5 books to add to your winter reading list

African books

There’s something magnificent about reading material written by your tribe. These are the people who see you, know you and understand you because they are you. The words embedded in the pages of the books they write are connected to your soul, your whole being because you know them, you’ve felt or are feeling them.

It’s further beautiful, because this is something we were denied the opportunity to relish in for so long. Fortunately, here we are, overflowing with options.

And recently, I’ve been consistently reading page turners written by African womxn, and I am compelled to help you grow your list of winter reads.

In no particular order, here’s a list of the books I recommend you get started on:

Intruders – Mohale Mashigo


This is a second offering from Mohale, after her best-selling debut, The Yearning. Besides the fact that this is a signed copy, Intruders speaks for people like you and me. The misfits that “raise themselves in a world that doesn’t care whether they love or die.” It’s an eclectic collation of futuristic short stories about individuals who found themselves thrust in situations that evoke their extra-ordinary powers – from the boy who sees ghosts to the girls who hunt ghosts that kill their living lovers, a girl that kills with a shoe to a woman who is accused of playing God when she literally created her own baby. I was left consumed by the characters in each of the chapters, and to be honest, this book ended before I was prepared to let go. Mohale doesn’t play nice.

Who Fears Death – Nnedi Okarafor

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi tells an electrifying and terrifying fantasy story of an ewu girl (a child of an Okeke woman raped by a Nuru man) who possesses superpowers. As Onyesonwu (Igbo for Who Fears Death) grows older, an outcast, she learns the truth about who she is and about the man who raped her mother to form her. In her path to avenge her mother, she meets people who, some reluctantly, play an integral role in assisting her to harness her powers. It’s a long read, and it takes a while to get into but once you do away with the introduction of the characters, you get soaked in. The book is in the works of being turned into a television series helmed by Game of Thrones’ executive producer, George R R Martin, with Nnedi. I really hope African people will front this series, for the authentic feel of its Africanism.

The Blessed Girl – Angela Makholwa

This is the teenagers version

Angela delivers yet another riveting project, and I believe the title is as self-explanatory as it gets. It follows a life of a young woman who likes the finer things in life and prefers the easier way of achieving them. She hunts for blessers and because of her undeniable beauty, she wins every man she sets her sights on, even the one who is dating her best friend. The Blessed Girl unravels the layers behind this worldwide phenomenon. It’s an easy read that will leave you utterly astounded.

The Golddiggers – Sue Nyathi

It’s a heavy read. My emotions were a proper game of Russian roulette. Tears escaped the tank even when I tried to hit pause and stop. Sue chronicles honest and gruesome anecdotes of people who are desperate to escape poverty and embark on respective journeys to seek a better life for themselves and their families. They face endless trials and tribulations. The Golddiggers goes deep on xenophobia and its consequences for the people it is directed towards. It brings to light the ignorance brought forth by perpetrators and their apologists. As difficult as the content is, it is a gripping read that commands you to keep reading some more. I’d suggest you get a glass of wine and tissues, if you’re as emotional as I am.

The Ones With A Purpose – Nozizwe Cynthia Jele

Confession? I read this book in two days. I couldn’t put it down. Nozizwe’s writing will enthral you and have you living in those pages even with tears forming in your eyes. She delves into the thief that steals the lives of people who are loved and still needed, cancer. Told through the life of a woman who finds herself a caretaker of her family after her older sister dies from breast cancer. Her father long gone, a death that resulted in her mother searching for answers on the insides of bottles for years to follow, and a brother who chose to walk away from the dysfunctional family. It’s a story of loss, sacrifice, disappointment and everything else that society deems ordinary family ways. I think we all can relate to the plots and subplots in this story.

Have you read any of the books above? And what books have you been reading lately? Comments section is open for discussions.