Fiction

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…

image The New Breed: The Emergence of the Strong Ones

By Veronica Elias Ugian 


  • Title: The Hundred Wells of Salaga 
  • Author: Ayesha Haruna Attah
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 231
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Fiction

The Hundred Wells of Salaga is historical fiction that offers insights into contemporary life through two strong female characters, Wurche and Aminah, whose paths cross and whose actions smash stereotypes and open pathways for other trapped women. The novel’s female characters are imbued with strength and freedom of choice; they are initially silenced by the patriarchy but they are ultimately fulfilled. More…

image The Story of Us

By Munah Nicola Tarpeh


  • Title: Son of Man 
  • Author: Amara Nicole Okolo
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 118
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

I am the story he wanted to publish. Each sentence simmered in bowls of wrath. The letters were fiery, their message scalding. I was eager to read, thirsty for attention. But as with every fateful story, I was rejected and put away because of my honesty, because I spoke the truth. And in 1996, nobody could handle my truth.

In this collection of six short stories, the author employs inanimate objects – a pair of worn shoes, a machete, a rosary, amongst others – to tell stories about human beings, the not-so-perfect world they live in and how it has affected them adversely. The stories have a common thread running through them: how the system has failed the citizens. More…

image 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…

image 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…

image African Solutions to World Problems: A Review of Kayode Oguntebi’s Viral Load

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Viral Load
  • Author: Kayode Oguntebi
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 369
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Viral Load is a thoughtful story of redemption and the limitless capacity of humanity for good. Although it examines various issues, every subplot features the triumph of good over evil. The story shows that flawed, though, humanity is, redemption can be absolute and altruism is good in itself. It is the story of many young Africans and one with a good ending. More…

image Predestination and the Human Experience

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: Hang No Clothes Here 
  • Author: Bolaji Olatunde
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 505
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

‘Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing’. – Macbeth, Act V, Scene V

Hang No Clothes Here centres on the life and experiences of an assistant superintendent in the Nigeria Police Force, John Braimoh, and how he ends up. His quest to return to Abuja after being posted to Lagos leads him to become entangled in the world of drug dealing. His bosom friend and senior colleague, Dennis Omoruyi, tells him about two drug cartels, a new threat that they target in a bid to secure their places in the Force and remain in Abuja. However, their plan to eliminate this new threat boomerangs, and Braimoh is forced to spy for the cartels after a series of threats, kidnappings and torture. In a bid to disentangle himself from the mess he has gotten into, he makes many tough decisions. More…