Toni Kan @ 50

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By Olukorede Yishau

Many in my generation, especially if you grew up in Lagos, had a swell time with a magazine called Hints. It was first edited by Kayode Ajala, later by Chim Newton and eventually by a graduate of the University of Jos, Anthony Kanayo Onwordi. He was far from turning 30 when he edited the popular magazine. This son of Ibusa, who can confidently claim to be a Somolu-Bariga boy, is better known as Toni Kan. He is 50 today.

He wears many caps on his brilliant head: Poet, novelist, journalist, public relations expert, advertising executive, publisher, biographer and sometimes ghost writer. He was brand ambassador of Samsung Note5.

His short story collection, ‘Nights of the Creaking Bed’, is still in so much demand over 10 years after it was released. It now has a new edition released in the UK, U.S. and Nigeria.

Known as the “Mayor of Lagos” by friends and others, his understanding of the city of aquatic splendour came alive in his novel, ‘The Carnivorous City’. His acclaimed novella ‘Ballad of Rage’ was longlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Toni Kan and his partner, Peju Akande, have written the biographies of prominent Nigerians. They are working on the biography of Chief Kessington Adebutu.

He has edited and co-edited several books, including my debut novel, ‘In the Name of Our Father’. He has contributed to so many anthologies.

Happy birthday, TK. May the fifth floor favour you more than all the floors you have left behind. Amen!

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