Conceptual Analysis of M. I. Abaga’s King James

The world of music is a game of thrones, right? And you play to win or die. If there’s anyone who knows the truth of this statement, it’s M. I. In his latest single, titled “King James,” he speaks about this violence lying at the heart of any high-stake hustle, whether it’s entertainment or politics. Of [...]

Would You Read the Bible if it Were a Novel?

There is a part of me that is a bit sad about the waning popularity of the bible in popular discourse. In many African spaces, the bible continues to be an influential text shaping the lives of many.  For many Africans, like myself, the bible is where we formed our earliest relationship with literary text. I am [...]

A Dramatist’s Passion for the Art | Interview with Segun Adefila of Crown Troupe

We didn’t know where we were headed back then. The only thing we were certain of was our passion for the arts — Segun Adefila Writing, the beautiful the about writing, is the creativity and imagination that comes with it. Imagining a character’s voice, hair style, clothing, what he/she might do in certain situations. It [...]

This is Not a Poem, This is Not a Prayer | by Umar Abubakar Sidi

(for the Girls of Chibok, and for Benson Eluma, Usman Umar Akeel and Gimba Kakanda) Today, the machinery of the poet is scuttled No ambivalent metaphors. No silent birds Whistling delicious melodies to the hearing of the poet, No magic mirrors reflect images of dancing maidens And storytelling blue parrots in royal chambers Pillared on [...]

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Seven Letters to a Poet From Another Time | by Kechi Nomu | A Poem

I Art will not survive in a house like this… II A dictator sits on a terrace chair and considers the years; he lets the soothing Shabaz wash over him and the forgiveness of wine III A poet awakens from the third reverie and puts Cohen’s Tower of Songs on repeat IV And thinks of [...]

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“Brooklyn, Where Shadows Are Welcome” | Freckled by Kiah | A Love Story

The crying has stopped and for that above all else, I am thankful. I thought it would never end. I am beyond grateful that it finally did. I walk on egg shells, saying little, for fear that my words will set off the time bomb that is the woman I loved. Loved. Past tense. If [...]

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Madame Kiru’s Boudoir | A Selection of African Romance Novels by Kiru Taye

  If you read only mainstream African novelists like Adichie, Selasi, and company, chances are that you’re entirely unaware of a thriving African indie romance scene. At the center of this scene is Kiru Taye, a London-based Nigerian novelist specialized in romance fiction of all kinds—historical, paranormal, exotic. I approached Taye sometime last year about writing a [...]

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That Dress Though | Chimamanda at the 2014 Farafina Literary Evening

Chimamanda Adichie wore this floor-length white-leopard-patterned dress to the 2014 Farafina Literary Evening held at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. The event officially brought the 2014 Farafina Trust Creating Writing Workshop to an end. Sponsored by Nigerian Breweries and run by Adichie and a team oflocal and guest writers, the workshop has since [...]

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What Zadie Smith’s Mom Taught Me About Bridget Jones

During a conversation about strong female characters, Zadie Smith tells Chimamanda Adichie a story about her mother’s reaction to Bridget Jones Diary. Somebody once very unwisely gave my mom a copy of Bridget Jones Diary in the mid-90s, a book I find very funny and sweet but for my mother it might as well have [...]

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Conceptual Analysis of M. I. Abaga’s King James

The world of music is a game of thrones, right? And you play to win or die. If there’s anyone who knows the truth of this statement, it’s M. I. In his latest single, titled “King James,” he speaks about this violence lying at the heart of any high-stake hustle, whether it’s entertainment or politics. Of [...]

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Resounding Voices from Cameroon | Review of Bakwa Magazine by Georgina Mexía-Amador

As a Mexican writer, I do not find it hard to review a magazine such as Bakwa because I acknowledge, in the first place, the long-held ties between my country and specific regions of West and Central Africa. A common history of colonialism brought us together with the European plundering of both America and Africa, [...]

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Between the Sacred and the Profane | Enuma Okoro on Writing and Spirituality

Reading gave me great comfort as a child. And not only books that had great plot, characters, conflict, you know, all the elements of fiction but books that also dealt with themes I hungered for. Discovering existentialism in literature was a high point in my life. Here are all these people, thinking, wondering, suffering about [...]

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“Fatigue of Ordinariness” | Identity by Onomarie Uriri | A Poem

She tried to follow the flock and go with the wind But in her blue-speckled, red-splattered, green-hued coat, she clashed. [...]

From Road Nipple to Eating Insects: Silly Things African Writers Only Say on Twitter

 Nnedi Okorafor asks us to eat more insects. Taiye Selasi in Bikini. Zakes Mda is not impressed by Beyonce. Efemia [...]

What’s Weird about Teju Cole Claiming A Shakespearean Heritage?

Teju Cole’s recent New Yorker essay is a timely and engaging piece. Not surprising. On Facebook today he writes, “I gave [...]

Africa’s Mad and Most Loved Emperor | Chaka by Thomas Mofolo | A Book Review

If you’re reading this, you are about to join me on a trip to an early moment in African literary [...]

Dear Ms. Paper: Save Me From This Boring African Novel

Dear Ms. Paper: Roughly two months ago, I decided to expand my cultural horizon. I curbed my obsession with Nollywood movies [...]

“I Want to Follow You” | Boy on a Train by Akumbu Uche | Flash Fiction

I wanted to stay and watch the fireworks but Aunty Phoebe said, no. I didn’t like it, but I’m glad [...]