For a while now I have been fascinated by the idea that as cultural operators based on the African continent, and producing work here, we ought to think about the implications of home-based literature, of writing by writers who do not live outside Africa. Constantly thinking about this makes me feel there is a danger of over-amplifying a subtlety that does not demand extra attention. But then, from my experience of working with younger, emerging writers as myself I realize that the real danger is the skewed notion that a successful literary career is one that begins with, for instance, international publishing rights, winning a western-based African literary award, and being laden with other validatory baggage.
To emphasize our interest in building a culture of celebrating home-based writing, Saraba Magazine is publishing a series of essays by writers, editors, and publishers who have demonstrated sufficient interest in the matter. The starting point is, as I noted, demonstrated interest and then affirmative action. And even further a commitment to asking the hard questions about writing from within.
The essays will be published weekly over the next five weeks, and it is my earnest wish that they generate brilliant conversation about our literary industry and where it is headed. Hopefully when things are considered in retrospect, these essays will be the markers of new models in growing home-based African literature.
Click the links below to read the essays.
Emmanuel Iduma | co-publisher / creative director, Saraba Magazine
Read the Essays:
- Of Rising, and the Home-Based Nigerian Writer, by Ukamaka Olisakwe
- Producing and Consuming African Literature: Ernest Bazanye and the Uganda Case, by Brian Bwesigye
- Sprouting Again by Tolu Oloruntoba
- Literature is Bigger Than Publishing, by Ernest Bazanye Sempebwa
Photo: RAS News and Events