image We Need to Tell Our Stories: A Review of She Called Me Woman

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak
  • Editors: Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan and Rafeeat Aliyu
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 357
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Essays

There are many ways to describe silence: deafening, accepting, reassuring, uncomfortable, but one of its most outstanding, if negative, descriptions is that of a thief. Not just in the literal sense, but in the ways the culture of silence forces us to keep our stories and realities secret, in the ways it steals our existence from us. More…

image For God and Country

By Ekemini Pius 


  • Title: From the Crevices of Corps Hearts
  • Author: Chinyere Chukwudi-Okeh
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 148
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

There is nothing quite as refreshing as when a writer creates a new path for fiction to travel, nothing as scintillating as when a writer overcomes the temptation to follow conventional paths and instead has the courage to give fiction a new, sublime stretch of asphalt to ride on. In this exciting collection, Chinyere Chukwudi-Okeh weaves ten short stories around the National Youth Service, a mandatory one-year scheme for Nigerian graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and abroad. What makes it a beautiful debut is her ability to lay bare the problems of Nigeria, yet hide them in the stories and experiences of corps members. More…

image A Flood of Titan Tears for a Nigerian Century

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: Footmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s Nationhood
  • Editors: Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Naza Amaeze Okoli
  • Publisher: ICS Services Limited
  • Number of pages: 332
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Poetry

Nigeria marked a century since its amalgamation in 2014 and to celebrate this, there were several events including a number of offerings from the literary community. Two standout anthologies of poetry in this mould include Poems for a Century edited by Tope Omoniyi and Footmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s Nationhood edited by Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Naza Amaeze Okoli. More…

image The Miracle of Friendship

By Veronica Elias Ugian 


  • Title: The Square Pegs
  • Author: David Obasa
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 190
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

David Obasa’s The Square Pegs is a novel that spans the journey from childhood through adulthood to old age of three protagonists. More…

image A Review of Across the Gulf by Dul Johnson

By Omotola Otubela 


  • Title: Across the Gulf 
  • Author: Dul Johnson
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Regardless of the world-acclaimed recognition African novels have received over the years, their aesthetic and artistic worth is still subject to debate. This is because in depicting the African experience of slavery, war and colonialism, it is difficult to avoid clichés. However, a number of contemporary writers such as Dul Johnson have made conscious efforts to incorporate these issues in their works in such a way that they not only reflect the African past but serve as an eye-opener to the strangulating effect of these tragic historical incidents, in the process helping to prevent them from reoccurring. Across the Gulf is one such effort. It follows other works by the same author, including Shadows and Ashes, Why Women Won’t Make It to Heaven, Melancholia and Deeper into the Night. More…

image The Portrait of the Poet as a Historian

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Iconography
  • Author: Peter Akinlabi
  • Publisher: Khalam Editions
  • Number of pages: 84
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

This collection, Iconography, can be read as history, as nonfiction fused with the aesthetic appeal of poetry. Peter Akinlabi bridges the gap between history and poetry with the poems and the sequence in which they are arranged. Although the poems would have still flowed well without a formal arrangement, the collection is divided into thematic sections. The collection contains 30 poems that are broken into three sections. The first section, ‘A Laying on of Hands’ has 12 poems; the second section, which is eponymously entitled ‘Iconography’, has nine poems; the last section, also with nine poems, is titled ‘Of Poets and Lofts’. More…

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…