Nigerian literary journal Akowdee Magazine just released its maiden issue titled “Ibeere” last month and it looks absolutely stunning.

Akowdee is an online literary magazine that publishes fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and literary reviews. Founded in 2023 by Anuoluwa and the late Donald Somtochukwu Uzoka, Akowdee was created as a literary sanctuary for rebellious writers and artists. The magazine hopes to bring to the limelight undiscovered writers and stories.

The maiden issue is edited by Prince Ihe, Anuoluwa, Joemario Umana, and Nwanne Agwu. The issue is named “Ibeere,” translating to beginning or genesis in Yoruba. The stories within are written by African and Black diasporic writers and consists of narratives that go against traditional storytelling in some shape or form.

The issue is adorned with a beautiful cover featuring a young child in a boat amidst a blue lake or other water body. The stunning cover image is by Kamal Obatoyinbo and graphics design is by Ebri Kowaki.

The introduction to the issue is aptly titled “These Waters Speak of New Horizons” and written by founding and managing editor Anuoluwa. He calls the issue a “safe sanctuary to rebellious artists and their revolutionary works”:

Our Ibeere Issue marks the genesis of a literary revolution, a contumacious riot against the suffocating hands of traditional literature and its stricture of literary expression. We at Àkówdee are fiercely proud to lead the charge and welcome you aboard, fellow revolutionary! I and my team are thrilled to have you join us on this grand voyage. May you find in these pages a camaraderie spirit, a translation of your rebellious longings. And may you, like us, feel the electrifying joy of being part of something bigger than ourselves—a literary revolution.

Read the full introduction here.

The editorial note, written by Prince Ihe and Joemario Umana, reveals a glimpse into the contents of the issue. Read here. A brief summary is included below.

In the fiction category, Rigwell Asiedu’s “Association of Agyekum’s Ex-girlfriends” explores betrayal and revenge; Azubuike Obi’s “The Ones We Don’t Sing About” observes the ordinariness of each individual life; Kehinde Winful’s “Yellow Chilis” touches on the topic of mental health and the upheaval it causes in a marriage; Muuka Garba’s “Room 901” talks about grief and acceptance through a blend of speculative fiction and realism; “John of The Alamo” by Craig Grafton tells the story of an unknown soldier through historical fiction; Ebri Kowaki’s “Content Alert” is about a love that cannot be; and Maria Oluwabukola Oni’s “Pepper Action” explores forbidden love and toxic masculinity.

In the nonfiction category, Sunny-Ebi Chidinma Naomi’s “Misconduct of Friendship” tackles trauma and the delicacy of friendships, while Esther Omoye’s essay, “Empowering Women’s Stories” talks about feminism and the role of women in movies.

In the poetry category, Adesiyan Oluwapelumi’s poem “Gray” talks about the state of a country and its citizens; Samuel Chisom’s “Wanderer” is about self discovery and coming into one’s own; and Lilian Onyinyechukwu Anizoba’s poems take on a spiritual approach, highlighting need to go back to your roots and find yourself.

The photography category contains images taken by Adeoye Abdulmalik and Nnadozie Chukwuebuka Emmanuel.

Read the full issue here.