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Showing posts from August, 2011

Morquee: Chapter Two

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Morquee: Chapter Two

by Karamoh Kabba, excerpted from Morquee

Gbankaya is the headquarters town of Gbankaya Chiefdom. It is the largest Chiefdom with the biggest towns in Kono District. The town had not changed much from the time Morquee left it in the early sixties. The road network into Gbankaya and in the township was the same. As a boy growing up there, he first saw these road projects as a white man's benevolence to help the natives. But after he studied the history of colonialism, he had developed a different view about the intention of the colonial masters when they constructed road networks into the provinces. It was more to facilitate cash crop transportation to the capital city for export. Even the popular railway that wound through resource-rich provinces seemed like a straw stuck into a ripe orange fruit with England at the receiving end sucking hard, dehydrating the fruit right to its stem and not putting nutrients back into the soil. There had been no change to the …

Vitabubooks Interview | Nsedu Onyile

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Nsedu Onyile's articles on cross-cultural issues in healthcare delivery--language differences, communication problems and discrimination-- laid the foundation for a book. Using the complexities of cultural clashes, Nsedu shines light on discrimination in the fictional story of Minor, a dying AIDS patient still struggling to adjust to western society, and Usukuma, a free spirit whose courage helps Minor cope. Below are excerpts from our email interview on Ten Days with Minor.

Vitabubooks: Ten Days With Minor has been described as a “clash of worlds.” What’s your view?

Nesdu Onyile: I totally do not see the clash. I see different worlds intermingling; differences should not be seen as clashes. If the whole world was the same, it would be a very boring world. In Ten Days With Minor, two very unlikely strangers from very different worlds met and produced the most intense and fulfilling relationships. Instead of clashing, they learned about their pasts, different traditions, and ev…

Vitabubooks Interview | Chioma Okereke

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You can't beat this for an intro:

Chioma Okereke was born under a Soprano Sky in Nigeria almost a quarter century ago and has spent most of this time travelling. She is married to London but is engaged in an illicit affair with New York which has had a profound effect on her work - primarily because she found a space with people even crazier herself. She likes lots of feedback on her poetry but as a black belt voodoo priestess [kidding, she's kidding] choose your words carefully!
TimBookTu rocks as does Chioma Okereke's new book Bitter Leaf which has garnered raving reviews across the blogosphere. I thought it was fab, so, recently, I checked out the events page on Chioma's website and saw she had been doing quite a bit of traveling as you might have guessed. In her email response to my questions, she shared stories from her Lagos-Abuja stops, some of her special guests and lots more! Except for just how many languages she speaks.

Chioma Okereke: We launched Bitter Le…

Vitabubooks Interview: Tendai Huchu

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Last March,  at first sight, I fell madly in love with the 'Angela Davis' afro on Tendai Huchu's book cover. By the time I'd got through the 196 pages of The Hairdresser of Harare I could see why it had earned  all the accolades it did. “[S]tunning debut, funny, dramatic with a powerful punch in the end" beat the Drum magazine; "lively, clever and ironic," observed The Witness. The Africa Report described Tendai's work as a “confident and brave novel” in which “liberal life choices meet old prejudice.” The book didn't disappoint. It was all of those and more.

Several months later, I came across a list of books the author had read. "Reading 2010: Tendai Huchu"  and I wondered whether he'd been as busy a reader in 2011. So I reached out to him by email. Tendai talked about the books he's read so far this year, gave practical tips on improving writing and honing one's craft, and mused about life choices and old prejudice. …

People of the City: When all doors are closed

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When all doors are closed

by Cyprian Ekwensi, excerpted from People of the City

This was no homecoming, because even though the taxi stopped in the lane where he shared a little room with First Trumpet, he had no feeling of ownership, let alone of freedom and privacy. First Trumpet was dressed to go out, and in the band's uniform too. “Ha, Sango, welcome!” He was polishing his trumpet. “How you left us like that?”

And before Sango could answer: “We read all your dispatches in the Sensation. But were you not afraid? That was hot news! How was the rioting out there?”

Sango put down his box in a corner and flopped into a chair. “That's the first time I've relaxed in two weeks! Where are you going, all dressed up like this?”

“You've forgotten about the elections! Our band is playing for one of the parties. I don't care about
their politics, but they pay well. Don't you see how I've been running the band in your absence…