image The Spirals of Life

By Tunji Olalere


  • Title: Growing Up with Tanzania: Memories, Musings and Maths
  • Author: Karim F Hirji
  • Publisher: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 286
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Autobiography

‘I was looking for the athletic, handsome guy of the Ruvu National Service days. Instead there was a skinny skeleton with an almost bald head, scrawny face and sunken eyes. Who is this strange buffoon? Is it me? Who am I?’ More…

image The Pyramid of Askia Burtune: An Example of a Bad Book

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: The Pyramid of Askia Burtune
  • Author: Aminu Hamajoda
  • Publisher: Fasihan Nigeria Limited
  • Number of pages: 290
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

The print-on-demand book on Amazon by Aminu Hamajoda can be said with considerable justification, if assessed by the raisons d’être of creativity, fluidity of narration and sublimity of subject matter, to be an example of a bad book that is not worthy of space on anybody’s bookshelf or anybody’s time for that matter. More…

image The Past That Is Not History

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-Apartheid
  • Author: Gabeba Baderoon
  • Publisher: Wits University Press
  • Number of pages: 207
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: History

The book Regarding Muslims seeks, as its fundamental objective, to theorise the history of Muslims in Cape Town, South Africa. The book is a protest staged on the page. With picturesque imagery, the author generates topics for intellectual discourse, works to create equality in the eyes of history and works on how the righting of wrong narratives must be set in motion. By means of historical evidence and by arguments, the book treats contemporary issues that range from slavery to race to Islam. Lenses like slavery and race are used to review the ascendancy of Muslims in the Cape. The literary preoccupations of the book are both historical and contemporary, and careful attention is given to revisionist perspectives. More…

image Christine Coates’ Homegrown is an Alcove of Memory and History: A Review

By Richard Oduor Oduku


  • Title: Homegrown
  • Author: Christine Coates
  • Publisher: Modjaji Books
  • Pages: 69
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Poetry

Homegrown is a delicate intertwining of personal memory and national history. Memory has always been regarded a high art, even a sacred one, closely akin to the arts of divination and inspiration. In Homegrown, the emotions of daily life litter the pages with acute specificity. Coates uses narrative and everyday conversational language to weave personal experiences and memory as a way of investigating universal themes. The straightforward verse style and colloquial tone and simplicity radiates nostalgia so pervasive, yet so entrancing, in its effort to hold your hand and walk you through all the spaces the poet has passed through. Indeed, the poet sings, ‘I love to go a-wandering – in the dusty town of Africa’. More…

image Taxi Wars: Is It Anybody’s Business Whose Violent Stakeout It Is?

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: Nobody’s Business
  • Author: Thabo Jijana
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 180
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Faction

‘The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again’. – Alan Paton.

Thabo Jijana, budding writer and author of Nobody’s Business, does not belong to the Rainbow Coalition’s so-called ‘born free’ generation. Nonetheless, he tells a very vital story in his memoir, not only about the rather untimely death of his father, Fundisile Jijana, but also of the ongoing strife that has plagued attempts by the government of South Africa to formalise its multi-million rand taxi industry. More…

image The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician, or the Lonely Scotlanders

By Dami Ajayi


  • Title: The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician
  • Author: Tendai Huchu
  • Publisher: ‘amaBooks
  • Number of pages: 273
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Zimbabwean writer, Tendai Huchu’s second book, a novel, is called The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician, a rather mouthful title that enjoys the playful alliteration of a recalcitrant poet. More…