All posts by Nureni Ibrahim

Tales of the African Experience

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: The Sea Has Drowned the Fish
  • Editors: Mamle Kabu and Martin Egblewogbe
  • Publisher: Techmate Publishers and Writers Project of Ghana
  • Number of pages: 257
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Fiction

The Sea Has Drowned the Fish is an anthology of short stories by budding and established African writers. It is the output of the Writers Project of Ghana and has some breathtaking works from familiar names such as Mary Ashun, Yewande Omotoso and Eghosa Imasuen. The writers explore a range of themes, including African culture, racial discrimination, apartheid, land alienation, political disillusionment, class struggle, love, homosexuality, sexual harassment and cultural displacement. More…

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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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…

Weaving the Past, Present and Future

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: Can Anything Good Come Out of History?
  • Author: Obaro Ikime
  • Publisher: Bookcraft
  • Number of pages: 321
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Essays

Obaro Ikime, historian and retired professor of the University of Ibadan, hopes to fill a lacuna in the library of accessible and extensive works of historical knowledge with this masterpiece, Can Anything Good Come Out of History?. He sets out to document a historical ethnography of Nigeria and provides us with an astounding overview of political occurrences from the time of the colonial administration to the present. The array of themes explored can be separated into three interwoven strands: an examination of the manners and expectations of the political administrators; the ideas of unity and cooperation juxtaposed with division; the fundamental need to incorporate history in the educational curriculum. More…

Beyond Writing, Poetry Also Speaks

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: With Pens that Shout and Mouths that Shut
  • Editor: Rhymers Club, Nabisunsa Girls School
  • Publisher: Bonacraft
  • Number of pages: 105
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

With Pens that Shout and Mouths that Shut is an anthology that celebrates the rich vein of literary expression to be found amongst the young student-poets of Rhymers Club, a literary club in Nabisunsa Girls School, Uganda. The fifty-two poems in the book are divided into the following sections: ‘Prologue’, ‘School Life’, ‘Culture and Lifestyle’, ‘Politics’, and ‘Love’. The sixth section, ‘Epilogue’, has no poem under it. The poems are well-written in simple and straightforward English, though there are indigenous words in some poems which venerate the hybridisation of language in African poetry. The anthology touches most of the major thematic issues in African poetry: language, embracing African culture, the political maladies of the state and the astounding feelings of love.
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Education, Morality and Psychology in Children’s Literature

By Nureni Ibrahim

  • Title: Lil’ Kanji and the Falling Sun
  • Author: Mwangi Gituro
  • Publisher: Lesleigh Limited
  • Number of pages: 47
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Children

One of the cultural practices of Africans is narrating stories in their various indigenous tongues to children in social gatherings. From mythic tales that recount the origins of the human race to proverbs and wise sayings that teach wisdom, storytelling takes a focal position in social and educational enterprises, with both aesthetics and didacticism being emphasised. However, narrating folktales under the moonlight has metamorphosed into a significant part of what is referred to, today, as African Children’s Literature. More…

Unveiling Memories: A Review of Richard Ali’s City of Memories

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: City of Memories 
  • Author: Richard Ali
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 223
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Memories are journeys we come into
beyond the walls of the mind –
like Chibok, closing in,
slowly, to an early embrace;

an embrace that chokes into
a fragile submission;
for we are all travelers waiting
for the first sign of light –
the sun, in orange, leading
to the prologue of things to come. – Noah Oladele, ‘The Sun Will Rise Again’

City of Memories can be said to depict a microcosm of Nigeria. Richard Ali narrates the story from the point of view of different characters, all of whom express one thing in common: responses to massacre, war and dehumanisation. The political, economic and social setting of northern Nigeria in the 1990s is brought to light through the romantic relationship between two characters, Faruk Ibrahim and Rahila Pam. One of the major pivots around which the novel’s art of creativity spins is romantic delicateness. More…

A Portrait of Socio-Political and Religious Cynicism in Olukorede S Yishau’s In the Name of Our Father

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: In the Name of Our Father
  • Author: Olukorede S Yishau
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 228
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Fiction

In the Name of Our Father, Olurokede S Yishau’s debut novel, illuminates the multidimensional issue of religious and political cynicism in Nigerian society, using the story-within-a-story technique. The first strand follows the travails of the protagonist, Prophet Jeremiah – formerly known as Alani – who sacrifices his spiritual and religious beliefs on the altar of materialism. The second strand centres on the brutalisation of the society during the long years of military despotism, as seen through the eyes of a journalist, Julius Omoeko. More…

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…