The policeman’s grin broadens. He pounces. Long fingers. A girl would shave her head for fingers like his. He spits on my finger, and draws out the ring with his teeth; the ring I have worn for 18 years – from the day I was recognized by the priests as a man and a prince. It was supposed to have been passed on to the son I do not have. The policeman twists my hand this way and that, his tongue caught between his teeth; a study in concentrated avarice.
Rebel without a Gun is set in an African country caught up in the turmoil of post-colonial Africa, where the cost of opposition to wicked regimes is imprisonment, torture or death. Daniel Lanebi, a clergyman, feels compelled to speak out against the injustices of the harsh regime running his country. Dissenting voices like his risk brutality from the regime. But evil, Lanebi firmly believes, should be confronted. In pursuit of this mission, he becomes increasingly isolated from the people around him because of his ‘unreasonable’ determination to speak the truth. Everyone is warning him to shut up or face unpleasant consequences. Fighting tribal violence, on one hand, and a coercive regime on the other, he sets himself on a dangerous path that appears to be leading to self-destruction. This young clergyman’s story unravels the contradictions, challenges and sacrifices that underlie the future of freedom.
Liberian Saah Millimono’s debut is a moving account of a boy’s life in a time of crisi. Tarnue is at times clear-eyed and wise beyond his years, at others bewildered by the impact of national upheaval on his already challenging existence as Charles Taylor’s forces enter Liberia. Millimono’s is a brave, honest voice. With prose that is authentic and spare, this story of one boy caught up in cataclysmic events is a powerful indictment of the trauma, and the pity,of war.
Sundown and Other Stories is an anthology of poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction. It features the Short Story Prize Story Sundown by Acan Innocent Immaculate, the Creative Non-Fiction winner, Lost Futures, or A Guide to Losing Love by YKO Tetteh, and the Poetry Prize Shortlistees Gbenga Adesina and okwudili nebeolisa.