DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.
NoViolet Bulawayo, "We Need New Names".

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest book Americanah has been listed by the New York Times as one the year’s best fiction novels, as selected by the publication’s editors of The New York Times Book Review.

Straying from Nigerian landscapes, as seen in her previous books, as suggested by the title of the book, the story centers around a young woman who moves to the United States for educational purposes - a common decision for many young Africans pursuing tertiary education opportunities, and her experiences with her multi-layered dual identities as she struggles aligning herself fully with each, and the allegiances that lie on either end.

The first Zimbabwean to be featured on the Man Booker prize shortlist, the BBC’s Alan Kasujja speaks to NoViolet Bulawayo about the inspiration behind her coming-of-age novel We Need New Names, the writing culture and publishing industry in Zimbabwe, and the sociopolitical consciousness burden that often comes with being an African writer.

CURRENTLY READING: Kenyan writer Lily Mabura’s Caine Prize for African Fiction shortlisted collection of short stories How Shall We Kill the Bishop? And Other Stories.

Just picked this up form the library purely through random selection. Well, not entirely random as I had already narrowed my criteria to that of books by African authors that were slim in size and thus, quick reads. It contains 11 short stories that are only several pages in length, around 10-15 on average. Read the first few lines and knew that this would be a book I’d engross myself in very quickly, based on her writing style.

Expect excerpts and quotes later.

AUGUST: Highlighting African Women

In Pictures: The Hargeisa International Book Fair is one of the largest literature and arts festivals in East Africa, according to the BBC.

Taking place in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland - a country that declared its independence in 1991, the annual celebration is now in its sixth year and includes authors, artists, actors, poets and musicians from various parts of the continent such as Kenya and Nigeria, as well as international artists from Italy and the UK.

Theatre performances, readings and discussions take place during the event, and literature is sold to attendees. This year, the Somaliland Circus proved to be one of the major highlights of the festival.

Though declaring itself independent, Somaliland is not internationally recognized as a sovereign state, but rather an autonomous zone within Somalia.

WOMEN’S MONTH RECOMMENDED READING

And these days it is worse, with the poverty of blackness on one side and the weight of womanhood on the other. Aiwa! What will help you, my child, is to learn to carry your burdens with strength.

Intersectionality and womanism in Tsitsi Dangarembga's novel Nervous Conditions.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

…condemning Nyasha to whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness, just as I had felt victimised at home in the days when Nhamo went to school and I grew my maize. The victimisation, I saw, was universal. It didn’t depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn’t depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on. Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru did it. And that was the problem…all conflicts came back to the question of femaleness. Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.

A quote from Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga's debut novel Nervous Conditions, book I love more and more every time it’s brought up in conversation.

So many of the words in this book, and both Nyasha and Tambu’s lives, resonate so deeply with my experiences.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

WOMEN’S MONTH RECOMMENDED READING:“The Girl Who Can, and Other Stories” by Ama Ata Aidoo is a series of short stories, each of them woven into the fabric of Ghanaian identity and told, always, from the perspective of a female protagonist.

Through each of these stories, Aidoo visits both the complex and seemingly mundane events that women face in every day situations, all the while managing to transcend heritage and history, weaving through tradition against the backdrop of modernity, and combing through the fibres of colonial and post-colonial life.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

(via teambailey)

WOMEN’S MONTH RECOMMENDED READING: “The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi

Nigerian writer Eledi Amadi’s tragic love story centered around the life of Ihuoma, a beautiful woman whose ill-fated bouts with romance are enough to shatter any and all notions of true love and kill the human spirit seven times over.

It’s a beautifully written book that moulds itself into a classic bittersweet tale of misfortune and vulnerability, and I highly recommend it.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

WOMEN’S MONTH BOOKS TO READ: "Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle" by Thomas Sankara

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

When our tears are dry on the shore
and the fishermen carry their nets home
and the seagulls return to bird island
and the laughter of the children recedes at night
there shall still linger the communion we forged
the feast of oneness whose ritual we partook of
There shall still be the eternal gateman
who will close the cemetery doors
and send the late mourners away
It cannot be the music we heard that night
that still lingers in the chambers of memory
It is the new chorus of our forgotten comrades
and the halleluyahs of our second selves

Rediscovery, a poem by Ghanaian writer Kofi Awoonor.

The poem can be found in A New Book of African Verse.

For the rest, dear countrymen,
we promise you
no success
no prosperity.

Man must have something to live for.

We survive on our
failures.

As things
do stand,
I’ve missed more
chances
than
I can count,
or
wish to count.

So
Time gives
Me her
‘Go-ahead’
to chop you small
before I’m dead.

These lines are taken from Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo's poem From the Only Speech That Was Not Delivered At the Rally, a piece that speaks on the unspoken, but heard and understood, nature of the one-sided communication from candidates that happens during rallies and elections, almost ridiculing the manner in which these electoral candidates address and engage with their supporters, demeaning them in the process.

Words that still resonate.

The poem can be found in A New Book of African Verse.

Hey, do you have any recommendations for books about contemporary Nigeria or post-independence Nigeria?
dynamicafrica dynamicafrica Said:

Hey there! I have quite a few but I’ll only post the first ten that come to mind so as not to get carried away (listed in no particular order):

  1. A Man of the People - Chinua Achebe
  2. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Everything Good Will Come - Sefi Atta
  4. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
  5. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
  6. Looking for Transwonderland - Noo Saro-Wiwa
  7. A Month and a Day - Ken Saro-Wiwa
  8. The Spider King’s Daughter - Chibundu Onuzo
  9. Graceland - Chris Abani
  10. The Ghost of Sani Abacha - Chuma Nwokolo
Nothing was left beyond the necessity of digging oneself deeper and deeper into the holes in which there could never be anything like life. But perhaps the living dead could take some solace in the half-thought that there were so many others dead in life with them. So many, so frighteningly many, that maybe in the end even the efforts one made not to join them resulted only in another, more frustrating kind of living death.
Lines from Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah’s classic novel The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, which I’m currently reading,that resonated with me deeply on feelings of depression and aimless living.