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Tag Literature

The Myth of the African travel writer

The proposition that I attend the African Travel Writing Encounters (ATWE) workshop held at the University of Birmingham in the UK on a blustery, drizzly day in March came from a close acquaintance who fits the customary profile of a professional travel writer – meaning that he is white and male.

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Ngugi wa Thiong’o says “let our planes fly”

At a public lecture on June 11 at the University of Nairobi, Kenyan literary giant, Ngugi wa Thiong’o told the story of Gachamaba and Charles Njonjo. Gachamba was a bicycle repairman from Nyeri, in Central Kenya, who, in the late 1970s, built an airplane. He had no secondary education and spent his days tinkering with spare parts. His airplane flew for 9 miles. Charles Njonjo, on the other hand, was an exceptionally well-educated lawyer and the Attorney General of Kenya from 1978-1982. He heard about Gachamba’s short flight and, banned the flying of planes without a proper license. In Ngugi’s hands this story became an insightful metaphor for the Kenyan government’s habit of inhibiting the country’s talents.

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Why I asked for my work to be withdrawn from the inaugural FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards

There is a new award just for people from poor countries. I came to know about it when the organisers requested proof of my nationality. My publisher promotes the prize, and I was unaware that they had submitted my work for consideration. I have a great working relationship with my publisher and value their support for my writing. I understand that when they submitted my work, it was because they valued the book.

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Africa is a country recommends: Books of 2014

Christmas is coming, and like the German Bundesliga we’re going to be taking a wee break on AIAC, returning in the early days of 2015.

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Boubacar Boris Diop: “National cultures and literatures, a major political issue in Africa”

Brussels – “We have to teach the original national language, which is far easier than French, and develop a national culture, a national literature. This is a major political issue”, says the intellectual Senegalese Boubacar Boris Diop in an interview published in the catalogue of Here Africa/Ici l’Afrique, an exhibition curated by Art for The World which will assemble a collection of Contemporary African art (from 6 May to 8 July, Geneva).

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Dutch author: ‘If only Africans would complain a bit more’

In a recent interview, Pepijn Vloemans, a regular commentator in Dutch mainstream press and the author of the book ‘Wat hebben we weer genoten’ (What a joy we had), described how his drive for adventure and experimental urge to test himself in a low-comfort environment led him to Africa.

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