Review: Safe House



A Nigerian immigrant to Senegal explores the increasing influence of China across the region, a Kenyan student activist writes of exile in Kampala, a Liberian scientist shares her diary of the Ebola crisis, a Nigerian journalist travels to the north to meet a community at risk, a Kenyan author travels to Senegal to interview a gay rights activist, and a South African writer recounts a tale of family discord and murder in a remote seaside town.

In a collection that ranges from travel writing and memoir to reportage and meditative essays, editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey has brought together some of the most talented writers of creative nonfiction from across Africa.

Length: 272 Pages

Publisher: Dundurn

Release Date: May 7, 2016

About the Editor:

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE, editor, critic, and broadcaster, is former deputy editor of Granta magazine, series editor for the Kwani? Manuscript Prize, and the deputy chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing. She served as a judge on the 2015 Man Booker Prize panel. She lives in London, England.


I love the concept behind this anthology…a book about what life is really like in Africa. And not just written by journalists who have been to Africa, but written by people who live there and experience it on a daily basis. The anthology includes diverse subjects– everything from surviving the Ebola virus to what it is like to be homosexual in a place where it continues to be illegal.

Unfortunately, I felt that many of the stories were convoluted, and though they could have been great, it was hard for me to get through many of them. My favorite story was the very first one, about what it is like to live through the Ebola epidemic. It left me with high hopes for the rest of the book. But many of the stories used so many unfamiliar words and phrases, that it left me feeling like I was missing something. There were others that rambled for pages, and I wondered what the author’s point was.

Overall, I think it is an anthology that is worth reading, but I am going to have to give it 3 out of 5 Stars. 

Content (0 being none and 5 being A LOT):

Language: 3

Not much vulgar language, there is an occasional F-word

Violence: 2

There is violence, but it is not graphic

Sexual: 3

Some stories do not contain any sexual situations, but the last couple stories had quite a bit


Safe House is available digitally as well as in paperback. Click on the image below to learn more.

Happy Reading!!!