Review

Hatred of Many Colours

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Colours of Hatred is a riveting narrative,  coordinating language beautifully and weaving a fine web of intricacies through the different characters Obinna Udenwe presents before us. It could be suggested that Obinna had a fine story and employed characters to help him execute the job and sometimes those characters’ place in the story could be […]

Abi Dare’s Quiet Vision

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Abi Dare’s debut novel, The Girl with the Louding Voice, is one that begins on a high note, engaging the reader immediately. Narrated by a teenage protagonist who is so relatable that her voice to the reader feels like friends gossiping, the novel is set in the protagonist’s village and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub. Even […]

The Forgotten Ones

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In one of the earliest scenes of Elder’s Corner, the culturally significant, long in the works documentary about Nigeria’s forgotten musical heroes, highlife maestro Sir Victor Uwaifo summarizes the film’s central thesis with the following words.  “It must be the devil’s trick to be born in a country where neither soul nor talent is appreciated,” […]

The Strangers of Braamfontein’s Slightest Hope

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Readers of Amma Darko’s Beyond the Horizon, Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street, and Ifeanyi Ajaegbo’s Sarah House may find Onyeka Nwelue’s The Strangers of Braamfontein familiar, especially in its discussion of sex trafficking of African women. However, that is where the comparison ends. There is blood in Nwelue’s latest novel—lots of blood. This is […]

Flat-lining and the Buzz

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You don’t send out invites to these things. So obviously no RSVP’s in return. It’s all guess work. There’s a metaphor somewhere in there. I’ll work it out in a minute.  – Aduke Gomez There is, among the Bambuti of the Ituri forest in the Congo, the impossible music of the bamboo flute. This flute […]

[REVIEW]: Meron Hadero’s Sense of Hope

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This is the second time Meron Hadero, the Ethiopian American writer, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. She made the shortlist in 2019 with her heartbreaking story “The Wall,” though Lesley Nneka Arimah, the Nigerian American, would win the prize with “Skinned,” a riveting, eerie story about gender inequality. Hadero is […]

[REVIEW] Bound by Grief, Bound by Love

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‘Like a hum in the forest’, these words are swirling around in the deep recess of my mind asking to be let out. It took a while but it finally found an exit – these winged words set a flight reading The Separation by Iryn Tushabe. They make their unhurried way out of my mind, […]

[REVIEW] On Nicknames and the Ringmasters

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“We were clowns, children, things….” So starts Rémy Ngamije’s The Giver of Nicknames, where readers are launched into the mind of a hyper-literate narrator who recounts his teenagehood at a private Catholic School in Namibia. From the beginning, Ngamije’s sets out to make the reader aware of the title character’s deft use of language, more […]

[Review] Baingana’s Memories of War

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“Lucky,” by Doreen Baingana, is a historical-memoir short story that addresses the subject of war and its devastating effects on human society. The immediate allusion to “Gulu District, West Nile” paints in the reader’s mind the impression of the 1980 insurgency⎯which occurred after Idi Amin was toppled a year earlier⎯and places the story perfectly to […]

[REVIEW]: Writing Rejection in This Little Light of Mine

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My encounter with Troy Onyango’s story in Origami was love at first sight. Struck by the story’s opening sentence: First, he plucks a small part of himself and folds it in half; I surrendered to the intimacy of those words that pronounced Onyango as a writer that cares about the efficiency of a sentence. But […]