All posts by Timi Odueso

Cutting Culture Off: A Review of Mary Karooro Okurut’s The Switch

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: The Switch
  • Author: Mary Karooro Okurut
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 211
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

‘Culture can be the worst form of imprisonment’. – Dr Medard

Mary Karooro Okurut’s The Switch contains numerous exhilarating elements but first and foremost is the intensity and intrigue the first few pages offer. The suspense, right from the first few pages, is reminiscent of a thriller novel. Readers will feel the same impending sense of danger they feel in reading prolific thriller writers like James Patterson, John Grisham or Nora Roberts, and although The Switch is not a crime thriller or a mystery novel per se, it still, heavily so, employs elements from those sub-genres and that gives it a unique style. In fact, the style of writing and the elements involved are so unusual for books with the same or similar themes as The Switch that the effect is pleasantly surprising. More…

The Pursuit of Happiness

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: feeling and ugly
  • Author: Danai Mupotsa
  • Publisher: impepho press
  • Number of pages: 70
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

I want to dream of love that is tempestuous
That doesn’t come to me from behind
With badly formed cleverness and brokenness… (p 61)

In recent times, the art of poetry has become a symposium for sciolism, to wit, superficial pretension to knowledge. Modern-day writers have taken it upon themselves to re-invent the forms and structures of poetry, to create scribbles they title ‘Modern Poetry’. Often characterised by irregular sentences and non-existent rhythm or pattern, such poems are frequently written by writers who would rather impress than express, and thus they end up using big words and complex sentences instead of simple, short ones; for instance, ‘superfragalisticexpialidocious’ instead of ‘fantastic’, or ‘discombobulated’ instead of ‘confused’. More…

The Truth Will Set Your Soul Free

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Death and the King’s Grey Hair
  • Author: Denja Abdullahi
  • Publisher: Kraft Books Limited
  • Number of pages: 62
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Drama

Drama, in Nigeria at least, has gained notoriety for being the least indulged genre in being written and being read. Although acted on stages occasionally, the genre in its documented form is less indulged in by readers and one of the reasons for this, perhaps, is because many playwrights often wrap the plot lines of their plays around political drama. Of the eleven longlisted plays for the 2018 Nigeria NLNG Prize for Literature, more than half dwelt on political themes, notably Jude Idada’s Sankara, Dul Johnson’s Melancholia and the winning play, Embers by Soji Cole. More…

Poems of Despair, Love, Laughter and Death

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: A Parliament of Owls
  • Author: Adipo Sidang
  • Publisher: Contact Books NRB
  • Number of pages: 286
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

With 193 poems spread over four sections, Adipo Sidang’s A Parliament of Owls offers the prospect of universal inclusion with several poems that readers of every class or gender can connect with. More…

Destiny Comes with a Whip in Her Left Hand and a Salve in Her Right

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Path of Destiny: An Autobiography
  • Author: Jimoh Mosobalaje Oyawoye
  • Publisher: Bookcraft Africa
  • Number of pages: 571
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Autobiography

There are very few voluminous autobiographies in which the reader is able to decipher the tragic flaw of the author. This is so for a number of reasons. In the first place, many authors tend to proselytise. This makes their books unrealistic because, even though the author is writing about their personal experiences and how they overcame certain obstacles, they fail to understand that what works for Peter may not work for Paul. In the second place, many portray their personas as saintly. Where the subject is a prominent member of the community they often gloss over their faults in a bid to present themselves as infallible. But we are all flawed. A good example is Olusegun Obasanjo’s My Watch, where his faults are glossed over in order that he might portray himself as a saint. In Goodluck Jonathan’s My Transition Hours, the author opens himself up to the charge of naiveté in order to push the blame for his failings on to others. Jimoh Oyawoye’s Path of Destiny is different. More…

W Is for Woman and War: A Review of Beatrice Lamwaka’s Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories
  • Author: Beatrice Lamwaka
  • Publisher: Lakalatwe Books
  • Number of pages: 115
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Although it claims to be a collection of short stories and poems, Beatrice Lamwaka’s Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories features a continuous plot line told from different, yet similar, points of view. Instead of a collection of stories with different plots across diverse settings, Lamwaka’s collection is a confluence of points of view with the same spatial setting. Where the spatial settings of the stories vary, the collection reads like it covers the lifespan of one character, as Lamwaka tells her stories from the viewpoints of a child, an adolescent, a full-grown woman and an old woman. More…

Overcoming Tribulations in Bukky Agboola’s I Made It Through

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: I Made It Through
  • Author: Bukky Agboola
  • Publisher: Winepress Publishing
  • Number of pages: 148
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Memoir

‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed’. – 2 Corinthians 4:8–9, New American Standard Bible

Memoirs – political, religious or otherwise – tend to portray the lives of those they are based on as miraculous collections of occurrences that proselytise ways in which the reader supposedly can achieve the grace, faith, happiness and/or success of the author. This is understandable. However, I Made It Through is unlike such. More…

The Land of the Upright Man: A Review of Jude Idada’s Sankara

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Sankara
  • Author: Jude Idada
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 114
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

‘There is no guarantee that those who have children would be remembered. What matters is that while you lived, you lived for something, and while you could, you helped to make a change’.

Although acted out daily, both on stage and in real life, drama can be seen as the least indulged of the literary forms. Unlike prose, it falls within stringent parameters, such as in its use of dialogue and characterisation. To captivate the reader, drama requires of the playwright not only skill but experience. Jude Idada’s Sankara earns its place alongside works by leading Nigerian playwrights like Femi Osofisan, Wole Soyinka and J P Clark, but it also raises the question of just how far fiction can be woven into the factional. More…

Of Juju Powder and Jollof Rice: Unconventional Afrocentrism in Nnedi Okorafor’s Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi
  • Author: Nnedi Okorafor
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 329
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Young Adult

Unlike its prequel, What Sunny Saw in the Flames, with its heretical use of language, idiosyncratic description of African mythology and blinding characterisation, Nnedi Okorafor’s Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi with every page excited and intrigued this reader. Set in contemporary Africa, the new book continues the story of the Leopard Folk – people with surreal abilities – through the hazel eyes of the heroine, Sunny. While the author employs a third-person point of view in presenting the heroine, the other characters are only seen through Sunny’s eyes. In more ways than one, this can be viewed as an allusion to the relationship between her albinism and the meaning of her spirit name, Anyanwu, eye of the sun. More…