Jennifer Emelife(1)

Jennifer Chinenye Emelife

Jennifer Chinenye Emelife writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
In 2016, she participated in the Writivism Creative Nonfiction
Workshop in Accra, and the Short Story Day Africa Flow Workshop in
Lagos.

Detail. Illustration by Mugabi Gabriel

The Burden of Silence

Mike’s phone starts to ring. He picks the call.

Hello? Yeah, he says. The way he lowers his voice, you no longer have any doubt as to who it is at the other end. Mike quickly apologizes for not calling as promised. He blames his tight schedule and says he is in a meeting now —an important meeting with some contractors, so he has to hurry.

—Tell the kids daddy loves them, he says between pauses. Yes I love you too. Bye. He ends the call and heaves a deep sigh. Neither of you exchange a word in the false silence which prevails. You are feeling unnerved, but you don’t have the energy to do anything.

Illustration by Gabriel Mugabi

Plastic and Glass

I still ache for home. For the cold, biting dry Harmattan, dusty and cloudless sky. My ears still long for Hausa music, their thin soups made of vegetables with little oil and meat, and spiced with dawadawa. I really miss fura da nono, mia kuka, pate and masa. I wish I could apologize to Juju, hug papa once more and rub my face against his stubbly chin. I miss Halimat and how we used to talk. But now I feel something akin to hatred for her. When I think of her, the hole where my heart used to be widens, and I feel a deep kind of pain tear through me. My eyes water and my head pounds. My hands shake, and then breathing becomes a chore. My lungs begin to feel heavy and so I stop. I try not to think about Halimat. And I don’t feel much anymore, for this feeling has slowly consumed me.

Okonkwor Christian Oyor

Okonkwor Oyor

Okonkwor Christian Oyor is a medical student and a writer. He runs the blog Written Whisperz with four other writers, and posts his works there. For him, writing is life.

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The Broken Shell of Aunty Nike

I don’t think Uncle Dele died on the day he slipped and fell in the bathroom. Aunty Nike and I had rushed him to the hospital even if we knew it was futile. While on the way, Aunty Nike had calmly told me that many years before I came to live with them, Uncle Dele had kicked her in the stomach. She had lost her second pregnancy, and that was when he had first died in her mind. So when he fell down in the bathroom on the morning of his second death, Aunty Nike just watched him beg for his life. He spasmed, clutching at his chest as her smile curved into a plastic smile. As far as she was concerned, the corpse only awaited burial.

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Socrates Mbamalu

Socrates Mbamalu writes short stories and will soon start working on a novel. He was part of the Writivism Workshop 2014. He has had his stories published in the Kalahari Review, SankofaMag and Ynaija. He wants his works to be enjoyed.

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The Book and Its Cover

By Sunday Eyitayo Michael I walked around, neatly tucked in, Trouser to my belly and my bible to my chest As I sang ‘Hallelujah’, heading for church- again Then a cry from a corner halted me It was Emeka, the class’ bad boy, saying the Lord’s Prayer in tears Unknowingly, tears began to rush down…

Nameless

Nameless

By Sunday Eyitayo Michael His name was- I needn’t tell you Cos you won’t know him even if I did I don’t know it either He was not like Gates, Jackson or Mandela He was nameless, a nobody. I watched his wretched wife weeping and cursing Like that was all she lived to do Actually,…

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1968

By Okwudili Nebeolisa

He took his army bag and stuffed it with a few clothes and shoes, for himself and his son. He had money in his pocket. He took the keys to his motorcycle and went out to look for his son. “We’ll be travelling tonight,” he told his son, in Igbo. When the boy asked about his mother, if she wasn’t going to leave with them, he was shouted at to shut up.
Quietly they left for the next village after he draped a bedspread over Gladys.