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SARO is a multigenerational tale of betrayal and restitution, love and war, inspired by true events that will take the reader from the rocky terrain of Abeokuta and burgeoning city of Lagos to the lion mountains of Freetown and Hastings of Sierra Leone, from the 1830s to the 1850s.
“This sweeping African tale which spans kingdoms, countries, and lifetimes begins under the protective rocks of Egbaland with the bold declaration that we are all kings. Campbell deftly brings alive, complex history through the unflinching eyes of flawed yet resilient characters who leave us yearning with them for stolen identities and new dreams.”
– Yejide Kilanko, Author, A Good Name.
By Adedayo Onabade
Q: You have said that your family’s story inspires Saro. How has this history, coupled with your origins, being born in Europe and now living in America, marked your sense of home and identity? And how were you able to marry history and fiction to create this work?
A: I was born in Lviv, Ukraine. Back then, it was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). However, I have always considered myself a Nigerian first. And though I’ve lived in the United States for over 20 years, my sense of home and identity are grounded in my African and Yoruba roots and heritage. Ironically, it was when I left home to study in America that I began to appreciate my culture and home.
By Elisha Oluyemi
in moments of darkness, i give mind to a withered flower
and wonder why it was hidden away from
the joy of spring:
the season approaches, the greens are full of longing, but thirst is a box of chocolates.
why did a man pluck a marigold and stash it in a pot?
i see the bleak of night,
how it descends upon us like the sudden rain.
does God bare their teeth and gobble up the innocence of a kid,
or they only snatch up reality like a thick duvet and drape it over him--
Writer, Editor, and Judge for the 2022 SprinNG Women Authors Prize
Adeola Opeyemi is a writer, and developmental editor. She was a finalist for the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize, 2016/2019 Morland Foundation Scholarship, and a fellow of the Ebedi Writers’ Residency.
A 2020 Miles Morland African Writer Scholar, Adeola has been published in online and print journals. She has served as editor on several lit mags, including Afridiaspora and Yaba Left Review.
She is the editor/co-editor of My Africa, My City (an anthology of writings about African cities) and Obibini Te Ase: an anthology of new writing from Ghana.
By Adedayo Onabade
Q: You are a decorated writer with many recognitions and acceptances to show for it. Where and when did writing begin for you?
A: I can’t remember exactly what can be classified as my first writing. However, my earliest memory of writing was when I was eleven or so. I had found a tattered copy of Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine on my father’s bookshelf and read it. I hated the ending of that book so much that I decided to write my version of the last chapter. I thought Ihuoma deserved a better life. I still do.
Deborah Abayomi Olutimi
You tok say
You no kuku like am
You say e no fine
But im money
Dey make you fine
An you dey jolificate
For Point an Kill joint...
The man wowo die
But you dey follow am
Go Obodo oyinbo
Yonder, you follow back
Go see Sunny Fine boy
U won chop Oga Wowo money
An you won follow Fine boy
Which one you dey?
By Okam Augustine
Sister Uche loves church "a little too much," Mama always said, so the day she wasn't home by 9:00 pm, way past our dad-enforced curfew, Mama made it known she was way into church, a "deputy Jesus" she called her. But Sister Uche was not always like that, at least not before the two Jehovah's Witnesses showed up in front of our black gate and claimed Sister Uche had a special assignment from God, that she had an "abundance of spirit."
One of the two Jehovah's Witnesses, the one with the green and black umbrella that complimented the other's red umbrella - an unintentional parade of the Biafran flag - and a black leather bankish briefcase. She nodded her head slowly as the other one delivered the message from God with a charity smile as if she had discussed Sister Uche with God and was, only then, aware and pleased with God's final decision. Sister Uche laughed after they left that day, and so did Mama and De Nnachi and I, but the following Sunday, she left the house before Sunday rice was cooked and returned with her own umbrella and bankish briefcase.
With a pillow propping behind her head, Mama was lying on the mattress that was dragged from the storeroom into the sitting room for my uncle, De Nnachi, to sleep on. She kept shaking her right leg like she was warming it up for a race, an act I suspected was involuntary, ticking off all of the times Sister Uche had disobeyed her from a list inside her head.
By Charity Emmanuel
The most beautiful thing I have ever seen is a picture—a picture of a wolf bottle-feeding an orphaned lamb. The wolf has a full bottle of milk stuck to its semi-open mouth, with the nipple part in the mouth of the innocent hungry-looking lamb. As unbelievable as it is, this picture has left an indelible imprint of beauty in my heart. I believe the picture and the story it told; the friendship of two conflicting natures, the unusual and unexpected.
I see beauty in the eyes of the wolf, in the teary kindness deeply rooted in the calmness of its demeanour, as it sits peacefully next to what should have been prey. I see the teary kindness in the careful way the wolf places the milk bottle in the lamb's mouth, ensuring that every drop satisfies the lamb's hunger pangs. I see beauty in the lamb, too, barely fully weaned and full of innocence, as it sucks gratefully from the bottle, not considering the wolf unworthy or evil.
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