Video Debut of the Faces of the Naija Stories Anthology

Video Debut of the Faces of the Naija Stories Anthology


This anthology is dedicated to the Nigerian who loves to read. It is also dedicated to those who write, especially the members of Without your creativity and tireless support, the idea for may never have come, nor have been sustained for so long. And in a country where daily life can be so daunting, and truth sometimes stranger than fiction, it is our imagination that will ultimately grant us all a new reality.


Many of my formative years were spent in Nigeria. In my early teens I was in secondary school and it was my morning duty to rake up the leaves in the square before the daily devotion. That is what I’m doing here: preparing the square.
The stories in this volume were democratically selected from the Naija Stories Website (, a showcase for rising talent from Nigeria. These are tales of the human condition, the Nigerian human condition. They are not necessarily what the literati of the West think of when they imagine African fiction. Most of the writers do not know one another and have not met except on online forums. The making of this book has been an almost entirely online experience.
Here we get a sense of a generation trying to find its voice. We have stories of every genre. We have done away with the clichéd African. Here we are, with our abortions, our bereavement, our lust, our petty showdowns, our pederasts, our In-Law wahala, our problems chatting up girls in the diaspora, our memories of childhood, our fights, our incest, our love, our examination stress, our metafictional accounts, our encounters with university campus cults, our broken families, our…well, you get the idea. We rob banks, but we also eat salty beans to show our children we love them.
Everybody talks about Chinua Achebe’s fiction but it was always his essays that touched me. He shredded Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ and shattered my colonial-influenced impression of the savage, i.e. myself.
Achebe wanted the West to view Africa as “a continent of people—not angels, but not rudimentary souls either—just people, often highly gifted people and often strikingly successful in their enterprise with life and society” instead of “through a haze of distortions and cheap mystifications”1.
We are not savages, noble or otherwise.
We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and distant cousins. We are secretaries, lawyers, accountants, anthropologists, and programmers. We buy shares, go to the park, eat, sleep, commit adultery, grieve, die, love, and watch television. Most of us have only seen zebras in the zoo. Our stories reflect our experiences. Most of us have no direct experience of the civil war. Perhaps we care about it, perhaps we do not.
Literature in the Indian subcontinent has been accused of dwelling too much on the Partitioning and colonial rule. Perhaps Nigerian fiction dwells too much on the civil war, the diaspora, the colonisation, or whatever neo-Negro stereotype currently in fashion with our Western literary overlords who determine what is “good” fiction.
It is said of anthologies that they do not sell.
I’m Nigerian and there are 155 million of me in West Africa alone. If just 1% of them believe these stories represent them, our job is done.
I’m writing this in Portsmouth, where the author Charles Dickens was born. In fact, I am outside the house where he was born. Imagine a writer so famous that people like me come to look at the bed he had been swaddled in. Yet of black people, Dickens wrote, “the mechanical absurdity of giving these people votes”. He, like Conrad, was a bit jingoistic, a man of his time, nothing more.
I put aside the rake now, leaves in a neat pile awaiting disposal. The square is ready for you to use.

Tade Thompson
Portsmouth, March 2012

1. Achebe, Chinua. An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’” Massachusetts Review 18. 1977

30 thoughts on “Video Debut of the Faces of the Naija Stories Anthology” by Admin (@ogaoga)

  1. *gong sounds*

    Let the tournament…BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!


    1. But wait – where’s the video?

      1. oga, no need to dey look for the video, your picture no dey dia joor! hehehehehehehe. And I think mine too! *smiles*

        1. @banky : You always make me smile man…:) and it has nothing to do with your smiley display picture…

          1. @sueddie, no mind me. I just like being unserious, it makes my life interesting. Long time bro.

      2. Seun where you dey for the video? your fellow Rwowa member.

  2. …..*Tears of joy..*

  3. Oh God. It is simply beautiful, touching, heart-rending, uplifting, humbling and elevating viewing this. On a lighter note, I came close to proposing to one of the naijastories sisters whose angelic face stands up there with mine. Ain’t telling which one!
    This anthology will shake the world, quote me.

    1. @ezeakwukwo, I know who you are talking about. I know but I aint telling sha.

      Nice, plenty nice video debut.
      Me just thinks the pictures look like mug shots.
      Am sorry but came across to me like that.
      Really nice to see everyone though; put a face on y’all.
      Well done Admin.

      1. A million bucks tells you u do not know, sis

      2. Yeah some pics look like mugshots. What happened?

        1. mugshots ke?! HEHEHEHEHEHE. I think its because most of the pictures were not professionally taken.

      3. @abby, na our pictures you dey call “mug shots”? U dey find us trouble o?

        1. @howyoudey, make I go find your own sef.

  4. Damn! This Tade guy is a writer! Where ά̲̣яε his awards.
    But I didn’t like the mention of Africa alongside savagery.
    We should be done with explaining or complaining about how the African is seen.
    A king does not need to remind his subjects of his kingship.

    This anthology is it!

    1. Agree 100 percent.

  5. This video thing……. speechless…………………………………..

    Really cool idea. I am moved. Wow.

    With people like us, Nigeria has a future!

  6. Very nice concept. Nothing like putting a face to a name. Nice job!

  7. WAIT O!
    i thought they said Naija stories is filled with “young” aspiring writers?
    I noted only about two youths o
    And what kind of pictures are these?
    Very terrible.
    One would think the writers would pull out their best shots.
    Abeg, @admin, these pictures woul remove from the beauty of the stories, people will think Nigerian writers are hungry!
    You did a wonderful job selecting and editing the stories. Please select and edit this terrible pictures.

    1. Did you hear of the recent PDP convention? Alh. Chiza Abubakar (age 60 years) emerged youth leader. If he is still “young” enough to be called a “youth” then what about us? This is naijastories after all.

      I loved the idea of the video thingy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn’t quite like the background song. I thought something a bit more African or Nigerian would suffice.

      1. heghehehehehe. When did our revered and respected NS become a comparison to the perenially-shameless and disgusting People-Destroy-People? @seyi987yahoo, so ara e o!

  8. who is this Tade?

  9. Sorry to bring gender into it, but did you notice that the women looked better? :)

    1. @myne, yeah, i agree. A particular one caught my eye.

  10. I absolutely loved the review by Tade… Wanna go see some mug shots!

    1. see you, mugshot ko, tumblershot ni!

  11. Aww….the video is beautiful…nice to put a face to T.O….I love it….Congrats to everyone who made it……Mwaaaaah!

  12. I don’t like this…

  13. Tades review so spot on. True some of the photos do look like mug shots but lets not let that detract from the fact that we should be proud of what we have achieved. A chance to showcase our work to the world. Well done team for putting this together.

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