In March 2017 Jalada Africaembarked on its first Mobile Literary and Arts Festival, visiting five countries (Kenya, DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania) and twelve locations (Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Mombasa Kampala, Kabale, Goma, Kigali, Mwanza, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar). Not only does the range of activities reflected in the programme illustrate the creativity of the visited regions but also demonstrates a comprehensive attempt at inclusivity. From panel discussions to performances to book stalls, there was something for everyone, with particular attention paid to language and orality.
Published this year Nakisanze Segawa’s The Triangle is a work of historical fiction that will leave you wanting more. Set in the Kingdom of Buganda in the late 1800s the story centres on life at the royal palace. Segawa skilfully makes us privy to the varied and complex relationships played out between the young Kabaka (king) Mwanga II, his wives, his courtiers and the foreigners in his kingdom, European missionaries and Arab merchants. Segawa meticulously researched historical archives in the process of writing this book and it really shows; from Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Triangle | Nakisanze Segawa”
This collection of stories and poems from Beatrice Lamwaka is a powerful contribution to Ugandan literature. Not only does she question the internal politics of Uganda but raises issues that are pertinent the world over. A few of the stories are rooted in the atrocities endured by the Acholi people of Northern Uganda during the time of Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistance Army. The opening story Butterfly Dreams is a short yet formidable read as it conveys the suffering of the individual, the family and society at large as it Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories | Beatrice Lamwaka”
With a steady hand Abubakar weaves an affair between fifty-five year old Hajiya Binta Zubairu and twenty-five year old Reza Babale. Reza, a local weed dealer, finds himself entangled in Binta’s life after robbing her place. As Binta stands shocked in the centre of her invaded living space, she suddenly feels a cool blade gently pierce her throat and Reza’s warm breath trailing behind her neck. His abrupt entrance and body warmth arouses Binta – something she had never experienced in her recent marriage before becoming widowed. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Season of Crimson Blossoms | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim”
A rough gem long abandoned on the wayside waiting to be known. The Trouble Causer sends us on a journey into the wilderness of the African past, where land, man and animal shares close communion. It tells of the tale of Bugeiga, a rich cattle herder of the Mugirakwe clan whose vanity and pride results in a cycle of bitter rivalry, forced migration and disharmony between clansmen and old friends. Reminiscent of the ancient tales told around the fire side, the Ugandan writer, Solomon Kubeshenga presents an intricate web of history, myths and fables that beautifully unravels the customs and traditions that bind precolonial African societies together. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Trouble Causer | Solomon Kubeshenga”
Set against the backdrop of globalisation, The Kindness of Enemies is an intelligent, complex and inventive novel that deals with the ravages of cultural estrangement. The lives of five characters (Anna, Shalim, Natasha, Oz and Malak) are intricately threaded together by their experience of politics, religion and culture. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Kindness Of Enemies | Leila Aboulela”
Witty, shy and quirky were the three words that came to mind upon meeting Irenosen Okojie. Her début novel Butterfly fish, found its way to my desk- unannounced. Replacing my customary pick- me- up, I was intoxicated by its rich imaginative ardour. Butterfly fish by Irenosen Okojie came out in 2016 and is a smooth literary hooch, with a dark personality and complex finish.