Tony Olaniji set to launch, Kíyèsi, a collection of African stories for children.

Tony Olaniji, an author, screenwriter, writing instructor, piano player, children’s piano trainer and filmmaker, is set to launch his debut book, Kíyèsi: A Collection of African Stories for Children.

Over the years, Olaniji has helped budding writers gain an enhanced understanding of the science and structure of storytelling. He’s been a part of various children-themed initiatives like The Green Festival, a signature feature of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF). He has also lectured at film festivals and workshops.

Set in diverse fascinating settings, this inspirational anthology contains seven thrilling African tales that invite children (ages 8-11) to journey with interesting characters as they search for solutions to their various problems.

These characters include a famished boy, on an important journey, who is torn between completing the journey and eating the edible car conveying him to his destination. There is also a gymnastic mantis that must confront a bug-hungry rooster that threatens her debut acrobatic show and sheep that needs to get rid of her wool disease through the only barber in the jungle—a leopard.

Another character in the book is the brilliant but depressed pupil who applies the wrong solution to her misery.

These adventures and other more serious stories in this collection will introduce kids to new narrative experiences and morals in excitingly new ways.

“In Kíyèsi, we encounter several children’s stories for different age groups—a crop of inspiring narratives grown on African soil. The strength of the anthology resides in its effort towards integrating the psyche of the African child into their own native environment,” said Folu Agoi, president, PEN International, Nigeria Centre.

Beyond mere exhibition and celebration of a piece of juvenile literature, there will be a discussion during the book launch to explore the theme, Children and Harmful Entertainment: What We Need to Do.

“This is where I and other dignitaries from the fields of education, music and movies would address this issue so that the music, cartoons, games and books that our children consume do not consume them,” said Olaniji.

The event, which holds on February 21, 2021 at the Excellence Hotel, Aguda, Ogba, Lagos, is scheduled for 2:00pm.


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