Goethe-Institut Lagos, the German cultural centre in Nigeria, has got a new director. She is Friederike Möschel, who will replace Marc-André Schmachtel who had since served up his term from November 2010 –June 2016.
Alfons Hug had occupied the director’s seat for the one-year interval between Möschel’s arrival and Schmachtel’s departure. Hug, a curator and critic, occupied this same position three decades ago.
Born in Munich, Möschel grew up in Hamburg, Bonn, the city where she was born. She studied German and English Literature in Bonn, Heidelberg and Köln and taught at the German Embassy School in Beijing, China for two years. She later worked for four years in the education sector in Hamburg before joining the Goethe-Institut.
Friederike Möschel is coming from the Institute’s Dubai office in the UAE where she had served for five years and helped found. She had also put in another two and a half years as director of the language department at the Goethe-Institut Tashkent/Uzbekistan, and a two-and-a-half year stint in Kiev/Ukraine, where she was in charge of the regional co-ordination of the Eastern Partnership fund, and the implementation of cultural projects in Ukraine.
“It’ll be quite different from my previous experiences,” said Möschel , “but I’m looking forward to an exciting term.”
Möschel seems to be familiar with Nigerian culture and the country’s literature. “Nigerian Literature is big out there…it would be ridiculous to say one wants to improve on Nigerian Literature. But there are always openings for grassroots development. I’d like to work with as many local art institutions and corporations as possible at the grassroots level. My focus is to pick-up from where my predecessors left off, and in a more diverse and impacting way, tap into the confidence, determination and drive of the younger generation of Nigerian artists,” she said.
According reports, Ms. Mösche reads Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chinua Achebe, Helon Habila, Lola Shoneyin and other Nigerian writers. She describes Nigerian Jollof rice as spicy, saying “I love spice.” From the way she behaves, she might be capable of trying fofo and amala, just might.