Books

Before his manuscript won the 2022 Sillerman Prize, Tares Oburumu faced seemingly interminable hardship in his personal life. “The act of survival, for me, is a lot more inspirational than anything,” he said, “trying to put yourself in a place where there’s no place for you.”
From Warsan Shire, Romeo Oriogun, and Safia Elhillo to Arinze Ifeakandu, Akwaeke Emezi, NoViolet Bulawayo, and Chinelo Okparanta: our second annual highlight of the top titles of the year by African writers.
Seminal storyteller of queer love, satirist of race, literary icon.
Pearl of the Sea and KARIBA started as animation but ended as graphic novels—the former the first by Triggerfish Studios. Graphic novels are a “three-dimensional experience of literature,” said their publisher, Catalyst Press’ Jessica Powers. “Maybe we’re on the cusp of a trend across the African continent.”

New Writing & Excerpts

The first essay collection from the PEN Pinter Prize winner and Booker Prize-nominated novelist: “That which is dead does not feel. We are not dead while we protest.”
The third novel from the Nigerian sees a woman search for her father: “The man in the picture was the darkest tint in the human spectrum.”
In the Somali writer’s debut novel, a tense dynamic between a gifted reclusive lesbian artist and her punk hijabi protégé.
The Nigerian Polish writer, who lives in the UK, offers his experiences as a mixed-race person.

Book Reviews

Amatoritsero Ede

2.5/5

Will Jawando

3/5

Arinze Ifeakandu

4/5

Teju Cole

4/5

Gbenga Adeoba

3/5

Chibundu Onuzo

2.5/5

Shop

Black and Female

Tsitsi Dangarembga

A philosophical, urgent first collection of essays, by the iconic novelist, on race, gender, imperialism, and artistry.

How to Write About Africa

Binyavanga Wainaina

The late literary icon’s pieces on sexuality, art, history, and contemporary Africa. With introduction by Chimamanda Adichie.

Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad

Damilare Kuku

The bestselling collection of stories set in Lagos, Nigeria’s cultural capital.
Black Paper: Writing in a Dark Time by Teju Cole

Black Paper: Writing in a Dark Time

Teju Cole

The great essayist returns with his second collection, addressing ethical questions about humanity and bearing witness.

Film & TV

The fantasy revenge thriller is Nigeria’s first indigenously produced film to go to Sundance, a first it already notched at Venice. “We tapped into something beyond us while making this one,” said producer Oge Obasi. “Hopefully, that opens more doors for Nigerian filmmakers,” said director C.J. Obasi.
Created by Didier Lacoste and Joy Fleury, with screenplay by Ukamaka Olisakwe, Adachioma Ezeano, and Jude Idada, it will focus on the two Franco-Dahomean Wars of 1890-94. The story, said Olisakwe, looks at “how this impacted lives and the Kingdom’s long rivalry with its neighbors.”
The brief feature, by director John Adekoje, works memory, spirituality, and pain. “That’s indicative of the growth women have access to now,” said Egbuson-Akande, “to process our pain and become stronger, and transform, ascend.”
“Love is a good point for telling stories because it brings out all the other emotions of pain, happiness, joy, euphoria, and sadness,” she said of the warmly received Ndani TV web series. “And it’s what our audience—a lot of them—want in their lives.”

Film & TV Reviews

Niyi Akinmolayan

3.5/5

Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang

3.3/5

Mildred Okwo

4/5

Kunle Afolayan

2.5/5

Ife

Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim

2.5/5

Nne

Victor Iyke

3/5

Streaming

Issues & Covers

Culture

The Enugu-based hub, whose exhibitions, screenings, and lecture series have drawn 7,000 visitors, is, executive director Iheanyi Igboko says, “grooming a generation of young people who are not only grounded in their history and culture but proud of their Igbo identity.”
Awaiting Trial finds the emotional core of police brutality and the End SARS protests in Nigeria. It is “a deliberate telling of the consequences of the death and damage dealt on all of us,” said narrator and executive producer Chude Jideonwo.
The multidisciplinary designer, whose clients include NASA, UNESCO, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, makes work that is “unusual and unique.”
The influential culture icon had social media spinning with her birthday note to the Labour Party candidate, already the hot favourite for young Nigerians.

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