Released in January 2012, The Ghost of Sani Abacha is a collection of 26 stories by the witty and satirical writer Chuma Nwokolo and has its setting in Nigeria. Seventeen of the stories are published here for the first time. Contrary to its title, the book is not about Sani Abacha, the late president of the country, but rather it’s about everyday occurrence of the human life.
This is a simple story of two worlds; one, the underbelly of urban Dar-es-Salaam where Moses the child vagrant stakes his claim to eke out a living and the other, the wilderness of Tanzania where man remains an unwelcome intruder. The author, Mark Thornton, is an internationally respected wilderness safari guide and conservationist.
Alma Nel, is Afrikaner and those with a passing knowledge of the volk will know that they, at least most, speak atrocious English. Through De Nooy’s pen, Alma’ s proficiency, or lack of it, is comical. Her gay son Staal, whose body she’s in Amsterdam to haul back home to rural South Africa after a drowning, was guilty of the same grammatical violation of the Queen’s language.
Published in 2011 by Serpent’s Tail, Dust Devils, written by Roger Smith, is a novel full of pace. At the center of the plot, is Inja Moses Mazibuko, a hired gun who does the dirty work of his political principal without asking questions. He’s trigger-happy and dispenses of bodies with the same ease and regularity the normal world does with unfinished food. We’re introduced to him while he’s on assignment in Cape Town to eliminate yet another statistic – Ben Baker, who knows too much about Mazibuko’s boss, the Chief. To make a clean sweep, he must also finish off Baker’s mistress, Rosie Dell.
Collected and introduced by award winning Nigerian author, Helon Habila, this new anthology is an outstanding and wide-ranging rich smorgasbord of stories by twenty six writers from nineteen countries all across Africa – stories written in English or translated from French, Portuguese or Arabic.
Ayittey’s latest book, released on November 8, 2011, and published by Palgrave McMillan, sets out proposals to, “help oppressed people elsewhere in the world battling dictators and struggling to bring democratic change to their countries peacefully – without violence, without firing a shot, and without Western help or intervention.
Out of Shadows, published in April 2011 by Jason Wallace, begins in 1983 independent Zimbabwe with Robert Mugabe as the new Prime minister. This is all new to Robert Jacklin, the narrator who has just moved into the country with his parents. His father, a good but ineffective man is due to take up a civil service job in Zimbabwe.
Anthologies like African Delights remind us that the short story form is far from dead. Siphiwo Mahala, who says he’s been writing in this form since his two short stories were published in the Rhodes University journal Aerial in 2001, is no doubt an emerging master at this craft. Mahala has a knack for weaving an idea into a number of tributaries feeding from one another. In this four part collection of stories, published in September 2011 by Jacana Media, Mahala takes us across time and space in modern day South Africa.
Counting the Coffins is the touching story of a young couple, Lesego and Thabang Maje who lose an unborn child after the wife drives into a concrete wall to avoid a drugged teenager in his father’s car. As if in consolation, the other twin survives. But as fate would have it, Thabang, who is a private investigator, will find himself dealing with the boy’s father later in the book as he investigates a failed building project.
My Right To Write And Be Heard (published in 2011 by Mosala-Masedi Publishers), is the life story of J. Mokutu Ramothibedi Moeketsi, a man who, despite suffering from celebral palsy went on to achieve success against the odds. In the book, he tells the story of how children in Kagiso used to mock him and call him names because of his disability. Due to his bad handwriting, he had to use a typewriter to sit for his school exams. So bad was his writing that some heartless teachers would not even mark his work. In another incident, a Mr Steenkamp, who was at that point a high-ranking education department official in Pretoria, told Mokutu’s father, a school principal, not to waste his money on the boy