Nigeria: A Failed State? (UPCOMING RELEASE IN SEPTEMBER 2018)

nigeria-afailedstate_amazon

« Scapegoating has not helped any nation to evolve ; Nigeria won’t be the exception. The best approach is to search for the cause of the failures and confront it. A country where politics is the chief means of livelihood is sitting on a time bomb. This perception brings about « national cake syndrome » ; national cake brings equity in public office ; equity in public office reinforces rotational presidency ; and rotational presidency, in turn, nurtures the agitation for national conference. »

Robert Nwadiaru introduces us to the present-day Nigeria, the African Giant, a country with infinite riches, both natural and human, yet which still struggles after more than half a century after the independence.

The book that critics have compared to Chinua Achebe’s The Trouble with Nigeria from 1983 transports its reader to Nigeria and  makes him feel like he knows it intimately ; the fine geographical details, as well as the constant references to the political, historical, and economical context in the past 50 years, offer a large view of what Nigeria is and, more, of what it could be. Understanding Nigeria’s present is a way to understand Africa’s development in the larger context of the contemporary world.

If the book analyses closely the reasons of the country’s failure, the blame is put on the political caste: corruption, poverty, poor infrastructure are all consequences of the bad political organization of Nigeria. However, far from being merely pessimistic, the book also analyses possible solutions, therefore making the politicians even more reponsible for the direction in which the country evolves.

Acclaimed by Kirkus Rieviews in 2015 for its first edition and released again in September 2018 by Mascot Books, Robert Nwadiaru’s book is sharp, critical and realistic. It is the lucid account of an author and citizen who knows the true potential of his country.

Is Nigeria a failed state? The question is open to discussion making the book a necessary reading in the contemporary world. We are therefore invited to meditate on the burning issues it raises.

You can read more on Robert Nwadiaru’s book and order your copy here:

https://mascotbooks.com/mascot-marketplace/buy-books/nonfiction/business-and-political/nigeria-a-failed-state-treatise-on-a-crippled-giant/

https://www.amazon.com/Nigeria-Failed-Profound-Treatise-Crippled/dp/1684015766/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531841010&sr=8-1&keywords=Nigeria%3A+a+failed+state 

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

Acacia Road

“Memoacacia-road-cover-art_origry Palace”

In my father’s house there are rooms, where I might wander,

Finding in each the rubble of childhood- a reading chair,

maroon rug, cluttered toys-

things on which I could place a memory, if only I could return-

(…) I articulate all memories into one: a toy gun, unstrung bow,

desk with owl feathers, cabinet spilling blood, the spines of books

I never had the time to read. If I lose the way back to this place,

lose it at a wrong turn and into a wrong room, it will never be for the lack

of things to stand in place of other things, but for the will to look.”

In this poetry book full of images and memories willing to bring back the time, the poet tries to capture the most powerful moments of sharing, love, friendship and tolerance: family, friends, loved ones, anonymous people, all are immortalized in the poet’s personal geography.

From the raw violence on the military fronts during the civil war to the quiet of a friend’s house, Aaron Brown takes the reader on a journey into a space and time that belong to a longed-for past: the Chad of his childhood, Ati the town of his growing-up years, almost a lost Paradise -even if this Paradise is also violent, tough and unforgiving.

Encapsulating space and time within words, Aaron Brown’s poetry rushes across a land of vivid colours and people. It also depicts a world belonging to another time and place, to another age, to another person; in this poliphonic poetry where French, Arabic and English sometimes mingle and almost echo each other, the poet creates the “memory palace” of his adult life.

Aaron Brown’s poetry is beautifully written and has a strong sense of description, thus transforming the ordinary into exquisite, blissful bits of writing. From the precious time spent with friends come these poems in which not a particular geographic region, but the land of youth, generosity and love is the true mother country so longed for.

Acacia Road by Aaron Brown

978-1878851697 / Silverfish Review Press (May 15, 2018)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow

39725298The time is 1215 hours, Central Union Base Time. Updating progress on Program Irunmole: attempt to synthesize igioyin cure from antibodies of individuals possessing extranormal ability. There’s been a setback. Extranormals’ perceived immunity to igioyin appears to be limited by a range of variables; most notably, use of their abilities. Usage results in a rapid acceleration of the virus’ maturity. Resultant mortality rate is far greater than baseline for highly vulnerable Normals. We believe the selection of antibodies from higher usage Extranormals may be the root cause for the failure of the current iteration of the formula S1-91-978. After the initial success of trials with patient set 11.1 without the adverse effects seen in prior Normal groups, it appeared we had a viable treatment for the igioyin virus. ”

What would happen if the world was no longer the place you thought it was?

How would one encounter change your life and reveal a destiny larger than your own life?

In the year 93.O.O, Dara Adeleye is a gifted ambitious artist whose goal is to overcome her modest origin by being the best in class. Her life is focused on succeeding at school to provide a better life for her family. Yet when she meets Kris Arvelo, a trazer or a graffiti writer, her life will change forever as she understands that her mission may be much larger than she had initially envisaged. On the brink of extinction, the world as Dara used to know it is now in danger- and she might be just the person to help save it.

Situated in a world where technology and mythology meet, Joseph Adegboyega-Edun’s first book of the Trazer series is boldly written in a language scattered with words and images from the Yoruba mythology to show how harmoniously spirituality and technology can coexist; as the author himself states it, “Yoruba religion has a lot of lore related to travel in between worlds and traveling great distances instantly through secret portals.

Acclaimed by critics, Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow is one of the important works of contemporary Sci-Fi literature that both cherish their African traditional heritage, and look ahead for new forms and modes of representing our over-technologized world. Inspired by authors like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Joseph Adegboyega-Edun’s novel is a powerful read in which Yoruba language, US slang and scientifc utopia weave the literary image of our globalized world.

Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow by Joseph Olumide Adegboyega-Edun

978-0692995037 / YorubaBoy Books; 1st edition (October 19, 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

Nocturnal Notes

41fti5ijppl-_sx258_bo1204203200_Today, thoughts of you

came rushing like a danfo driver

I must have been in

a hurry for something –

it turned out to be you.

on impulse, I reach for your photo. (…)

at first, I laughed, then I smiled

soon my heart lost its rhythm

my eyes their pride

and my tears washed down your face”

(“Empty Room”)

Love, pain, friendship, political rebellion, homage to the elders and hope for the future are all encompassed in this collection of poems which is like a map of the poet’s interior landscapes painted with his own vision of life.

If the coming-of-age literature is almost exclusively in prose, here is an example of poetry that can draw the road from childhood and youth to maturity and knowledge. It’s also a road that involves the past and the future, the family, episodic encounters, revelations- all this creates the ever-changing identity of the poet.

Bolajoko Olusanya’s poems are lyrical and visual, sensible and sharp, and give the reader the sense of the universality of experience: even if the events illustrated by drawings are rooted in Nigeria, the experience they describe speaks to any reader regardless of his natvie culture. It is here the sign of important writing- that it spreads beyond its language and voice and speaks in the name of a generation anchored not in one country, but in all the world.

Nocturnal Notes by Bolajoko Olusanya

978-1975849184 / CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 16, 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

My Mind Is No Longer Here

51yakqehhul-_sr6002c315_piwhitestrip2cbottomleft2c02c35_pistarratingfive2cbottomleft2c3602c-6_sr6002c315_sclzzzzzzz_1«  Each time he tried, he fell asleep after a few pages. He stared at it nowand what he saw was the small bookshelf in his childhood home in Enugu whichoverflowed with his father’s books. (…) Filled with this sudden flash of nostalgia, Donatus stretched his arm out and grabbed the book. In his younger years, he would have holed himself up in his room, missing meals and his favourite shows on television until he was done reading it. Tonight, he just wanted something to fill up the time until it was morning. »

In today’s Lagos, four characters are ready to take off to a better place. Donatus, Osahom, Haruna and Chidi prepare to embark for Europe where they will lead the life they daydream about, the life that the rich and influential Yinka promised and arranged for them.

In this four-voiced novel in which the same moment is repeated and recreated through each character’s own experience, we discover the dreams, hopes and pains of young ambitious people who think the world is too small for them. Sylva Nze Ifedigbo‘s beautifully written novel gives us an idea of how much we are capable of leaving behind for a dream and how wrong we can sometimes be. The question then is: is the dream worth it ?

As the four characters get closer to the departure day, time expands more and more to encompass all their hopes, missed opportunities to make up with their loved ones, and burning desire to escape, even if the promise of a better life is shadowed by obscure intentions.

With its clear introspection and its flowing language, My Mind Is No Longer Here is a great work of literature in the line of Chris Abani’s GraceLand in which the Promised Land that lies at the horizon is almost nothing like reality. It is in the narrow space between the decision to leave and departure that the narrative takes place- an in-betweenness that pushes people to make radical decisions and sometimes radical mistakes; a time where the future life and the ghosts of the past mingle.

Last but not least, Ifedigbo‘s novel is not only about Nigeria, but more about a global generation of people who boldly want to built their own destiny and make enormous sacrifices, yet who remain naive before the true nature of things and people.

My Mind Is No Longer Here by Slva Nze Ifedigbo

B06XGYJ562 (Kindle format) / Bahati Books (March 29th 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

Descent into Night

51cis4u4i6l-_sx327_bo1204203200_ Beno and Wali were in the faculty of arts and Sika was studying law. We would spend entire afternoons at Beno’s place remaking the world. A broken world, in fragments scattered on the little low table around which we sat talking, trying to glue together the pieces, the shards of shattered lives and dreams. That was before the riots and the crises that came one after the other, the crises and the outbursts of violence that had begun to reinvent death with a hole in the chest. ”

Only memories are left: violence and broken dreams, crisis and solitude, failed relations and lost friends. This is what the protagonist Ito Baraka keeps bringing up in this long nocturnal meditation on his fight for freedom while distributing fliers during a student manifestation on the university campus. He will be imprisoned, lose some of his friends and forced to name names.

To Ito Baraka, suicide seems the only escape.

Inspired by the tensions between students and the government in the 1990s in the Togolese capital Lomé, between nightmare and musing, madness and serenity, love and fighting, the story of Ito Baraka takes the reader on a journey into the darkest places of the human mind; the voices mingle into a maze of traumatic visions of lost love, a failed writer’s career and appalling solitude, from Togo to Canada.

In this dark universe, in which there is no escape, the references to famous authors such as Beckett, Bohumil Hrabal or Camus are abundant and create a second skin for this tough and sharp novel. It is the author’s way to show us how powerful language is and creativity faced with death, violence and degradation. When despair is inevitable, only poetry and art can save a lost soul.

Ito Baraka’s nocturnal journey into his hellish past is not only hauntingly violent, but also beautifully pictured. Here is a novel from a fine craftsman of language who pays an homage not only to literature and writing, but also to fighting for freedom and humanity.

Descent into Night by Edem Awumey

978-1988449166 / Mawenzi House Publishers (November, 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

Nigeria : A Failed State ?

51mvwoqazcl-_sx329_bo1204203200_« Scapegoating has not helped any nation to evolve ; Nigeria won’t be the exception. The best approach is to search for the cause of the failures and confront it. A country where politics is the chief means of livelihood is sitting on a time bomb. This perception brings about « national cake syndrome »; national cake brings equity in public office; equity in public office reinforces rotational presidency; and rotational presidency, in turn, nurtures the agitation for national conference. »

Robert Nwadiaru introduces us to the present-day Nigeria, the African Giant, a country with infinite riches, both natural and human, yet which still struggles after more than half a century after the independence.

The book that critics have compared to Chinua Achebe’s The Trouble with Nigeria from 1983 transports its reader to Nigeria and  makes him feel like he knows it intimately ; the fine geographical details, as well as the constant references to the political, historical, and economical context in the past 50 years, offer a large view of what Nigeria is and, more, of what it could be. Understanding Nigeria’s present is a way to understand Africa’s development in the larger context of the contemporary world.

If the book analyses closely the reasons of the country’s failure, the blame is put on the political caste: corruption, poverty, poor infrastructure are all consequences of the bad political organization of Nigeria. However, far from being merely pessimistic, the book also analyses possible solutions, therefore making the politicians even more reponsible for the direction in which the country evolves.

Acclaimed by Kirkus Rieviews in 2015 for its first edition, Robert Nwadiaru’s book is sharp, critical and realistic. It is the lucid account of an author and citizen who knows the true potential of his country.

Is Nigeria a failed state? The question is open to discussion making the book a necessary reading in the contemporary world. We are therefore invited to meditate on the burning issues it raises.

Nigeria: A Failed State? by Robert Nwadiaru

978-1632689276 / Tate Publishing (January 27, 2015)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

 

The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi

41yp8iau2bnl-_sx331_bo1204203200_« Obi got home to find Ike asleep beside Nkechi while she watched television. Seeing the image of his family, the one he had consciously created, made it crystal clear to him that these two people were his main priority in life. This was his wife and his son, and he had chosen them. »

On New Year’s Day, Obi Ifeanyi, in his early thirties, happily married and a father, realizes he reached a critical point: is the life he has really the one he wants ? Is love really the way he imagined it ? Is responsibility harder to take that he thought ?

In the time span of one year, in the context of Obama’s second election, the characters of Achebe’s novel all seem to become suddenly aware of the complexity of human relations ; in his circle of educated and open-minded friends, Obi takes a step back from everything he thought he knew and question the values he was brought up to believe in, like marriage, loyalty, or love.

Chinedu Achebe’s novel could be read as a modern version of coming of age in a globalized world in which even growing up isn’t was what it used to be ; education is here replaced by miseducation as if to signify that coming of age evolves with time and society. At different times of their lives, the characters in the novel discover different faces of themselves in relations to others; some of these faces are positive, others are darker and less loyal than they thought.

So what happens when education meets miseducation ? When people meet new challenges and discover that even in older generations human relations were more complex than meets the eye? The characters are never more faced with their true nature than when novelty (be it a former lover, a new job, a new baby, the decision to get married) comes their way.

Obi’s new coming of age is realizing that things are never really what they seem. In a world of intercultural relations, where tradition is redefined and challenged, Obi becomes the icon of a generation who feels they do not have to identitify with something and stick to it, but rather becoming different with every experience.

The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi by Chinedu Achebe

978-1975784140 / CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (22 octobre 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.

 

Forbidden Fruit

51a1pyfqibl-sx316-sy316All his life into grey sideburned middle age, Ombima had never really stolen from anyone. He had always worked tirelessly for what little he had. Of course there were those petty offenses, like pilfering fruit from a neighbor’s tree and things like that that everyone does as a boy and which is not seriously considered as theft. But stealing satisfy a burning need he had never done. He had always gone out of his way to keep on his cloak of honesty, even after he got married and the hardships of looking after a family pressed. Today Ombima was going to steal. Not money, not silver. He was going to steal food. Plain, life sustaining food, and it weighed him down with such shame he could hardly keep his head straight.”

How difficult is it to make the right choices and change one’s life?

That is the question Ombima asks himself constantly throughout the novel- a middle-aged married man with two children who should be contented about his modest but happy life, but whose life is rapidly changing the night he decides to steal food from his attractive boss and neighbour Madam Tabitha.

As the plot unfolds, the reader discovers that the honest and kind character changes as temptation, under all its forms, seduces him and shows him another side of life. However, when sickness and death touch his family, his priorities will be challenged.

Stanley Gazemba’s intense and highly visual novel takes the reader into a journey into the human mind and offers a perspective on how vulnerable our principles about life really are. The nocturnal scenes give a particular depth to the plot and make us question Ombima’s uprightness, and reveal a dark, oneiric vision both of the world and of the human spirit- a place and time where control over one’s passions and unknown weaknesses is loosened.

This nocturnal introspection is also illustrated by the web of relations between the main characters (Ombima, his wife Sayo, and their friends to show the character that nothing is ever certain and definitive when it comes to human interactions.

It is in this grave atmosphere that Gazemba’s powerful writing highlight the human attitudes before life’s unpredictability; before temptation and death, Ombima is the emblematic Man torn between good and evil, between love and lust, between duty and freedom.

Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba

978-0998642307 / The Mantle (June 6, 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English language and literature in an international highschool in France.

The Triangle

109801549-brKalinda could sense Kabaka Mwanga, who sat on a chair in front of the crowd frowning, probably burning inside. Before the match, the Kabaka had been soft and sweet when saying the encouraging words to Kalinda, ‘‘I want you to win that cow. I want to watch you push that man’s head onto the ground.’’ Kalinda had wanted to hug the Kabaka in gratitude. But he knew he dare not. No one hugged the Kabaka, not even his own mother, at least not in the sight of everyone. Mwanga’s face, graced with a budding beard and wide-eyes that softly talked when the two were together, was now a picture of concentration. There was no way he was letting the Kabaka down.”

Buganda, 1885. A monarchic society with a sophisticated culture, strict rules, and a complex hierarchy.

In the proximity of the royal palace of the Kabaka (or king) Mwanga, three characters see their lives intertwined: Kalinda, one of his pages, Nagawa, his second wife, and Reverend Clement MacDonald, an Anglican missionary in Buganda.

Mwanga’s life is woven little by little through this triangle of characters, and is also opening up to the bigger picture of the late 19th century Buganda: a period of religious tensions, of competition for power and of foreign domination ahead. The three stories offer different facets of the king’s life and the way Mwanga is depicted, and with him, the whole country, is more the result of a mirroring effect through other people’ eyes; the royal family, the pages, the villagers, the foreigners, all bring their contribution to the narrative.

Nakisanze Segawa’s novel is written with a sharp sense of observation and in a fluid, transparent language that transports the reader back to the time and place of the plot.

A novel in which feminine figures like Nagawa give meaning to the notion of home on the eve of the bloody religious conflicts of 1886-1889 and dare live their own secret lives.

A novel combining elements of fictional biography, saga and history book, rich with details and true to life.

 

The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa

978-9970958108 / National Library of Uganda (August 24, 2017)

Review by Ioana Danaila

Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She published a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. She speaks Romanian, French, English, and Spanish, and teaches English to high school students in France.