African Writing Upsurge Commendable

I am not even going to get into the names today, but I feel good about the upsurge in Africa’s literary creativity. Nigeria seems to continue to lead in this literary explosion, but I have also noticed notable works from Kenya, Zimbabwe (my home!), South Africa, and other places. Zambia recently clinched the Africa region Commonwealth Short Story Competition, while my blogging friend Molara Wood, and one or two South Africans received commendations. The diaspora is contributing a lot as well, with blockbuster names like Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the highly promising Zimbabwean Valerie Tagwira and other names.

In the poetry scene I have seen much growth in small-press publishing, and I ask everyone to watch Thamsanqa Ncube, Cosmas Mairosi, Uche Peter Umez, Maxwell Mutami, and many more emergent voices.

What I haven’t seen much of is creative non-fiction or the sometimes lucrative memoir-writing genres. Perhaps the African diaspora will start telling its non-fiction stories? Can someone publishe letters between mother and son/daughter talking about Western Union or Moneygram dialogues, or the dizzying changes ‘back home’, etc ?


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