Behind the Door, a short story

(published in African Roar – An Anthology. 2009).”

African Roar: An eclectic anthology of African Authors. Selected from the   StoryTime Ezine and edited by Emmanuel Sigauke & Ivor W. Hartmann, published by The Lion Press Ltd.   and StoryTime.

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What reviewers said…

“The author uses a straightforward story telling style combined with a controlled voice and well handled characters who are carefully manipulated to advance the tale. Every scene works well to give that sense of compactness; the author has a clear mastery of the voice he has chosen to assume and moulds a neat story dabbed here and there with tints of intellectualism. ” – Critical Literature Review (2009)

“In Behind the Door, Kola Tubosun deploys his trademark penchant for teasing the wondrous out of the ordinary in a cute story about waiting for the results of an HIV/AIDS test in Nigeria… an affecting story.” – Ikhide Ikheloa

“In his story Behind the Door, a young man takes a life altering decision when he goes for an HIV test. Myths and facts are fused as the young man waits to know his status. You just have to read on to find out what happens to his fear and confusion as the moment of truth descends on him.” – Zeblon Nsingo.

“The writer packs enough suspense in(to) the story…” – Nana Fredua-Agyeman

“And then, there was the final scene of the story, which is powerful in it’s simplicity.” – Solomon Sydelle

“It is humorous without being frivolous or tasteless and has a serious undertone without in any way moralizing. It opens with a nonchalant, sophisticated tone… (and) the end is fittingly serious and thought provoking… this story would be a valuable addition to any high school syllabus since it presents the facts and an impetus for discussion in an ingeniously unstuffy and undidactic way.” Elinore Morris

“Tubosun’s way of narrating the story without muddling it up with unnecessary flash-backs eliminates the banality that is normally associated with such a story… In “Behind the Door, his mastery of creating suspense as a writing skill pays off greatly in gluing the reader’s attention to it.” Joseph Omotayo

“…it’s a nicely flowing piece, youthful and with a hint of the tragic at the same time. A universal story with an African setting, capturing one episode in a perpetual tragedy humans are dealing with all over. As a work of art, it has the ease and playfulness of O’henry, and a kind of twist that calls Maupassant to memory.”  – Abdul Adan

“When (the character) retreats within himself, his conscious is allowed to expand, and so, too, does the writing, Tubosun’s sentences uncoiling like languorous snakes willing to take their time to reach their destination.” Damian Kelleher

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Headfirst into the Meddle

HEADFIRST INTO THE MEDDLE, (March 2005) Published by Khalam Collective, Jericho, Ibadan


      Heavy paces of annual contrition

      Have trekked like peasant armies on a sea of evil heads

      On thousand squelching grains of stone

      As small rocks of war


‘On winning the prestigious Okigbo Poetry Prize of the University of Ibadan, the judges had remarked: “with such a transgressive scope of theme, a ‘nuanced’ and textured language overlaying an experimental structure, Kola Tubosun holds promise for the emergent tradition of poetry among young Africans.”

But the current collection seems to tear off the moorings of even those early beginnings, yielding in its wake a craft so unsuspecting, yet needling the crest and trough of daily living.

A suspicion: the poet’s unbound ancestry of influences ranges from echoes and refrains of the neo-classical though without constraints on the vision of subject matter, through the rebellious penchant of the romantic, even the tendentious in sub-cultural feel and registers. He evokes them with passion, and a rare sarcasm that gestures at traditional Africa’s notion of the capacity of aesthetics to neutralize thwarting energies.’

Sola Olorunyomi (Phd), Ibadan.


Edo North: Field Studies of the Languages and Lands of the Northern Edo
edited by Francis O. Egbokhare, Kola Olatubosun and Matthew Emmerson
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