Book Review: The Ghosts of 1894 by Oduor Jagero

 

I believe it’s tricky when choosing to write about topics that are very sensitive. Whether the content of the book is based on a true story or it’s fiction, you can never really tell where or when to draw the line.

Oduor does an excellent job of gripping our hearts and taking us on a journey into the hearts and minds of his characters. The way he wrote this book… It felt like I was walking through Nyungwe with Akamanzi and Juliet.

The character development was something that my mind kept running back to, after I started reading – Oduor introduces and builds up several characters that are integral to the plot of the story. With a back story on each leading to the point where we meet them. Each story very well thought out, there is a point where even though he is giving you their past, there is a certain mystery that still remains with the character. I felt this way about one of the lead female characters. Actually, throughout the entire book, I kept expecting the ball to drop in some drastic way.

Another interesting thing about this book, is the way it cuts across timelines and countries. Weaving a tale of the unresolved differences of the masters that bled into the hearts of the unsuspecting colonies. This gripping thriller will hook it’s unrelenting claws into you and keep you turning her pages.

There are some tiny details that did often wake me from my reverie, like the notion that Kabale is infinitely more rural than Busia *major side-eye*; or the fact that locals kept referring to Mille Collines in it’s full form (Hôtel des Mille Collines or shortening it as des Mille); or Matoke instead of Matooke; the American recognising ‘groundnuts‘… Again, these are just teensy-wincy details that often pulled me out of the I-can’t-get-enough-of-this-book.

The topic of creative licence came to mind as I noted above. In all circumstances, an author who is writing fiction should be able to create and redefine places as they see fit. But what happens when you are writing fiction surrounding events that have happened or even writing about places that currently exist.

Must we stay in line with the nuances of the locals or do we have the licence to integrate the physical reality with a hint of fiction.

Side Note: This is the sixth book I am completing off the 2016 Africa Reading Challenge. My reading list is here in case you are looking for books to add to yours OR if you have book I simply must read feel free to share.

My next book is Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go


**The Ghosts of 1894 photo source: AfricaReview.com

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#Writivism2016 Day 5: The colonies are coming…

It’s four o’clock, my regular boda guy is late, I’m tapping my foot impatiently under my desk as my eyes turn back to the code I was troubleshooting. You see I am a writer of software by day and a writer of fiction by night. After one last satisfactory glance, I start to pack up, I don’t want to miss the keynote- but clearly I am going to be late. I don’t like being late, especially when it is not a weekend morning. When he finally gets to the office, he apologizes – traffic he says. Apprehensive at the thought that I am going to be further delayed, traffic means weaving through mildly irritated Ugandans driving at the mercy of the officer in white. When did I get so impatient, I wonder!

I finally get to the museum, geared and ready for Day 5 of Writivism – on the line up: a keynote by Zukiswa Wanner titled ‘Decolonizing African Literature’; another triple book launch: Ghosts of 1894 by Odour Jagero, A Poetic Duet by Jane p’Bitek and Sophie Bamwoyeraki, and 100 Days by Juliane Okot Bitek; Femrite at 20 hosted by Afrikult and a performance of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.

I think you understand why it was important not to be late or tarry anywhere, least of all be interrupted by traffic.

Tiptoeing into the room, I found a chair next to Ntwatwa (of the Nevender fame), right behind Nyana (of the Soo Many Stories fame), and in front of Nwokolo (author of How To Spell Naija II, launched on Day 4). Little did I know, this was to be the fate of my night, rubbing shoulders with the greats. Lugging my helmet, jumper and a 1 litre jerrycan of honey, I sit as quietly as I can.

Wanner was speaking, so effortlessly and poised – it’s hard not to give her your full attention. The topic of her address, Decolonizing African Literature. To be honest I was a skeptic until today, perhaps it is the use of the term decolonize. All week, I have found myself alienated from this term. In the discussion after the keynote, Chigumadzi (author of Sweet Medicine, launched on Day 3) asked a question that dealt with the fact that different parts of Africa were dealt with varying degrees of the white gaze. In one part of the continent, they will exclaim – ‘ah! just move on‘ and in another part not so much. I found myself in the first category until today, you see, life has a whole host issues that grab at me, demanding for my attention. Attempting to add Speke and Grant to the list seemed unnecessary – however, remember the multiple facets?

So what changed today? Today, I remembered the first story I ever wrote. I was in P5 and the characters in my story: all young girls who were best friends, they had bluish green eyes with pale blond hair. Sound familiar? Let me tell you about the story that I wrote in my S4 vacation, a princess born in a poor family who is madly attracted to the crown prince. However, the queen dislikes her immensely so she finally gives up and joins the royal air force.

Get the point? How easy it was for a young version of me to relate to characters the look nothing like me? Very easy. That is what I was surrounded with – Bradford, Steel, Follet, Archer, Clancy, Grisham, Sheldon and the characters that they gave birth to. This was my perceived definition of story telling. This was the definition of story telling according to them, to these authors.

And I wasn’t the only one in this boat, in fact, the only reason why I remembered my old stories was because someone in the audience mentioned the exact same thing, writing about blue eyes and blond hair. How then can we change? Someone asked, after all it hasn’t taken just one person to get here, nor did this never happen overnight. How do we change the minds of publishers and distributers, making them more willing to give African themed literature a chance? How do we convince schools that as much as Ngugi wa thiong’o will always remain a timeless classic, there are other noteworthy books that can be added to the curriculum? How do we convince book clubs, within our own continent, on this rock that we call Africa – how do we convince them that African published books are not to be shunned?

What would happen if we got together, bought copies of our five favourite books, and donated them to our high schools?

– Zukiswa Wanner, Writivism 2016

The next session was chaired by Henry Brefo and Zaahida Nabagereka of Afrikult – the Femrite at 20 session! On the panel was Hilda Twongyeirwe, Harriet Anena and Bonita Arinaitwe. We were taken on the journey of Femrite from the beginning, focusing on the main idea that the founding members had when starting the initiative. A place that encourages and supports Ugandan women in their writing. Femrite has two types of memberships, Monday club which is open to all and the second a more formal membership which includes a nominal subscription. At Monday club, texts are submitted anonymously and then critiqued by the entire group.

Arinaitwe, a young girl who published her first book when she was 10 – and currently has two books out, told us that one of her inspirations is her father. He recognized her talent and told her if she wrote a book, he would go ahead and publish it. She laughed as she said, I thought he was joking.

Her father, who was also in attendance remarked on the impact that Femrite had on his daughter. Reminiscing about the first time they went for Monday club, the members treated Arinaitwe as though she was a writer. He said he held his head in his hands as he listened the barrage of questions that were being fired at his girl, every now and then wanting to protest, asking them if they couldn’t see that she was a young girl. However, to his surprise and to her credit, Arinaitwe rose to the occasion and gracefully answered everything that was asked of her. He applauded them for the support that they have shown his daughter on her literary dream.

Anena talked about her journey to publishing and about how she took the road of self publication because she got rejected by publishing houses. When asked about the cost, she said something that I found to be profound: she saved towards her book. You may roll your eyes all you want, but people saving towards projects in Uganda is not a very common phenomenon.

While Femrite is boasting of a growing base of members, initiatives like this need ideas on how to remain sustainable. So incase you have any ideas, do reach out to them. A question was asked on whether they would consider focusing on playwrights as well and not just novels and poetry. To which Baingana (author of Tropical Fish) answered, she encouraged people with a passion for playwrights to join in on Monday club and take part in the discussions. Thus helping create an atmosphere where other playwrights can engage but also exposing their particular style and art to the poets and novelists.

Because the Femrite at 20 session was happening concurrently with the triple book launch, I was only able to catch the end of the book launch.

That included a reading by Jagero out of his book Ghosts of 1894 and listening to a discussion on A Poetic Duet by Jane p’Bitek and Sophie Bamwoyeraki.

Both p’Bitek and Bamwoyeraki, read three poems each and you could tell they both had their own distinct voices. This in turn raised the question on why a duet, and how they managed the dynamic of two writers each with their own distinct voice. From their camaraderie and how they seemed to have an air of ease about them; made me begin to consider partnerships.

They mentioned that one thing that helped them was having a theme as the central idea that they both focused on but each interpreted in their own style. Which is really interesting when you think about it, I’ve taught myself to believe in following and adhering to certain structures and rules – which I now believe has led to my unwitting participation in censorship.

Sadly, I was unable to go for the performance of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, but hope that I will get a chance to own a copy of the book

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Today, I met four awe-inspiring ladies: Nakisanze Segawa – author of The Triangle, Harriet Anena – author of A Nation in Labor, Beatrice Lamwaka – author of Butterfly Dreams, shortlisted for Caine Prize 2011, Doreen Baingana – author of Tropical Fish, winner Commonwealth Writers Prize

The Writivism Festival is an initiative that brings together established writers from the African Continent and beyond.

It will be happening this week (22nd to 28th of August) at the Uganda Museum.
Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 8pm;
Friday: 12pm – 8pm;
Saturday: 10am – 8pm;
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm.

#Writivism2016 Day 4: Tell Me A Story In A Language That Moves You…

A Triple book launch AND a Long Story Short Staged Readings is what was planned for tonight. Unfortunately, I could not attend all the events, however, I did manage to get the first half hour of the triple book launch.

The books on the line up were: The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa, How to Spell Naija II by Chuma Nwokolo and We are All Blue by Donald Molosi. This session was moderated by Nwokolo, who I think was a fun and engaging host.

We started off a bit late with people trickling in at their own pace, so Nwokolo got a brilliant idea on how to lure them in. He gave those of us who were in the room the plan and we were all in agreement.

Up he stood, book in hand, in a bold loud voice – he started to read. Was the story already written on the pages of the book, I have no idea. As he read aloud, people started coming in and with everyone who entered, we clapped as loudly as we could – as if we wholehearted agreed with what he had just said.

It was probably the clapping that caused the tarrying feet to pick up their pace – Ingenious idea Nwokolo, ingenious! Standing ovation from the timekeepers in the room!

After he made the introductions, we dived head first into Molosi’s We are All Blue. Sadly, Molosi was unable to come however, he was well represented by his publisher – Shaun Randol. Randol talked about the significance of the book not only in Botswana but also in the US, where the book speaks to racial tension. What had me amused was that this is not a novel but a play packaged in a book. Who does that? Packages a play into a book?

One of the organizers of a local arts festival raised a question about how she found it difficult to convince publishers to take on similar publishing projects because they were more interested in work that had the potential to make it onto a school curriculum. She then proposed that Randol take a look at the different works coming out of East Africa. To which he responded in the affirmative. He did note that he was not initially looking to publish drama, but that Molosi’s manuscript was powerful enough to change his mind.

Next up was Nakisanze who took us into a little background about her book, The Triangle, and some of her reasons for the angles she took while writing it. She took a reading in English and then also gave an electrifying brief performance in Luganda. In her words, the book takes on the life of Kabaka Mwanga and especially the periods of his life that are not popular in history text books.

One particular question that she got asked that had me bobbing my head was, how did she make the choice on what to include in her book and what to leave out of her book. To which she responded, that her research did lead her to a staggering wealth of information, but she was urged by fellow writer, Jennifer Makumbi (of the Kintu fame – book review here) not to include every single thing into her book. After all she was not writing a historical piece but a book in which she was going to weave truth and fiction.

Which makes me wonder about where one is supposed to draw the line between fiction and fact? Who has the authority to do that especially when the protagonist in the story is a well known figure in the hallways of Ugandan history?

Then the intriguing question of language reared it’s head once again. For those of us whose first language is not English, there is the laborious task that involves thinking in your mother tongue first, then attempting to switch back to English. Most times, English does not truly portray the emotion that is bellied deep within the intonations and gestures that come along with speaking in a native tongue.

Unfortunately, that was all I had time for last evening as I had to rush off to another meeting. However, I did manage to get a recording of Nakisanze giving a short captivating performance of a scene from the book (The Triangle) in Luganda.

Enjoy!

The Writivism Festival is an initiative that brings together established writers from the African Continent and beyond.

It will be happening this week (22nd to 28th of August) at the Uganda Museum.
Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 8pm;
Friday: 12pm – 8pm;
Saturday: 10am – 8pm;
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm.

#Writivism2016 Day 3: Blame the innocent animals at the colonial playground.

Today saw the launch of 2 books, Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi and A Death Retold in Truth and Rumor by Grace Musila. While Professor Musila was unable to make it, Chigumadzi was part of the session that was chaired by Bob Kisiki.

As usual, in what I am beginning to believe is proper literary fashion, both books sparked interesting conversation.

We dived into Professor Musila’s book first – A Death Retold in Truth and Rumor, a story of a tourist who is murdered in Masai Mara and the mystery surrounding her death. One of the reactions to this book was in relation to the different roles that the governments played and their reactions or lack thereof.

In the discussion, Africa became analogous to the colonial playground where every once in a while a royal will drop in to get engaged or visit a wildlife sanctuary.

There was some disbelief in the room when it was said that the blame at one point was shifted toward the animals at Masai Mara. After which the blame was turned onto something else. The invisible third force that crops up whenever superiors on the dark continent are put to task .

Chigumadzi took two readings out of her book, Sweet Medicine, and her writing really did take us there. Titsi, the main character of the book, came to life in those short pieces. For a person who has not yet read the book, I was able to get a teeny tiny picture into her story.

Tonights, Aha! moment: Chigumadzi said characters are not a vehicle to write about an issue but rather the other way round. Which is quite interesting when you think about it, I am notorious for trying to model a character after an issue that my mind has fixated on. However, as soon as I am done with that issue, then my character remains lingering with nowhere to go and nothing defined to do. I believe that this discussion started when a question was asked about whether she had a pretty good idea of where the story would lead or whether she just let the story develop as she went along.

Which makes me wonder about something else, do characters have a will of their own, aside from the agenda of the author?

One curious point was with regard to the duplicitous nature of Africans that was blamed on the fact that we would rather not put all our eggs in one basket. For a country that is largely Christian, why is there still a large number of callers to advert that says, ‘Do you want your ex back? Call this number 0777 123 456.

The question that closed off this session was directed toward the African Male, and whether they feel the pressure to be a blesser a.k.a Sugar Daddy?

The night was closed off by the Readers Choice Awards: with 11 submissions in the Ugandan Classics category and a whooping 47 submissions in the African category. The awards were hosted by the Afrikult team and Beewol.

In the Ugandan Classics category, the shortlisted titles were:
1. Kintu – Jennifer Makumbi
2. Fate of the Banished – Julius Ocwinyo
3. The Headline That Morning – Peter Kagayi
4. Song of Lawino – Okot P’Bitek
5. Tropical Fish – Doreen Baingana

In the African category, the shortlisted titles were:
1. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi
2. Black Ass – Igoni Barett
3. The Fisherman – Chigozie Obioma
4. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives Loya Shoneyin
5. Season of Crimson Blossoms – Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

The absence of francophone literature did not go unnoticed, this begged the question: Why? Is it that the call was not wide spread or…

The winners were Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

Yes, I might have done the dance as I nominated and voted for Kintu because Kintu shattered my world and actually was the first African literature book I read and reviewed.

update: I am not sure how I forgot this, well maybe I do – I didn’t win grrrr…. Afrikult held a raffle at the end of the ceremony where Writivism tees, Anthology & a bag and chocolate were up for grabs. However, because #francophonevoicesmatter, the last raffle ticket was rounded off to the nearest number and we had our first francophone winner of the night.

The Writivism Festival is an initiative that brings together established writers from the African Continent and beyond.

It will be happening this week (22nd to 28th of August) at the Uganda Museum.
Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 8pm;
Friday: 12pm – 8pm;
Saturday: 10am – 8pm;
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm.

 

#Writivism2016 is here…

With the back of her hand on her lips, she tries to suppress a smile. She finds that this is a little hard to do, as the corners of her lips are being pretty persistent. Her eyes gaze off, outside the window, past the palm trees on her horizon, further past the white fluff pasted on today’s blue sky.

She remembers 2016, at the very start. The resolutions she penned down.
More Writing. More Reading. At least that’s what her journal said. Keeping it an any type of reading or writing would be easy. No. She was determined to dive into the genre named ‘African’… 

Today, 9 stories (and book reviews) later – She is excited and anxious all a once. You see this is her first Writivism. Yes. That sort of thing is worthy of excitement with a heavy dose of anxiety.

She wants to meet these people that are coming — the ones living her dream! She has questions to ask them? How do they write? What happens when the story leaves you? How do you write of a place that you’ve never been? Where do they get the gall to attempt to change the narrative? Did they kill their editors? Did they follow Nike and just do it? Was the story already burdening them, forever assaulting their dreams and waking moments? Or did the words just sort of pop up on the page as they committed to it?

This festival has planned 7 days of mind-blowing literary conversation! From Book Launches, there is literally a launch every day – pun noted :), to Literary Agent Speed Dating – Yeah, that’s right! How fast can you pitch that book idea?

Other activities that she is pumped about are the Book Signings at the Autograph Points; Award Ceremonies (Okot p’Bitek Prize, Short Story Prize); Keynote Addresses (Zukiswa Wanner & Julius Ocwinyo); Readings; Performances and Films; Panels and Discussions on a whole range of things. She is seriously considering apologising to her boss and just pitching camp at the venue – for just seven days. What are the odds that she will be missed?

Truth be told, she is a bit overwhelmed. You see she is a newbie and will probably need a guide, lest she embarrasses herself.

I am she and I’m ready for #Writivism2016.
I hope to see you there!

The Writivism Festival is organised by the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE). The organisation’s flagship initiative that brings together established writers from the African Continent and beyond. The festival grooms young talent in the writing craft and engages in Workshops and Panel discussions revolving around critical issues relating to the creation and dissemination of African Literature. Though young, it is East Africa’s leading literary festival.

2016 is it’s 4th year running. It will be happening this week (22nd to 28th of August) at the Uganda Museum.
Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 8pm;
Friday: 12pm – 8pm;
Saturday: 10am – 8pm;
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm.

#Writivism2016 http://writivism.com/

Book Review: We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo

Coming off the ecstatic high that was Kintu, it is safe to assume that I was given a rude awakening concerning the differences of writing styles portrayed by Jennifer & NoViolet.

Why on earth, did I expect them to have similar writing styles, I hear you ask. Well your guess is as good as mine!

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Dear God!! Am I one of those people that subconsciously believes that Africa is one country?!

I often hear individuals refer to themselves as “I am a people person”, while, I personally claim no such thing – I do believe that I am a child person. I like kids and will take to them with out much thought.

This was all until I read this book.

You see, for about 50% of the book, NoViolet has the uncanny ability to take you on the trails and adventures of a 10 year old child. No. You don’t get it. Into their head. Their thoughts. Their reactions. Page turn by page turn, another day into the life of this child and their crew.

The language, the mannerisms – everything!

I was listening to this 10 year old speak all the time and I was getting slightly irritated. Okay. Maybe, it wasn’t just slightly. There was a point in this book where I shouted, WHERE ON EARTH ARE THE ADULTS? IS THIS REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN??

Hmm… Mayhaps, this is a credit to her! How on earth did she do this? Like morph into the mind of a child for purposes of writing a book?

But then all of a sudden, it all stopped. Poof! Now we were fast tracked into this teenagers life. New experiences, New sights, New sounds, New mannerisms. And then just like that – The End!

No. This book left me feeling rather short-changed. I have so many questions that are unanswered!

Maybe the whole point of the book was lost on me!

One thing that did sneak out towards the end, was the plight & somewhat bleakishly sad existence of the nkuba-kyeyos (the ones who go to the ever plush greenfield of opportunity that is the west).

(Update) One other thing: I have always been a fan of languages that integrate with English and give it that sheng umph! You know, like how some East Africans can use Swahili in an English sentence and you still get the point… NoViolet does that.

My take away, if you hear me using the work kaka, it’s not what you think.

In south western Uganda, Kaka refers to a grandparent or a great-grand parent depending on the traditions/customs of your family.

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In this book, it totally means something else!

(Update) Also, look out for the moment at the wedding – you will be filled with sudden satisfaction.

Ookay, that is was the last update!

***

Side Note: This is the second book  I am completing off the 2016 Africa Reading Challenge. My reading list is here in case you are looking for books to add to yours OR if you have book I simply must read feel free to share.

Next book is Kizza Besigye & Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution by Daniel Kalinaki.

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My 2016 Reading List

I know what brown smells like.

Every single time I open up a book with brown pages, it has the same distinct smell. I know what digital feels like, that ache in my eyes and that cramp in my finger. Actually, now that I think of it, I also know what white smells like.

No, my dearest up-in-arms advocate – this is in no way linked to racism.

We often make resolutions without a plan – well, this is my attempt at a plan. I want to read – I want to read so much more than I have read these past 5 years. Well, these past 15 years, really!

I want to read Africa.

Apana ndugu, hii si attempt mbili ku racism.
(Ha! See what I did there…)

We, all 7 billion of us, view the world in our own shades of purple and grey. I want to read her. I want to read stories from ‘the’ Congo; I want to learn of myths of Mali; I want to hear the song of Libya; I flex with the might of the South Africans; I want to get mystified by the stories from Uganda. I want to soak her in. I want to be a part of her…

Okay, maybe I exaggerate – but you get the gist of it. The titles in list below were compiled from Nevender‘s & NaiveUgandan‘s blogs as well as the trusty old Google Search.

30 books for 2016.

  1. We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo (Book 2 – Review here)
  2. I write What I like : Selected Writings – Steve Biko
  3. Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution – Daniel Kalinaki (Book 3 – Review here)
  4. The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiongo
  5. Blossoms of the Savannah – Olet Kulet
  6. The Warring Princess: Portrait of a Triumphant Woman – Josephine Namukisa
  7. A Long Way Gone : Memoirs of a Boy Solider – Ishmael  Beah
  8. Through My African Eyes – Jeff Koinange
  9. Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe
  10. The Shadow of Imana by Veronique Tadjo
  11. Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  12. Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selasi ** Currently Reading**
  13. God’s Bits of Wood – Ousmane Sembene
  14. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  15. Half of A Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  16. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  17. Tropical Fish – Doreen Baingana
  18. In The Country of Men – Hisham Matar
  19. A Calabash of Life – Asalache K.
  20. Petals of Blood – Ngugi wa Thiongo
  21. In the Footsteps of Mr.Kurtz : Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo – Michela Wrong
  22. Nothing Left to Steal – Mzilikazi Wa Afrika
  23. The Rebel’s Hour – Lieve Joris
  24. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  25. The Memory of Love – Aminatta Forna
  26. Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta
  27. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born – Ayi Kwei Armah
  28. Men of the South – Zukiswa Warner
  29. Recipe for Disaster – Lilian Tindyebwa
  30. Kintu – Jennifer Makumbi (Book 1 – Review here)
  31. Uganda’s Revolution 1979-1986 | How I saw it – Pecos Kutesa (Book 4 – Review here)
  32. Nairobi Echoes – Stanley Gazemba (Book 5 – Review here)

**Updates**
Bonus books curated from This is Africa – Considered the best books of 2015
Chigozie Obioma, “The Fishermen”
Petina Gappah, “The Book of Memory”
EC Osondu, “This House Is Not For Sale”
Chinelo Okparanta, “Under the Udala Trees”
Igoni Barret, “Blackass”
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, “Season of Crimson Blossoms”;
Elnathan John, “Born on a Tuesday”
Masande Ntshanga, “The Reactive”

**Update from Africa39’s interview with Arac de Nyeko
The God Of Small Things by Arundati Roy,
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels,
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga,
Song of Lawino, the long poem by Okot p’Bitek,
The Concubine by Elechi Amadi.
So Long A Letter too by Mariama Bâ

**Update from #MeetLounge #ReadABook Session
The Official Wife by Mary Karooro Okurut

**Update – these titles were bought at Writivism2016, a literary festival that happens in Kampala, Uganda.
The Ghosts of 1894 – Oduor Jagero (Book 6 – Review here)
The Triangle – Nakisanze Segawa
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumor – Grace A Musila
How to spell Naija 2 – Chuma Nwokolo
Borderline – Michela Wrong
It’s Our Turn To Eat – Michela Wrong
100 Days – Juliane Okot Bitek
We are all Blue – Donald Molosi

I am currently reading Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi & The Best is Yet to Come – Brian Houston. Hope to be done with the latter soon – so that I can hop onto the next. Kintu, is a different story, you need to ‘experience’ it to learn that you cannot rush Jennifer – your heart will shatter into tiny pieces. Better to take it all in small doses.

Yeap! This is the beginning of my 2016 Africa Reading Challenge!

So tell me, who are you going to read this year?
Do you have your own list – Share?
Is there a title I simply MUST read :)?

*Images courtesy of Google