BREATH OF WATER
Two weeks post-NYSC, Sogie gets a job offer with a start-up NGO. It is 2015, her candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has just won the presidential elections; her brother, Ehis, has returned home after over a year of distancing himself from this family and its negativity. The boyfriend has broken up with her via Skype (he is in love with a Brazilian course mate in the UK), but Sogie doesn’t care, they had reached the end of themselves anyway. At this point, all she’ll miss him for is his 10 percent student discount on asos.com. These are her best years....
Nze Sylva Ifedigbo
The harmattan came that morning, throwing a blanket over the sun and filling nostrils with the smell of Christmas coming. The daytime darkness it caused was unnerving to the people of Eko. Orisha, the white garment preacher who had dreadlocks that looked like writhing earthworms mangled together, attracted a motley crowd that morning at her usual spot along Moloney Street. "The end is here."...
KETCHUP ON EVERYTHING
See when I was growing up, people weren't as sexually transparent and no one (at least to my knowledge) was publicly feminist or publicly liberal. But then again, social media wasn't really a thing and information didn't travel as quickly as it does now. No one told me that deciding to engage in a sexual act with another consenting participant didn't result in me "losing" something. Certainly no one told me that sex was about me too; or that I even really mattered in a way that was fully human, in a way that my pleasure wasn’t just an afterthought....
TOO MUCH / NOT ENOUGH
A NAP IN NOVEMBER
In the humid warmth,
the smells of the city
are carried by airless breeze
all was still, concrete and trees
Under sunny skies
In sweat damp skin,
tears ran down my face
Yawn, dawg downward face
The number of times my sisters came to me asking why women were not allowed to do one thing or another in this culture crossed the double figure mark barely 5 days into our trip to the village. Being at home always provides an opportunity for me to learn more about my people; who we are today as a community and glimpses into our way of life before colonial invasion....
Adoabi Tricia Nwaubani's
BURIED BENEATH THE BAOBAB TREE
Review by Jasper Ugbaa
This book is a difficult read. Not because of the language or even the subject matter, but because of the unyielding focus Nwaubani has on her character, a reimagined Christian teenager who becomes one of the ‘Chibok Girls’ after being kidnapped. We are forced reading this book, to look at the full lives of these girls, to see them as complete human beings, more complicated that the tag carried in media so that when we get to the point where they are kidnapped, we are able better appreciate the cost as a country as human beings....
There may be no mention of your name
no legacy to impregnate with grandeur over drinks;
the mythos of your being lies underneath the lid of a marble box with what is left of you
and what’s left is still probably too much.
They say of dust and to dust,
but you’re a fragile tangle of decomposition in the suit and shoes you barely got to wear in your youth
you can break them in now for as long as you need
until they fit right.