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.
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.
Chiziterem Ndukwe-Nwoke is a 23 years old Nigerian writer, literary entrepreneur, and a graduate of Petroleum Engineering from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.
He is the founder of Route Africa, a non-profit non-governmental organization that gathers a collective of student writers whose primary goal is to empower each other and contribute to Africa’s literary scene worldwide.
‘In Creative Fiction, We See What Others Don’t’ – Lawrence Amaeshi
Lawrence Amaeshi is presently a student of Novel Writing in Stanford University, USA and in this conversation we try to explore in-depth the ideas behind the story, the structure and his style of writing.
In this book that could be described as many things but best regarded as a crime thriller, Bruce Telema, a young man who has recently lost his job and now works selling technical filter replacement kits to oil companies based in the Niger Delta, is approached by Steve, a representative of a high calibre network of oil criminals, skilled in the siphoning of oil from government pipelines using armed militants and selling the stolen oil to ‘the highest bidder’ in the international market. Bruce is offered the opportunity of representing the interests of this organization based in London – he is to be their point man, with the responsibility of travelling to the Niger Delta creeks to negotiate for oil from militants, villagers who have scooped oil from burst pipes, various local illegal refineries, and helping the network deliver these products to their clients. Bruce Telema is promised ‘wealth beyond his wildest imagination’ and yes, he gets into this business and soon begins to make lots of money, living an exotic ‘fast life’. However, soon rival militant groups, security operatives and even his own network place a price tag on his head.
Beatrice Lamwaka (born and raised in Alokolum, Gulu) is a Ugandan writer. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for her story “Butterfly Dreams”. She is the founder and director of the Arts Therapy Foundation,[ a non-profit organisation that provides psychological and emotional support through creative arts therapies. She is the general secretary of PEN Uganda Chapter and an executive member of the Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation (URRO). She has served on the executive board of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), where she has been a member since 1998. Lamwaka’s writing has been translated into Spanish and Italian; she released her anthology of short stories Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories in 2016. Continue reading “Interview with Beatrice Lamwaka on Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories”
Nakisanze Segawa was born in the Luwero Triangle, Uganda. She is both a fiction writer and a Luganda performance poet. Her poetry and short stories have been published by Jalada and FEMRITE. Nakisanze is a contributor to both the Daily Monitor and Global Press Journal.
A. What was your motivation in writing this novel?
N.S I always thought that Buganda has interesting stories to tell about our past, but I also thought that Kabaka Mwanga was fascinating person. He came onto the throne when he was a teen, in the mid 1800s, at a time when Buganda was experiencing fundamental change. He was faced with lots of challenges, and his responses to these challenges, changed everything, resulting into what we are today as a country. The wars, the deaths, the hopes and frustrations faced by the people of his times motivated me to write this story, The Triangle. Continue reading “Interview with Nakisanze Segawa on her novel ‘The Triangle’”
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.
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”
Upon winning the 2015 Etisalat prize for literature, for his novel Tram 83, Fiston Mwanza Mujila has been on the lips of many literary pundits and enthusiasts as a rising star. As we impatiently await the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist 2016, many speculate whether the name Fiston Mwanza Mujila will once again emerge out of the judges’ hat. In spite of this, it is best to remind ourselves that it is not so much the prizes that defines a good piece of literature, but the originality of form and ingenuity. In Tram 83, the writer works into his novel the rhythm of jazz and soul, with tenors of thrilling fast pace Afro beat like action, sketching a captivating portrait of the human landscape. In the words of the famous novelist Alain Mabanckou, “When I turned the last page, I exclaimed: This is a masterpiece!”
A. How did you first get into translation?
A.N.S Translation never really existed for me until I had to make a living; I dropped out of secondary school at fifteen, then spent my early twenties in and out of universities until I started to work as a literary translator, and I’ve been doing that ever since. Three or four novels a year. Yet before all that, I simply read books in the languages I was fluent in and I didn’t think it worth considering whether a text had to be read in its original language or not. Continue reading “Interview on Translation with André Naffis-Sahely”