The Eyo Festival is celebrated traditionally by the indigenous people of Lagos and has meanwhile become a tourist event /Photo: By Slashme - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

New children’s book explores famous Nigerian festival

Spurred by the obvious lack of quality children’s books for kids of African descent growing up in the diapora, authors have been striving for several years to fill the yawning gap.

Berlin-based Nigerian journalist and writer Lolade Adewuyi has now made a very rich addition to the growing library for African children.

His The Lost Little Masquerade is a story that explores the annual Lagos Eyo Festival through the eyes of a child. The word “Eyo” refers to the costumed dancers, known as the masquerades that come out during the festival.

Taju, a six-year-old who becomes lost at his first Eyo Festival, is rescued by a policewoman that helps him find his father and the rest of his Eyo group.

Through colourful images hand painted by Lagos-based artist and sculptor Abolore Sobayo, the book shows the beautiful Eyo Festival of Lagos, West Africa’s biggest and most vibrant city in all its glory

Through the medium of loss, a topic that resonates with children, and colourful images hand painted by Lagos-based artist and sculptor Abolore Sobayo, the authors show us the beautiful Eyo Festival of Lagos, West Africa’s biggest and most vibrant city in all its glory.

Adewuyi, who has lived in Berlin with his family since 2019, wrote the story during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

“My daughter had finished reading all the books that we got from the library before the lockdown and so I started to tell her stories from my life. That was when I recalled the story of a boy who I helped to find his family when I reported the Eyo Festival in 2009,” Adewuyi told The African Courier.

“It is a story that every child and adult can relate to if they have ever lost their way in a new environment. I have been lost many times and I am glad to have found help in those moments,” said the author, who coordinates the English Book Club at the Bettina von Arnim Bibliothek at Schonhauser Allee.

The Lost Little Masquerade is published by Aramide, a children’s imprint of Fairchild Media in Nigeria. It is now available for purchase via the author’s website.

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