image Botched Crossings

By Tunji Olalere

  • TitleFor Broken Men Who Cross Often
  • Author: Efe Paul Azino
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 70
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

‘This is for broken men who cross often,
fallen soldiers born on the narrow path,
with fire in their bellies now clients of the broad way
who don drooping shoulders and scatter
their treasures on the streets of good intentions’.

The spoken word poet, Efe Paul Azino, recently published his debut collection of poems. He also tucked an audio recording of eight of the poems into a pocket on the book’s inner back cover. For Broken Men Who Cross Often is a bold attempt to straddle two dizzying spheres of poetic expression in one squat. Expectedly, one or two tendons groan and tear. More…

image Of Crimson Blossoms: How Much of the Nigerian Society Do You Understand?

By Emeka Ugwu

  • Title: Season of Crimson Blossoms
  • Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 347
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘The correlation of melancholia and mourning seems justified by the general picture of the two conditions. Moreover, the exciting causes due to environmental influences are, so far as we can discern them at all, the same for both conditions’. – Mourning and Melancholia, Sigmund Freud

‘Nobody is questioned; nobody is questioning; the poet is absent. And the question involves no answer, or rather it is its own answer. Is it therefore a false question?’ – What Is Literature?, Jean-Paul Sartre

In what is arguably his most insightful work, Economic Agenda for Nigeria, published in 1992, Uchenna Nwankwo expatiates convincingly, in very modest but clear terms, on how Nigeria’s ‘bleak and desperate economic situation’, by and large, ‘has had serious implications for the nation’. More…

image Between War and Those Left at Home

By Agbonmire Ifeh

  • Title: The Peacekeeper’s Wife
  • Author: Kevin Eze
  • Publisher: Amalion Publishing
  • Number of pages: 271
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Kevin Eze’s The Peacekeeper’s Wife is a mesmerising account of war in another country and how it takes a toll on the family left behind. Narrated in the third person, it tells the tale of a war in the Congo and how peacekeepers are drafted from all over Africa to quench the raging fire devouring that land. Malika is the peacekeeper’s wife and, as would be expected given the book’s title, is the main character of the book. She is beautiful, vivacious and charismatic. Issa, Malika’s newly-wed husband, is drafted to serve in a UN mission, leaving his charismatic wife behind, in Segol, with his father, Salif, his mother, Fatimata, his stepmother, Ami Colle, and his younger brother, Babacar. More…

image Inside the Politics of Our Lives

By Kwabena Agyare Yeboah

  • Title: London – Cape Town – Joburg
  • Author: Zukiswa Wanner
  • Publisher: Kwela Books
  • Number of pages: 337
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Zukiswa Wanner’s witty prose excites, unsettles and discomforts in shocking ways. It reminds the reader, in certain ways, of Ama Ata Aidoo’s prose, but Wanner’s prose is subtler and her work is richer than art that is directed solely at provoking the establishment. More…

image A Review of The Domestication of Munachi

By Agatha Aduro

  • Title: The Domestication of Munachi
  • Author: Ifesinachi O Okpagu
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 181
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘For the first time in my adult life, I was struck dumb’.

This is the opening sentence of The Domestication of Munachi, Ifesinachi O Okpagu’s novel about two generations of women and how they handle the domestic issues they face. The novel belongs in the tradition of African literature that deals with aspects of culture relating in particular to women. It evokes memories of such classics as Flora Nwapa’s Efuru and Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine. More…

image A Witness’s Tale of Rediscoveries

By Tomiwa Ilori

  • Title: Ó Ṣojú Mi
  • Author: ‘Yinká Adébóyè
  • Publisher: Yew Books
  • Number of pages: 196
  • Year of publication: 2010
  • Category: Fiction

Ó Ṣojú Mi is a Yorùbá novel set in western Nigeria, in the period between the early ‘50s and the late ‘90s. The style of the book is a rediscovery of the once popular but now almost forgotten discursive Yorùbá diction. It is a witness’s tale in which the use of language is such that the texture of Yorùbá semantics and didactics can be felt throughout all thirty chapters. More…

image To Be or Become: A View of Lagos through an Oyibo’s Black Nyash

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema

  • Title: Blackass
  • Author: A Igoni Barrett
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 302
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

When the bare arse has been seen, what remains for a man to hide? How does our pigment determine our destiny? These questions seem to be the thrust of A Igoni Barrett’s Blackass, a funny novel of being and becoming. When one reads Barrett’s Blackass, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis comes to mind, and that remains so throughout the book. One notices tributes to that famous, human-to-insect transformation story. For the first few pages, the reader will wonder whether they are not reading Kafka. It does not help matters that the first part of the book is preceded by a quote from the same Kafka. But, let us focus on our Blackass.


image A Review of Crossroads: Women Coming of Age in Today’s Uganda

By Agatha Aduro

  • Title: Crossroads: Women Coming of Age in Today’s Uganda
  • Editor: Christopher Conte
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Number of pages: 172
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Essays

Christopher Conte is a writer and editor based in Washington, DC. In 2008, he began working in Uganda as a journalist for a Kampala-based newspaper, a stint that lasted two years. His interactions with certain people gave him the idea of publishing a book filled with factual stories about the everyday lives of Ugandan women, to give insights into life in Uganda. This he explains succinctly in his introduction: ‘We hoped that stories by “ordinary” people, told in the straight-forward manner of journalism, would offer readers more authentic glimpses into one small corner of a huge and diverse continent that is neither as pitiful nor as romantic as the stereotypes suggest’. More…

image Nautilus Rising: The Poetics of John Pepper Clark

By Tade Ipadeola

  • Title: Full Tide: Collected Poems
  • Author: J P Clark
  • Publisher: Mosuro Publishers
  • Number of pages: 423
  • Year of publication: 2010
  • Category: Poetry

‘Then struck the five hunters
But not together, not together.
One set out on his own into the night,
Four down their different spoors by the sea:
By light of stars at dawn
Each read in the plan a variant…’. – ‘Seasons of Omens’, J P Clark

A nation’s fortunes can be measured by the lot of her poets. In the case of Nigeria, it is a manifold tale of many dramatis personae and attitudes. Like Ireland, Nigeria has such a varied line-up of poets that it simply staggers the mind to list the players. Collectively, Nigerian poets have lifted the nation into a plane of regard such as few African nations can rival. The Congo, Ghana, Madagascar and South Africa are all strong contenders but Nigerian poets have so decisively weighed in that these other nations must ask: why are they so blest? More…

image We Have a Situation: A Review of Ellen Banda-Aaku’s Sula and Ja

By Modupe Yusuf

  • Title: Sula and Ja
  • Author: Ellen Banda-Aaku
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 172
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Young Adult

Income, occupational prestige and educational attainment are some of the yardsticks by which people are measured in the society. It is not exactly the case that anyone is employed to categorise people. One measures the standing of others against one’s own.

This act of measuring the achievements of others against one’s own causes people to associate with others with whom they share class characteristics. A person is considered a social threat if they do not conform to the requirements of their particular social class. The actions of such nonconformists are bound to be misinterpreted and cause awkward situations. More…