A review of the Okike Short stories

African Creations: a decade of Okike Short Stories – selected and introduced by E.N Obiechina

At times, my heart swells with gratitude to be a young African.

I take gratitude based on the strides of Pan African Culture, born in a very dark time of humanity; where Africans became things and our land even better things – in greed’s disgusting agenda. Through Pan-Africanism, we birthed independence, and rediscovered our identity that even countered our tribalist beliefs. We became people again, we saw ourselves as people with culture and moral value which in turn allowed the world to see us in this way – eliminating possible methods of allowing the greatest human trafficking crime in the world to happen again.

Post-independence, our elders use methods to keep our identity alive through the power of pen. Straying from history books, we began to use our creativity and art of story-telling to document our stories in novel methods of retaining who we were, and are.

Through Pan Africanist ideals we, young black Africans, have privilege access to immerse in our culture while slowly understanding the evolution of the African identity. This book helps to carve an even more multi-faceted understanding of Africa simply through the art of story-telling.

African Creations: a decade of Okike Short Stories is well-woven African literature for adult readers who yearn for stories around the fire without actually being around a bonfire. Short stories taken from Chinua Achebe’s brainchild, Okike: An African Journal of New Writing, topically paint tales of Africa in the 70’s and before. Tales covering the length and breadth of the continent that discuss wars, racial divisions, cannibalism and tyrannical leaders. It also speaks on love, unity, solidarity and the art of reason.

With writers stretching from Nigeria, Somalia, Nairobi to South Africa. Each story etched a human experience that exposes our past political dynamics, from the apartheid era to tribal laws that benefited the elite.  A read through this books allows you to  travel through the writer’s woven word play and introspect our current status-quo.

This book doesn’t serve only as an entertaining read, but acts as a catalyst for critiquing what Africa’s current state is in paving our socio-political and economic future.