Mother Never Sleeps

The Pigeonhole is delighted to be collaborating with Bahati Books to bring you a serialisation of the best new African writing today. Together, we have handpicked ten short stories by writers from across the continent and beyond. With tales of broken marriages and blossoming romance, car chases and minibus rides, Catholic confessions and corrupt ministers, these daily doses of free fiction will have you glued to your screens and wanting more.

About the author

Our contributors are Maryam Aliko Mohammed, Stanley Gazemba, Jude Idada, Sylva Nze Ifedigbo, Joe Machina, Ayibu Makolo, Margaret Muthee, Hannah Onoguwe, Zainab Omaki and Marko Phiri.

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Why We Like It

  • Discover the next generation of African writers
  • 21st-century urban and rural life reflected with wit and wisdom
  • A lively free anthology of daily short stories


The Pigeonhole and Bahati Books have worked together to select stories from Bahati's ever expanding list of authors. Bahati Books is an e-book publishing company that aims to bring to global readers captivating and well-written African literature by African authors. They publish and promote narratives of by Africans – both on the continent and in the diaspora – who have unique and inspiring narratives that are fresh, entertaining, moving and educational. They are committed to promoting authentic, multifaceted narratives which go beyond the stereotypes of poverty, war and corruption that are continuously run in many mainstream western outlets. Find out more about Bahati Books here, and follow them on Twitter @BahatiBooks.


Maryam Aliko Mohammed is a poet and fiction writer based in Kaduna, Nigeria. Named as one of Nigeria’s emerging female poets to watch, Maryam’s work has been published in local magazines in Nigeria, as well as on international online platforms including the ANA Review and Kalahari Review, and in Jalada magazine.

Stanley Gazemba is an award-winning author who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. His novel The Stone Hills of Maragoli won the Jomo Kenyatta prize for Kenyan Literature in 2003. He is also the author of two other novels, Callused Hands and Khama, and he has written eight children’s books. Stanley’s short story ‘Talking Money’ was recently published in Africa 39, a Hay Festival / Bloomsbury anthology of 39 short stories by some of Africa’s leading contemporary authors. Stanley is also working on an array of creative literary projects.

Jude Idada is a Nigerian writer and an award-winning playwright. He is the winner of an AMAA best screenplay award, ANAA prize for Drama, a Goethe Institut Afrika Projekt finalist and the first runner up of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. He is also the resident director of the Africa Theatre Ensemble in Toronto, Canada.

Joe Machina, born Norman Ncube, is a freelance journalist, a member of Johannesburg Writers and a co-founder of Write Africa. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe but currently resides in Johannesburg, Cape Town.

Ayibu Makolo writes stories that are human and personal. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Scottish PEN, Bare Fiction magazine, Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review and Jungle Jim. She was longlisted for two categories of the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize. Ayibu lives in Scotland with her family and she works as a medical doctor.

Margaret Muthee is a trained journalist and freelance writer working and living in Nairobi, Kenya. She was part of the 2015 Writivism mentorship programme. Her first short story was written as part of this mentorship and was first published in One Throne magazine. Her short stories have been published by Lawino and Brittle Paper.

Zainab Omaki lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. Her story-telling focuses on unusual, unexpected stories – stories of love that defy tradition, stories of personal growth that refuse conformity, stories of everyday life that reflect what it means to be in Nigerian, and by extension African, in today’s world. She is inspired by unique styles and voices in literature that urge people to find their own identities. Her short stories have appeared in Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper.

Hannah Onoguwe is a Nigerian author. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in several online publications including Litro, The Missing Slate, Kalahari Review, Lawino, Stockholm Review and Brittle Paper. She is one of the contributing authors of Imagine Africa 500, a science-fiction anthology. She has been shortlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award and longlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Prize.

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo, fiction writer and op-ed columnist, lives in Lagos, Nigeria. His works of fiction and socio-political commentaries have appeared in many publications both online and in print, including Prick of the Spindle, African Writer, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Saraba, Kalahari Review, Story Time, NEXT and Pixelhose. His novella, Whispering Aloud, was published in 2007 by Spectrum Books. His collection of short stories, The Funeral Did Not End, was published in Nigeria by DADA Books in 2012. For more about him, see his website.

Marko Phiri is a Zimbabwean writer and journalist. His short fiction, creative non-fiction and long-form journalism have appeared in Kalahari Review and in Writing Lives, an anthology of short stories published by Weaver Press. Marko has also written numerous short film scripts, and he is currently researching a documentary on the journey and life of young Malawian men who made long journeys on foot from Malawi to Zimbabwe in the 1950s and 60s.


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