This edition (July 2012) features three write ups on the subject of homecoming. Two of these are reviews of Transwonderland: Travels In Nigeria, the new travel book by Noo Saro-Wiwa (late author and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa’s daughter in the Diaspora), who returns to her home country a few years ago to get a first hand feel of what it means to be Nigerian and to live in Nigeria, with its myriads of excitement and daily drama.

“Saro-Wiwa is a wonderful and entertaining storytelling, who hands us a well-observed slice of life in each town she visits. Her prose is full of funny anecdotes, with a great eye for the absurd and surprising, and it flows so deliciously and wittily you don’t want it to stop,” Rebecca Jones of the University of Birmingham, writes in her review.

Later on in the review, Jones observes that: Noo ‘falls in love with Nigeria’s “indigenous heritage, the dances, the music, the baobab trees and the drill monkeys”, not to mention “The weddings, the humour, the music …”

The other homecoming has to do with the ancient art of Ife, currently on show at an exhibition mounted at the Lagos National Museum (Onikan), to mark this year’s celebration of the World Museum Day (May 18).

“For more than eight hundred years, Ife Art has remained the Yoruba people’s spiritual centre. [It] continues to influence the art of other great West African centres. There is no doubt that Ife art also inspires people with ancestral ties to Nigeria, whether they are in Brazil, New York or Beijing, to feel pride in their homeland,” reporter Aderinsola Ajao quotes Enid Schildkrout, Chief Curator Emerita at the Museum for African Art, to have said on the occasion, attended by the ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuade (Olubuse 11) and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke.

But there is more to this edition than just homecoming and a celebration of a glorious past. Just flip the pages and see for yourself. I would love to read your feedback.

Pelu Awofeso

Winner, CNN/Multichoice African Journalists Awards (Tourism)

Nigerian maiden (Middle Belt region)