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As queer Africans come under neocolonial scrutiny once again, I find it vital to spotlight the debut by Chukwuebuka Ibeh – a heartbreaking tale of loneliness and persevering toward a version of love that does its best to not cause harm. The dangers of lying, bullying and homophobia are woven throughout, and the novel ends with some resolve. However, I wish Obiefuna, our protagonist, had been able to double-down on the vitality of queer community and the responsibility to heal for oneself first. Although Blessings tries to meld complexities without honestly explicating the nuances, it plants a promising seed with potential for Ibeh’s work to mature and grow. A fine debut.

Blessings; Chukwuebuka Ibeh

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