image Orality, Nostalgic Sensitivity and Cultural Nationalism in According to Sources

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: According to Sources 
  • Editors: Martin Egblewogbe and Mawuli Adjei
  • Publisher: Woeli Publishing Services
  • Number of pages: 85
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

‘For the African people, oral tradition is linked to their way of life. Most African societies place great worth in oral tradition because it is a primary means of conveying culture. It is also a mode of transmitting feelings and attitudes. For centuries, African people depended upon oral tradition to teach the listeners important traditional values and morals pertaining to how to live. Oral tradition delivers explanations to the mysteries of the universe and the meaning of life on earth’. – Sharon Wilson, ‘African Oral Tradition’

According to Sources is an anthology of poems by Ghanaian poets. It engages the reader on the themes of cultural nationalism, nostalgic sensitivity and the underlying principles of orality in postcolonial literature. The anthology is a projection of African customs and traditions. The poems are not only models of African culture, they also build a bridge between the precolonial and postcolonial African identities. ‘Libation of Blood’ and ‘Abracadabra Adabraka’ are two poems that treat precolonial and colonial African experiences and identities.

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image Corruption at Its Ugliest in Chidubem Iweka’s August Inmates

By Veronica Elias Ugian


  • Title: August Inmates
  • Author: Chidubem Iweka
  • Publisher: Kraft Books Limited
  • Number of pages: 65
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Drama

‘There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice’. – Charles-Louis de Secondat

Chidubem Iweka’s August Inmates is a fascinating, satirical play. Addressing politics, democracy and governance in Africa, the play explores a very relatable story. Many readers will easily identify with the plot and the characters, as they are reminders of our present political sphere. The writing is suspenseful and leaves readers on the edge of their seats, wondering how events will unfold. As far as suspense goes in literature, this play provides the highest form. More…

image Martyrdom and Immortality in the Poems of Ogaga Ifowodo

By Ekemini Pius


  • Title: A Good Mourning
  • Author: Ogaga Ifowodo
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 78
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

A Good Mourning is a great attempt by Ogaga Ifowodo to immortalise people and events that have shaped history. With his superb ability in using imagery, he reopens old wounds and unearths the works of people who sacrificed themselves to make our world a better place. More…

image The Modern African Woman in Francine Simon’s Thungachi

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: Thungachi
  • Author: Francine Simon
  • Publisher: uHlanga Press
  • Number of pages: 63
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Poetry

‘You have to read my poetry to understand my culture better and how complicated it is. I also had a lot of influence from the schools I went to. I was competing with the cultural effects of school and cultural effects of home, so I feel like I have mixed influences’. – Francine Simon

As a poet and a PhD candidate in the Department of English, Stellenbosch University, Francine Simon certainly has her fingers in more than one pie. Born in Durban in 1990 to Indian Catholic parents, Simon is ‘one of South Africa’s most unexpectedly excellent poetic débutantes’. Her poems are famous in South Africa and she is widely published in South African literary journals such as New Contrast, New Coin, and Aerodrome. More…

image The Pursuit of Happiness

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: feeling and ugly
  • Author: Danai Mupotsa
  • Publisher: impepho press
  • Number of pages: 70
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

I want to dream of love that is tempestuous
That doesn’t come to me from behind
With badly formed cleverness and brokenness… (p 61)

In recent times, the art of poetry has become a symposium for sciolism, to wit, superficial pretension to knowledge. Modern-day writers have taken it upon themselves to re-invent the forms and structures of poetry, to create scribbles they title ‘Modern Poetry’. Often characterised by irregular sentences and non-existent rhythm or pattern, such poems are frequently written by writers who would rather impress than express, and thus they end up using big words and complex sentences instead of simple, short ones; for instance, ‘superfragalisticexpialidocious’ instead of ‘fantastic’, or ‘discombobulated’ instead of ‘confused’. More…

image Little Fires Everywhere

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Embers
  • Author: Soji Cole
  • Publisher: Omojojolo Books (Emotion Press)
  • Number of pages: 101
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

One of the raging arguments in literature is the purpose of literature itself. The need to query purposes and existence is innate in human beings, and it is not out of place to question the purpose of literature or trace the roots of literary works. Authors write for several reasons and their works are offshoots of several influences and experiences. Historical events like military dictatorships and the Nigerian Civil War have led to several literary works over the years and so it becomes imperative for the current wave of terrorism and insurgency to herald another genre. More…

image Everything to See

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Nothing to See Here
  • Editor: Hilda Twongyeirwe
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 283
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Nothing to See Here is an anthology that comprises sixteen short stories by sixteen African women writers. One can think of it as a box containing cupcakes of different flavours, with the flavours representing the different subject matters addressed by these stories. The icing on these cupcakes is the biographies of the authors at the end of the book. The bird perched on a wire on the book cover depicts the perspectives of not only the writers as they address certain issues but also of the readers as they perceive these stories. More…

image Poems of Authorial Expressivity, Realism and Ecocriticism

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: Fire Drought Water
  • Author: Christine Coates
  • Publisher: Damselfly Books
  • Number of pages: 65
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

One kind of poetry that resonates with readers is the one that recounts the lived experiences of the poet. How believable the words on a page are can make a collection more alluring, that is if the poems are constructed not from imagination or mere hearsay but, rather, from personal experiences. A number of African poetry volumes – Niyi Osundare’s Tender Moments: Love Poems, a collection of poems about the poet’s experiences with Hurricane Katrina in the United States, and Wole Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt, a collection that depicts the poet’s imprisonment in Nigeria and revolves around the theme of inhuman isolation – have sourced their inspiration from lived experiences. More…

image Little Memories

By Veronica Elias Ugian


  • Title: Nyambura Waits for the Bus
  • Author: Cath Alexander
  • Illustrator: Catherine Groenewald
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 32
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Children

Nyambura Waits for the Bus is a fascinating story that reveals the essence of our journey in life, our humanity, our memories, patience, generosity and love. The author, Cath Alexander, lives in Johannesburg with her family. She began writing children’s literature when she realised there was a gap that needed to be filled in terms of sharing the diverse cultures and ways of life in South Africa with children. More…

image Three Wise Men

By Ekemini Pius


  • Title: The Elders at the Door
  • Author: Maryanne Bester
  • Illustrator: Shayle Bester
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 79
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Children

Maryanne Bester’s The Elders at the Door is a story about a family living in a village. One day, while they are preparing to have breakfast, they hear a knock on the door. The mother peers out of the window to find three Elders standing at the door. She opens the door and invites them to come in and eat with her family, but they refuse to come in all at once and ask her to choose one of them to enter the house. The mother goes back to ask her family who they think should come in among the three Elders, namely Wisdom, Blessing, and Love. More…