Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong
Radio Sunrise is a satirical novel about radio broadcasting and underhand corruption in Nigeria which gives a humourous insight into the problems of being a journalist for a state-funded station. Ifiok works for Radio Sunrise and things start going wrong when his radio drama has its funding cut and his girlfriend leaves him after he cheats on her, but when he is sent back to his home town to make a documentary on a government-funded project he discovers there’s plenty more to go wrong yet.
Isong’s novel focuses on hypocrisy and corruption on both a large and a small scale, but it is the smaller scale moments that really capture the satire particularly well, with journalists only writing news stories if they are paid enough in their brown envelopes. The narrator Ifiok is a naive idealist much of the time which makes him an ideal satiric character, shocked by other’s adulterous relationships and unable to stand up to the system even when he wants to expose its flaws. Isong depicts a complex mix of problems across Nigeria, but all with a light satiric touch that makes for a fun and engaging novel.