usher in a glorious future for Art in Africa.
Do have a splendid read.
Assistant Editor, Libretto Magazine.
Home is a feeling
Ola W. Halim
Tukur Ridwan Olorunloba
One is Not the Only Way
Adama Lami Yusuf
End of Poetry
Afolabi Quazim Abimbola
Sins & Shadows
Mujahyd Ameen Lilo
Into The Terror of The Daybreak