A 2014 Indie Book Award winner, Losing My Religion is the first novel written by the Nigerian author, Jide Familoni. The principal protagonist is Olufẹmi (meaning “God loves me”) or Femi. Fẹmi hails from Ido-Ekiti village, in the South Western region of Nigeria in Yorubaland. The story tracks his life journey, as he relocates from his homeland to Canada, and eventually to the United States.
Published by The Mantle in 2014, Gambit: Newer African Writing is a collection of short stories by emerging contemporary African writers. In addition to the stories, the anthology includes a number of author interviews that offer an in-depth insight into the authors’ personalities and experiences, concerns, hopes and dreams as they weave a path into their writing careers.
Published in 2014, by African Perspectives Publishing, Acacia is the author’s first novel. Tendai Machingaidze tackles a subject that most people go through at least once in their lifetime, love. Acacia, just like the famous tree in Africa she’s named after, is a strong and resilient kind of woman. She’s had such an eventful lifetime that she decides to write a book about it.
A 30-year old Moroccan Arab, Nabil Amrani, gets entangled in an adulterous relationship with his pregnant wife’s nurse, Rachida, and this results in pregnancy. To save the honor of her family, Nabil’s mother sacks the nurse. Nabil gives her some money to go get an abortion. All this is kept a secret from Malika, Nabil’s legitimate wife.
Malika gives birth to a girl, Amal. Initially the gender issue does not matter to Nabil, but later on when the subject of inheritance surfaces, it becomes an issue and Nabil regrets not having a son. When fired, Rachida relocates to Casablanca, keeps the pregnancy and five months after Amal is born, she gives birth to a son, Youssef. Nobody, not even Nabil, is aware of this.
Published by Jacana Media in 2013, The Kelly Khumalo Story by Melinda Ferguson with Sarah Setlaelo should rightly have been The Melinda Ferguson and Sarah Setlaelo Stories Paraded As A Biography Of Kelly Khumalo. Ferguson and Setlaelo are telling their own stories at Khumalo’s expense. This is the only book perhaps, unless Jub Jub pens his prison memoirs, where we should have been taken behind the bedroom door for a tete-a-tete between Mama Jackie and Kelly over the scourge of drugs and how they scar lives.
Malla Nunn’s Silent Valley (published in 2014 by Macmillan) is a book about the murder of a beautiful nubile young thing called Amahle, the daughter of a local chief. She was about to be married off when she was found killed and her father grieves, not so much for the dead girl but the loss of the herd of cattle she was going to fetch in dowry. Amahle’s death means the chief can no longer take another wife, his sixth.
The second murder adds to the suspense and helps the plot. The twist and turns that lead to the identity of the killer – and the reasons for the dastardly act – compensate for the barrenness of Nunn’s research.
The life of Manka’a from teen-age to great-grand motherhood is crammed into a 121-page novel entitled MANKA’A.
Manka’a is about 1.75m (almost 5 feet 9 inches) tall and has an alluring physique. In secondary school form two, her mother dies, and two years later her father falls from a palm tree and also dies. Orphaned and barely sixteen years old, she has to eke out a living as a house-girl in the household of Mr. Abah, a farm supervisor in a plantation along the coast. She uses the money to support her younger siblings in school.
The story of Kintu begins in 2004, in Bwaise a slum in Kampala city prone to flooding in the rainy season. Kintu Kamu has just been murdered, mistakenly called a thief because of the unexplained appearance of fancy gadgets in his shack. Three months later, the people involved in his murder are all found dead, strewn all over the streets of Bwaise.
The opening pages of the book, The Last lifeline introduce us to Mma Kgomotso Palai as an outpatient in the physiotherapy department in St. Luke Hospital. She is also a science teacher at a private school. An accident she was involved in has left her neck broken and could as well affect the functioning of one of her hands.
Growing up in a traditional and male-chauvinistic society is no easy feat. In fact one can say that being born a woman then (and maybe now in some societies) was unfortunate as it meant having no privileges and no say whatsoever in decision making. A woman’s destiny was always decided upon by culture and fate. That’s the gist behind Amadi’s new book, Ada.