Today, Brittle Paper plays host to Nigerian author Obinna Udenwe. We are the third stop in his week-long blog tour publicizing the Nigerian edition of his conspiracy crime thriller titled Satans and Shaitans.

I know you have questions about everything—from the provocative title of the book to the very idea of a Nigerian crime thriller—and, yes, Udenwe is on hand to indulge your curiosity about his exciting novel, but here is what we are going to do.

First, we will give those of you who haven’t read the book a quick summary of the juicy plot. If you scroll further down, you can listen to Udenwe read a snippet of Satans and Shaitans. Feel free to write any questions or comments you might have in the comment section. Udenwe will respond to you as best as he can.

Okay, let’s go!


For those of you who are yet to read the novel, Satans and Shaitans tells the story of Chief Donald Amechi and Chris Chuba, members of an international fraternity. Chuba is an evangelist and preacher of international acclaim who teams up with Amechi in order to seize control of the nation’s seat of power. Together they co-opt the indirect services of an Islamic terrorist organization. The Islamists believe they are helping the government of their ‘brother’ but are in reality serving the ambitions of these two men.

As it happens, in the midst of this conflict, love blooms between the children of these two Southern power brokers. The fraternity finds out and demands the life of the evangelist’s daughter, Adeline. He reluctantly yields. However, even though the assassins detailed to the dirty assignment die in a car crash before they can carry it out, Adeline Chuba goes missing, and eventually turns up dead. Now there is a big question haunting the Chief and the preacher. Someone has stuck their hands in this pie. Who is it?

In a tightly woven tale of conflicts, terrorism, ambition, suicide bombings, love, treachery and political maneuverings, Satans and Shaitans is a crime thriller with twists reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Choices must be made and people who make them must face the consequences.


Listen to Obinna Udenwe read a snippet Satans and Shaitans.


Evangelist Chuba came back from visiting one of his churches. It was late, but he was feeling wide awake and energized. He removed his jacket and walked to the bedroom. Franca was already in bed, wearing a thin nightdress, the covers thrown off her. He looked at her for a while, allowing her beauty to take effect. Her rosary was beside the pillow. He knew she’d forgotten to hide it. He grabbed it and ripped it apart. The beads bounced and rolled across the room. The rattling sound woke Franca.

Hey! What’s that?’ she asked sleepily. ‘Oh, welcome home.’

She raised her head and saw the scattered beads of the rosary. She said nothing. Her husband was removing his clothes.

‘Get undressed,’ he said and unbuckled his belt.

She was not surprised. It was an act she had got used to. ‘I am not in the mood.’ She rubbed her palms over her eyes.

‘But I am in the mood.’ His trousers were already down. He pulled down his underwear revealing the clear sign of his desire. As he leaned over the bed to remove her nightdress, she said nothing.

His hands travelled up her smooth legs. His breathing became slightly more urgent. She flinched.

‘I am your husband. Both of us know what the Holy Book says on this. So just do as I say!’ He pulled her white lace pants past her hips, and then down the length of her legs. Climbing on top of his wife, he slid into her as she let out a sharp cry.

Now write any questions or comments you might have on the comment section.

Again, join us in giving Udenwe a warm welcome!

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

25 Responses to “Join Us Today as We Host Nigeria’s Crime Thriller Author Obinna Udenwe | Visit Brittle Paper to Ask Him Anything!” Subscribe

  1. Ainehi Edoro 2016/03/09 at 1:38 am #

    Hi Obinna. Welcome to Brittle Paper! Of course, you’re no stranger here at Brittle Paper. We’ve had the honor of publishing a few of your stories. I also met you in person last year at Ake Art and Books Festival. So much has happened since then, right? Satans and Shaitans, which was originally published in the UK, now has a Nigerian home thanks to AMAB books. How important to you is it that there is a Nigerian edition of the book, that Nigerians get to read your story about their contemporary reality?

  2. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 2:48 am #

    Thanks Ainehi, I am honoured to be here and more delighted that Brittle Paper always find my stories interesting. It was awesome meeting you at the Ake Festival — and I enjoyed the conversation we had. Yes, a lot has happened since then especially with the publication of the Nigerian edition of Satans and Shaitans — before the Nigerian edition came out, Nigerians were yearning for the book, so when we announced the release of the edition here, people jumped to it and embraced it. So far we have had lots of sales and great comments and reviews especially from the North and from Muslims. People were scared earlier that Muslims wouldn’t love the book, but most of the people saying that never read the book and their opinion change as soon as they read the book. Most importantly, we have had great comments from Imams and Sheikhs from the North. Good a thing is the Nigerian publisher is in Niger state and we have distributed this book to most Northern states — so I am happy so far.
    It is important for me that this book is here, it is affordable now, it is easily accessible and it is a book about the reality in Nigeria; the issue of terrorism and current political tension in Nigeria is reflected vividly and wholly in the book and for the first time Nigerians are reading a book that brings to attention the reality that tugs their minds every day, it is a book that raise their consciousness to situations on ground and I am delighted it is here.

  3. Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam 2016/03/09 at 3:48 am #

    Why such a provocative title, Mr. Obinna Udenwe?

    I remember inviting someone to one of the online tours. Nothing prepared me for his reply . “Why Satans?”
    He’d asked.

    Given another opportunity, would you choose this same title, or something more controversial?

  4. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks Chioma, it is intentional that the title is provocative so that it attracts people’s attention. And yes, given anorher opportunity I’d still use the same title. You know, half of the readers who have bought the book did because of the title. 🙂

  5. Adefemi Adejola 2016/03/09 at 4:02 am #

    Udenwe, our own budding Mr. Prolific, welcome to our platform. It is a pleasure to engage you, albeit briefly. My questions:
    1. What are your motivations/inspirations for writing ‘Satans and Shaitans’?
    2. What are your challenges in writing ‘Satans and Shaitans’ and how did you manage them?
    3. After ‘Satans and Shaitans’, what next?
    4. I welcomed you as our own budding Mr. Prolific, Obinna Udenwe. What structures do you have in place to sustain your writing/output, remain focused and not fizzle out leaving us high and dry after wetting our appetites so much?
    5. Do you have a mentoring plan for writers/aspiring writers and if you do how does the mentoring plan work?
    I wish you a pleasurable experience on this your visit to Brittlepaper House. Warm welcome.

  6. Hannah 2016/03/09 at 4:55 am #

    Hi Obinna,

    Funny enough, I just started reading my autographed copy of Satans and Shaitans (from Ake last year) a few days ago, before news of this online tour came out. I’m only halfway through, but am amazed by the depth of your research into Islam, the words, terms, expressions.

    Although I haven’t lived in the core north, I’ve lived in Jos, and find almajeris, fura da nunu, and so many other Islamic expressions and things, familiar. I know you said you read both the Koran and Hadith in the course of your research, but I want to ask if you actually visited the North? Just that one question while you battle the five from Mr. Adejola.:)

  7. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 5:41 am #

    Hi, Hanna dear, thanks for buying my book and for finding time to read it. Yes I did a lot of research on Islam and the North and no, I haven’t lived in the North. I have only been to a few Northern states for short visits.

    Thank you.

  8. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 5:49 am #

    Hello Adefemi, thanks for the long questions. 🙂

    Thanks for welcoming me to Brittle Paper. I am going to answer your questions one after the other in bullet points:
    1. I was motivated by the desire to tell a good story — to bring to Fiction the reality on ground in our society and do it in such a way that the reader will connect vividly and strongly with the story.
    2. My strongest challenge was the research part.
    3. After Satans and Shaitans you will read a novel titled Viaticum – a mixture of conspiracy crime and erotic thriller. It should be out this year or next. Watch this space for news.
    4. I don’t intend to leave my readers high and dry 🙂 – I am working on numerous other works, enough to satisfy your appetites for the next 6 years. You should start first by reading the Holy Sex series here on Brittle Paper — I hope you enjoy that too. 🙂
    5. I used to run a youth Creativity Class training for young writers in Abakaliki but that had to stop due to funding. But regularly I get mails and calls from other writers asking that I look at their works – sometimes I do.

  9. Catherine Onyemelukwe 2016/03/09 at 7:25 am #

    I was sure someone would have asked my question already. But no one has.

    Maybe I’m the ony one in the dark about the meaning of Shaitan. Is it a Hausa word? What does it mean?

  10. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 7:44 am #

    Hi Catherine, great to have you here. Shaitan is an Arabic word for Satan – it is also used to refer to a deceiver, a cunny person 🙂

  11. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 7:48 am #

    Hi Catherine, great to have you here. Shaitan is an Arabic word for Satan — it is also used to refer to a deceiver, a cunning and deceitful person 🙂

  12. Ainehi Edoro 2016/03/09 at 7:56 am #

    I want to return to Chioma and Catherine’s question about title. I remember that you were under a lot of pressure to change the title of the Nigerian edition. Lola Shoneyin felt strongly that “Satans and Shaitans” would alienate Nigeria readers who tend to be sensitive to references about satan, witches, and the likes. Did you think any of these concerns were valid? And why did you insist on keeping the title at the risk of getting Nigerian’s upset.

  13. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/09 at 9:01 am #

    Ainehi, yes when we released covers for the Nigerian edition, some people wanted the title changed, their argument was that the title is scary and might put readers off — we considered their points strongly but decided against changing it.
    1. The book was already popular and people knew it by the title, changing the title meant starting afresh to create publicity around the new title.
    2. We knew that in as much as Nigerians are sentimental when it comes to words that has to do with Satan and witches we also knew that most people would be attracted by the title — we imagined the book in a Bookshop, on the shelves with other books — we knew that the first selling point, the first point of attraction would be the title, then the cover and the blurb.
    3. We researched for other Nigerian books that have had their titles changed and what was the resultant effect — strongly, there is a book by a popular female Nigerian Writer, the title for the Nigerian edition different from the foreign one — we discovered that readers ask for the foreign title and not the Nigerian one. We realised that in bookshops people are attracted and buy the foreign copies because of course by the title more than they patronise the Nigerian edition.

  14. Ainehi Edoro 2016/03/09 at 2:28 pm #

    I want to thank everyone who participated and helped with hosting Obinna here at Brittle Paper. Thanks to Obinna for taking the time out and for answering our questions thoroughly and honestly. Thanks to Chioma Iwunze Ibiam for coordinating the blog tour. To continue the conversation, stop by OLISA.TV on 10th March. That’s where Obinna will be. Thanks everyone!

  15. Izunna Okafor 2016/03/09 at 5:11 pm #

    Hello Mr. Obinna, you are highly welcome to this plattform. Likewise, thanks to the Host; Britle Paper. It’s a kind of forum i cherish so much. I have been hearing about you and your interesting books which i have always yawned to read. You are making us proud indeed. Please I have some questions for you. First of all, as a Writer, what and What do you consider in choosing a title for your book? Secondly I am also a Young Nigerian Writer, who have written up to seven books and published four. But categorically, seeing your books and those of other popular Nigerian Writers, it seems as if mine don’t and can’t even fit well in the same shelve with them. Although, i have won some Writing Awards at National level including The just concluded 2015 Nigerian Writers Award where i won The Indigenous Writer of The Year, and your book Holy Sex won The Best Short Story. But to me, inspite of all these, I don’t feel like i have even started Writing because, currentky, in the midst of Nigerian Writers, my voice cannot be heard. So, what do you have to offer as a panacea or an advice concerning that? And finally, I have this burning desire to read this your Book, but i can’t see it in the bookshops within my vicinity. So, how and where can i buy it?

  16. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/10 at 12:47 am #

    Hello Mr. Izunna, you can get a copy by emailing your details to and it will be sent to you.
    There are several factors that help an author in choosing titles. It differs from author to author, from book to book — but the most important thing is to choose one that is captivating. You can select a few titles and pass them along to your friends and they can help make a selection. And congratulations on your award. Never say that you are not making progress — you won an award this year, that is a starting point. Keep doing what you are doing. But the most important thing to note is to take your time and write one very beautiful story and get a traditional publisher to do it — it is possible you may have been Publishing your books yourself or that your publisher isn’t carrying out enough publicity campaign for you. So you have to revisit your strategy.

  17. Peter Ngila 2016/03/10 at 9:12 am #

    Hello good people.
    Hope I’m not way too late for this awesome discussion. Obinna, welcome here. Ainehi, much blessings for giving young authors Brittle paper as a cool platform. I remember interviewing Obinna in the newspaper I work for using most of your review of Shaitans. I was curious to help make noise about a young writer.
    Then I send a friend to Ake last year and I got the book and enjoyed it. Obinna, why did you kill most of the main characters? Do think you can do a sequel of Shaitans?

  18. Peter Ngila 2016/03/10 at 9:14 am #

    Also Obinna, did you deliberately name the characters of Donald and Donaldo? What was the logic behind that?

  19. Hannah 2016/03/10 at 12:04 pm #

    Ha, Peter, probably similar to real-life examples I met sometime last year, a couple with six kids. Father’s name, Edward. They had Edwarda, Eduardo, and at least one other derivative, if I remember correctly. But, sorry, I know the question is for Obinna.:)

    P.S. Not a lot of conversation is going on at, so I guess the party can continue here?

  20. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/10 at 12:37 pm #

    Yes Hanna, the party can continue here and sorry I am joining late. Like you rightly pointed out, i intentionally coined Donaldo from Donald to sound artistic since the character is an artist. I also wanted the name to stick easily in the mind of the readers. And it worked, right?

  21. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/10 at 12:43 pm #

    Hi Peter, Hanna helped me answer your question on the name of Donaldo. Then about killing of characters — the characters that died deserved death in the story and if they hadn’t died, I don’t think the story would have made more sense or have lasting impression on you. Also, the story came that way and forced me tell it that way, any attempt to diviate from the plot, the way it came, would have been disastrous. The idea of a sequel is something that has been suggested several times by several people and it is something that I am considering giving some thoughts.

  22. Peter Ngila 2016/03/10 at 9:09 pm #

    Dear Hannah,
    The couple’s naming system is as exciting as Obinna’s in Shaitans. Obinna, thank you for answering to my question. I agree. I also think the novel has too much blood – as in people are dying just a lot – because of the extremist background/context.
    Like any other reader, after reading up to the last page and couldn’t continue because that was the end, I began thinking of how anybody can do a sequel with all this death of major character. Then finally I settled on fantasy; the plot now shifted to heaven and hell, momentarily switching to the earth and space. Or maybe resurrecting some of the characters somehow, just somehow he he he.

  23. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/11 at 12:12 am #

    Mr. Peter if there is going to be a sequel, there are still many relevant and important characters left for that, besides the storyline will shift and more characters introduced. Have you seen the movie, 24. You notice that for every new season the characters seem to change entirely. 🙂

  24. Obinna Udenwe 2016/03/11 at 12:29 am #

    Hi Everyone, all through the week the eBook of Satans and Shaitans has been up for sale for just £1. To download a copy, follow the link below

  25. Adefemi Adejola 2016/03/15 at 5:02 am #

    Hello Friends,
    Still enjoying the party, great thanks to you the active party participants.
    Now talking about sequels, Obinna’s Holy Sex deserves a revisit. First it was one part short of what was promised in its advertorial on this platform. That on its own elicited some arguments as to whether it was the end of the story or not. (Or have I missed some update on this? Just wondering….)
    Also, if you remember rightly, the story ended with the evil Pastor hurriedly relocating to Abuja. This could not possibly be the end of the story. That will not be logical in my perspective. The story is still oven fresh with many ideas incubating….. Mr. Udenwe, could you please address both issues – the missing/truncated part of the serial and the possibility of a sequel.
    Thanks and thanks a lot for taking pains to logically attend to my previous questions. More grease to your elbows.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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