Sunday, April 23, 2006

kurt thometz & onitsha market literature

Page 60 - Vanity Fair, March 2006.

It wasn't difficult getting past the cover of the March edition of Vanity Fair (designer Tom Ford snuggles up to Keira Knightley - all she wears is a silver stud on her pierced belly button, he's fully clothed - whilst a second nude, Scarlett Johansson sprawls in the foreground). The above is one of the real gems hidden in the inside pages of that edition. On the left is a snapshot of just a section of Kurt Thometz's private library, stacked full of rare editions of Nigerian literature.

Thometz is the proprietor of Jumel Terrace Books, and the author of Nigerian Market Literature, Life Turns Man Up and Down: Highlife, Useful Advice and Mad English (published in 2001). He is a great enthusiast of Nigerian literature, especially the Onitsha Market Literature variety.

This book is intended to help the readers who have been asking me to give them advice in order to be free from some troubles of this world.

Since the people can not tell the truth and since Money, lack of sense, enemies and bad friends kill a man, it is wise to know how to live and know yourself.

Many people have been asking to know why some people are rich while others are poor.

If you want to get money and know how to save it, buy a copy of this book. It will help you.
  • From No Money, Much Expenses, Enemies and Bad Friends Kill A Man (The Way to Avoid Poverty) by R. Okonkwo. Onitsha: J.C. Brothers Bookshop, New Era Printers, [1965?].

Kurt Thometz boasts among his collection 21 original titles by Okenwa Olisah, who he describes as "one of Onitsha's greatest existentialists." Olisa wrote many pamphlets including: No Condition Is Permanent, Money Hard to Get But Easy to Spend, Man Has No Rest In His Life (Since the world has broken into pieces, truth is not said again), About the Husband and Wife Who Hate Themselves and Trust No-Body In Time Because Human Beins Is Trickish. Writing as The Strong Man of the Pen, and Life Turns Man Up and Down: Money and Girls Turn Man Up and Down. Olisah's title was M.L (Master of Life) obtained "at the commonsense college, where he passed very hard lessons in money mastery and life problems."

Kurt Thometz, who has had a mention in the New York Times, recently told the Nigerian press: "I am mad about Nigerian Literature."

  • The University of Kansas has a digital library of Onitsha Market Literature, with at least 21 original pamphlets in its archives.


Blogger the flying monkeys said...

Very interesting...Am making this comment as a reminder: On getting home from work tonight, I will point my daughter in this direction. She would learn a lot...

1:15 pm, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Ikhide said...


I must thank you for this. I am so pleased that a few people have immortalized Onitsha Market Literature on the web. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to download some gems at:

Anyway, thanks for sending me down memory lane. See you later - on the web!

4:30 pm, April 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting blog. So educative.

8:29 pm, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Alanis said...

hello!!! i will keep checking

8:31 pm, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Sentir Venezolano said...

Nice post.

4:41 am, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Dotun said...

were you at the london book fair recently?

7:42 am, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Kurt Thometz said...

Dear Molara,
Many thanks for spreading the gospel according to Onitsha. You're my Mammy Watta blessing of the day. Write on.
Kurt Thometz

6:27 pm, April 30, 2006  

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