Somalis’ love for black seed oil


In late 2020, when I pulled a hamstring while playing soccer, one of my friends suggested that I take a hot shower, apply black seed oil and wrap my thigh with a piece of cloth when I get home. “It will do wonders,” he said assuredly. I suppressed laugher amid the pain I was feeling. […]

The Poetry of Soccer Commentary


My first interpretative encounter with poetry began with Niyi Osundare’s ecopoetics in the poem “Ours to Plough Not to Plunder,” included as one of several works to study for the year’s pre-university exam. But it was William Wordsworth definition of poetry, which I came across in an English lecture on the subject of British Romanticism […]

2022 Year in Review: Top Ten Stories at OlongoAfrica


We have published a lot of incredible stories this year spanning different tastes and genres in African literature. As we approach the year’s end, we have compiled a list of our top stories for 2022 strictly for your leisure reading this holiday. At the top of our list is this piece by Mọlárá Wood which […]

Africans trying to exit Ukraine battle racism


Africans trying to escape Ukraine into neighbouring countries as a result of the war ongoing in the country after Russia invaded and a war ensued have been forced to come face-to-face with varying degrees of segregation and blatant racism. Several videos of clusters of Africans left behind, or dragged out of train cars and buses, […]

Finding Bàrà: History at an Empire Town


We drive alongside the 2,512 square kilometre Old Ọ̀yọ́ National Park till we arrive at bustling Bani, in the Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State, some two hours from our destination, the town of Bàrà, the most active archaeological site in Nigeria.  Bàrà falls outside the boundaries of the National Park and so is […]

African Football Under the Western Gaze


Toni Morrison once wrote about the concept of the “other” in her beautiful book titled The Origin of Others. In the book, she writes about how othering is subjugating another person in order to define oneself. She goes on to explain that in order to emphasize the importance of the Self, the Self creates and […]

Crazy Little Things out of the Blues


I’m doing something crazy. There is in fact no exact English word to describe it. It is called fait divers which is a French phrase for very brief newspaper reportage of unusual happenings and dark occurrences, like accidents or crimes, that befall ordinary, insignificant people. There are a thousand and one loose English translations of […]

Fakafìkì to the Feet of the Atlantic


…I devoted myself to sumptuousmoos and hallelujahs. Look around you:only the absence of certain people suggestsyou did not sleep throughout the whole journey. -Terence Hayes Unlike Hayes, I no longer devote myself to sumptuous moos, and I have struck beef off my menus. Not because I am an Adventist as most people believe we are […]

OlongoAfrica to Me


I’d always loved writing, and curating them, and interrogating those who produce them. It’s a life-affirming thing. We are made by stories, so listening to others tell theirs or showing us how they get to set them down, or doing so myself, is a delightful experience. Has always been. From 2009, I had a travel […]

Our Twittering Space

by , , , and

Olongo is the orange-cheeked waxbill, small enough to be missed in a scene, but loud enough to be noticed wherever it is perched. The name had stuck since we first suggested it as the cover for our new floor on the Brick House, a collective of writers and journalists. You are welcome to our launch. […]