image Self Ties

By Modupe Yusuf


  • Title: Those Who Wait
  • Number of pages: 156
  • Title: Perfectly Imperfect
  • Number of pages: 168
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Title: Plain Yellow
  • Number of pages: 175
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Author: Ruby Yayra Goka
  • Publisher: Techmate Publishers Limited
  • Category: Young Adult

The challenges of youth are innumerable. Ruby Yayra Goka is one writer who has chosen to explore the experiences of youth, with all of its challenges and adventures, and in the books under review, even though the experiences of youth are not exclusively those of the girl-child, Goka explores youth-related themes and issues through young, female protagonists. More…

image The Boy Who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye: The Lion’s Account of the Hunt

By Agatha Aduro


  • Title: The Boy Who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye
  • Author: Manu Herbstein
  • Publisher: Techmate Publishers Limited
  • Number of pages: 236
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Young Adult

‘Do you know who Sargrenti was? That was the name I gave to Major General Sir Garnet Wolseley, KCMG, Commander of the British Queen Victoria’s Army which invaded Asante and sacked its capital, Kumase, in 1874, 21 years ago. Here he is, with his waxed moustache and medals’.

These are the opening sentences of The Boy Who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye, discounting the ‘Author’s Note’ which precedes them. The author’s note is itself a part of this fictionalised retelling of one of the five conflicts that are together known as the Anglo-Ashanti Wars, specifically the Third Anglo-Ashanti War, also known as The First Ashanti Expedition. More…

image The Poet and Her People

By Kwabena Agyare Yeboah


  • Title: The Birth of Illusion
  • Author: Jumoke Verissimo
  • Publisher: Fullpoint Publications and Communications
  • Number of pages: 83
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

‘Once upon a time in one’s land not far not near

Pigs ruled men and ate their carcass for lunch

Men became pigs and ate themselves for dinner

And then pain designed poetry into gelatin brains

To conjure feelings in the stitched spines of papers’

The quotation above is from Jumoke Verissimo’s poem, ‘The Birth of Poets’, which appears in the collection The Birth of Illusion. The quoted lines set up what the collection concerns itself with. It paints the idea that the world is full of absurdity. And, that is why there is poetry and poets. Poetry is for the people and the poet is one of the people. She, the poet, should speak to power. She should unsettle. She should interrogate the establishment. She should be an enquirer of the human soul. More…

image The Dismal and Grim Life Story of Anna P

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself
  • Author: Penny Busetto
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 155
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Penny Busetto’s The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself is an experimental fusion of literature and psychology – issues of memory, identity, self and existentialism are handled with sagacity. The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself is a divided into three parts: the first part is titled ‘Book of the Present’, the second part is ‘Book of Memory’ and the last part is ‘Book of the Future’. More…

image Melancholia and the Nigerian State

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: Melancholia
  • Author: Dul Johnson
  • Publisher: Sevhage Publishers
  • Number of pages: 73
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Drama

‘The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’. – Chinua Achebe

Melancholia is a play written by the Nigerian playwright Dul Johnson, who has been writing radio and television plays since the ‘80s, although at times under the pen name Jim Rogers. He is also a scholar who has held teaching positions at the University of Jos as well as National Film Institute, Jos. In a play that plumbs the depths of satire, the playwright tackles head-on the political scene in Nigeria, pre- and post-election, dramatising it in two acts with four and five scenes respectively. It is a play festooned with the physiological ideas of the ancients in such striking manner, the sort that most distinctively disentangles ‘the doctrine of the four temperaments’. More…

image Poaching and Extinction: A Pressing Threat to Animal Rights

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: Masai Mara Adventures with Olê Ntutu
  • Author: Gerald Kithinji
  • Publisher: Morven Kester East Africa Limited
  • Number of pages: 202
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Young Adult

There is an exigent situation that threatens the existence of animals. Rhinoceroses, elephants, lions have been under attack and their numbers are now drastically reduced. Recently, the saga of Cecil the lion, in Zimbabwe, hunted down and beheaded by an American tourist, roused fury and controversy internationally. And, that is just one case that got media attention – illegal hunting still goes on unreported. Already, the northern white rhinoceros is on the verge of extinction with only five left on the planet. More…

image Dya’e and Friends

By Tinuke Adeyi


  • Title: An Amber Scarf from Punjab
  • Author: Laila Bouinidane
  • Publisher: Top Press
  • Number of pages: 95
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

‘…societies are different and what applies to one cannot automatically and easily apply to another because specificities of cultures are wildly disparate’ – Dya’e

An Amber Scarf from Punjab by Laila Bouinidane is a novella that strives to draw attention to the issues of religious tolerance, the quest for enlightenment, among others things, through a chronicle of the life of a young Moroccan woman. More…

image The Bottom of Another Tale: A Review

By Richard Oduor Oduku


  • Title: The Bottom of Another Tale
  • Author: Su’eddie Vershima Agema
  • Publisher: Sevhage Publishers
  • Number of pages: 146
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

The Bottom of Another Tale is a veritable collection of twenty-six stories. Most are confident and moving, with unique and original characters, and a balance of character and plot. Most are intense and zesty, neatly wrought servings with different textures and flavours. It is a carefully considered collection. More…

image More than Faces: A Review of Born on a Tuesday

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: Born on a Tuesday
  • Author: Elnathan John
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 263
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘For the boys who will never be known

And the girls who become numbers –

Stars without a name’

There are many people who think that Northern Nigeria has only the adherents of one religion, only the people of one ethnicity and that the experiences of one person is the experience of all in the region. Many times, the people of Northern Nigeria are thought of as just faces or, worse, numbers. Perhaps this is what informs Elnathan John’s book dedication in Born on a Tuesday, which is quoted above. More…

image Botched Crossings

By Tunji Olalere


  • TitleFor Broken Men Who Cross Often
  • Author: Efe Paul Azino
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 70
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

‘This is for broken men who cross often,
fallen soldiers born on the narrow path,
with fire in their bellies now clients of the broad way
who don drooping shoulders and scatter
their treasures on the streets of good intentions’.

The spoken word poet, Efe Paul Azino, recently published his debut collection of poems. He also tucked an audio recording of eight of the poems into a pocket on the book’s inner back cover. For Broken Men Who Cross Often is a bold attempt to straddle two dizzying spheres of poetic expression in one squat. Expectedly, one or two tendons groan and tear. More…