The Extortionist (Pacesetters)


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The Scorpion is the evil leader of an underground criminal organization in Enugu. His latest operation involves the extortion of thousands of naira from important PNR officials in return for the safety of Dr Musa Umaru, the party’s presidential candidate.

Despite payment of the money, the Scorpion cannot be trusted and an ex-policeman, Chuka Ubaka, is called in to secure Umaru’s safety during the elections. But things begin to go badly wrong for Chuka when a top PNR official decides, for his own gain, to let the Scorpion kill Umaru, and Chuka has to take one the Scorpion’s outfit virtually single-handed.

We then flash back to 1961, before Kiki was born, and meet her mother, LaMsibi, and father, Gezani, who struggle to make a life for themselves as farmers in a small village in the Maphakane valley. Gezani is determined to ensure that his child has a better life than he has so he decides to have her educated. Gezani is a traditional Nguni who does not approve of Christianity and the foreign missionaries who bring it. However, he does appreciate the need for Swazi children to be able to read and write, and only missionary schools provide this education. Despite having convinced his father to disown her twenty years earlier when she converted to Christianity, Gezani seeks out his sister, Saraphina, a teacher at a missionary school, and asks that she takes in Kiki and sends her to school. Gezani then decides to leave his homestead and go back to working in the mines of Johannesburg in order to pay for Kiki’s education.

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Weight 0.18 kg


Chuma Nwokolo

I am Chuma Nwokolo, and I tell stories.

I was born in Jos, in 1963, although I have no full recollection of the event. I graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1983 and was called to the bar in 1984. I was managing partner of the C&G Chambers in Lagos and writer-in-residence at The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I founded the literary magazine African Writing with my old friend, Afam Akeh. My first novels, The Extortionist (1983) and Dangerous Inheritance (1988), were published by Macmillan in the Pacesetter Novels. My stories have found foster homes in the London Review of Books, La Internazionale, AGNI, MTLS, Arzenal, and Sentinel, among places.

I am really a short story writer, although I am not above stitching tales together into more garrulous novels. Thus, African Tales at Jailpoint (1999), One More Tale for the Road (2003), and – truth be told – Diaries of a Dead African (2003). My more honest anthologies consist of The Ghost of Sani Abacha (2012), How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories Volumes 1 (2013), and 2 (2016).

I am guilty of poetry, some of which have been collected in Memories of Stone (2006) and The Final Testament of a Minor God (2014), but without question, the most difficult, sustained, and in a sense satisfying thing I have ever done is my imminent novel, The Extinction of Menai.

Great stories can change us… if we ever get around to reading them. Yet, there is another type of writing that can change the world, whether they are widely read or not: Law. Literature rolls up into a scroll; the law rolls up into a baton for the stubborn, and often, that makes all the difference. After the gentler persuasions of literature, society is eventually renewed by the agency of transformative law, think the abolition of slavery, of Apartheid.

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The Extortionist (Pacesetters)


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