image Withering like a Raisin in the Sun

By Ekemini Pius 


  • Title: African Son
  • Author: Wambalye Weikama
  • Publisher: KHAMEL Publishing
  • Number of pages: 193
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Wambalye Weikama’s African Son is a heart-rending story about Simon and his twin, Anna, who grow up in Uganda. Simon dreams of studying business at the University of Washington, USA. His dream comes true and he is offered admission. When he arrives in America, the first thing he notices is the racial discrimination. His white classmates see him as underprivileged, the poor African who ‘had to work to make ends meet and was in this school by way of philanthropy’. Most of his classmates think he needs to feel accepted, so they flatter him with charitable comments about his accent and their love for Africa. Weikama uses these scenes to delicately reveal the repressive racial conditions Africans have to deal with while studying abroad, and how the portrayal of America as a flawless paradise by Africans who have never been there is untrue. More…

image Love and Death in Dami Ajayi’s A Woman’s Body Is a Country

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: A Woman’s Body Is a Country 
  • Author: Dami Ajayi
  • Publisher: Ouida Books
  • Number of pages: 69
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Poetry

Dami Ajayi’s second collection, A Woman’s Body Is a Country, endeavours to carve a niche in the corpus of Nigerian poetry. In this collection, there are questions of affection and there is suggestiveness, both digging into the subject of social delineation. The 47 poems in the volume bear parallels of sexual and suggestive tenors, blending one poem into another. Laced with philosophy, lyricism and passionate intensity, the collection covers, amongst other themes, the psychological trauma of life and the tortured sensibilities of two unknown darlings whose romance is shackled by heartbreak and death. More…

image Vacuum and Spaces: Falling into Space in Pever X’s Cat Eyes

By Victor Iwueze-Elias 


  • Title: Cat Eyes 
  • Author: Pever X
  • Publisher: NWS Publishers
  • Number of pages: 263
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

‘In a full heart, there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing’. – Antonio Porchia

Pever X’s first novel, Cat Eyes, is one of the flagship novels of the Nigerian Writers’ Series (NWS) – a reenactment of the defunct African Writers’ Series by Heinemann – by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and first runner-up for the 2013 ANA Prize for Prose Fiction. It chronicles the psychological journey of Pededoo Boor Jnr, who struggles with a cocktail of emotions when his father returns home from a protracted stay in America. His father is accompanied by Adelaide and Melissa-Jane Sanders, whose presence and feline-coloured eyes fuel the flames of indignation roiling within him. More…

image Colours for the Bright Young Ones

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People
  • Author: Tade Ipadeola
  • Publisher: Metamorphic Books and Consulting Services
  • Number of pages: 14
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Poetry

One of the easiest ways to pass on knowledge, particularly to young minds, is through poems. Poetry is the perfect blend of rhyme and rhythm, words that send a message in the briefest of ways. Poems appeal to all senses, particularly the senses of bright young people. In this collection of 14 poems titled Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People, Tade Ipadeola takes the reader on a journey of history, love, friendship and nature. In funny and engaging language, the collection provides entertaining and unique poetry for young readers. The young readers are also provided with indigenous content, relatable poems, and situations that they can easily find themselves in. In addition, the collection offers young readers an alternative to the popular poems they are used to, a break from ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and other such nursery rhymes. More…

image Ẹkúndayọ̀: From Sorrow to Joy

By Munah Nicola Tarpeh


  • Title: Thorns in My Boots 
  • Author: Awoleye Ayokunle Dominic
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 153
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

They say the rose flower also has thorns, but my life was just merely thorns, all the flowers were withered. They say it is he that wears the shoe that knows where it pinches; I decided not to wear just a shoe but boots. But my boots were full of thorns and it pinched me all over.

Thorns in My Boots is the short, gripping tale of a young man, Ojo, and his struggle for identity as he wrestles to restore his family’s dignity. The death of his father, a palmwine tapper and dipsomaniac, when he was only two years old leaves only him and his mother, a petty trader. He grows up with a strong sense of determination to complete anything he sets his mind to, hence his childhood moniker, ‘wa pa mi l’oni’, meaning you will have to kill me to stop me. More…

image Of Juju Powder and Jollof Rice: Unconventional Afrocentrism in Nnedi Okorafor’s Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi
  • Author: Nnedi Okorafor
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 329
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Young Adult

Unlike its prequel, What Sunny Saw in the Flames, with its heretical use of language, idiosyncratic description of African mythology and blinding characterisation, Nnedi Okorafor’s Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi with every page excited and intrigued this reader. Set in contemporary Africa, the new book continues the story of the Leopard Folk – people with surreal abilities – through the hazel eyes of the heroine, Sunny. While the author employs a third-person point of view in presenting the heroine, the other characters are only seen through Sunny’s eyes. In more ways than one, this can be viewed as an allusion to the relationship between her albinism and the meaning of her spirit name, Anyanwu, eye of the sun. More…

image Garden Weights as Political, Social and Spiritual Realism

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: Garden Weights: An Original Stage Play
  • Author: Andrew Busingye
  • Publisher: KHAMEL Publishing
  • Number of pages: 104
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

Most works of literature are clearly products of the writer’s immediate environment or society. This is because most writers base their works on societal happenings and use their works as a form of constructive criticism of society at large. Literature has also been a powerful tool for depicting societal norms and values. Some writers like Wole Soyinka, J P Clark, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Micere Mugo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have been able to use their works to promote African culture beyond the boundaries of Africa. More…

image Prime Suspect: Guilty or Not Guilty?

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: The Final Bet
  • Author: Abdelilah Hamdouchi
  • Translator: Jonathan Smolin 
  • Publisher: Hoopoe
  • Number of pages: 138
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

‘The true test of democracy is in the police stations and not in the dome of parliaments’. – Abdelilah Hamdouchi

When only the circumstantial facts and evidence of a case point to a person as guilty in a repressive police state, where the police are reckless, hostile, shoddy and can coerce a false confession out of anyone, then one has already lost the trial before it begins, that is if there will be any trial at all. One will easily be convicted for a murder especially when there is an ostensible motive. More…

image Identity and Language in When We Speak of Nothing

By Adaudo Anyiam-Osigwe


  • Title: When We Speak of Nothing
  • Author: Olumide Popoola
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 256
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

The one word which comes to mind on reading Olumide Popoola’s When We Speak of Nothing is daring. It is a daring novel, without inhibitions in terms of language and its portrayal of identity. The novel – set in London, United Kingdom, and Port Harcourt, Nigeria – is a bildungsroman of the two teenage protagonists, Abu and Karl, on the verge of eighteen, questioning and seeking out wholeness and authenticity in life and, just as important, a place in the world where they can live out this authenticity. Karl lays this bare in an honest conversation with his mother when he says, ‘There is no wholeness. Nowhere I really am…I was not here. I didn’t exist’. More…

image Unrealistic Optimism in Hyginus Ekwuazi’s One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper.

By Uchenna Ekweremadu 


  • Title: One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper
  • Author: Hyginus Ekwuazi
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 98
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

This slim volume of thirty-three poems, which was longlisted for the Nigeria NLNG Prize for Literature in 2017, is bound thematically by the three-ply cord of death, gloom and positive self-deception. Peering through the anguished eyes of the persona in the poems, the reader finds a world smeared with melancholy. And since such reality can be daunting, a reasonable diversion is to set up an alternative reality, even one that is unrealistically optimistic. More…