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January Contest Shortlist

January Contest

…everything in between

Heart trembling, emotions wild, her mind traveling down memory lane as she tried to recall, she stood in front of them not knowing which name to give. She avoided the gaze of disappointment in her mother's eyes and trails of…
Dikeh Dennis Ifeanyi
January 30, 2019
January Contest

Holier Than Thou.

Tade had stolen again. Human bodies in white garment moved frantically, the wind blowing the garments in opposite directions of wherever they went. Their feet sank into wet mud. They snatched palm fronds from their sheaths, whilst crying unto God…
Toluwanimi
January 29, 2019
January Contest

Mother’s Pride

Mekola was late again. Mama would be worried. He smiled as he remembered the sequence. She would come out of her hut and look at the sky several times. After the fifth cloud passes, she would prepare a basket of…
Ojo Inioluwa
January 29, 2019
January Contest

Food Zone

Evenings in IDP camps are dreadful. As Head Server, I get to: assemble bags of rice, cartons of ingredients; direct nearly hundred cooks to prepare the meal; order ringing of bells to arouse these sickness-laden hungry multitude. They're already up.…
Miracle Elvis
January 27, 2019
January Contest

MY KANYE WITH NO VISA

Remember the one who looks like Kanye West? It was he who caressed my wounds and balmed them with kisses. Our lips hugged, clothes shed themselves off our skin, his hands necklaced my tangerine breasts and as gunshots rumbled in…
Priye Bokumo
January 26, 2019
January Contest

Reset

Thuwai! I slapped kima repeatedly for forgetting why we were in Benin. I needed the funny, energetic Sis I knew, not this one wallowing in self-pity over a guy who stringed her along while simultaneously hitting on me. His show…
Victoria
January 26, 2019
January Contest

Bright skies, dead hearts.

The sun shone offensively bright and cheerful. It conspired to show me that the world would go on without her. It shouldn't. Everything should be grey and foggy as my emotions, it should be cold and damp with silent air.…
tonia pgal
January 25, 2019
January Contest

Misfit

She looked out of her broken window as it rained and with each spatter, each drop formed a pit in the ground but none as deep as the one inside her heart. And with every kick from within her belly…
Muramba Bridgit
January 25, 2019
January Contest

Colour of Darkness

Unlike in America, Thanksgiving isn't a national holiday in Nigeria. Here, we would eat our roasted turkey with jollof rice on each Christmas day. My Aunty Ovie and her six year old son Fego, had come from America to spend…
Semilore Kilaso
January 25, 2019
January Contest

One fell swoop!

She looked down at her rotund belly. She was five months in or was it six? She had stopped counting. Hell, sometimes she even forgot she was pregnant. Hard to remember amidst the spartan battle for food, securing a blanket…
Rachel Okoji
January 24, 2019
January Contest

Distant Disdain

Dawn’s distant red rays can’t crack the windows to warm the blood as hushed rumbles of commuters’ engines deplete a young soul’s energy. His phone’s silence is a reminder of another failed connection. Nadi’s left eye condenses into sorrow as…
Neil Njiru Namu
January 23, 2019
January Contest

The Road

I stare out the window of the cramped public bus, shielding the sun and the smell of decay. Watching traffic and the people. I search for stories in their crinkled faces, marvel at how different the Creator made us and…
Kay Ugwuzor
January 23, 2019
January Contest

For The Love of Ewa

For the love of Ewa, I became a bard under the moonlight, singing poetry to the stars. She wanted gold, she wanted riches. All I wanted was her heart. I became a warrior leading armies into the homes of the…
Olofinnika Omobolaji
January 23, 2019
January Contest

My sister,Chiziterem

“Chim!” mama shouted as papa beat her, as usual. I watched from behind the curtains. My scars taught me to stay away. I just prayed that he wouldn’t hit her belly. My sister Chiziterem, is in there. She is God…
Doreen
January 23, 2019
January Contest

Antidote

At the age of fifteen, I was breastfeeding my second child. I left school barely few years after I started it. I knew sex earlier than I wanted to. Nobody ever told me labour pain was excruciating. Born into the…
Oluwagbemileke Takuro
January 22, 2019
January Contest

Lamentation

We buried her close to the stream. I clearly remember the night was silent and starless. Despite the darkness, our past knowledge of the place still made it easy to navigate. The first November rains had recently fallen leaving the…
Florence Mwale
January 22, 2019
January Contest

Hear! Hear!

They were all cheering for me. I could tell by the way Nadii kept gyrating on the stands like a wild animal on fire. My parents were screaming their heads off almost jumping off to literally drag me to the…
Esther
January 21, 2019
January Contest

You don’t love me

May! Come back here!” Mama Jay screamed carrying baby Jay with a running nose. “Leave me!” I said running out of the house “You don't love me! You want me to sell my body. You don't believe in me! If…
Chioma Sophia Amaechi
January 21, 2019
January Contest

Wilted Orchid: Story of a lie.

The old midwife holds a rusted blade over a candle. She stifles a cough and yawns instead. A girl watches her with fearful eyes, thinking about tradition and womanhood to still a mounting terror. Her mother looks on dry-eyed. The…
Kummi Olamiju
January 16, 2019
January Contest

Just Life

She'd begged and begged for her unborn child before he'd slit her throat. "Twas nothing personal, but he'd do anything to ensure a good life for his family" he'd thought, watching her lifeblood colour the dirt floor; just before he'd…
OmoOhanomah
January 15, 2019
January Contest

Some Games

He hasn't found proper shelter in days. He'd surrendered his last, to some other boys with bigger knives. He'd contemplated returning for his "waterproof" whilst they slept but had deemed it unwise. In the metaphorical jungle, groups and gangs do…
OmoOhanomah
January 15, 2019

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