Bite-size: The Story of Us | Hanna Ali

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING

The Story of Us | Hanna Ali

Hanna Ali is set to take the literary scene by storm with her dreamlike prose in her debut publication, “Sheekadii Noloshayada” / The Story of Us, a collection of four short stories published in Somali. Ali is the first contemporary writer to publish her debut in the Somali language as both in audio and e-book format. Hanna’s works have been described to accurately capture the unspoken tensions, hopes and wishes of displaced people. The unique, singular stories gently wrap themselves around your mind like your favourite melancholic song. Hanna truly shows: where there is pain, there is beauty.  We got to review the English language version of her collection.

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Bite-size Review: Dance of the Jakaranda | Peter Kimani

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

Dance of the Jakaranda | Peter Kimani

With lyrical flair, Peter Kimani whisks the reader on a journey of the Iron Snake railway as it travels from the coast and cuts through dense forestry. The advent of the railway is the advent of Kenya’s colonisation, which beckons indentured labourers from India to its shores, a country also currently colonised by the British. In its complicated tracks, Kimani masterfully lays one story of Kenya’s history, probing ideas of national identity and belonging, and love lost through the beginnings of the Lunatic Express to the Big Man leading the country towards her independence.
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Afrikult. awarded funding for ‘Words that Travel’ workshop series

Friday, 30 March 2018

L-R: Zaahida Nabagereka, Keren Lasme and Marcelle Mateki Akita. Photo credit: Sarah Nwafor

We are thrilled to announce that Afrikult. has been awarded funding from Arts Council England to deliver our research and development workshop programme to schools in London and Norwich, all under the title ‘Words that Travel’. Following the success of the three-part event series Afrikult. ran in 2016-17, the team decided to turn the focus of the 2018 edition of the series to workshops traveling from Norwich to London and rounding-off the year with a lounge event.   Continue reading “Afrikult. awarded funding for ‘Words that Travel’ workshop series”

Interview with Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo founder of Digitalback Books

Born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in the UK, Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo is founder of Digitalback Books, a virtual library platform offering a comprehensive and diverse collection of African stories from around the world. The seed of DBB was planted many years ago when Heinemann announced the discontinuation of the African Writers Series. Recognising that Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora need to take a more proactive approach to their creative content, Gersy left her career in the city to gain more hands on experience in the publishing industry. She has since worked on many digital projects for global publishers developing and implementing digital strategies internationally. Gersy has a BSc from the University of Birmingham and a Masters from the London School of Economics.

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Interview with Sumayya Lee author of the ‘Maha series’

credit: Simone Scholtz

Sumayya Lee was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. She has worked as an Islamic Studies teacher, Montessori Directress and Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Her debut, The Story of Maha (Kwela, 2007) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book – Africa and Longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. It is currently on the undergraduate Curriculum at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Her second novel, Maha, Ever After was published by Kwela in 2009. She has also been a judge for the Young Muslim Writers Awards, for the past five years. Sumayya has been a mentor on the Writivism programme and has judged the annual Writivism Short Story Prize She currently serves as the Writivism Mentoring and Residencies coordinator.

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Winners of the #WhyBuchi Competition

Sunday, 4 February 2018

We recently ran an online campaign #WhyBuchi asking people to write in 100 words of why Buchi Emecheta is important to them, ahead of the Celebrating Buchi Emecheta conference held at SOAS. The prize for the winning entries were the relaunched titles of Head Above Water, The Rape of Shavi and Kehinde all newly designed by Victor Ehikhamenor, and published by the revived Omenala Press. We had some really great entries, that highlighted the impact of her work, the bravery she displayed in her writing and the humour she captured in the most challenging of circumstances. Thank you to everyone who participated, it was a pleasure reading your entries! Before sharing the three winning submissions by Mercy Mubanga, Nnamdi Ogochukwu Komlan-Dodoh and Tokunbo Koiki, we wanted to also share with you in a very few words Why Buchi is important us.

Zaahida’s #WhyBuchi
WhyBuchi? For me it’s the range of emotions that I experience when reading her work – they are intense, often bringing me to tears, but I am always left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that she was brave enough to write so honestly about issues deeply significant to Africa and her diaspora.

Keren’s #WhyBuchi
It is always encouraging and satisfying to know about women like Buchi Emecheta whose life and work have impacted generations of people especially women of colour. They saw in her work a guiding light that helps them navigate in a world which was not always designed for their fulfillment. I am very grateful to take part in this movement of celebration in honour of Buchi Emecheta.

Marcelle’s #WhyBuchi
Buchi Emecheta seared my imagination when I first read ‘The Slave Girl’ in my early twenties. Her work demands attention, your silence and respect. Her death echoes a lamentable void in the African and black British literary chambers. Our #WhyBuchi competition has shown her voice still roars, her words are ablaze, at the turn of every page.

Mercy Mubanga

Buchi Emecheta’s work is important to me because it looks like still water but it runs deep. It has taught me that suffering, in many forms, is inevitable. However, I must not sit and pity myself because no one is coming to save me. It has especially thoroughly communicated that as a woman, my strength is not beyond my reach when I need it most. I am the very vessel that contains this strength and so I needn’t wait for a hero to save me. It has taught me that I have the choice to choose strength each time I am faced with a tragedy I have been made to believe only a man can tackle. 

Nnamdi Ogochukwu Komlan-Dodoh

An inspiration to all; not just the female folk. Buchi Emecheta was and is the definition of succeeding against seemingly impossible odds. Despite the circumstances she found herself in at such a young age, she exhibited the unique strength of the African woman and fought to bring to light experiences never openly talked about before. Her voice – weaved through tales of survival and motherhood – confronts and challenges us in equal measure. Her words remind us why the female voice must be heard and never silenced. I am grateful to her for lighting the fire for us to write without fear.

Tokunbo Koiki

My first reaction when I saw the flyer of this competition was a triumphant THOSE BOOKS ARE MINE! The second, was just how do they expect me to express in merely 100 words the magnitude of how significant Buchi is to me!?! Re-discovering Buchi at a time when I was dealing with my marriage breakdown gave me so much courage. As a single mother of one child, I was inspired by Buchi’s strength raising 5 children in a very racist and hostile environment. The ‘Joys of Motherhood’ gave me permission to be selfish in putting my needs above my child when so required. Why Buchi? Because in sharing her story, she gave me a new reality of motherhood, marriage and womanhood in a way that still motivates me.

 

 

Interview with William Du Bois lead member of Trotro Vibes

William Du Bois is a poet, performer and the lead member of Trotro Vibes, a group of performers who ‘bring art to the everyday people’. In fact, the artists’ mobile performance of songs and poetry is inspired by Ghana’s most used public transportation: Trotro. Their aim is to educate, inform, advocate and  entertain commuters who use this mean of transportation.

 

 

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Top 5 Highlights of 2017

Sunday, 31 December 2017

We’ve reached the last day of 2017, and what a year it has been! There have been some amazing titles to come out this year and we are looking forward to adding more exciting titles to our shelves in 2018. We have had a chance to reflect on 2017 and wanted to share our top five highlights of the year. Continue reading “Top 5 Highlights of 2017”

Celebrating Buchi Emecheta x #WhyBuchi Competition

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

If you’re fan of Buchi Emecheta or just getting to know the pioneering novelist’s work, we want to hear from you! Afrikult. is running an exclusive competition for the forthcoming Celebrating Buchi Emecheta event on Saturday 3rd February 2018 – an all-day celebration of the life and work of the acclaimed Nigerian novelist, who passed away in January 2017.  Continue reading “Celebrating Buchi Emecheta x #WhyBuchi Competition”

What is African feminism to you? | Afrikult. workshop at ourselves + others | Sat 25 Nov | SOAS

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

If you’re looking for a weekend filled with rich and intellectual debate and discussion on feminism, an exhibition of black women excellence and vibing to good music then you need to be at ourselves + others: african feminist re-CREATIONS at SOAS this Saturday! And as you guessed, Afrikult. will be there delivering a workshop on nego-feminism and Momtaza Mehri’s poetry with time to write a creative response to material presented.  Sign up via engage@afrikult.com.

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