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Saraba Issues 1, 2 & 3.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, Saraba Magazine recently made all of its back issues available. This comprises 30 releases: 22 main issues, five individual poetry chapbook releases, and three special supplement issues.

Here are descriptions of each release from Saraba‘s website.

Issue 1: Family

Our inaugural issue. Guest-edited by Jumoke Verissimo, the Family issue is the tissue from which our subsequent efforts were borne. What we have decided to do, here, is to set it in the template of its progenies.

Issue 2: City Life

This issue is partly a repository, partly a chance to begin a reconsideration of whether the city writes our stories or we write its.

Issue 3: Economy

In this issue, we take a humanistic approach in investigating the fraying foundations of the world‘s financial grid, insisting all the while that each economic narration, be it print, electronic or verbal, should thrive on the threshold of humanity.

Saraba‘s Issues 4 & 5.

Issue 4: Story

This Issue, although it lacks a focal theme, is a collagist exhibition of ideas, impressions and expressions, quite simply an attempt to anthologize a story from every quarter, or the greater ambition to record timelessness in one single string.

Issue 5: Niger Delta

With the known caveat that any tale of the Niger Delta is tricky, after all, the details are almost always numerous, disorganised, recurring, this is an issue of questions, longing and memory. We give you an issue, may we say, of hope.

Saraba‘s Issues 6, 7 & 9.

Issue 6: God

In this issue, we have compiled poetry and writings that are as ambitious as non-ambitious; for we all found that we lack the temerity to end all definitions about God.

Issue 7: Technology

With our technology issue, we find that, in writing about technology, we are writing about the world; not as it is, or as it was, but as it was, is, and would be.

Issue 8: Fashion

Issue 9: Food

Our food issue is a chart of monologues on one of the most unifying experiences.

Saraba‘s Issues 10, 11 & 12.

Issue 10: Music

We crafted this issue in the hope that at the end of it, readers are left with one thing: to recourse back to music, to enjoy it more intimately, to participate in the creation of its notes, to anticipate that favourite riff or thump or string, to listen for that avalanche of tune in which memory is crested, with your eyes closed.

Issue 11: Sex

In this issue, we have succeeded in collecting mostly sex-themed writings, outlooks range from the vulgar to the pious, from the introspective to the blasphemous. And that’s because our reading of sexuality must necessarily transcend boundaries, whether visible or imagined.

Issue 12: Justice

However starved for justice our world might seem, this issue teems with the belief that when there is a confluence of voices into an unshaken guttural thunder, speaking the truth to power, Justice will redound.

Saraba‘s Issues 13, 14 & 15.

Issue 13: Africa

How can you represent what truly is Africa? For us at Saraba, we set out to have this issue explore the complex narrative that is Africa.

Issue 14: Art

We think that to deal with art we ought to present it, not talk about it. For four months we opened our window to artists producing the finest work in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere, and the result is this issue.

Issue 15: History

In this issue, our contributors unravel the making and remaking of experiences, of History. From the personal, from the collective, there is a sense that history is not a one-off event. This issue is preceded by a prequel issue.

Saraba‘s Issues 16, 17 & 18.

Issue 16: Solitude

Find here a cache of short poems and short stories from promising writers from Africa, writing in Africa. Follow them as they grapple with different phases of solitude: from avulsion of romantic partners to a search for solitude that leads to a brief stint in a mental institution.

Issue 17: Survival

The idea of survival is a rich place to begin any investigation about the value and mystery of human relations.

Issue 18: Crime

In this issue, we investigate seemingly unanswerable questions–questions concerning crime, punishment, but also forgiveness.

Saraba‘s Issues 19-20, 21 & 22.

Issue 19 & 20: Power & Money

In this double-themed issue, we explore the entwined themes of power & money.

Issue 21: Transitions

In our first print issue, “Transitions,” the stories, essays, poems, and photographs consider movement, journeys, departures, and exchange.

Issue 22: Open

This issue is dedicated to the elliptical, to places liminal and in-between, to ideas explored in part.

Saraba‘s Individual Poetry Chapbook Series

Daybreak & Other Poems by Dami Ajayi (Saraba Individual Poetry Chapbook Series No. 1)

Dami Ajayi is reaching for the familiar and is slowly getting to it. His poems are delivering everything at once; romance, satire, humour, grief, uncertainty; it is delivering the image of what it means – no, what it has always meant – to be Nigerian.

The Poet of Sand by Umar Sidi (Saraba Individual Poetry Chapbook Series No. 2)

Epical in scope, Umar Abubakar Sidi’s poems draw in a cast ranging from a 13th century Persian poet to contemporary American ones, borrowing a wealth of allusions liberally from Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion and from the street just around the corner, all made elegant in a template decidedly inspired by Sufi thought.

Epiphanies: New Poems by Jumoke Verissimo (Saraba Individual Poetry Chapbook Series No. 3)

The nine poems serialized as “Epiphanies” address the curious and conflicted relationship we have, today, with seeing, the eyes, and the sense of sight.

Attempted Speech & Other Fatherhood Poems by Kola Tubosun (Saraba Individual Poetry Chapbook Series No. 4)

The poems here reflect a certain preoccupation: fatherhood. They are personal reflections on that and other related histories, apprehensions, tangents, private moments, and expectations of yet unfolding futures.

Velvet-Blue & Other Uncertainties by Tunji Olalere (Saraba Individual Poetry Chapbook Series No. 5)

With poetics that embraces scientific registers and a rhetorical turn of phrase, Olalere’s poetry is at once playful and exciting. There are echoes of layered influences tempered by an uncanny ear for prosody. That Soyinkaesque interrogatory verve and Heaneyesque subtlety, that Nerudaesque clarity of vision, which fuses readily with a modernist tendency to borrow lyrics, verbatim, from contemporary highlife music.

Saraba‘s Special Issues & Supplements

Saraba Storymoja Issue

This is a special issue on literary festivals in Africa, produced in collaboration with Storymoja Africa for the Storymoja Festival 2015.

Saraba Displacement Issue

This is a special issue on global migration and refugees featuring the work of Tobias Zielony & Victor Ehikhamenor, as part of the German Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015.

Saraba Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 Issue

This is a special issue of Saraba Magazine on the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015, with interviews with the longlisted writers, review essays, and commentary by judges and publishers.

All of Saraba Magazine‘s back issues can be read HERE.  

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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