Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Nike Campbell Fatoki's Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon - Welcome to the Online Book Tour!

It is day three of the Blog Tour with Nike Fatoki and her engaging collection of short stories, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon
You can read details of the other tour stops HERE.

I first encountered Nike Campbell Fatoki in her historical novel: Thread of Gold Beads, and I knew at first read that this is one woman with a penchant for story telling. That book was un-put-down-able, and this new collection of short stories is no different. Don't let me convince you about the fact; find out for yourself when you read the excerpt and listen to Nike Fatoki read from the book.

We are glad to have Nike with us today and I'm sure you have questions for her, just as I do. I am sure too that she will be happy to answer all your questions about her writing journey, publishing experience, the possible motivation behind the stories in her collection, and a lot more.

In this tour you stand the chance to win prizes. And all you have to do to get a prize is partake in the tour by dropping a word or two (errm, I really don't mean that literally) in the comment section, or asking the author questions after you have read and listened to the excerpt.

First off, lets have a small 'gist' about the book:

Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon was released on the 6th of July 2016 in Lagos, Nigeria.
In this short story collection, Nikẹ Campbell-Fatoki filters the lives of contemporary Nigerians through a colourful and vivid prism, where past sins come to upset settled lives, where lost lives fuel a campaign for a better future and nothing is as it seems.  She explores well-known themes but delves a little deeper, questioning our ideas about people, our impressions and prejudices.  Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon depicts the struggles of a young ambitious and hardworking Nigerian abroad with the same insightful candour as it does the tale of a brilliant but broken woman struggling with mental illness.

Excerpt and Reading:

I knocked on the door of apartment twenty-four for the third time. The smell of iru (locust beans) filled the hallway. If I do not get this food in soon, occupants of the second floor will call Mr Theodore, the building manager, about the odd smell in the building. I shook my head and knocked louder. Footsteps approached the door. Tamuno opened it, his towel wrapped around his waist; dark hair covered his broad chest. When he looked down at me, his shaved head glistened. He looked well-groomed with a goatee. 
                “Bros, good evening,” I said, handing him the plastic bag of food.
                 “You try for me, Ade. I swear! Ever since you introduced me to this restaurant I’ve been hooked! They put something for the food?”  Tamuno joked.  I chuckled.   
He invited me into the living room. I walked in as he grabbed his wallet on the arm of the recliner. He pulled out a wad of dollar bills and began to count them. I looked away. The living room was furnished with expensive furniture – the dark brown recliner complemented the seven-seater leather sectional and ottoman. He pressed the dollar bills into my hand and walked me to the door.
                “That’s for your transportation and for tomorrow’s lunch. Please buy me the stew with cow feet and ponmo next time.”  I chuckled and teased him about the weight he would start gaining. When we got to the door, I reminded him of the IT position I applied for at his workplace. “Did you have a chance to talk to the HR. manager yet? You’re one of my references, bros.”
                “I haven’t had a chance. You know I just got back from this business trip, and I’m in the middle of bringing my wife over.”
                “Oh yes! Congrats! When does she arrive?”
He smiled.“She’ll be here in less than a month!” 
                “You said she’s a minister’s daughter, right?  Which one?” I asked.
                “Not that it matters, but she’s the daughter of the Minister of Works and Housing.”
His phone rang somewhere in the apartment. He said he had to go. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He closed the door in my face before I could answer. 
And here's Nike, reading the excerpt you just listened to:

Nike Campbell Fatoki was born in Lvov, Ukraine. She is the second of four children born to Nigerian medical doctors in the old Soviet Union.A graduate of Economics with a minor in Political Science from Howard University, she also has a Master’s degree in International Development from American University.
Nike juggles writing with her day job in budget and finance management at Prince George’s county. Her first novel, A Thread of Gold Beads was published in 2009. Her latest work, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon, was released in July 2016.
Nike lives in the Washington DC area with her family, where she is writing her next historical fiction novel set to be published in 2017.

Hope you enjoyed this tour, which was organised in partnership with author and blogger, Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam, of
You can order the book online by clicking this ORDER FORM

Remember, the book is available in Lagos at the following bookstores:
Patabah bookstore: Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere.
Quintessence: iPlot 13, Block 44, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi 
Unilag bookstore, University Of Lagos, Akoka.
And In Abuja at :
Salamander (Abuja), 5 Bujumbura St, Abuja

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Announcing Book Tour Dates for Nike Campbell Fatoki's 'Bury me Come Sunday Afternoon'

Nike Campbell-Fatoki will commence a five day online book tour of her collection of short stories, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon from 15t August, 2016.
This online book tour, organized in collaboration with will take the book to nine renowned literary blogs and their intercontinental subscribers. Everyone who attends will have the opportunity to listen to live recordings of Nike Campbell- Fatoki reading from different parts of her book. She will be available to take various questions on the book and her writing life. Free copies of the book will be given to attendees of these tours. You can order the book here and also get them in the following book stores:
  • Patabah bookstore, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere
  • Quintessence bookstore Plot 13, Block 44, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi.
  • Unilag bookstore, University Of Lagos
  • Salamander (Abuja), 5 Bujumbura St, Abuja
This is what Quramo publishing says about the collection of short stories. 
”Nike’s language is precise and direct.  Her characters are sharply observant and self-aware even as they battle odds that stack against them.  Morals are explored but there is no judgment even when the characters take vengeful and extreme actions.  Heroes are created in unlikely scenarios and life as we know it, with more than one surprising twist unfolds in the pages.”
There will be a draw at the end of all the tours. And free books will be given to tour participants.
See you there!
 Here are the Tour Hosts and Stop Dates
Creative Writing News
— 15th August, 2016.
Open Book Nigeria
— 15th August, 2016
The Magunga bookstore
16th August, 2016
Brittle Paper
—16th August, 2016
Say My Name (Yes, That's Us!)
— 17th August, 2016
Lola Opatayo Pages & Paragraphs
— 17th August, 2016
Ifey Writes
— 18th August, 2016
— 18th August, 2016
Afreada Africa’s Literary Magazine
— 19th August, 2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A Tango with Satans and Shaitans: The Blog Tour welcomes you.

Welcome guys! 
We're glad to have you join us for the Satans and Shaitans blog tour and online reading.
Today, Praxis magazine and I co-host the blog tour. We receive the baton from Creativewritingnews who took the first leg. 

For starters, here's a little info about the book:

Set in Nigeria, Satans and Shaitans is a Crime fiction thriller, that tells the story of Chief Donald Amechi, Evangelist Chris Chuba, and other members of an international secret fraternity- The Sacred Order. They co-opt the indirect services of an Islamic terrorist organization to achieve their aims. The Islamists start a Jihad, in the guise of serving the ambitions of the Order, but later they outgrow the control of their benefactors.

As it happens, a clandestine love grows between the children of the two Southern power brokers- Adeline Chuiba and Donaldo Amechi. This love is destined to hit the rocks; the sacred order asks for girl's head in order to assure Evang Chuba's continued rise. However, even though the assassins detailed to the dirty assignment die in a car crash before they can carry it out, Adeline Chuba goes missing, and eventually turns up dead. 
Now there is a big question haunting the Chief and the preacher. Someone has stuck their hands in this pie. Who is it? 

You can click here to listen to a short reading from page 114 of the book, by the author Obinna Udenwe on Soundcloud

I asked the author a few questions about his writing. Guess what? Obinna gives us an exclusive scoop on what his next novel is about, so do read with a keen eye! Let's read his responses:

Q - You are a Catholic, please tell us how you got so many insights into Islam as well as infuse so many quotes from the Quran? (Rumour has it that you became a Muslim for a short while).

I think that as a writer, I can be anything I want to be, at any point in time. I can travel to wherever I want to, in my mind the most powerful tool in the world is the mind the power of the imagination. It is so powerful and robust and if well used can do so much. It is the root of all worlds arts and inventions; be it science or humanities. So to produce a work of art, the artist must employ the gods of the mind and become himself god. He must take the omniscient powers and allow his mind mould him to become the work of art he strives to create so in the case of Satans and Shaitans, I knew that for me to write about terrorism I must write about jihad, since most terrorists claim to be jihadists.

And to write about jihad, I must study jihad and Islam, the root of jihad in Islam, the concept of Jihad and the tenet of Islam. So I researched on all of these. And one cant produce a great work of art, be it painting or writing on Islam and Islamic life without having read the Holy Quran and the Hadith. Like I always say, these two books are the reference points for all researches and studies on Islam.

Q - What part of the novel was the most difficult to write?

The part about the investigation on the whereabouts of Adeline – it was very difficult trying to help the investigators look for her. You see there are lots of investigative stories out there that are not plausible. I didn’t want to write a story that readers would read and feel I had mocked their intelligence. I am delighted readers and reviewers love the plotline. 

Mostly, some readers see me or hook up with me on social media and get angry with me- not for the plot but for killing a particular character (laughs!). And it is a good thing. A girlfriend who works in the bank bought the book, read it and saw me few days back and was openly annoyed with me, she nearly screamed, asking why I had to kill that character. Now we have a strained relationship (laughs!).

Before we take the last question, let us take another reading from page 143 of the book, click Here to listen.

And here's the last Question:
Q - Finally, does it bother you that some people categorize you a crime fiction writer, while others categorise you as a writer of erotica? What would you rather be classified as?

Satans and Shaitans is crime fiction. For some time I was called a crime fiction writer, then sometime last year, when the brouhaha with Chigozie Obioma was ongoing, some journalist while reporting the story called me the Nigerian writer of erotic fiction. It took me by surprise and that was when it dawned on me that the erotic series Holy Sex had travelled far and most people were associating the series with me, much more than they associated Satans and Shaitans with me at that time. And I didnt help matters because I began to write other erotic stories- due to popular demand. Reviews and magazines contacted me, after reading Holy Sex asking that I do erotica for them to publish. And now half of my readers refer to me as the writer of erotica and others call me writer of crime fiction

But good news is my next novel Viaticum is a mixture of erotica and crime. But to answer your question I do not want to be known as the crime writer or the erotic writer or fantasy or romance writer. I want to be called a writer. When you want to introduce yourself as an engineer you dont say I am a structural engineer or a water engineer or highway engineer  you are just The Engineer. Same in Medicine and so on. So I would love to be known as just The Writer because I am not done exploring genres. I will be delving into other genres, epic fiction, fantasy etc., etc.

Haven't read Satans and Shaitans? You can read my full review of the book HERE

Well, do you have any other questions for Obinna Udenwe? Pls leave your questions in the comments section. Don’t forget to write your name at the end of the comment. There will be a draw at the end of all the tours. And free books will be given to tour participants. 

Want to increase your chances of winning an autographed copy? Don't just ask questions.  Place an order via the buy links. Mention @Amabbooks on twitter or send an email to 
Book orders automatically give you three spots in the Rafflecopter draw.

I hope you had a great time. Don't forget to share and attend the other tours on all six other websites. There will be more readings and more fun.

About The Author
Satans & Shaitans was a joint winner of the ANA Prose Prize in 2015. 
Also in 2015, the rather controversial Obinna Udenwe eroticised the Nigerian church in fiction in a series titled Holy Sex, published to wide readership and criticism.

In 2015 he established the ‘Crossover Mexico-Nigeria’ writing project. His works have appeared in Fiction365, Ehanom Review, Brittle Paper, Tribe, Kalahari Review, Alariwo, African Writer, Outside-In Magazine etc., and anthologised in African Roar, Dreams at Dawn, ANA Review, and the Short Story is Dead Long Live the Short Story. 
In 2014 he was honoured with the award of the ‘State Literary Icon’ by the Government of Ebonyi State. 
ObinnaUdenwe is a farmer and a democracy enthusiast.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Satans and Shaitans: Announcing The Blog Tour!

The Nigerian edition of the book Satans and Shaitans, written by Obinna Udenwe has recently been published by AMAB Books. As you may already know, I did a review of Satans and Shaitans before now, you can read that Here

The crime fiction novel is currently doing a blog tour, complete online readings, which I am proud to be part of! The one week tour takes place between March 7, 2016 and March 11, 2016. Winners will be announced on March 14, 2016.

here's the schedule for the blog tour which begins today.

Six literary blogs will host him on five different days. The tour promises to be rewarding. There will be varied readings across all stops and free giveaways. You might win a book. Invite a friend. Participate. Here are the details.

Tour Hosts and Stop Dates
Creative Writing News   — 7th March, 2016.
Praxis Magazine For Arts and Literature — 8th March, 2016
Say My Name — 8th March, 2016
Brittle Paper — 9th March, 2016 — 10th March, 2016
Open Book Nigeria — 11th March, 2016
Lola Opatayo—Pages and Paragraphs  —  11th March, 2016

See you at my blog tour, and feel free to join us, ask questions, and maybe even win a copy of the book!

Friday, 22 January 2016


A few days ago I awoke from the strains of a forgotten dream, with the acute knowledge that the moon would be full on my birthday. Whence this premonition came I cannot tell you, but alas, it is true, my birthday coincides with the first full moon of the year 2016!
More than this, it has birthed a few verses which I will hesitate no further to share:


chocolate cake
This bright night                   
a perfect orb                         
smiles upon earth                      
as birth anniversary                            
six squares.                               

In two toned radiance
she depicts dreams
of flitting images across
her surface,
of smiles and proud pats
on my back;
three dozen strong.

Quivering with life-filled
radiations from yonder,
her energy throbs
touch me through
picture perfect cracks
between coconut palms.

Each breath I take this new year,
 a nibble of her pulse.
each volition cast in life’s ocean as
I brave another epoch,
 assured a rewarding catch
her halo, abundance.

This full moon, I erupt in
three dozen decibels of rejoicing.
my steps on this breaking day
are multiples of three and six.
the perfect number for this

moonchild; maid in full bloom.

Full Moon

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Pilgrimage to Idoto

The maiden edition of a poetry festival to celebrate the late Christopher Okigbo may have come across as ambitious to many, but the two day event was a success by many standards. I arrived the hotel in Awka at about 4.45pm on Saturday, August 15, glad to see that many young writers and students had also converged from far and near to celebrate the iconic Okigbo.

We were scheduled to leave the hotel at 6.30pm for dinner with the governor of Anambra state – a very appealing date, you may guess. Unable to snooze for one hour as I had planned, I found myself swept into the embrace of the other five guest poets—all male I may add, and then a rather engaging conversation with Uche Umez and Chuma Nwokolo about today’s literature; craft, discipline, the seeming paucity of poetry (really?), and the rush to lose our cultures on the shores of popular culture.
Echoes of this conversation were heard during dinner with the governor who spoke about the sad reality we face in a country where many parents who can afford to school their children outside the nation’s shores, are proud to declare that their children speak only English – a trend which I daresay happens even with parents who live and raise their children in Nigeria. After the governor’s visit, there was a bonfire in the Okigbo compound.

Drums, flutes, dancing and poetry spoke coherent tunes all through the night. I was unsure of just what to perform, until we were asked to do an individual salute to Okigbo – before his gravestone.  The inscription read REQUISCAT IN PACE, but being a believer in continuous movement after life in the flesh, I stood there and wished the poet a joyful onward journey. In those solemn moments I decided on the folksong that would usher in my performance. A refrain in Okigbo’s poem, Distances played again and again in my mind: ‘...I was the sole witness to my homecoming...’
The rains threatened the poetry and the bonfire, but the words, music and dancing surged on, pulsating in defiance to the elements. I was in good company, from Umez’s thought provoking poetry, Tade Ipadeola’s striking take of Okigbo’s poetry to Nduka Otiono and Chuma Nwokolo’s equally enchanting baritones, and not forgetting Chijioke Amu-nnadi’s flowing verses— so I sang lustily, in the assurance that each poets voice rang out in the clarity and uniqueness that made our collective ensemble a beauty to listen to. And then there was Palmwine! The last I tasted such sweetness was decades ago in Uyo, when my grandfather’s palms were still productive and the tapster would drop a gourd or two in our country home before proceeding to the market – but I digress.

Day two was the day each pilgrim retraced the steps of the persona that Okigbo presented in his collection Labyrinth. From Awka, we drove through Amawbia, Enugu-ukwu, Nri, Abagana, and other towns till we reached the edge of Idemili. On this stretch of the journey to the Okigbo residence, I sat with James and Odili, who regaled me ancient tales of each land— how the original settlers in Amawbia were out-of-towners, and how Nri is known as the cradle of civilization, not just for the Igbo man, but the world as a whole, and how Abagana was known for their war god, and how this was the one place where Nigerian soldiers had a tough time defeating Biafran soldiers during the civil war. It was on this bus that I learnt that Ojoto was made up of several clans and how Idoto was actually Ide-oto—supposedly meaning goddess of Oto. 

The journey to Idoto involved brief stops at Ukpaka-oto, and Ide-oto; the male and female embodiment of the town’s diety. Leading the sojourn was a minstrel known as Okigbo Ibem. Ibem’s voice rang out distinct and sonorous in praise and invocation, and then we were joined by a priestess and then another priestess of Idoto. Standing next to the first priestess in red George wrapper and beads, I couldn’t help but notice her calabash, laden with items of worship—nzu (native chalk), egg and camwood, and some loose change. We watched her pay homage at both spots.
Later I would wonder if it was sexist or patriarchal; the fact that the male deity was housed in concrete and metal, while the female shrine was an unpretentious clearing in the bush. Or maybe it was simply that Ide-oto needed no fixed abode for she was boundless just like a river and a harbinger of unbound blessing, creativity and fruitfulness, like Ndem in Ibibio/Efik mythology, while the male counterpart was used for sorcery and other sinister pursuits.

But the priestess’ worship and the deity did not fascinate me as much as listening to a recording of Christopher Okigbo’s voice; as played by his daughter Obiageli. The voice crackled to life—a glimpse of almost half a century ago captured and replayed through an intense refinement of technology. Would Okigbo have imagined that his voice, reading ‘Lament of the drums’ could command that much attention decades after, seeping out through the speakers of a laptop — a device that did not exist in his day? The voice of Okigbo paved the way for readings of his poems by the guest poets. It may not have been the sweetest of appetizers, but it gave no doubt as to the proud origins, and the resoluteness of its owner.

The pilgrimage was interspersed with long treks through bush paths. Ibem, the minstrel called out a soulful invocation, and intermittently the priestess would respond. As we passed by an oilbean, and many farmlands of cassava, each pilgrim followed the minstrel’s voice and we trudged on in single file; missing our way once, and retracing our steps through the labyrinthine network of footpaths. Rest came when we were but a few meters from river Idoto. Rest came in the form of green canopies of bamboo trees, providing shade from the sun and encasing us in a scenic beauty that took one’s breath away.

Here, we enjoyed performances from all the guest poets, and a few other poets present on the pilgrimage. Traditional drums and an oja player completed the entertainment. The oja flutist was especially felt when Amu-nnadi read his poem ‘Shrine’, to round off performances and usher us to the last point of call.
Having experienced the long walk through the labyrinth, each pilgrim stood cleansed, eager worshipper at the shrine of poetry, ready to stand before the watery presence of Mother Idoto. The roads to her banks were flooded, yet the last pilgrims standing found their way to her, and soaked in her energizing coolness.

We would joke later that day, that having visited Okigbo’s graveside and undertaken the pilgrimage to Idoto, a special unction had now befallen each pilgrim—we were never to remain the same again.
As I end this piece however, the last lines in ‘Elegy for Alto’, from Okigbo’s LABYRINTH loom ominous before me:
‘An old star departs, leaves us here on the shore
Gazing heavenward for a new star approaching;
The new star appears, foreshadows its going

Before its going and coming that goes on forever...’


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Dear writer's block

Dear writer’s block,
It’s not you, it’s me. 
I know we had some really swell times together in the last few months, but hey, I have to confess; I haven’t been that much of a faithful lover.

I loved the lazy months when I could wake with you at 7am, and feast on the grandest of gourmets to my hearts delight. Then, entwined with you on the couch, I would stretch these long limbs gingerly on the expanse of your stocky chest and let you tickle me to endless distraction.
They were sweet; those days, yes. But through it all, there were those moments when you turned the corridor and I felt the tug on my imagination’s strings, albeit for the shortest of minutes. The times when I dared to dream that this studio apartment was an orchard, of exotic flowers and sweet fruits. And that we could stroll in this garden, hand in hand, lips entwined. Your tongue; a promise of cider. Your embrace; the faintest touch of cedar wood.

Okay, you got me. It wasn’t you I dreamed of, it was my muse.
I snuck my head out from under that blanket of languid rest, dared to look out the window and hear the faintest chirp of summer birds. And oh, what a sound!

I guess what I’m saying is this; winter is over, the migrant bird has returned home to roost. And I, proud lover, singer of exotic songs and lustful chirrups; I have swooned in the heady attraction of an imagination set free to take on form. My fingers itch to spin tales and verses in celebration of my lover for all time. My muse for all times beckons and I cannot find the nerve to pause, or to say no.
Don’t miss me; because I’m glad to lose you.


Iquo D. 

Photo credit: Google