Popular
Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Watch Bernadine Evaristo Talk About Womanhood and Othering on 'BBC: Focus on Africa'

The 2019 Booker Prize winner speaks to BBC about her acclaimed book 'Girl, Woman, Other'.

Earlier this week, British-Nigerian author Bernadine Evaristo was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for her book, Girl, Woman, Other. Although the Booker Prize forbids that the award be given to more than one individual, the committee reportedly felt that two novels were deserving of this year's prize. While Evaristo made history as the first ever Black woman to win the prize, many were not pleased that she had to share the prize with Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. Recently, in an interview with BBC: Focus on Africa, Evaristo spoke about womanhood, othering in terms of race, sexuality, class and immigration status.


Explaining why she chose to focus on othering in her book, Evaristo says that, "It's about womanhood. It's about the transition from womanhood to adulthood. And it's about the ways in which we are othered as women of color in certain societies, in the UK for example. She goes on to add that, "The women in the book are othered in terms of their sexuality because there are characters on the queer spectrum in the book...they're a diverse group of women. There's no sort of homogeneity among them at all."

While Girl, Woman, Other is Evaristo's eighth book, this is the first time her work has been seriously considered for the prize. The interviewer asks her what she feels needs to be done further in the publishing world to ensure that the stories of Black women writers are recognized and talked about much more. Evaristo responds by saying that the issue is with the publishing industry and who gets to become a publisher in what is a admittedly a White industry.

Towards the end of the interview, Evaristo speaks about the brilliance of the current crop of African authors and the importance of the Caine Prize for African Fiction.

READ: Nigerian Writer Lesley Nneka Arimah is the 2019 Winner of the Prestigious Caine Prize

Watch the full interview below:

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.