Short Story Day Africa #WriterPrompt: Mon 20 July – Sun 2 Aug

Short Story Day Africa #WriterPrompt: Mon 20 July – Sun 2 Aug

The recently concluded Short Story Day Africa #WriterPrompt competition on Facebook had this photograph of rain falling on concrete, as the inspiration for 200-word limit flash fiction. Here is my submission:

Concept art for Jahida

Concept art for Jahida

The visual for the protagonist, Jahida, of my short story Devil’s Village is inspired by a drawing I did, in April 2015. My pencil drawing is a copy of Baby Cakes, a character by the artist Henrique Naspolini, who in turn based it on a Trevor Claxton concept. Here is the pencil drawing I made, and below it are three versions I created by running various filters in Gimp, an image manipulation program.

Before Devil’s Village (Chapter One)

Before Devil’s Village (Chapter One)

My short story Devil’s Village, which was shortlisted for the Writivism 2015 Short Story Prize, is part of a novel I am working on. The Devil’s Village story actually takes place well into this novel. What follows is the work in progress of Chapter One of that novel.   Western and Central African Allied Territory had been living under uninterrupted martial law for a whole generation. The Committee had designated this a military issue and declared a state of emergency…

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The Boy Who Speaks To Trees

The Boy Who Speaks To Trees

In the forest behind the other tree with the hole in it, the one with the hole in the ground behind it, the hole where the hairy things live, the hole in the other tree with the hole in it is a door to the village where the hungry things live. The hungry things that keep the hairy things down in the hole in the ground behind the other tree with the hole in it. The hole that is the…

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Devil’s Village (Shortlisted for the Writivism 2015 Short Story Prize)

Devil’s Village (Shortlisted for the Writivism 2015 Short Story Prize)

The cortical implant in my head was disconnected from all networks and my Heads-Up Display was offline. There were three Cleopatras on our flight and the Crew Chief’s Operations Protocol demanded a total communications blackout. The dim red LED strips cast a gloomy aura around the Irish priest who sat across the aisle from me. Maybe the guy really was gloomy. The only other passengers were the heavily armed Ukrainian Bravo Team and their guest, a limp bundle of broken…

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Afrofuturism, what is the science in AfroSciFi?

Afrofuturism, what is the science in AfroSciFi?

On Day 2 at the Writivism 2015 literary festival in Kampala, Uganda, there was an interesting panel discussion titled “What is the science in AfroSciFi?”. Growing up in Nigeria I found myself attracted to scifi from an early age. I was the type of pupil who spent his recess at the library reading fiction. I read everything on the shelves allocated to my age group. And by the time I ran out of “age-appropriate” books to read, exceptions were graciously…

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In response to Gatete’s Diaspora blog post

In response to Gatete’s Diaspora blog post

Yesterday, I read a blog post from a fellow Rwandan titled “Dear former Diaspora, don’t be so humble, you are not that famous….” It came across as a bit of an incoherent rant. The opinions expressed in his blog post are rather unfortunate. He equates the Rwandan diaspora with maids working in what is presumably the West, and with black American slaves freed to Liberia, then he goes on to make a number of assumptions about the lifestyles and means of Rwandans…

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Hide your children

Hide your children

There is a daring wonder and imaginative outlook that powers the mind of a child, or a childlike mind. There are things in this world that are only visible to children. Things that can only be perceived through the unadulterated, unconditioned, uninhibited eyes of a child. If you cast your mind back to your childhood, everything seemed so much bigger. So much more intense. Years later, if you came back and visited your old school, everything seemed so much smaller…

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Remember when we used to write letters?

Remember when we used to write letters?

I’m old enough (37) to have known what it was like to use snail mail (handwritten pages, envelopes and stamps) as the default mode of personal long-distance communication. It seems archaic now, but I used to love writing/reading sending/receiving letters. There was joy in it for me, to get sheets of paper, find a pen, sit down and start writing a letter. Writing a six-page letter (A4 paper), front and back, was my usual “Hey, just wanted to say hi”…

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Extraordinary Dream

Extraordinary Dream

Last night I dreamt the world was under the rule of a global dictatorship.  One big dystopian society, where those who dissent disappear. Democracy was replaced by state institutionalized terror, and the only people who fought back spoke Arabic. In fact, in my dream the Arabic language became outlawed and merely having the ability to read, write and speak this language was enough to get you arrested. Speaking Arabic was a form of defiance to the system, where English was…

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