Channels Book Club Features Samuel Kolawole, Myne Whitman

The Channels Book Club was part of Meet – Chat – Buy, an interesting gathering to celebrate and promote Nigerian literature. Today’s episode of the programme shows a bit of how that fun-filled event went.

Also, we had an interview with two of Nigeria’s brightest emerging writers who discussed their involvements and views on Nigerian literature.

Samuel kolawole is one of the rising stars of Nigerian literature. He has contributed short fiction to various journals and anthologies. He is the author of the collection of stories titled ‘The Book Of M’ and the brain behind Writers’ Studio, Nigeria’s flagship creative writing school.

Myne Whitman is the pen name of Nkem Okotcha Akinsoto who is perhaps the most popular romance fiction writer in Nigeria.

She is the author of the romance novel titled, ‘A Heart To Mend’ which made number one on the amazon bestselling romance fiction list.

She is the founder of a story sharing and critique website for aspiring Nigerian writers called

Recently, telecoms giant, Etisalat, announced the 2013 shortlist for the Etisalat prize for literature.

On the shortlist are:  Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings; We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo and Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso which made The Channels Book Club’s shortlist of 15 top Nigerian books in 2013;

The prize is the first pan-African literary prize created to recognize and reward debut fiction writers in Africa. The winner will be presented with a cheque of £15,000 and other exciting prizes.


Exploring the Ijaw-Itsekiri crises


“Bonfires of the gods” is very well written and quite deeply researched; the author shows off his creative chops and interweaves it with hands-on knowledge of the area he is writing about.

The story of the various crisis that have ravaged Warri, most recently in the late 1990s is one that has been rarely explored in books, but Andrew Eseimokumo Oki tackles it boldly in this book.

Using various well developed characters, he asked historical questions that demand answers till today because relations between the various ethnicities in Warri remain touchy.

“Bonfires of the gods” will suck you in and force you to confront your own prejudices; it will also encourage you to view the real people behind ethnic disturbances, not as villains, but as human, and sometimes, victims of their own circumstances.

Reading the novel left me with a niggling sense of sadness at the stories of the different characters – especially the star-crossed, lovers Tonye and Laju.

There is also the conscientious reporter, Jolomi and his wife Toju, and the two young men Mogha and Seye, thrust into a scenario they could never have imagined through no fault of their own.

“Bonfires of the gods” is a novel, but reads like non-fiction.

It crafts a vibrant story around events that genuinely happened and are relevant in discussing the history of Nigeria, especially as it concerns the Ijaw, Itsekiri and other ethnicities in Warri and some other areas of the Niger Delta.

The book starts when the initial match was struck in 1997 and wraps up the final chapter in 2003.

There is in addition, an exquitely written prologue and epilogue that succinctly grounds the chapters between. You will definitely want to discuss this book with someone.

Reading “Bonfires of the gods” demands that Nigerians look inwards at the different nationalities that make up the country and find a way that means we can all get along for the greater development of our people and the survival of our culture.

Myne Whitman is a writer and the renowned author of “A Heart to Mend” and “A Love Rekindled”. She is the Editor of Naija Stories. For more information about Myne Whitman and her works go to  

 You can buy the Amazon Kindle of “Bonfires of the gods” here and the Amazon Paperback here. “Bonfires of the gods” releases in Paperback in bookstores across Nigeria in a few weeks.


Author: Andrew Eseimokumo Oki

Genre: Fiction – Literary


ISBN: 978-978-922-479-1

Year: 2012