AS veteran journalist, teacher, and author Femi Akintunde-Johnson turns 60 years on Saturday, October 30, 2021, activities marking the diamond birthday celebration include a colloquium and the launch of four books. The colloquium, conceptualized as a storytelling format, has as theme ‘Did Anything Good Come Out of the ‘60s?: Lessons and Memories of Nigeria’s Formative Decade’.
In a statement signed by Folarin Ademosu Jr., four books written by FAJ, the moniker many fondly call the birthday host, will be launched in the virtual event. They include an anthology of poems: the first of such literary work FAJ will write. It is composed of 108 pages and covers the first 40 years of his life, otherwise named the ‘Gestation Period,’ a 110-page compilation of six stories and a play, themed differently and cutting across different epochs, two memoirs, one of which is a 170-page book capturing the circumstances that led to FAJ’s detention at Kirikiri Maximum Prison. It also captures in graphic illustrations his struggles, resilience, and elastic spirit, and another memoir which is a recount of the vicissitudes faced during his odyssey during the defunct, but iconic, FAME magazine years. This encompasses the birthing, challenges, and the loss of the FAME project between 1991 and 1997 – with the story told in lucid prose and digestible form to give a compelling, hard-to-put down expository read. The 300-plus-page book details several events, actions, and reactions.
All books are to be available in digital and paperback versions.
Akintunde-Johnson started as an entertainment journalist with The Punch newspapers and later Climax magazine between 1988 and 1991. He would rise to become Editor of Climax. He held the same position, and as Editor-in-Chief, in four magazines he co-founded. They are FAME, National Encomium, New Treasure, and Treasure People & Life. Moreover, FAJ masterminded the establishment of four of Nigeria’s most celebrated awards: FAME Music Awards (FMA), The Movie Awards (THEMA), The Reel Awards, and Awards For Musical Excellence in Nigeria (AMEN).