Fiction

image 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…

image Appraising the Bliss of Innocence

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Deserted
  • Author: Bob G Kisiki
  • Publisher: Rhema Books
  • Number of pages: 218
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

For Uganda, long years of dictatorship seem to have affected the volume of literature produced, which in any case focuses heavily on politics in the way South Africans focused on apartheid. Bob Kisiki, with four published novels, cannot be called a new author even though he does not enjoy the continent-wide fame that some of his contemporaries do. A complete man of the arts, he also writes songs, plays and newspaper columns, as well as short stories and poems. More…

image When Systems Fail Us

By Ekemini Pius


  • Title: The Honking
  • Author: Mulumba Ivan Matthias
  • Publisher: Mattville Publishing House
  • Number of pages: 311
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Set in Uganda, Mulumba Ivan Matthias’s The Honking examines the breakdown in human relationships and social systems, and how this leads to failure in the lives of individuals, in particular, and society, in general. More…

image Freedom

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Zura Maids
  • Author: Apio Eunice Otuko
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 300
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

When we tell our stories of Africa, we cannot do so without highlighting the reality of human trafficking, from slaves in Libya to girls sold into prostitution in Europe, with many drowning at sea in the process. It is clearly an ongoing reality. In Zura Maids, Apio Eunice Otuko’s debut novel set in Uganda, we follow the protagonist, Lena Ayugi, as she tries to gain justice for herself and save others from going through the same experiences that she did. More…

image Above and Beyond

By Munah Nicola Tarpeh


  • Title: Wrecked
  • Author: Dumebi Ezar Ehigiator
  • Publisher: Winepress Publishing
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

By remembering me you remember all those innocent victims. Moving forward and forgetting what happened is forgetting me. Then there will be no reason for me to live. I live to bear witness, to tell my testimony. Once I was wrecked, maybe I still am, but now I have hope. As for my son, if there is something that tortures me, it is the tomorrow of my son.

Wrecked is the story of five remarkable women who represent a large percentage of women in Nigeria, damaged by circumstances that were set in motion before they were born, circumstances that shape what they become, some with devastating effects. More…

image Punctured Silence

By Veronica Elias Ugian


  • Title: Crocodile Girl
  • Author: Sam Omatseye
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 276
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Crocodile Girl by Sam Omatseye brings out the bold and unique storytelling abilities of the author and attests to his experience as a renowned columnist. The novel explores the history of slavery, witchcraft, love and bravery through the character of Alero. Although considered one of the most beautiful women in Orogun, she is called ugly and evil on suspicion of killing unsuspecting strangers. Believing her to be cursed, she and her family are ‘inxiled’ by the community, but in an unexpected twist an American by the name Tim Forester, the descendant of a family of slave traders with roots traceable to the village, turns up and alters her destiny. More…

image When Things Fall Apart

By Ekemini Pius 


  • Title: Den of Inequities
  • Author: Kinyanjui Kombani
  • Publisher: Longhorn Publishers
  • Number of pages: 188
  • Year of publication: 2013
  • Category: Fiction

Den of Inequities is a subtle satire that interrogates the problems of Kenyan society, just like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s excellent novel, Wizard of the Crow. Kinyanjui Kombani weaves this story around the lives of three characters – Omosh, Gosti and Aileen – through whom we are made to understand the lives of the ordinary people of Nairobi and the failure of the Kenyan government on different levels. One reason Kombani deserves a lot of praise for this historical novel is because this is exactly the kind of blazing attack on the government that forced Ngũgĩ into exile when Kenya was still under a dictatorship. Even though this novel was published in 2013, when Kenya had transitioned to a democracy and writers who criticise the government are not persecuted as fiercely as before, it takes some guts to attack a powerful government with literature. More…

image 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…

image How Many Drinks?

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Drunk
  • Author: Jackson Biko
  • Number of pages: 167
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Fiction

For years, Jackson Biko has run Bikozulu, one of the most widely-read blogs in Kenya. He has since become one of the country’s most prolific writers and journalists, so it was no surprise when he decided to put pen to paper and self-publish Drunk, his ‘first little book’, which tells the story of Larry, an alcoholic, and The Artisan, a devoted father. The book opens with Larry reminiscing about experiences shared with his girlfriend, Tina, and how she deserves better, but in no time we learn that it is not just Tina. There are a host of other girls. Alcohol is not the only thing Larry overindulges. More…

image 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…