November 10, 2014 — Alongside a
surge of internationalised African
writing is a less-touted growth in
the production of African writing
on the continent. TIA’s Bwesigye
bwa Mwesigire, in the Made in
Africa series, talks to nine writers
whose work is published on the
Nine Africa-published fiction writers
you should know
There is a not so silent anymore
revolution happening in the
production and consumption of
African Writing. A lot has so far
been said about ‘African writers with
an internationalist bent’, the phrase
The New York Times used to define
books by African writers that talk of
the immigrant experiences of
Africans, whether in Europe or the
United States of America. CNN has
also added its voice to the touting of
this trend.
Most of the writers that have
been heralded as the new
faces of African fiction are
published in the West
Most of the books, if not all, that
have been heralded as the new
faces of African fiction are published
in the West. In more ways than one,
they are as American/European as
their writers are African. They
deserve to be included in the stable
of American and European literature.
For their straddling of various
worlds, maybe World Literature but
that is to assume that there are only
three continents in the world.
The following writers that I talk to in
this first part of the Made in Africa
series are not only distinguished but
also inspire faith in the production
and consumption of quality fiction
on the continent. The writers hail
from Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe,
and South Africa. These writers are
Achebean in the sense that they
write in English and indeed do so
many things with English to be said
to have created their own Englishes
from the Queen’s.
The series are alive to the fact that
Africa is way bigger than the four
countries included. Neither are
these the only writers, even in those
very countries. This is just a peek
into the granary. In no way do we
mean to say that these are the only
notable writers writing and being
published on the continent. They
merely show the promise and extent
of quality of fiction being published
on the continent today. We hope
you enjoy the interviews that follow.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
1. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (The
Whispering Trees)
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, born in Jos,
Nigeria, writes prose, poetry and
drama. He won the BBC African
Performance Prize in 2007, the ANA
Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose
in 2008, was runner-up for the ANA
Plateau Poetry Prize, was a fellow of
the British Council Radiophonics
creative workshop, attended the
Fidelity Bank Creative Writing
Workshop, the 2012 and 2013 Caine
Prize workshops, and has also been
a Gabriel Marquez Fellow. His debut
collection of short stories The
Whispering Trees , published by
Paressia, was longlisted for the 2013
Etisalat Prize for African Literature,
and the title story shortlisted for the
2013 Caine Prize for African Writing.
His was the only story published on
the continent to be shortlisted for
the Caine Prize that year. He is the
arts editor at the Abuja-based
Sunday Trust. He was a mentor on
the 2013 Writivism programme,
facilitated the Abuja Writivism
workshop in 2014 and judged the
2014 Writivism Short Story Prize. He
also facilitated the Caine Short Story
surgery at the 2014 Port Harcourt
Book Festival.
Chika Unigwe
2. Chika Unigwe (Night Dancer )
Chika Unigwe, born in Enugu,
Nigeria, writes fiction in English and
Dutch. She was shortlisted for the
Caine Prize for African Writing in
2003 and won the BBC Short Story
competition and the Commonwealth
Short Story competition in 2004. Her
debut novel De Feniks, written in
Dutch and published in 2005, was
shortlisted for the Vrouw en Kultuur
debuutprijs prize. It was later
published in Nigeria by Farafina
Publishers in 2007 as The Phoenix.
In 2009, her novel On Black Sisters’
Street was published by Jonathan
Cape and won the Nigeria Prize for
Literature in 2012. It was originally
published in Dutch as Fata Morgana .
In 2012, Night Dancer was published
by Jonathan Cape. It was later
published in Nigeria by Paressia.
Chika has been named by the Hay
Festival as one of the top 39 writers
under the age of 40 that will shape
the future of African Literature. She
holds a PhD in Literature from the
University of Leiden and is the
founder of the Awele Creative Trust.
Dilman Dila
3. Dilman Dila ( A Killing in the Sun)
Dilman Dila, born in Tororo, Uganda,
writes fiction and makes films. He
was longlisted for the Short Story
Day Africa prize in 2013 and 2014,
shortlisted for the Commonwealth
Short Story prize in 2013 for A
Killing in the Sun, and nominated
for the 2008 Million Writers Awards.
He has also been longlisted for the
BBC International Radio Playwriting
Competition for Toilets are for
Something Fishy . His film Felista’s
Fables has won and been nominated
for various awards, from the Uganda
Film Festival awards to the Africa
Movie Academy Awards and the
Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.
His short story collection A Killing in
the Sun was published in 2014 by
Black Letter Media. His novella
Cranes Crest at Sunset was
published by Storymoja in 2013 and
The Terminal Move by Fox and Raven
Publishing also in 2013.
Emmanuel Sigauke
4. Emmanuel Sigauke (Mukoma’s
Marriage and other stories )
Emmanuel Sigauke, born in
Zimbabwe writes fiction and poetry.
He teaches English at Cosumnes
River College and Creative Writing at
University of Carlifornia Davis. His
work has appeared in Horizon, The
Pedestal, NR Review, African Writing
Online, StoryTime, Tsotso, The Rattle
Review, and Arts Initiates, among
others. He edits Tule Review,
Cosumnes River Journal, and Poetry
Now and founded Munyori Literary
Journal. Mukoma’s Marriage and
other stories , published in 2014, is
his first collection of short stories.
Jennifer Nansubuga
5. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Jennifer Makumbi, born in Uganda is
a novelist and short story writer. She
won the inaugural Kwani?
Manuscript prize in 2013. Kwani
Trust went on to publish the novel
Kintu in 2014. In the same year, she
won the Commonwealth short story
prize with Let us Tell This Story
Properly. Her other short fiction has
been published by African Writing
Online, Granta, Moss Side Stories,
among others. She studied at
Manchester Metropolitan University
and Lancaster University for her
Masters and Doctoral degrees
Melissa Kiguwa
6. Melissa Kiguwa ( Reveries of
Melissa Kiguwa describes herself as
“an artist, a daughter, and a radical
feminist.” Her debut collection of
poetry, Reveries of Longing, was
published in 2014 by African
Perspectives. She was long-listed for
the 2014 Writivism Short story prize
for the story The Wound of
Shrinking. She now studies at the
London School of Economics.
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
7. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma ( Shadows )
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, born in
Zimbabwe, is a fiction writer. Her
debut novella and collection of short
stories was published by Kwela in
2013. Her stories have appeared in
various publications, including the
2010 Caine Prize Anthology and
African Roar. She won the 2009
Yvonne Vera Award and the Herman
Charles Bosman Prize for English
Fiction with Shadows . She is
currently a Maytag Fellow at the MFA
Creative Writing Programme at the
University of Iowa and one of the 39
writers named by the Hay Festival as
potential influences on future
African Literature.
Yewande Omotoso
8. Yewande Omotoso ( Bom Boy)
Yewande Omotoso, born in Barbados
to a Nigerian father and a West
Indian mother, is a writer and an
architect. Her debut novel Bom Boy ,
published in 2011 by Modjaji Books,
won the 2012 South African Literary
Award for First-Time Published
Author, was shortlisted for the 2012
Sunday Times Fiction Prize in South
Africa as well as the M-Net Literary
Awards 2012, and was the runner-up
for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for
Zukiswa Wanner
9. Zukiswa Wanner ( London Cape
Town Joburg )
Zukiswa Wanner, born in Zambia to a
South African father and a
Zimbabwean mother, is a writer. Her
debut novel, The Madams, was
shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker
Award in 2007. It was followed by
Behind Every Successful Man,
published by Kwela in 2008, Men of
the South, also by the same
publisher in 2010. Men of the South
was shortlisted for the 2011
Commonwealth Writers Prize. Her
latest novel, London Cape Town
Joburg , was published by Kwela in
2014. She was named one of the Hay
Festival’s Africa39 authors. She sits
on the Writivism Board of Trustees
and started the ReadSA initiative to
encourage South Africans to read
African books.



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