#CreatepreneurAfrica – Sandile Ngidi : ‘Africa’s Literary Empire’

Born  in South Africa on the Kwa Zulu Natal 'battlefields' of Vryheid, Sandile Ngidi grew up on the south coast of Durban, Amaholongwa.After matriculating at Marianhill High school he entered the literary kingdom.

His soul journey in the world of words led him on a freelance journalism pathway. He ventured into brand communication specialization and became a  dramatist and  Africa’s literary critic of note.

 Sandile wrote the concept paper towards the inception of South Africa’s Poet Laureate prize on behalf of the wRite Associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

“I am driven by curiosity, a desire to partake in a bigger re-imagination of the human condition”  Sandile Ngidi

An avid advocate of literary translations, in 2006 he translated the classic Zulu novel by Sibusiso Nyembezi, Inkinsela yaseMgungundlovu (The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg) from Zulu to English. He writes in Zulu and English. 

 

Aflame Books.

He was the editor of the Baobab Literary journal and Realtime youth magazine. His debut poetry collection is friends of the time.

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica – Sandile Ngidi: Africa’s literary King

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

I am driven by curiosity, a desire to partake in a bigger re-imagination of the human condition.

How did you find your passion and how old were you? 

Words and the world of words entered my reality at home in my childhood, where my teacher parents always told stories about their world and also had books they used for school but were accessible to me as well.

Early on at high school in 1983, I began trying my hand in poetry. Mimicking really I guess,  but still expressing the conditions of black boyhood in apartheid South Africa.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

The world of words, writing, theatre, books etc, all stir the mind and the soul.

What drove you to make money from your passions? 

Nothing really. Money has been incidental until I discovered that one has to support oneself at some stage.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

For my first newspaper article in the Natal Witness Echo in 1987, if I am not mistaken. This newspaper is influential in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa, and to know that I could be paid for my passion was a pleasant surprise.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

To give up is to die.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I believe there is something worth contributing, worth the pain and the joy of creating and waiting to be heard. The written word is powerful, it can empower or marginalize, excite or ridicule – writers, especially in the digital age have become the “big eyes” through which the world is seen or hidden.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you? 

Nothing really at first. Money was incidental until I discovered that one has to support put bread on the table. I guess that is why I have for the better of my writing career, worked as a brand communication and public affairs specialist.

This has enabled me to consult with senior corporate and public sector executives. Clients often ask me to write speeches and opinion editorials. This job helps me convey messages to key target audiences anonymously.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you? 

Look deeper inside your self and try to bring the best of you. Systematically “murder” your hero as you learn the craft and bring more of you into the imagination pot.

You are valid. Polish your craft by reading, listening and writing every day. Not just for a pay or an applause. Read widely and listen to others more across many spheres of the human condition, the planet and the environment.

 

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

Feature Image by Hugh Mdlalose photography. Coming soon in the #Createpreneur Africa series,  A decade of  Hugh Mdlalose  Creations (photographer /videographer /musician) 

 

 

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Oluwabukola Michael Nelson, Making Nigerian dreams a reality!

Welcome to the world of Oluwabukola Michael Nelson, serial entrepreneur,  public speaker, business analyst and founder of the Africa democratic dreams project.

Oluwabukola Michael Nelson, a gospel instrumentalist and gospel praise leader sought to steer a pathway for Nigerians and Africans to realize their inner dreams through education, diplomacy, and peace.

From the age of ten, Oluwabukola Michael Nelson was a keen writer. He has featured in local and international media and lectured at churches and communities all over the world.

 Meet #CreatePreneurAfrica Oluwabukola Michael Nelson –  Reaching out for the rise of Nigeria

 

Tell us what drives you?

Change. I am very much in tune with the natural order of renewal, and so I see the opportunity to contribute to my general environment in partnership with others to bring growth, progress, and development.

What is your true passion in life?

My true passion in life is building businesses that produce both profits and socio-developmental progress. In essence, making money and improving lives of peoples and communities across the globe.

 How did you find your passion and how old were you?

I realized that I had a call to serve when I was a young skinny kid. I was raised by parents whose lives are committed to service to others.

My father served in the Nigerian armed forces and my mother raised me and my six siblings as a single mother through tough times and she never gave up on us. These experiences have shaped my perspective on life and have come to form my vision, mission, and goals in life.

 What about your passion appeals to you the most?

I am pleased at the fact that there are others like me – MLK, Obama, Mandela, Maya Angelou, Winnifred (Mandela), etc. I am comforted and inspired by the tracks these people leave behind. So even though my path is not the easiest, I can relate to the struggles and triumphs and final victories of these heroes.

What drove you to make money from your passions?
Being passionate about change without having the means to bring about that change is as useless as trying to clap with one hand. I realized this truth early in life and looking at the strategies adopted by philanthropists such as Bill Gates, James LeBron, Rihanna, and Warren Buffet validates that fact.
 When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
Payment in monetary terms has always come through hard work. I have successfully launched businesses since the age of 18 and have staff members working for me and earning a salary.
I sponsored myself through college creating profit-making ventures. In terms of abstract rewards, when I look at how the things I have done have impacted the lives of individuals and communities, I get so much fulfillment than money can buy.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
I could say that the challenges of life can be daunting and living a life of purpose is not for the faint of heart. Once you understand the principles of sacrifice and the principle of delayed gratification, you can surmount any obstacles. So for me having these principles imbibed and reading about the inevitable hurdles just like those before me gives me the confidence I need to keep going.
7. What motivates you every day to be even more successful
The belief that I CAN. The belief that nothing is impossible. The belief that I can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives me daily strength. The belief that I am living according to purpose. The belief that the world benefits from what I do daily. These are my daily motivators.
 What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
It’s okay to doubt, but don’t get left behind. I am pressing on, you can too.
 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?
Believe in God and believe in yourself. Get up every day and do the things you love. Be happy. Live, Love and Learn.

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Poetically speaking : Mak Manaka

Never at a loss for words, renowned South African poet Mak Manaka tunes into soul rhyme in his rooted "arts for transformation" soul calling. 

Mak Manaka brings out the word,to the people....to the nation!
Mak Manaka @MakManaka  Award winning poet and writer.

Poetry-101-with-Mak-Manaka-and-Likwid-Tongue

His full name , Maakomele, means to represent in Pedi, and so he does! The motivating “warrior of inspiration” voices out  his poetically engaging word.

His late father was a poet, playwright as well as a painter. His mother an actress dancer and choreographer.  He was born into a realm of  ‘Art for social transformation.’

He has  proudly represented South Africa in Jamaica, Spain, and Cuba, and performed for the prolific Nelson Mandela as well!

Moving around on crutches due to a historic misfortune does not dampen his spirit as he ”words on”……..

Meet CreatePreneurAfrica- Mak Manaka

Tell us what drives you? 

It’s the knowledge that I’m alive and doing what makes me alive.

What is your true passion in life?

My true passion is the battle in articulating the conditions of truth. So the search for my true self is, in essence, my true passion.

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

Well, passion found me in my mother’s womb and ever since I’ve been trying to understand why this passion. Coming from a family of artists, my late father is a playwright, painter and poet, and my mother a dancer-choreographer and an actress. So from an early age passion has been life to me.

What about your passion appeals to you the most?

I’m yet to receive an answer from passion itself. One thing I know about passion is that it pays no bills but it does make rainy days seem like summer skies. I guess it’s the self-fulfillment of self-worth that appeals to me the most.

 What drove you to make money from your passions?

Like I said, passion pays no bills. Self-determination pays the bills, not my passion. I think it’s important for us to unpack the meaning and function of the word passion to ourselves. How do you understand your passion and is it passion or self-determination that makes earns you a living within the construct of capitalism?

 

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

To be honest with you, I’m still waiting for the day I get paid for my passion and I doubt that day will come coz my passion is nor for sale. On the other hand, I was about 21 when I got my first paycheck for a performance, poetry articulates condition, then it is my honor and privilege to have such a gift and be paid to share it.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?  

It is the thought itself that keeps me going. We don’t give up or give in at any point coz we are suns, who wear heat in our hearts. Giving up is not an option but to give and share the heat with others is our main purpose as Africans.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

The love for loving life…

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Don’t doubt your self, rather support your self and buy my books.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

“Look not to the stars but to your self” coz “to thine self, be true”-Shakespeare said both those quotes a long time ago and before I can tell anyone anything I have to tell my self. So before you leave the house, look at yourself and smile and be in love with the mirror. In the mirror is the sun inside looking back at you, so look to self to be selfless.

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Visionary Soul Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri

Egyptian filmmaker Jihan El Tahri,rich in roots of diversity and a wealth of world experience,takes us on her soul rhythm journey, a mission to ignite the spirit of the Motherland Africa.

Tuning into insight and wisdom, she captures the heart of African roots beyond maintream media definitions and prescriptions related to what Africa was and wasn't, or what it is and should be.

Starting her career as a journalist, Africa’s legendary filmmaker, Jihan El Tahri. initially worked as a television researcher and news correspondent, covering the politics in the Middle East. This is when she realized the new dawn was on the power of the visual medium.

@Jihantahri Filmmaker, Writer, Producer, Visual Artist …without music nothing gets done!

She then launched into independent filmmaking,  producing and directing documentaries for French Tv, PBS, BBC and a range of other broadcasters internationally.

She has directed over a dozen films including award-winning:

The House of SaudThe Price of Aid, which won the European Media prize in 2004 and

Cuba: An African Odyssey.

The award-winning,”Behind the Rainbow”  explores transition in South Africa.

It chronicles the liberation project of the African National Congress and compromises that eventually led to the historic 1994 elections, the eventual erosion of promises and dreams, raising questions about the present era.

Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs

 

Jihan El-Tahri has also authored two books  The 9 Lives of Yasser Arafat and Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Years War.

She is also an avid visual artist with several exhibitions scheduled throughout the year.

Africa cinema is her passion, telling stories from Africa, for the people by the people.

Filmmaking  comes with pain, heartaches and minimal returns…. but when a film is complete it allows a person  to voice,  to exist, and to be heard, and that makes it worth it when your film continues to make sense, even years later.

 

Meet # CreatepreneurAfrica: Let’s hear it from the legendary filmmaker Jihan El Thari

1. Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

To your first question, what drives you and what your true passion is in life?…..

It’s hard to say what my true passion is….because I guess they all intertwined but talking about film and documentary…

I think what really drives me is a real desire to understand and know and chronicle what happened in the whole post-independence periods.  Why is it the promises and the vision of that moment of independence  that was going to give the people of the continent and the colonized people everywhere….the quality freedom and dignity?Why did not happen, why is that we still there today, I guess that’s the driving question,

but passion if it’s just about what I really am passionate about

  • I’m passionate about music
  • I’m passionate about film
  • I’m passionate about art

So yeah…..I dabble in all three.

 

2. How did you find your passion and how old were you?
Listening to Jihan

#CreaterPreneurAfricaJihanTahriQuestion2

How old was I when I found my passion?

I guess my passion meaning documentary, well like in 1990, so I must have been…..I guess I was ..26 at that time… 1990.

It was during the Gulf war, as a journalist I was covering the Gulf war, and I immediately realized that the game had been overtaken by TVs and no matter how much we wrote, no matter how much we researched, one image was more powerful than anything one did.

But that was just about the image, the way of making films, I think it was a big revelation for me when I saw this film  called “Death of Yugoslavia”, it was educational, it was interesting, it was funny and most of all it finally made sense of what was happening in Yugoslavia.

The war had been on for a few years and the more it went on the more one realized well I don’t understand anything,  so you just left it behind, zapped it …

Suddenly then there was this documentary, that put it together in a way where I could actually understand, and then you started making sense,  and I could take a position. I could think for myself that was the key, thinking for myself.

I guess that’s when I  really started making the kind of films that I make because  I never give conclusions. Its really about trying to chronicle how things happen and how we got there, and once you understand that, from there a person can decide for themselves, where they stand in that particular event.

 

3. What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

#CreateprebeurAfricaJihanTahriQuestion3

What is it that appeals to me most… RESEARCH.  I think I’m really passionate about research mainly because what I really want to do is try and look at stories from a different perspective,  because we’ve been told our stories the whole time through Western eyes, through Western stories.

And when I approach a topic what I really try to do most is see it from our own perspective from a southern perspective from the perspective of the people who actually lived it, rather than the colonial masters or the cold war protagonists.

So I try  and  get to that prism of the story, and so the research cannot just rely on the books and  newspapers and the documents  because they all written from a Western perspective , so one really has to get down to declassifying document,s get down to finding first-hand eyewitnesses finding stuff  that was written in different languages.

I  mean, I’m lucky because I can speak four or five languages, I can actually read in these languages what was written by the people themselves, whereas it’s not the case if you only speak English or French you only get that one perspective.

Yes, so that’s what appeals to me the most.  And I also love putting together the film at the end…at the end of the day the film is made in the editing, you have a narrative you know where you going, but because of time constraints and how it’s going to broadcast.

The film itself is made in the editing and it’s not my favorite part when I have to cut things down, but that first moment of the editing when I lay down the whole story as it was told to me is quite a big moment for me.

4. What drove you to make money from your passions?

#CreatepreneurAfrica JIhanTahriquestion4

I’ll actually answer 4 and 5 together, what drove you to make money from your passion well I don’t actually make money from my passion unfortunately for me.

I guess I could make money if I did it more superficially, but it does take me four to five years to make a film, and because of that most of the time I don’t get paid anything reasonable even.

Just for an anecdote: When I finished “Behind the rainbow”, my accountant as we finalized the account,  and as I was walking out, he stopped he said,  you do realize that the cleaning lady  earned more than you did on this film?”

And it’s because she obviously got paievery timeme she worked.  I had a lumpsum, which is fine in one year but when stretching over  four years, you barely make ends meet …which accounts for me doing other things on the side like teaching and so forth,, so that’s question 4…

5.When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

When was the first time I was paid for my passion? I’m going to stick to the documentary but I could also say photography, my very first job.

When I was 19 was as a photographer and I remember clearly, I was working for Reuters, and my first salary paid for taking pictures that I thought was the most amusing thing as I would have paid to go take these pictures, but now I was being paid to do that.That was when I first started working as a photographer at Reuters, that must have been in 1984 or something.

In documentary when I started documentary, I was already a professional in the sector, so obviously I got paid, meaning I had budgets in which I got paid if there was any leftover!

6. What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

#CreatepreneurAfricaJihan TahriQuestion6

I thought about giving up many times, especially in the middle of the film when things go completely out of sync.

“Behind the rainbow” was a good example, when for six months, absolutely everyone I had interviewed for research and was a 1oo percent onboard of the film suddenly when I came back with a camera, nobody wanted to talk.

It took about six months for me to get the first interview and my cameraman whose German had come to South Africa for the shoot and instead of 26 or 27 days he was paid for the shoot he stayed for six months. That was a very depressing moment.

And my co-producer, Steven Markovitch from Big world cinema, you know, as a producer, he realised that we couldn’t go on like this and everyone wanted to  shut down the project but I’d went too far, I spent already three years, and there was no way I wasn’t going to make that film, especially because I thought it was an important film.

So the short answer to what motivates me  to keep going when I think  should give up, is because I don’t just make films , I really grapple with topics that I think are important for me and people like me,  people who believe in Africa, people who want a better future , so I guess that’s what keeps me going.

 

7. What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

#CreatePreneurAfricaJiahnTahriQuestion7

What motivates me every day to be even more successful?

I don’t actually think of myself as successful.  I just feel I’m lucky to do what I do. and I put my whole heart in it. I’m not sure what successful means because depending on the criteria I m actually not successful at all.

I don’t earn enough money to keep me going’,  so I’m lucky that I have multiple things that I do because it keeps me floating but I engage with what I believe in and what I love and do it to the fullest.

For the past year, for example I’ve been doing visual arts. I started about five years ago, but over the past year I’ve  basically only been doing exhibitions and visual art projects,  and I’ve done at least four exhibitions that year and I have four or five to come this year,  and I love each and everyone, they’re different topics.

And I guess it’s being able to use different formats in order to deal with all the questions you have personally and try to find a way to express them.

So as much as my documentaries are extremely talkative,  my visual arts work or my contemporary arts work there isn’t a single words its just visual, I think having an alternative format to grapple with more or less  same issues is wonderful, so I put my whole heart into it and try to do it as best as I can

8.What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

# CreatePreneurAfricaJihanTahri question8

 

The people who doubted me……  well I guess there’s people who still doubt me. People will always doubt others, but what will I tell them?……. I’ll tell them good luck, go find your own passion and go do something beautiful and that you believe in.

I don’t really pay attention to people who doubt me or don’t doubt me because I don’t particular…I guess…care..

I don’t care. what I’m seen as, as long as I’m doing what I think is the right thing and as long as I don’t overstep boundaries, not politically speaking of course, but overstep boundaries like don’t  forecast in terms of cultural and other things.

I most of the time work with stories that I believe in and care about but I’m not part of the community I’m talking about, like for example my film about Zambia or my film about South Africa.

I lived there I cared about it but I’m a not Zambian and I’m not South African, so I do care about not overstepping cultural borders, that in order for my work to remain relevant, in order for the people from that place identify with it too. but obviously you never win everybody and if you do win everybody  over….then you’ve done something wrong, as there is always one side of the story that wants negate the other,

 9.What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?

CreatePreneurAfrica JihanTahriQuestionairre9

 

I must say I get very touched  and almost embarrassed now that my age is advancing, young people come up to me  and tell me that you know  that look up to me or  that I inspire them, it’s very touching  because I guess one never thinks that work one does will resound on a much larger scale

 

What do I have as advice….. I  basically will repeat what I have said over and over hold on to the stories you care about and go out and find  out  about them,

Don’t let people tell you what they about, go find your own angle go expose find discover engage with what matters to you,  and I think even when people tell you oh you not the right person to do so,,oh you this oh you not allowed  that,  forget about all this something that you feel matters to you.

Go out and get it, and give it time and give it love, AND I UNDERLINE, GIVE IT TIME…because in our day and age its much more time than money makes a difference.

Money is obviously important but money is the way lots of people sell there soul, so if you care about something go find money in a different sector, but with your passion, give it TIME, give it LOVE.

And  if it doesn’t give you enough money,  don’t sell your soul for money, get the money somewhere else we all have multiple skills, so find that skill, I’ve translated, I worked as a driver …..I’ve done everything under the sun when I needed money, there’s no shame in working, so follow your passion.

 

“#CreatePreneurAfrica” Launching Soon: Publication of the Millenium!

COMING SOON. GET READY FOr #CREATEPRENEUR AFRICA. Drop in your details in the form below, if you feel you fit in  #CreatepreneurAfrica and feature in the launch of the millennium

Meet  our top  #CreatePeneurAfrica features thus far:

ALL THE WAY FROM MADAGASCAR: Meet Lalah Raindimby, extraordinaire root Madagascar songstress and musician with several social causes for nurturing the future of Madagascar

#CreatepreneurAfrica- Island of Madagascar- Lalah Raindimby

ALL THE WAY FROM TANZANIA:  Meet Pablo Zungu Createpreneur Extraordinaire

‘#CreatepreneurAfrica’ – Pablo Zungu Art wonders in Tanzania

ALL THE WAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA: Meet Tu Nokwe– LIving Music Legend and more!

“#CreatePreneurAfrica” – Conversations with Tu Nokwe

 

ALL THE WAY FROM EAST AFRICA: Meet Shabani Mpita,  specialized field and tour guide  as well as a creative artist

http://exploremotherlandafrica.com/turning-creative-passions-into-profit/

From Lagos Nigeria, Dance Sensation Taiwo Soyebo the founder of Tourism expression, poetry, and arts festival, T.E.P.A.F

#CreatepreneurAfrica @Taiwo Soyebo – Dancing away in Nigeria

 

 

From Morogoro Tanzania- Meet the world of animation and the JUU Afrikan Festival Clenga Ngatigwa

CreatePreneurAfrica@Cleng’a Ng’atigwa- Animation and traditional music in Tanzania

From Bagamoyo in Tanzania – Meet drummer from the acrobat and drummer group, Mafisi, meet Thomas Mura.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

 

From Tanzania, meet master sculptor and artist  Saidi Mbungu, and his passion to share his skill and uplift coming generations with his Africa Modern Art project.

“#CreatepreneurAfrica @Thomas Mura: Soul Rhythm from Bagamoyo

Filmmaker taking the World by Storm- Meet Kurt Orderson– Azania Rizing!

CreatepreneurAfrica – Cape Town filmmaker Kurt Orderson conquers the world with ‘Azania Rizing’

 

From South Africa meet the award-winning actress, storyteller and community leader Andrea Dondolo.

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Andrea Dondolo,Queen Spirit Shining Light in South Africa

Tantalizing Tastebud Treat sensation- Chef Li!

CreatePreneurAfrica -Tastebud treats from Chef Li

 

Hakeem Kae-Kazim , Africa’s leading actor taking the world cinema stage by storm!

#CreatePreneurAfrica- Africa icon Hakeem Kae Kazim- takes the world cinema stage by storm!

 

He is about to spread light all over Africa. Meet our leading scientist Emmanuel Obayagbona

#CreatePreneurAfrica-Meet Africa’s Fastest Rising Scientist : Emmanuel Obayagbona

Our Pan African media proprietor Rosie Motene takes center stage in raising Africa’s stream of talent.

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Pan Africa media proprieter – Our Voice of Africa : Rosie Motene

Africa’s poetic vision meet Kariuki wa Nyamu, sharing his journey into the light of words.

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Africa Poetic vision : Kenya’s Kariuki wa Nyamu

 

Proudly Tanzanian actor Kihaka Gnd is ready to shine, universally!

#CreateprenuerAfrica – Proudly Tanzanian Actor – Kihaka GND

Mak Manaka ,South Africa poet-  spreading the word with  soul purpose

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Poetically speaking : Mak Manaka

Jihan El Tahri, Egyptian filmmaker  raises consciousness with awakening documentaries across the continent

#CreatepreneurAfrica – Visionary Soul Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri

 

Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru in his spectacular vision of spectacles

#CreatepreneurAfrica- ‘Afrodazzled’ Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru- “C-Stunner Spectacular Spectacles”

Nigerian Fashionista UKachukwu Okechukwu journeys us through his design of the century vision

#CreatePreneurAfrica – Nigerian Fashionista Supreme – Ukachukwu Okechukwu

 

Meet Donald Molosi – he has some critical love letter for humanity!

 

 

CreatePreneurAfrica – Botswana’s Donald Molosi’s “Critical love letters to Humanity”

Mountaineer Monde Sitole is taking Africa to new heights. Are we ready to join him and reach new peaks?

 

Meet trailblazer filmmaker Vincent Moloi. The voice of the nation

#CreatepreneurAfrica Vincent Moloi : Trailblazer filmmaker capturing human existence dynamics!

Do not doubt: Women narrate the future! “Shining the light of literature in Africa”

Africa, the heartbeat of rhythmic narrative voices, the home of authentic root information, is on a mission to reshape its distorted, desecrated image. Words spark off like distant echoes healing scars inflicted by the wraths of colonialism.

From rhythmic poetry to reciting kings, the pulsating echo from the motherland of Africa in streams of African literature is rooted in oral tradition, moral values, cultural systems and laws that were passed on from wood fires in the villages spreading voices to be heard, passing through the rivers and mountains.


The Diverse Literature of Africa

Writers from the continent in the contemporary era bring a diverse perspective of the multifaceted and complex continent of Africa.

Wole Soyinka from Nigeria spread the wings of Africa literature awareness and development after claiming the Nobel prize in 1986. Magical extraordinaire from Africa followed with Ben Okri and ‘The Famished Road’. The enchanting tale from Africa in a magical tone of realism and claimed the poetic prose Booker prize in 1991.

Somalian novelist, Nuruddin Farah received the 1998 Neustadt Prize prize. Nigerian author emerged with ‘Measuring time’ and Mozambican Mia Couto’s lyrically delicious read  “The Last Flight of the Flamingo” took off in a magic realism masterpiece of note.

Sembene, Achebe, Hampâté Bâ, Kourouma, Marechera and Armah dominated the literary scene,  then came the flowing voices of women in Africa with Mariama Ba and Bessie Head who pioneered African feminism.

 The Literary Voice of Women from Africa

The last two and a half decades women writers came to the fore. From the classic ‘Nervous conditions” by Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangaremba to  Cameroon’s Calixthe Beyal, showcased women from Africa that excel in literature.

Nervous Conditions -Tsitsi Dangaremba
Calixthe Beyala : La Plantation

 

Female writers came to the forefront like Fatou Diome, the acclaimed ‘The Belly of the Atlantic’ author.

The autobiographic ‘The Devil that Danced on the Water’ announced Aminatta Forna another great writer from the land of  Sierra Leone, home of Syl Cheney-Coker, an acclaimed poet.

A young girl from Nigeria, ‘Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’ made her debut on the literary scene taking the world by storm with ‘Purple Hibiscus’.  ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ followed, an epic of the Nigerian civil war.

Amma Darko, a tax collector expanded her creativity in Africa’s expression in the linguistic field. She published (Der VerkaufteTraum) Beyond The Horizon

Amma Darko – Beyond the horizon

Monica Arac de Nyeako from Uganda claimed the 2007 Caine Prize.

The past ten years have seen the emergence of publishing houses and broadened our understanding of the savannah. The diverse narrative from Africa continues globe trotting.

The internet has widened pathways for authors to circumnavigate the traditional publishing house methods, earn revenue and create online fans. EC Osunde proved this after winning the 2009 Caine Prize for initially published on Guernicamag.com.

The Caine Prize has provided a recognition for African writing in an annual platform to ensure the development of writing on the continent.

Binyavanga Wainaina, after winning the  Caine Prize in 2002  initialises, Kwani,  a  literary review in Africa. The infrastructure of African writing continues to develop with new publishing houses and the information exchange online of databases and African studies as well as social networks like twitter transcend all publishing barriers giving a Voice to Africa.

The Colonial Linguistic barriers  dividing  Africa – reinforced

The question of language was always debated regarding the logic of English in literature writing in indigenous languages grew

Ngugi Wa Thiong’   wrote his novels ‘Devil on the Cross’ and ‘Matigari’ in Kikuyu and abandoned English, the language of colonizers.  ‘Devil on the Cross’ was successful in sales and emerged with 50,000 sold copies.The landmark of indigenous language in African literature.

 

Linguistic barriers perpetuate the divisions rooted in colonialism preventing literature from Africa to become cohesive in a movement of Pan Africanism.The Uk celebrates English writers from Africa, France endorsed authors in Francophone brackets from Mali Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Translations do exist, but it is common for intellectuals to get sponsored by ex-colonies. Further investment in translation in the core for Pan Africa readership and appreciation. Established pan African faculties may be the key to resolving the challengeThe challenge of building local markets and readership remains. The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty.

The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty. Writings contrast the picture of Africa as a continent of darkness and delusion with narrative posing the eclectic and fruitful real Africa.

The call for Africa to rephrase history had arrived in 1986 when Wole Soyinka took center stage as the dramatist in poetic overtones. Exposing corruption and political injustice was no smooth flowing route, -yet the mission to fade away the myth of  Africa being incapable contributes to the need for Africa writing.

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