By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

Raliat Oluyemisi  Sunmonu "How long have you been away?"

"Fifteen years."

"Fifteen years?! How can you stand it? Don't you miss it? Aren't you ever going back?"

"Yes, I miss it, but you do what you have to. When I first came here, I told myself I would be back home in five years or less. Now here I am almost two decades and still counting. Am I ever going back? I don't know. Twelve years ago I could have given you a definite answer. Ten, five years ago, I would have told you yes without hesitation. Now? I just don't know."

Read more: Lamentations of the Exiled

Zwelithini Simela was born in May 1983 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. From an early age he took an active interest in poetry, including performances at school shows. His later and more profound literary influences were Dan Fluani ("God's Case: No Appeal"); Zimbabwean writer and poet Dambudzo Marechera; William Shakespeare; Thomas Hardy and the well known Chinua Achebe. Zwelithini is now a student at the International University Bremen, Germany studying for a Bachelor's in Integrated Social Sciences. His keen interests are African political history, and Development Economics and Diasporic Studies.

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Yusuf M. Adamu lectures in the department of Geography, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. Currently with the School of Public Health, University of Alabama Birmingham as a Fulbright visiting researcher. He got his first degree in Geography from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria and his Masters degree in the same discipline from the University of Ibadan. Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Bayero University Kano working on maternal mortality in Kano State.

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Dr. Wilson Orhiunu (Babawilly) works as a general practitioner in Birmingham UK. He has published his poetry on various internet sites. In May 2005, his first collection My Time was released. Wilson has a deep interest in the use of Nigerian Pidgin English in literary works. Currently, he is working on a paper back version of his web based dictionary – Babawilly’s Dictionary of Nigerian Pidgin English words and phrases and on his second poetry collection.

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Uchenna Hilary Chime works as a website designer in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated as a painter in the Fine Arts Department, of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. A traditional artist to the core, who gradually has transformed into the world of digital arts. He trained as an interactive multimedia developer, his works span from illustrations to image, video and audio editing. He has worked extensively on several multimedia CD titles, he exhibits occasionally, and have his works in private and public collections.

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Born in 1985 into a busy African community known as the city of Warri, raised in an economically viable mobile family of ten; Toris Okotie had his pre-high school education in not less than 3 African schools and his high school education in more than 4 schools including Francis Lewis High School in NY. Inspired by the diverse experiences from socializing with people of deferent educational, social and cultural background, and reading several poetry books especially Shakespeare. The author took delight in poetic writing and sharing his experiences with others.

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Tony Tokunbo Fernandez was born on the 7th of August 1969 in South London. This upcoming poet, playwright and novelist started creative writing at the age of nine, a habit he expressed with keen enthusiasm. Tony attended the Federal Government College in Azare, Northern Nigeria, and later went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and Literature at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Much later he went on to complete a programme in Teaching English as a foreign Language at the Frances King International Training Institute in South Kensington. His writing later then began to become a fusion of Poetry, Graphics, Sounds, Spectacles, Animations and Music. Tony then went on to study Web design and Programming at the City University in the Heart of London UK.

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