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Why Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun is a Must Read

By Nkem Egenuka on Tue, 05/12/2017 - 17:11

Nigerians in Space is a science fiction, a spy thriller that takes the reader on an interesting adventure that spans three continents and twenty years of history. It is well written with excellent subplots interwoven into one intriguing story.

About the Book

Wale Olufunmi, a lunar geologist attempts to steal a sample of moon rock from the NASA laboratory where he works. This moon rock is a proof of his commitment to “brain gain” and to a Nigerian space programme organized by the top politician Nurudeen Bello.  

Wale is successful and smuggles it out of the country in the base of a snow globe. His plans are thwarted and Bello becomes uncontactable. He finds himself stuck in limbo with his family, neither able to return to his American job, nor enter Nigeria.

Twenty years later, Wale and his son Dayo is now settled in South Africa where he runs a bamboo business out of his home, gives tours at the Royal Observatory, and has developed an incessant urge to finding Bello.

Dayo takes his father’s snow globe as the inspiration for a lamp which recreates natural moonlight. The story later proceeds to the life of Thursday Malaysius, an abalone smuggler in  South Africa struggling to appease his manipulative best friend Leon while avoiding the scrutiny of police and the wrath of ruthless Chinese gangsters. Also intertwined in this layered narrative is the story of Melissa Tebogo, the daughter of a South African freedom-fighter living in Zimbabwe with a skin condition known as vitiligo. In her desperation for a cure, she unwittingly finds herself at the mercy of a network of conspirators who will stop at nothing to protect their interests.


About the Author

Deji BryceOlukotun graduated from the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town, where he was taught by South African writers André Brink, Mike Nicol, Andre Wiesner, and Henrietta Rose-Innes. He also holds degrees from Yale College and Stanford Law School. His novel Nigerians in Space, a thriller about brain drain from Africa, was published by Unnamed Press. 

His short story We Are the Olfanauts was published in the fiction collection Watchlist: 32 Short Stories by Persons of Interest in 2015 (O/R Books) and in 2016 (Catapult Books). His work is also featured in the 2016 science fiction collection Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature(Tachyon) alongside authors Junot Diaz and Emily St. John Mandel.












About the Author