Kosisochukwu W. Ugwuede

Kosisochukwu W. Ugwuede is an essayist, photographer & journalist from Enugu, Nigeria. Her essays & photographs have been published in DIAGRAM, Psaltery & Lyre, Lolwe, The Forge, Agbowó, and The Sole Adventurer among several others. Her work was shortlisted for the 2023 Koffi Addo Writivism Prize for Nonfiction, and has been nominated for Best Spiritual Literature and Best of the Net anthologies. She is a graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA in nonfiction writing program and holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology & Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria.

That Saturday, we did not enter the market complex but waded through the makeshift stalls in the compound looking for the most compelling displays. When we settled on a shop—after being tugged and pulled and snatching our hands back from sellers who wanted to make a sale—we sat on a wooden bench inside and the young man began to show us his stock. A few minutes later, our eyes started to water. In a blink, we were coughing and tearing up and the shop had become cloudy. We exited quickly. Minutes later, news started to filter in that a trader from whom we refused to buy released some sort of gas into the shop to stop our purchase. I am still shaken by this memory.