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.
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.
Translation is a mammoth but necessary task. Oftentimes the translator, who also acts as the mediator between the text and it’s designated readers, brings his or her own understanding to the original text being translated. Though a growing feature within African literature, it is less still talked about. Afrikult. caught up with Dr. Ida Hadjivayanis in 2016 to discuss her Kiswahili translation Alisi Ndani ya Nchi ya Ajabu, of Alice In Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. Continue reading “Interview with Dr. Ida Hadjivayanis on Kiswahili Translation”
Ignorance is the Enemy of Love (Aqoondarro waa u nacab jacayl) tells a fatalistic love story of Calimaax and Cawrala. Faarax M. J. Cawl wrote the novel in the Somali language, which did not have an official orthography until 1972, and published the novel in 1974. The English translation by UNESCO linguist B.W. Andrzejewski is no longer available in print. This is not just a fanciful tragic love story rather the novel has political and historical tropes which draw on the tensions between British colonisers and the Muslim Brotherhood of Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan (1856-1921). Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Ignorance is the Enemy of Love | Faaraz M J Cawl”
This novel is extraordinarily unique for various reasons, the first being how it actually came into existence. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o wrote it in his mother tongue Gîkũyũ, on toilet paper during his imprisonment in 1977-78, (he later translated it into the English). Another reason is the way in which African oral tradition is entwined within the text reflecting its initial Gîkũyũ origins but also adding to its creativity and style. Furthermore and perhaps the most controversial aspect of this novel is the depth of its satirical criticism of the neo-colonial stage of imperialism, and the abundance of allegorical facets. Capitalism and greed become personified as characters who proudly claim that ‘Business is my temple, and money is my god’. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Devil on the Cross | Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o”
Once you open the first page, you’re transported to the heart of the Mpondomise region, camping around a blazing fire, wrapped in ochre blankets and enraptured by the storytelling performance. And in this performance, Jordan tells a tragic-fatalistic story about Zwelinzima, a missionary educated Xhosa prince, who reluctantly leaves university to take his rightful place as Chief of the Mpondomise. His inauguration fuels a clash of cultures and moralistic values between Mpondomise customs and beliefs against European civilisation and Christianity. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Wrath of the Ancestors | A.C Jordan”