Thursday, October 27, 2011

African Writers Trust

What is African Writers Trust?

Established in 2009, African Writers Trust is a non-profit entity which seeks to coordinate and bring together African writers in the Diaspora and writers on the continent to promote sharing of skills and other resources, and to foster knowledge and learning between the two groups. AWT is governed by an Advisory Board and administered by the Director. It is assisted by a working group and volunteers. It is operational in London, United Kingdom and in Kampala, Uganda, where it’s registered as a company limited by guarantee. AWT’s activities and programmes are sponsored through donor funding, friends, philanthropists and supporters of African writing.


Stepping out of the light

Those of us who nearly cried when Ikhide announced his retirement from NEXT can now be heartily consoled: He's back! He now has his blog, which I am happy to introduce here. I am particularly happy that he is not restricting his writing to Facebook.
Anyway ENJOY his introductory offering. Aperitif!

Alexandra Fuller's top 10 African memoirs

"From JM Coetzee to Nelson Mandela, the author chooses her favourite 'performances of courage and honesty' that have come out of the continent."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Baingana returns home to share literary experience

Doreen Baingana is following the example of writers I admire such as Molara Wood; she has gone back to Uganda after several years abroad. Here is her belief: “I love my country; east, west home is best, and I wanted to bring up my child in Uganda –he has already learned the national anthem!"

To me, the best contribution a talented person, indeed, anyone, can make to one's country is to live there. Great example, Doreen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000 – 5000 words). Submissions must be made by the author of the short story. Regional winners receive £1,000 and the overall winner receives £5,000.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Octavia McBride-Ahebee

Introducing a blog of great interest and an emerging poet that deserves serious attention. Octavia McBride-Ahebee has just published a collection of poems,Where My Birthmark Dances, one of which is dedicated to Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian environmentalist and human rights activist, who sacrificed his life for the survival of his people and Nigeria. A sample:

"A Chase Through the Niger Delta"

For Ken Saro-Wiwa

When my feet pound the damp earth

distancing themselves from the fears of the day


as my toes collect mineral wealth

and ancestors’ blessings,

the hope of the world

because I am chased by a lover

in heat

in whose mouth sprouts mango-colored hibiscus,

our blissful flight is still broken,

overthrown by surface pipes,

snaking conduits of slick poison,

fallen piƱatas full of slippery promises

lined in fire and incessant flares


with fury and inflamed detachment

the tops of our crop’s heads

drowning our stomachs in greasy blackness

stuffing our chest with soot and oil’s disdain

is how a pair of lovers

whose day began unspoiled

fueled by the thrill of a dreamy chase

became uninspired and polluted.

The blog, "Octavia McBride-Ahebee is a work of art that introduces you not only to the world of poetry, but also to that of human rights activism, and beautiful people. A click will convince you.

The blog: Octavia McBride-Ahebee
The collection,Where My Birthmark Dances, is available at


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Humanity's willing curator

Percy Zvomuya sketches a beautiful portrait of the Nigerian poet, novelist and jazz trumpeter, Chris Abani. Well, it's Chris Abani sketch of himself that brings most smile to my face. Here you go.
"I am complicated, contradictory, lazy, always looking for the right question (because that is all there really is to life), happy, moody and always up for spicy food."
I can assure you this. Go to any of his readings, repeat his line to him, then hang around. He will take you out for some spicy food. But be ready to talk literature.

Mostly Books

Introducing a blog every lover of literature ought to know, and a beautiful anthology of African writers, "African Roar." I got a preview of the anthology, and you should be reading my review of the great stories in it. Well, friends, Dawn Promislow has beat me to that. This is her beautiful review.