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POETS WITH GUNS: A CONVERSATION WITH CHIRIKURE CHIRIKURE

Chirikure Chirikure means “that which is far is very far.” He is a well-known poet, writer, and songwriter who has collaborated with Chiwoniso Maraire and Oliver Mtukudzi among others, and toured the world as a solo artist and with his mbira ensemble. He also lectures locally and internationally on Shona poetic forms. I first saw […]

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HIKIMA – a letter from Zaria

by Yinka Elujoba One evening, while escaping the rain on campus in Ife, I stopped for cover under the walkway beneath the Senate Building. Standing there was a   girl in a blue hijab. Her phone rang. I thought I recognised the ringtone: it was Trane of course. It had to be Trane – the tremor […]

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Short Review – The Year of the Rat

Year of the Rat Marc Anthony Richardson FC2/ University of Alabama Press, 2017 Released to high critical acclaim but scant attention last year, Marc Anthony Richardson’s Year of the Rat is a slim novel excavating the inheritance of generational trauma, violence, economic struggle, and institutional racism that defines much of contemporary life in the US. […]

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WHAT AFRICAN WRITERS CAN LEARN FROM CHEIKH ANTA DIOP

In a country that “obstinately clings to its francophone ‘roots’”, on a continent where success as an African writer depends, in part, on the use of a colonial lexicon – stories spun in the tongue of the French, the English, the Portuguese – the idea of a black African transitional literature sits uncomfortably with those […]

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WRITING AS AN ACT OF GENEROSITY

MAMADOU DIALLO All of our current texts in English or French were, according to an idea dear to Cheikh Anta Diop, only a simple transitional literature. – Boubacar Boris Diop The debate on national languages ​​is at least as old as independent Senegal. Léopold Sédar Senghor and Cheikh Anta Diop represented, respectively, two opposite poles: […]

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