Literature
Photo by Daniel Gilbert Bwette

On Reinventing African Lit: All the Buzz From East Africa’s Biggest Literary Festival

We talked to attendees at the Writivism Festival in Kampala about what makes a memorable legacy in African literature.

The acclaimed writer Taban Lo liyong has an easy strategy to make people speak more honestly about literature—drink red wine, say something controversial, and apologize later.

Liyong was scheduled to be the opening keynote speaker for the 2018 Writivism festival in Uganda that took place over the weekend in Kampala. Ugandan writers might not dominate discussions about African literature, but Kampala is a city that has hosted the most notorious debates about the genre from the Makerere conference to Transition magazine where writers like Ezekiel Mphalele, Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong'o argued with each other about what made writing "African" or "good." Writivism follows that tradition of gathering people from all over the continent in Kampala to discuss what African literature is.

The theme for the festival this year was "Legacy." Since Liyong had said in 1965 that East Africa was a literary desert, there was no one better to reflect on how far East African literature had come. In his keynote, he proclaimed that the novel Kintu (2014) by Jennifer Makumbi had finally broken Uganda's dry spell. Makumbi was great because she had mastered the art of long form narrative, critiqued Ugandan royalty, and managed to "graduate from a muslim college in the East and still remain interesting." She was the writer Liyong had been waiting to read for forty years.

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Poetry
Image via Flickr

5 Afro-Latinx Poets You Should Know

Get familiar with the work of this talented group of poets.

This August, OkayAfrica shines a light on the connections between Africa and the Latin-American world. Whether it's the music, politics or intellectual traditions, Africans have long been at the forefront of Latino culture, but they haven't always gotten the recognition. We explore the history of Afro-Latino identity and its connection to the motherland.

I have a strategy for finding new poetry to read: I take my friends to a bookstore and they can't help but comment on the latest works and suggest writers that would resonate with me.

Many of the poets on the following list came from that process. After exploring their work, I ended up enjoying the poems so much I wondered why I hadn't found them myself in the first place.

These five Afro-Latinx poets engage various topics from migrants crossing to Europe to the politics of loneliness in the 70's. Below are five Afro-Latinx poets you should check out.

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News Brief

Why Were All Today’s Women’s Day Speeches Being Given by Men? South African Women Speak Out

This is what happened at today's women's day events in South Africa.

Various political parties in South Africa have been holding their rallies for women's day today, but as the familiar male politicians have been giving keynote addresses, people on Twitter have been asking when women will get their chance to lead.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the national women's day address in the Western Cape which was disrupted by protestors calling for an end to farm evictions. According to News 24, protestors carried placard written "We want our land back" and "This is our land."

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