Kummi Olamiju

  • “What is your reason for visiting the UK?”
    It was the professional indifference Jude decided that worried him most.
    “To attend my brother’s wedding.”
    What was it to the oyinbo that Jude had spent the better pa […]

  • A year after, the placidity of everyday life still startled Beyan. Even in school, he could not join the other children laugh and play, engaging in their petty beef.

    The psychologist assured his adoptive family […]

  • At the height of the harvesting season, Ijapa was hungry. He had not tended his farm.
    So he called all the village animals to his compound.
    “A great evil is coming,” he began, “we cannot leave here till we find […]

  • I like the sound of his whimpering before the belt strikes. Something that was once foreign now stirs inside me as the tears streak down his face. I could call it… desire.
    And when we’re in public together, the […]

  • Universal Overlord strode through the hallway imperiously; chin jutted out, white agbada billowing, his assistants trailing deferentially behind him.
    The contest with his late rival, Ultimate Master, had been […]

  • They came with their shiny steel and glitzy smiles, pale men led by our kind.
    “Give up the hoe and the land, let us work wonders. From beneath we shall spring a dark fountain that would wash this land and t […]

  • Grandma tells stories of village life, raising a farm and nine children almost singlehandedly. There’s a touch of pride in her voice when she reminisces.
    Mother tells stories of her time in school, foreign […]

  • It began as a disquiet, a feeling that there was more than being the obedient daughter, loving wife and caring mother; that she too was a person with an inner life and needs.
    So daily, after the morning school […]

  • Red is the colour of blood that flows and whispers of fertility, the reminder of the day I was told I was a woman. Red is the colour of love, of the heady days of romance. Red is the colour of purity; of the mark, […]

  • Habibah’s cough is getting worse and spreading. I want us to go to the hospital. Chief calls western medicine haram and refuses.
    I approached the other women with my plan for escape. I don’t yet know if any […]

  • “How are you?” he asks. He always asked that.
    You answer, “Fine.” You always answer with fine.
    “School?”
    “Fine.”
    He mumbles something incoherent. You itch your ear and study your toes.
    “Give the phone to your […]

  • As night falls I take my son to the observatory.
    Five years old, and he already stands taller than me, but with the fragile appearance of the first generation.
    I sweep the sky with my telescope. The ‘new’ […]

  • I find my feet moving in time to the complex rhythm. The tom-tom of beating drums matches the blood pounding in my head.
    At one remove, I watch appalled as this pale body of mine dances round the bonfire with no […]

  • Things are not well. Neighbors whisper about the raised voices coming from the newlyweds’ flat last night. The sudden silence that followed kept not a few awake.

    A day passes and a foul odor can be perceived […]

  • The rat-a-tat-tat of machinegun fire sounded ominously near.
    “Stand fast, men!” yelled the pasty white colonel. “For the queen and country!”

    Chima clutched the eagle’s foot talisman, willing courage to his tre […]

  • Papa has never feared the desert. Regard it with a grudging respect? Curse it for stealing our land? Yes. But he is immune to that terror the great expanse strikes.
    “Malik,” he tells me, “We are Toubou, peopl […]

  • He was different. He wanted you, and pursued you with a doggedness that made you fall. Your love eclipsed his.

    So when he left, saying he needed space, you gave him plenty of it. Patiently waiting for him to […]

  • I saw an hair strand on the floor and I suspected it belonged to me. Maybe, it fell off as I was combing my hair or something. I don’t know, but I was also conscious it could be from someone else.
    Anyway, so […]

  • She pressed the baby to her bosom. Pressed it so hard its cry was muffled. Pressed it that their hearts merged and began to beat as one. The mother’s full of years and cares, the child’s still unburdened. And she […]

  • With a wink and a smile, the brown envelope disappeared under the agbada. The honourable minister proved deft with his fingers. He flashed that special smile, the one he saved for special occasions, and signed the […]

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