All posts by Omotola Otubela

Who Is to Blame?

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Bled Dry
  • Author: Abdelilah Hamdouchi
  • Translator: Benjamin Smith
  • Publisher: Hoopoe
  • Number of pages: 242
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

In Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s Bled Dry, everyone is a suspect. Born in Meknes, Morocco, Abdelilah Hamdouchi is one of the first writers of police fiction in the Arabic language. Set in Casablanca, Morocco, Bled Dry was originally written in Arabic before it was translated into English by Benjamin Smith. Unlike the author’s previous books – which touched on issues surrounding migration and manipulations in international trade, Whitefly (2016), and false conviction and police brutality, The Final Bet (2016)Bled Dry digs into the minds as well as the actions and inaction of people who live in the slums of Casablanca. Here, the notion that every individual is a product of the society in which they live is effectively scrutinised. More…

The Yearnings of Our Hearts

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Wondering and Wandering of Hearts
  • Editors: Susan N Kiguli and Hilda J Twongyeirwe
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 255
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Poetry

‘[T]he happiest aspect of this anthology for me is the dexterity and polish of the compositions of many of the young poets included. As I have said elsewhere, this refinement is, obviously, not accidental. It is the result of dedicated and systematic hard work, which is a sine-qua-non of all good writing. The young people’s seriousness in this direction is a heart-warming vindication of my lifelong advocacy of technique in creativity’. – Mwalimu Austin Bukenya, FEMRITE Honorary Member

Wondering and Wandering of Hearts is an anthology that features poems from renowned poets, young poets, as well as a new generation of emerging writers. The poems delve into the niches and nuances of different aspects of Ugandan society. Unlike FEMRITE’s previous anthology of short stories, Nothing to See Here (2015), this anthology of poems provides a generous representation of male voices. The reader will find thematic explorations of political, economic, social and psychological issues in this anthology. More…

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…

Live Life before You Leave It

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Matric Rage
  • Author: Genna Gardini
  • Publisher: uHlanga Publishers
  • Number of pages: 88
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

‘Trust the fact that it is alright for you to be telling your story if it is not hurting anyone who did not hurt you in the first place. In addition, I think that when you write something, you need to hear what it sounds like to see if it works. If you do not hear the rhythm of it then it’s dead. It’s flat’. – Genna Gardini

Genna Gardini won the 2012 DALRO New Coin Poetry Prize. She was also chosen as one of Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2013. Her plays, WinterSweet (2012) and Scrape (2013), both won the Standard Bank Ovation Awards. Her poems have also been published widely. More…

The Internet and Its Ugly Side

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Tech Explorers League: Hacked!
  • Author: Paul Kisakye
  • Publisher: Aniseeker LLC
  • Number of pages: 183
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Children

What is next for the Tech Explorers League after they win the science fair? What could they possibly do with their new robot, Tennis Ball, shortened to Tenba, the most talked-about creation in Mugabi Junior School? What kind of relationship do the children develop after emerging into the limelight? These are the questions that linger in the reader’s mind after reading Tech Explorers League: Rise of the Robot, the first book in the series by Paul Kisakye. Tech Explorers League: Hacked! is the sequel to Rise of the RobotMore…

The Essence of Robots in a Human-Dominated Society

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Tech Explorers League: Rise of the Robot
  • Author: Paul Kisakye
  • Publisher: Aniseeker LLC
  • Number of pages: 188
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Children

‘Do you have a story burning to be told? Do you have a voice that must be heard? Then write. Because writing is no small calling. Otherwise, get back to your normal day job and save us the agony of watching our time being flushed down the toilet.

I’ve written some stories that haven’t gone down well with some Christian friends of mine. But God liked them. And that’s what really matters’. – Paul Kisakye

Tech Explorers League is a series of science fiction novels for children. It comprises three books: Rise of the Robot, Hacked! and Farming Fiasco. The author, Paul Kisakye, is an unapologetic Christian; he often refers to himself as a ‘Christian Writer’. He has to his credit another book, Prodigal Love: Embracing God’s Outrageous, Unconditional Love, which explores how most people think about their relationship with God. His short story, ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ was also shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize in 2013. From all indications, it is clear that he knows his onions when it comes to creative storytelling. More…

The Thin Line between Heroism and Villainy

By Omotola Otubela 


  • Title: Deeper into the Night
  • Author: Dul Johnson
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 273
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

What happens when an individual wields an excess of power? Can there be a synthesis between tradition and modernity given that the former mostly frowns at that which the latter embraces? To what extent is the claim that every individual is a product of their society valid? These are a few of the questions raised by Dul Johnson’s Deeper into the Night. Although this is his first novel, his more recent novel, Across the Gulf, the collection of short stories, Why Women Won’t Make It to Heaven, as well as his other works attest to the fact that he is no dilettante when it comes to telling the African story. More…

History as a Harbinger of Necessary Societal and Political Reforms

By Omotola Otubela 


  • Title: The Ifeajuna Manuscript  
  • Author: Demola Adeniran
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 205
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Crime fiction takes a lot of tactical and deductive thinking to animate characters and portray gripping incidents. African writers such as Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Obinna Udenwe, Demola Adeniran, and Chris Abani, to mention a few, have trod the path of creating fiction in this form, which encompasses unaccounted deaths, investigations, suspense as well as adventure. More…

Humans, Psychology and Sociology as a Circle of Mutual Influence

By Omotola Otubela 


  • Title: There Is a Lunatic in Every Town 
  • Author: Bash Amuneni
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 83
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

Ideas become irrelevant when they are not channelled or directed to the right people through an effective medium. African poets such as Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark and Tade Ipadeola have called attention to the relevance of African literature. A new voice joining the chorus of these legends is the performance poet and essayist, Bash Amuneni. His works include Freedom, a spoken word poetry album released in 2015, and There Is a Lunatic in Every Town, published in 2016. From a close study of these two works, one can observe that Amuneni is a poet that is greatly inspired by the society at large. More…

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…