Interview with Dr. Ida Hadjivayanis on Kiswahili Translation

Dr. Ida Hadjivayanis

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”

Interview with Fiston Mwanza Mujila on his novel ‘Tram 83’

Fiston Mwanza Mujila

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!”

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Interview on Translation with André Naffis-Sahely

André Naffis-Sahely

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”

Bite-size Review: Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila

A pulsating literary score, with a ragbag of plucky characters. In Tram 83 we meet, an ensemble of courtesans, a bevy of thrill seekers, a throng of gangsters and racketeers, all mired in the bleating hustle of survival. Out of this gritty melting pot of degenerates, emerges Lucien, a struggling writer obstinately bent on creating his masterpiece- a locomotive novel. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila”

Bite-size Review: So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ

Set in an Islamic society in Senegal So Long a Letter recounts the intimate details of the breakdown of a marriage and the subsequent roller-coaster of emotions felt by an abandoned wife with 12 children to bring up alone. After 25 years of marriage the reason for this abrupt desertion is due to the husband’s choice to take a second, younger wife. Ramatoulaye confides her grief to her friend Aissatou in a series of letters which are markedly personal, retelling her inner most feelings and her struggle to come to terms with what her beloved husband, Modou, has done to her. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ”

Bite-size Review: Devil on the Cross | Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

Devil on the Cross | Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

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”