Sentinel Poetry Magazine January 2003

Kola Boof, or should I say Naima Bint Harith, It has kind of been nice talking to you. I should hope that at this time I have demonstrated that I have not set out to get you--as you expressed through some of your off the record e-mails, branding me sexist and contemptuous of your work and person. I have simply been occasionally insistent on getting to the core of your truth, or as close as I possibly could. In my opinion, you could really do with less paranoia. It is possible that there is truly a Fatwa on your head. What is inconsistent with your Fatwa is that those supposed to have issued this Fatwa seem to deny it. As illegal as a Fatwa can be, its issuers always do it in the name of their God and see nothing wrong with it whatsoever and stand by it. I still don't see how punctuating your sentences with swear words, angst and calling people niggers help sculpt respectability and empowerment to yourself and the generality of black women which you seem to make your goal.

Kola: I think it's rather arrogant of you to call me paranoid being that you are not a
single mother with two small children to protect and are standing not in my shoes.

Furthermore, there is no way in the world that I would risk having a Fatwa brought against my falsely claiming that one exists. If I tell the world that Gamal Ibrahaim and Hassan Turabi have threatened my life, as they most certainly have, and that the SPLA used the word "Fatwa" to describe the meaning of those death threats against me--then you can be assured that those threats were made. Sudan, which is now ruled by Satan, has been declared a terrorist nation--and as a Black Sudanese woman, I concur that that distinction is an understatement. Mr. Turabi is a close friend of Osama Bin Laden's and Gamal Ibrahaim is an admirer of both men. Mr. Ibrahaim wrote an article denouncing me in a major Arab-Muslim political newspaper. How often, Nnorom are entire articles devoted to women in Arab-Muslim newspapers--not even Condoleeza Rice or Hillary Clinton merits an article in Arab-Muslim newspapers, but Kola Boof does? Does that seem like a hoax to you?

I feel that I should be given some consideration over the words of two men who represent the aims of the Taliban-like terrorist regime in Sudan. I think that London's Guardian newspaper and the New York Times have been grossly unfair to me and I'm certain that they will continue to portray me unfavorably. After all, as one journalist noted, what kind of serious writer would call herself Kola Boof?"

Nnorom: What is in a name? At the end of the day, your writing will do its own talking. I have included four of your poems in the January 2003 issue of Sentinel Poetry Magazine so that readers can make up their own minds on Kola Boof--the writer. I have to thank you once again for talking to me and perhaps someday in the future we shall talk again, hopefully on subjects much more positive and impacting on the world of creative writing and what corner of that world you occupy.

My E-Conversation With Kola Boof by Nnorom Azuonye "Sentinel Poetry (Online) Magazine" pp 26-31 & 35, January 2003  © 2002 Nnorom Azuonye All rights reserved. Reprint permission 

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I'm certain that they will continue to portray me
After all, as one journalist noted, what kind of
serious writer would call herself Kola Boof?"