A space for African writers to tell the stories of the continent and its peoples worldwide

Rešoketšwe Manenzhe

Youth, or 1918

I felt as though I couldn’t breathe. I said: “These times are hard.” But I was a junior member of the clan, and female on top of that. When the summer dawned I would leave the homestead to be married. My sorrow was unimportant.

Zenas Ubere

We’re Strangers in This Land

It stops us. It stands in front of the taxi and shakes its raffia attire. I’m seated at the backseat, left-side window of the taxi, and I put my head out the window and see an endless number of masquerades stretched down the road, all of them donning wooden white masks punctured with holes

Princess Ezeji

Say it.

First of all, they are Nigerians. Who wouldn’t be happy to be Nigerian? I am totally enthralled to be a privileged citizen of a country that works perfectly well.

Ifeanyichukwu Eze

Out of Range

I am leaving Nigeria for the first time and Lagos is that last rehearsal before my final departure. Lagos does not pretend to be anything else or care that I have been journeying since morning on a slow moving bus from Nsukka. Even at 9 pm, it bristles with sizzling energy in the twinkling dark.

Zipamo Akanyo

Our Parents Are Killing Us

I read that it takes at least 25 years for the human brain to fully develop. Exactly when and where I picked up this information has become unclear. All through my secondary and tertiary education, I had always thought of myself as having a good perception of the world around me.

Hajaarh Muhammad Bashar


Students became detectives. They were assigned by senior prefects to catch anyone whose mother tongue rolled out of her mouth like a broken secret. Names were secretly written.

Adenike Akande

Blackface in Nigeria

Curious if anyone else had made the connection, I googled the key words ‘Baba Suwe’ and ‘blackface’— the results are more Baba Suwe than blackface, saying something by itself. Especially when compared to what you find when you google ‘Stepin Fetchit’ and ‘coon’.

Chukwudumebi Onoh


With pursed lips, Olanna returns into view. She kills the music and snatches the lace curtains closed. She loves to peel back the curtains. She does the tango with the breeze.

Magak Edith

The Mad Men of Mashariki

“With your porcupine teeth, you could even be a cashile.… enhe. What Chief would you be with that enormous nose that is good for smelling dung, utShaka?” they would scorn.

Chibuike Ogbonnaya

New Parents

She sees Ofodile taking pictures of the baby as his mother threw their baby up in the air, saying gwam as she caught the baby. Her baby laughed, showing his pink gums, blabbing.

Jason Mykl Snyman

Cormorant / Confluence / Crocodile

“But caution, always,” he added. “For some days I doubt the river’s friendship.”

Obinna Obioma

32 Rooms

If you listen closely, above the sound of midnight, above the hum of the faceless drunk staggering back to his makeshift crib; the crooning of call girls, craning necks, fleshy thighs and all, asking for a quickie; the tooting of a chamois-coloured

Somto Ihezue

Unbowed, Unbent, Unwavering.

We have lived ten thousand lifetimes before the first of men tore through the dirt.

Praise Osawaru

Time travel to the period of the first birth & other poems

some nights he’s a tidal wave & you drownas he scripts his love on your back.& you understand this language

Okoli Stephen Nonso

Blaise pascal's principle of pressure; a theory for explaining rape

If you've walked through the long night of grief,you'll meet the ghost that lives in your head.

Ajise Vincent

self portrait as a name

i am the drowned ghosts of refugees, the one minute silences invented by daughters

Haneefah Bello

At a table having drinks with my girls

the music is loud. everything is loud now especially our chests, howling with memories

Ayokunle Samuel Betiku

And after the Badagry Heritage Museum & Livingstone’s Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi

what began as throbs ends in a bleed. I return to the trail of my blood-

Olaitan Junaid

Displacement & Other Poems

think of this poem as a body unfurling towards the threshold of nothingness,