The Shorttales Club

Read, Think, Discuss

Like any other book club, this show has a group of like minded people reading, and talking about stories. In The Shorttales Club, Oz and her friends will read, think and discuss short stories of no more than 9,000 words.
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Call Her No One by Frances Ogamba

Season 1, Ep. 7
On this episode, Oz and Friends eagerly share their opinions on a story titled “Call Her No One.” Written by Frances Ogamba and published in 2021 by CRAFT literary magazine, the tale comes with a content warning: Human Trafficking. It is a story that talks about multiple forms of abuse. Statutory rape, human trafficking and possible kidnapping are some of the themes explored in Call Her No One.Narrated using the first person technique, Frances’ protagonist, Nne, tells a haunting tale that will grip you and won’t let go. Nne speaks in a disturbingly passive tone, as if she is outside of her body and experiencing everything happening to her like a third party watching it. Habiba hosts the episode and is the only one that doesn’t fall under the infamous Daniel’s spell. On the other hand, Debby is his biggest fan. Daniel, though an enabler in this horrid scene, impresses Oz with his efficiency.We are urged to call her no one as even the name Nne is not really hers. We do not see enough of her home, her family or who she was beyond the life she was forced to live after getting impregnated while in senior secondary. Instead, Frances focuses on the birth of her child, and another and another, even as her ‘aunt’ wasted no time in selling them off before they are a week old.There is little that anyone could have done to save Nne from it all as she is conveniently, the perfect victim. With no family who cared enough about her, it was easy for the ‘aunt’ to spirit her away to Port Harcourt where she knows no one and no one would come looking. You ask yourself, how she gets repeatedly pregnant, well, this is where the infamous Daniel comes in. Seven days in every month, he visits Nne until she is confirmed pregnant. He does his job with a fastidiousness that can be envied. During the act, he religiously avoids all eye contact, leaving no room for any further intimacy between him and Nne, then departing as soon as he is done.Listen to the episode to find out what happens with the babies and what fate has in store for Nne. Or follow the link below to read the story.
Thursday, December 8, 2022

Caterer, Caterer by Pemi Aguda

Season 1, Ep. 6
On the sixth episode of The Shorttales Club, Oz and Friends read and discuss the short story, “Caterer, Caterer” written by Pemi Aguda. It is a story centered around a 'caterer' just like the title suggests, however, unlike what comes to mind when you hear the word, this is one meal you’d prefer to skip.A Mixed PotIt's not everyday a good samaritan strolls into your life to help ease off some of your burdens. When this person also happens to be your pastor, you welcome him and his gifts with open arms. This was the case of the people living in the community Pemi described. Their pastor had bought the local Grammar School a generator, distributed foodstuff to members of the community and built a new Church - the tallest building in town. It was a monument that drew eyes to the sky, a constant reminder of God’s rule over the heavens. Pastor Pascal was God-sent.So it was a thing worthy to be celebrated when our caterer was called in to cook for the Church’s opening ceremony. More so since her chief rival, Iya Sadiq, was the one to recommend her, after having to travel out of town for a family emergency. Caterer, Caterer is the winner of the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize.If you’ve enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions. Also, you can find “Caterer, Caterer” on Amazon using the affiliate link provided in our show notes. Doing so would greatly help the podcast grow. Thanks in advance and see you next time.
Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Man from Kawo

Season 1, Ep. 5
Oz & Friends Tackle The Man from KawoOn this episode of The Shorttales Club, Oz & friends read a story that was recently  shortlisted for the Hafsat Abdulwaheed Women Short Story Prize. It was written by Blessing Aliyu Tarfa and titled, The Man from Kawo.Blessing Tarfa is a writer. She’s a pioneer fellow of the 2018 YELF Creative Writing Fellowship. She is also an educationist interested in researching education continuity in emergency situations. Tarfa is a Shaper with the Abuja Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum.Blessing’s passion lies in education and Children’s Literature. In 2020, she won the Wakini Kuria Children’s Prize for Literature. Blessing can be found reading a book, attempting to write one, watering her plants, swimming or simply marvelling at her unfinished manuscripts.Who is the Man from KawoThis is a man who is always on the road, prowling, either to or from Kawo. One day he lost his pet cat, which sends him searching desperately for her on his bicycle. The story evolves with each retelling. Blessing tells a riveting tale of a family living under the weight of their daughter’s blindness. We see how this dictates their lives; in the morning after they wake, how everything they do revolves around Eman, their daughter and the dedication with which she is raised.Eman’s mother worries her daughter would not be seen as a ‘normal child’ so she spends valuable hours teaching her the shape of colours, the parts of her body, braille and every other thing that comes to mind. Eman’s father is the playful one, weaving stories under the evening sky, playing catch with her and putting her to bed at night. There is no doubt that The Man from Kawo is a story that will remain with us for a while to come. It is a story of pain, trials, tribulations and comeuppance. Oz & friends hope you learn something from it.You can find other stories by the author in the links provided below. Cherish the Day Sophie What do you Say? - A children’s story If you’ve enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions.See you next time!
Thursday, October 27, 2022

This Man by Kasimma

Season 1, Ep. 3
In this episode of The Shorttales Club, we talk about an interesting story written by Kasimma and titled This Man.Kasimma is an Igbo term meaning most beautiful. She is an alumni of Chimamanda Adichie's Creative Writing Workshop, the Short Story Day Africa workshop, the International Writing Program, and others.She's been a writer-in-residence, in artists' residencies across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Her works appear or are forthcoming in The Book Smuggler's Den, Jellyfish Review, Kiwetu Journal, Orbis Journal, and Afreecan Read.Halloween Comes EarlyThis Man is a story about this man. It takes the reader on a journey of discovery. At first, you meet This Man who you think is just another regular man like you and I, only to later find out that he is actually attending his own funeral. Then you realise that everyone he’s communicated with up till then is a spirit.This Man gets a befitting burial. His family tick all the boxes and his spirit is welcomed into the land of his ancestors. And here, the story gets interesting. The narrator is a spirit who has almost given up hope of ever being reunited with their ancestors. We see their deaths, their families, we see victims of war and we see these spirits, wandering, restlessly, impatiently, waiting for someone to find their bodies and send them off.This Man is a story that brings to mind the matter of free will. Habiba is of the opinion that if spirits can influence our thoughts and actions and we don't even know which thoughts and actions they're influencing then, do we even have free will? People are already bothered about the matter of faith and destiny. And then you add ghosts that can make one do something that they do not want to do. It is creepy.Peter, our resident Ndi Igbo, helped us to translate most of the words we didn’t understand, sharing insights into the Igbo culture and what it means to bury our dead properly. He talked about how our ancestors intercede for us here on earth and how this relationship is tied to our efforts in remembering and celebrating them after their deaths.In essence, no one wants to be forgotten even after we die. We all want to be remembered fondly by the people we leave behind. So what happens when those people have not even acknowledged our passing, much less do something to immortalise us? You get vengeful spirits.Cryptte believes This Man is a social commentary. How else do you explain the ridiculousness of some of our leaders’ decisions. Is it not easier to blame it all on vengeful spirits who are angry at us for failing to give them a befitting burial? Yet Another ThursdayIf you enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions. Also, you can find other works by the author on Amazon using the affiliate links provided in our show notes. Doing so would greatly help the podcast grow. Thanks in advance and see you next time. All Shades of Iberibe by Kasimma Coco [Theatrical Version]Theme song  Island Music by Jarico