What an evening with Yaa Gyasi taught me about inspiration

I first came across the incredible stillness and power of Yaa Gyasi's writing some years ago when reading a short story penned by the Ghanaian-born author in Guernica Magazine. Inscape, narrated from a daughter's perspective, told the tale of a woman and her Ghanaian mother, weaving between themes of religion, culture and mental illness with… Continue reading What an evening with Yaa Gyasi taught me about inspiration

The Black Man’s Burden

It sounds obvious, but it’s worth saying: the world was a very different place back in 1903, pre a couple of World Wars and all their geopolitical ramifications, before meaningful broadcast media, household telephones, petrol-driven cars, CCTV, pop music, space travel, personal computers. And let’s not get started on the internet, smartphones and the cornucopia… Continue reading The Black Man’s Burden

I Thank Whatever Gods There May be

It was the ancient Greeks who first coined the idea, and word, ‘icon’ – or eikenai – meaning ‘to seem’ or ‘to be like’, and in so doing captured the symbolism of the religious practices through which supplicants were drawn onto some higher ideal. Their gods – who were in essence their values abstracted –… Continue reading I Thank Whatever Gods There May be

A Brief History of Africa

Below is an excerpt from Chinua Achebe's 1998 essay, Africa is People. The full article is well worth the read for anyone interested in availing themselves of a fuller understanding of how the continent's many plights came to be. And I'll say the same for Achebe's The Education of a British-Protected Child, an eloquent and… Continue reading A Brief History of Africa

Why Comic Books Are the Future

So... comic books. An oft maligned artform. Juvenile to some. Geekish to others. Often regarded as the crass and tacky little brother to more 'serious' formats for storytelling - films, novels, theatre etc. And so how happy was I to stumble upon the quirky, fun and yet (impressively) illuminating YouTube channel, Comic Book Girl 19,… Continue reading Why Comic Books Are the Future

No School Like the Old School?

"What we’re entering is a world in which we can’t even tell our students what they should know 5 years from now. Because in fact we’re entering a world where the average half-life of a skill is moving from about 30 years to 5 years." This is a quote from a commencement speech delivered at… Continue reading No School Like the Old School?

The Durban Book Launch

Well... where to begin. There are all kinds of words I could use to try to describe the experience that was the Durban Book Launch of Lost Gods, and absolutely all of them will sound hyperbolic to anyone who wasn't there - transcendent, incredible, life-affirming - that kinda thing. But it's all true. It was… Continue reading The Durban Book Launch

Creating Legends

Sooo... my very first time doing an author interview. I'll admit I was a tad nervous but Anton Marks was the perfect host. We sat down on a typically wet and chilly Manchester evening to discuss life, family, culture, writing, and my soon to be released debut novel, Lost Gods. And, I have to say,… Continue reading Creating Legends

Why Black Panther is the Movie of the Future

It’s true – You don’t exactly expect to find your thoughts being drawn to the writings of a dead academic (even a great one) whilst watching a Marvel movie, but if there’s one thing that becomes clear whilst watching Ryan Coogler’s quite frankly epic rendering of the Black Panther mythos, it’s that this is a… Continue reading Why Black Panther is the Movie of the Future

Tales Mama Would Tell

Originally published at Fantasy Faction to accompany the press release for Lost Gods… When I was a kid my mother would tell me and my siblings fables, these sort of half made up Nigerian folktales-come-bedtime stories that often began and ended with a fantastical twist. Like the tale of how the sky came to be so… Continue reading Tales Mama Would Tell