#SpeakOfNothing: Olumide Popoola’s book takes on Gender Identity and Niger Delta crisis

Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. It’s 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different.

When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home.

Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German author, poet, lecturer, performer and speaker who presents internationally, often collaborating with musicians or other artists. The scope of her work concerns critical investigation into the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where, sometimes uncomfortable, a look at complexity is needed.

Olumide holds a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing, and a Bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine. In 2004, she won the May Ayim Award in the poetry category.

Her book ‘When We Speak of Nothing’ will be available in Nigeria from September 2017.

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Dash is an author at www.gistus.com.

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