Africa Writes 2018 Young Voices Showcase

This year Afrikult. was invited once again to facilitate two half day workshops as part of the Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase outreach programme. We were lucky enough to return to Parliament Hill School for Girls and work with a wonderful group of students.

Some Parliament Hill School students doing a workshop exercise

We delivered two workshops that focused on African languages and poetry, and African women writers. Continue reading “Africa Writes 2018 Young Voices Showcase”

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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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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No Apology Here!/(Dear Upright African) by Donald Molosi

 

Dear Upright African,

I am reminded of six years ago. I had just flown into Johannesburg from Kampala. I was in Johannesburg to do a screen test for a TV series about Botswana. Before the screen test was over I had already landed one of the lead roles. Of course I was elated, mostly because even though I was enjoying an award-winning acting career on-Broadway and off-Broadway in New York City, I still had the firm desire to do something at home. A week later I was in Gaborone, script in hand, and ready to film. Then an email from the series producers popped up on my phone saying that after “much careful thought and consideration” I had been dropped from the production for “not looking African enough.” The news was more infuriating than disappointing. I found myself wishing they had told me that I had been dropped because I had not been a good enough actor during the screen tests, or that I was asking for too much money. But to say that I did not fulfil some British self-styled Africanist director’s zoological notion of what an African looks like was to abuse even my ancestors. I tell you, Upright African, you and I must write and perform many-many stories about the Africa we know where my perfect teeth are not remarkable.

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Bite-size Review: The Trouble Causer | Solomon Kubeshenga

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

The Trouble Causer

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”

Who Named the Continent?

By Marcelle Mateki Akita

‘I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me’ – Kwame Nkrumah

There is no denying that when Africa is mentioned an image or sense of familiarity hits each and every one of us. Concerns towards the state of Africa transcend fixed geographical contours on the globe, stemming from various global constituencies; those associated with the continent by interest, birth or descent. When speaking of Africa, it is often personal and in fact affective. Continue reading “Who Named the Continent?”

Why African Literature: Have Your Say

Written by Prince Ken Osei

Credit: Aaron Burden via unsplash

Over the past couple of years, I have spent  a big chunk of my reading-life, reading and even sometimes re-reading books authored by Africans. This has got nothing to do with me being over-patriotic or too nepotistic but rather in a nutshell as a means of self-rediscovery, or in other words rediscovering my African-ness. The relish with which I jump unto my next book or at an opportunity to buy quality African books at a bargain price has grown fervently if not dramatically with time. The question on why African literature is important, is one that has lingered in the labyrinth of my mind for quite sometime and I find this medium offered by Afrikult. requisite to word my thoughts on this very topic.

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Why African Literature: In Search of the Self.

By Henry Brefo

Credit: John-Mark Kuznietsov

My journey towards African literature began with; Homer, Shakespeare Kipling, Conrad, Hemingway and Naipaul. From their works, I found disturbing depictions of Africa and African people. Yet in fitting with the hegemonic cultural trends of my age, I doggedly charted along the English literary canons, hoping to earn the mark of a literary esthete. I learnt of the magnificence of Greek civilisation; arts, politics and science, perused the brilliance and fragility of the Roman Empire and pathologically admired the ‘civilised’ callousness of western powers, especially in the fervent days of colonialism. Continue reading “Why African Literature: In Search of the Self.”

In Defence of African literature!

By Henry Brefo

Credit: Pexels

Commemorate the dead but do not trash the living.

Every so often the debate on African literature redraws the discursive boundaries in attempt to either redefine or reinforce what African literature is or should be? The drama often commence with a celebrated writer exhorting common and emerging textual trends as transgressive. Continue reading “In Defence of African literature!”