Nothing Happened – Toba Marison

Nothing Happened – Toba Marison

Nothing Happened Toba MarisonYou do not open your eyes in the dark. The people who came before you dance behind your eyelids, whispering words you do not understand. Each word reaches you, melodic yet loud, so that you cannot tell whether it is a song or a warning....

There, in That Place of God – K. Rene Odanga

There, in That Place of God – K. Rene Odanga

There, in That Place of God K. Rene Odanga In those days when my uncle lay limp on a bed from a palsy, a Man of God would come from the church in the village centre and lay his hands over him to pray that he would “not die, but live, and see the goodness of the Lord...

The Boys – Makena Onjerika

The Boys – Makena Onjerika

The Boys Makena OnjerikaThe movers were still carrying our furniture off the back of the pick-up truck and into the new house in Zimmerman when my mother laid down the first rule of our new life without my father. She brought Kendi and me through the building's gate...

Ndege Wawili Tena, Two Birds Again – Mohamed Yunus Rafiq

Ndege Wawili Tena, Two Birds Again – Mohamed Yunus Rafiq

Ndege Wawili Tena, Two Birds Again Mohamed Yunus Rafiq I always found him sitting on the stairs outside our house, burning the dry fallen leaves of the red flame tree in the middle of our cooperative housing in Arusha town. I would sometimes sit with him, watching as...

We Are All Naked Dancing – Sada Malumfashi

We Are All Naked Dancing – Sada Malumfashi

We Are All Naked Dancing Sada Malumfashi1 She danced naked in the rain. 2 I must have been seven when Inna danced naked outside the mosque that night. The rain poured with rage, and with it came Inna banging on our door, howling Mother’s name. Her stench filtered...

Eyes – Ola W. Halim

Eyes – Ola W. Halim

Eyes Ola W. HalimWanga's speckled pigeons, Fyodor and Mary, are a spectacle. The clumps around their necks wiggle when they dance in the cage. Sometimes, Fyodor scampers around Mary while pecking at scurfs stuck to her tail. Mary struts away, her wings stiff and...

Qasida for the Sacred Mosque – ML Kejera

Qasida for the Sacred Mosque – ML Kejera

Qasida for the Sacred Mosque ML Kejera“The date was the First of Muharram of Islam’s year 1400 – which in calendars kept by infidel Westerners corresponded to November 20, 1979.” – Yaroslav Trofimov, The Siege of Mecca Sakinah smelled brimstone on Juhayman al-Otaybi...

Shaman – Nicholas Cormier III

Shaman – Nicholas Cormier III

Shaman Nicholas Cormier III Canto I: Shaman My mind first unravelled at 23. The exorcisms didn’t help. It’s hard to know what to make of the Catholic church breaking up with you. The gist of it was, Don’t call us we’ll call you. The priest was a Franciscan, a small...

Kwerekwere – Alieu Bundu

Kwerekwere – Alieu Bundu

Kwerekwere Alieu Bundu“Goodbye, Mama. See you soon,” Ayanda said in a voice devoid of warmth once the engine of the minibus she had boarded about ten minutes ago coughed to life. She and the other seven people in it were bound for Joburg, where she lived in...

A Spectator of a Cherished Intimacy – Uzoma Ihejirika

A Spectator of a Cherished Intimacy – Uzoma Ihejirika

A Spectator of a Cherished Intimacy Uzoma IhejirikaOn the night your father went missing, a friend in whose house you’d been squatting had kicked you out. It was the live-in maid who informed Kamsiyochukwu, your younger brother, who in turn passed the message to you....

Ndizamile – Anathi Jongilanga

Ndizamile – Anathi Jongilanga

Ndizamile Anathi JongilangaMama, you know there is no one in this world I love more than you. Head bowed, Nozamile nods, gives Siviwe a sidelong look - urging, cautious - from under the hand whose fingers smoothen the creases on her forehead. The sound of Mongezi’s...

Graded – Alison Ojany

Graded – Alison Ojany

Graded Alison OjanyI hate ice cream because of you, Mama. Still, you shove a sticky red devil in my hand. It is starting to melt so I eat it in three bites, leaving the stick with a smear of red. The sweetness sits at the tip and at the back of my throat in the place...

close

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up to get our latest stories, poems and essays!