Nigeria

Are God’s Children Little Broken Things?

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In writing the nine stories in God’s Children Are Little Broken Things, Arinze Ifeakandu spent time with each character, keenly observing, asking the right questions, and learning their pleasure, history, joy, and rage. He delicately brought them to life in shops, clubs, bedrooms, and in the streets as they moved through spaces in their unapologetic […]

The Happiest People on Earth

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We are H-A-P-P-Y We are H-A-P-P-Y We know we are We are sure we are We are H-A-P-P-Y Happppppy! I I come from the country Of the Happiest People on earth, Where death sells at ten for one kobo And the Living envy the peace Of the hastily dispatched. Living every day on the edge […]

 Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike’s Double Wahala

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In Nigerian popular culture, ‘double wahala’ is a Pidgin English phrase that was made popular by ace Afrobeat musician and activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. To repeat it by adding ‘double trouble,’ the English variant  emphasizes the severity of the troubles. Nigerian literature has repeatedly featured the disorder and troubles that characterized postcolonial Nigerian life. Double […]

Questions for My Ailing Country

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A young police officer is standing with a woman I assume to be his mother. She is praying for him loudly, at a major junction on the streets of a Lagos suburb; speaking in tongues unashamedly while passers-by stare, some in admiration, others, not so much. The young force personnel is shy, hiding his face […]

A Nigerian Poet’s Dangerous Amorous Episodes

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In the traditions that established earlier voices in modern Africa poetry, sociopolitical maladies have remained an arch theme. In the words of Omafune Onoge, what rocks African poetry most is the crisis of consciousness. And it is expected. Given the social political terrain of postcolonial Africa and the disillusionment that followed. Most African poets, ranging […]

Where Are the 287 Poets Contesting the 2022 NLNG Prize for Literature?

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Let us start with a confession — mine, at least: I don’t know where the poets are. Or I don’t read them because I hardly hear their names and haven’t seen their books, because no one is reviewing them in magazines or talking about them, not even at a gathering of writers drinking beer. Or […]

Where Is Our Government?

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“We have a lot of insecurity in Nigeria. By road we are not safe. By train we are not safe”. (From a survivor of the Abuja-Kaduna Train bomb; Mon., March 28, 2022) Too many ills do a nation kill Ills just as many as the corpses That clutter every gutter Of our callously mis-governed country […]

A Precious but Uncertain Gift

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Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood can no longer be regarded as a nascent industry, even though theorists and film historians are now defining the current age as the age of ‘New Nollywood’ because of advances in storytelling and cinematography. Still, the industry finds it difficult to move away from weak high society stories and romantic comedies. […]

Poem: “The Real Subsidisers” by Níyì Ọ̀súndáre

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NIGERIAN SUBSIDY AND THE REAL  SUBSIDISERS Here, in plain, unsubsidized language      Are the basic facts   About the fabled Nigerian “subsidy”      Whose endless lies have besieged our ears We the Nigerian people subsidize      The rampant CORRUPTION of our rulers We the Nigerian people subsidize      Their fatal incompetence and prodigal greed We the Nigerian people subsidize      Those […]

Family Affair

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Secrets. Every family has them. For filmmaker Jide Tom Akinleminu, it would seem that his not-quite-blended family is nursing more than their fair share.  As the mixed-race son of a Nigerian father and a Danish mother, Jide Tom Akinleminu spent his life straddling both often extreme worlds. His parents met and fell in love while […]