Totten's debut novel features lives affected by war in Sudan

Saturday July 02 2022

A cover for All Eyes on the Sky, by Samuel Totten. PHOTO | BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI | NMG


Samuel Totten’s debut novel All Eyes on the Sky is a reflection on the wars in the troubled Nuba Mountains of Sudan.

The story revolves around the life of Jamil Chidubem, a Nuban, who, following his conscience, puts his life on the line for his people.

Chidubem was adopted as a baby, and later taken in by a Nuba family when his parents disappeared without a trace. With 13 years of education, he was considered well-educated. He was the only teacher at a primary school in Kwalib. He is married and his wife is expecting their third child.

As a result of the war that began in June 2011 between the Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, schools were closed leaving Chidubem unemployed.

Frequent bombings

Their daily lives are disrupted by frequent aerial bombings. The civilians are on guard and look constantly upwards at the sky, hence the title of the novel.


Chidubem is torn between taking up arms or joining a group of citizen journalists. He contemplates going on a hunger strike to galvanise the international community to rescue his people..

Totten is a novelist and short story writer and is currently based in the US. All Eyes on the Sky is his first published novel. He is currently working on The Trials of U.S. ‘Presidend’ Dunny Sump, and two books of short stories.