African novels to look out for this year, 2013

Featured

This year is looking good for African writing. We should expect new discoveries and fresh voices to emerge from the continent as there are still stories yet to be told whilst those who have already proven themselves will likely wax stronger. This is who we expect to rock:

Noviolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

Noviolet Bulawayo

Noviolet Bulawayo

We Need New Names is the lovely title of the forthcoming debut novel by Noviolet Bulawayo (pen name of Elizabeth Tshele). Noviolet won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2011 for her story Hitting Budapest.

According to Libyan author Hisham Matar, who was one of the Caine Prize Judges: “The language of Hitting Budapest crackles. Here we encounter Darling, Bastard, Chipo, Godknows, Stina and Sbho, a gang reminiscent of Clockwork Orange. But these are children, poor and violated and hungry. This is a story with moral power and weight, it has the artistry to refrain from moral commentary. NoViolet Bulawayo is a writer who takes delight in language. Noviolet’s works are intensely lyrical and moving, while engaging with real social issues. She is a 2012-2014 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. We Need New Names comes out in May.

Teju Cole (Nigeria)

Teju Cole

Teju Cole

Writer, art historian, street photographer, Teju Cole (his real name is Obayemi Babajide Adetokunbo Onafuwa) was born in the United States to Nigerian parents, raised in Nigeria, and moved back to the US at the age of 17. His first book, a novella, Everyday is for the Thief, was published in Nigeria in 2007 by Cassava Republic. Cole has earned flattering comparisons to literary heavyweights like JM Coetzee, WG Sebald and Henry James for his second book, Open City (Faber 2011), a novel described as “finely written” and “free-flowing form with no plot, narrated by a scholarly solitary walker”.

Teju Cole is also well known for the compact stories he crafts on his Twitter account called Small Fates. These Tweet-sized narratives are based on odd stories drawn from small news items in newspapers. Last year Cole was included in the panel of judges for the inaugural twitter fiction festival “a virtual storytelling celebration” featuring “creative experiments in storytelling from authors around the world”. I have a hunch that he will spring up surprises in 2013 and delve into greater adventures in the world of arts.

Lauren Beukes (South Africa)

Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes

Shining Girls is a novel much raved about from Lauren Beukes, one of the finest genre writers in the continent. Her first novel was Moxyland but her major break came with Zoo City, a hardboiled thriller set in a re-imagined Johannesburg. Zoo City won the 2011 Arthur C Clarke award, the 2010 Kitschies Red Tentacle for best novel and was short-listed for several other prizes and the film rights have been sold.

In 2011, HarperCollins brokered a six-figure sum deal at the Frankfurt Book fair for Shining Girls and plans to publish it in May this year. In Shining Girls, The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in this story of a time-traveling serial killer who is impossible to trace, until one of his victims survives.

Taiye Selasi (Ghana)

Taiye Selasi

Taiye Selasi

Selasi met Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison at Oxford in 2005. She was introduced by Morrison’s niece, the producer of a play she had written as a graduate student. Morrison invited Selasi to her home when they returned to the States. Morrison subsequently encouraged Selasie to pen her first story The Sex Lives of African Girls which was published in Granta magazine in 2011 in its feminism issue and appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012.

In 2010 Ann Godoff at Penguin Press bought Selasi’s unfinished novel and Ghana Must Go is now set to be published in 15 countries in 2013. The novel opens with a scene of a father who is about to die and traces the saga of his disintegrating family back to Africa. Ghana Must Go is widely tipped as one of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year.

Victor Ehikhamenor (Nigeria)

Victor Ehikhamenor

Victor Ehikhamenor

Excuse me, Ehikhamenor’s newly released collection of essays, is a book of wit and humour. What began as a weekly column of the same title, while he served as Nigeria’s NEXT Newspaper’s first creative director, evolved into a book of satirical proportions. These funny pieces draw heavily on the experiences of everyday life in Nigeria as well as from the lives of Nigerians abroad.

Victor graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, USA and has won awards for his works including the 2008 Leon Forest Scholar Fiction Award and a Breadloaf Scholarship.

Alain Mabanckou (Congo)

Alain Mabanckou

Alain Mabanckou

Franco-Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou is among the best known and most successful writers in the French language and one of the best known African writers in France. Sometimes referred to as Africa’s Samuel Beckett, Mabanckou was selected by Vanity Fair as one of the continent’s greatest living writers.

His works include Black Bazaar, Memoirs of a Porcupine, African Psycho and Broken Glass and his style has been described as colloquial and highly entertaining. He is also prolific, Mabanckou’s latest offering Tomorrow I Will be Twenty Years Old is set to be published in May this year. Drawn from his own childhood experiences the book recounts the story of ten year old Michel living in Pointe Noire, Congo in the 1970s.

Sarah Lotz (South Africa)

Sarah Lotz

Sarah Lotz

Lotz is an award-winning author and scriptwriter who has published three novels Tooth and Nailed, Exhibit A and Pompidou Posse. Sarah writes urban horror novels under the name SL Grey with author Louis Greenberg and a Young Adult zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the name Lily Herne. Lotz recently accepted a pre-emptive six-figure offer from UK publishers Hodder and Stoughton for her novel The Three and another book.

Igoni Barrett (Nigeria)

Igoni Barrett

Igoni Barrett

Igoni Barrett, one of the finest writers around, was the winner of the BBC World Service short story competition for 2005. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled From Caves of Rotten Teeth, was first published in 2005 and re-issued in 2008. Known for the raw energy of his prose and characters that feel alive on the page, Barrett’s new collection of stories Love Is Power, Or Something Like That is due to be published in the UK, US and Nigeria in June. I encourage you to put it on your list of must-reads for 2013.

Mehul Gohil (Kenya)

Mehul Gohil

Mehul Gohil

Mehul Gohil is a writer born and living in Nairobi, Kenya. He won the Kenya I Live In short story competition organised in 2010 by Kwani Trust for his short story Farah Aideed Goes To Gulf War. He has previously been published in Kwani 06. Those hungry for his first book hopefully won’t have to wait long.

Rachel Zadok (South Africa)

Rachel Zadok

Rachel Zadok

In 2005 Rachel was nominated for the Whitbread First Novel Award for her novel Gem Squash Tokoloshe, which was also a finalist in the UK TV presenters’ Richard and Judy How to Get Published competition. The book is a story of the dissolution of a marriage seen through the eyes of an innocent child in rural South Africa. Gem Squash Tokoloshe was widely seen as marking the arrival of a young writer to be reckoned with.

This year Rachel’s second book Sister Sister (Kwela Books) is being released in South Africa in April. It is the story of the gregarious bright Thuli and her stuttering, introverted twin Sindi. In childhood they are inseparable outcasts but the arrival of an uncle they never knew they had sets into motion a course of events that will destroy their relationship and, eventually, their lives. You might want to read this one with the lights on if I know anything about Rachel’s ability to write stories that crawl along your spine.

Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria)

Cover of Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor

Cover of Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor

Okorafor is the author of Who Fears Death, The Shadow Speaker and Zahrah the Windseeker and has won many awards for her works. Her collection of short stories KabuKabu, will officially be released October 2013.

Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda)

Beatrice Lamwaka

Beatrice Lamwaka

Short-listed for the Caine prize in 2011 for her story Butterfly Dreams, Lamwaka is the General Secretary of the Uganda Women Writers Association. She was a finalist for the 2009 SA PEN/Studzinski Literary Award and was a fellow of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation/African Institute of South Africa Young Scholars programme that year. Lamwaka is currently working on her first novel and a compilation of her short stories.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Celebrated novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie returns with a new novel Americanah. The title comes from the word Nigerians use for those who have left the country for the US and become “Americanised” – a borderline insult. With three books to her name and a clutch of literary prizes, Chimamanda is one of the most beloved and critically lauded writers working today. Americanah comes out in May.

54 Ways to say “I Love You”; in Africa

Featured

I Love You

I Love You

It’s the month of love!
Forget roses.

We’ve got 54 unique ways to show your love–one for each country within Africa.
And if you want to learn how to say “I love you” in 54 African languages, start practicing with our language list!

Algeria: Read a love poem written in French, one of the languages of Algeria

Angola: Give a back massage with palm oil, sourced in Angola

Benin: Listen to a bedtime story sung by Angelique Kidjo from Benin, a Grammy-Award winner

Botswana: Buy a piece of jewelry—maybe a ring?—with diamonds mined in Botswana

Botswana

Botswana

Burkina Faso: Serve a gluten-free sorghum beer, brewed in Burkina Faso

Burundi: Bake heart shaped cookies with sugar exported from Burundi

Cameroon: Make a ceramic heart-shaped dish, with the clay found in the highlands in Cameroon

Cape Verde: Drink Portuguese-style wine, made in the vineyards of Cape Verde

Central African Republic: Make a rich, vanilla-flavored tapioca pudding for dessert, made from cassava imported from Central African Republic

Chad: Listen to a love ballad played on a kinde, a harp from Chad

Comoros: Delight in a triple-thick vanilla milkshake, flavored with natural vanilla imported from the Comoros

Congo-Brazzaville: Learn to paint at the Poto Poto School of Painters in Brazzaville, Congo

Congo-Kinshasa: Watch the film When We Were Kings, about Mohammad Ali’s famous match against George Foreman in Kinshasa, known at the time as the famed “Rumble in the Jungle”

Cote d’Ivoire: Buy a gold mask to hang on the wall, from extensive collections crafted in Cote d’Ivoire

Djibouti: Get a hand-woven wool rug from Djibouti to keep your feet warm

Egypt: Purchase tickets to the Cairo International Film Festival

Equatorial Guinea: Drink a cup of osang tea, grown organically in Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea: Read My Father’s Daughter by Hannah Pool, a heartwarming book about an Eritrean girl adopted by a British family

Eritrea

Eritrea

Ethiopia: Wake up to the smell of coffee, made with beans sourced from Ethiopia

Gabon: Obtain a stone sculpture of a woman’s face, items for which Gabon’s artisans are famous

Gambia: Take a bird watching trip for two around MacCarthy Island, an ornithologically rich part of The Gambia.

Ghana: Serve authentic Ghanaian dark chocolate, the birthplace of the cocoa bean

Guinea: Take a stroll down the streets of Conakry at sunset

Conakry; Guinea

Conakry; Guinea

Guinea-Bissau: Pound away on a dried calabash, or gourd, which is used to make music in Guinea-Bissau

Kenya: Try purple tea sourced from Kenya, a country considered by connoisseurs to be among the best tea producers in the world

Lesotho: Travel to the Oxbow, one of the only places in Africa to go skiing

Liberia: Sing the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s Liberian Girl: “You know that you came and you changed my world”

Libya: Enjoy bazeen, an unsweetened cake made with barley flour and usually served with tomatoes and eggs

Madagascar: Purchase a blue sapphire gem, extracted from the sapphire mines of Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar

Malawi: Find a nyau mask, still used by the Chewa people for initiations and important events

Mali: Plan a romantic dinner with a desert view in Timbuktu

Mauritania: Hand make soft bed linens from the ultra soft tie-dyed cotton fabric from free-trade cooperatives in Mauritania

Mauritius: Have your hotel arrange a white linen and china dinner for two on the beach at sunset

Mauritius

Mauritius

Morocco: Buy a token of love in one of Morocco’s many souks

Mozambique: Experiment with a marimba, a type of xylophone native to the country

Namibia: Express your inner child by sandboarding down the sand dunes

Niger: Wrap yourself and your lover with a traditional hand-woven wedding blanket in colorful patterns

Nigeria: Listen to the soulful rhythm of Zombie, one of Fela Kuti’s most acclaimed albums

Rwanda: Perform the Intore, the most famous, traditional Rwandan dance for your loved one in private

Sao Tome and Principe: Savor Corallo Chocolate, voted by some to be amongst the world’s best organic chocolate

Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe

Senegal: Give your valentine a sand painting, made from Senegalese volcanic sand, beach sand, and dune sand

Seychelles: Visit the white, sandy beaches on the island of Mahe, while indulging in the French-African creole culture

Sierra Leone: Drink Star Beer, produced by the national brewer, Sierra Leone Breweries

Somalia: Read Crossbones by Nuruddin Farrah, a novel about a family returning to Somalia 

South Africa: Uncork a rich, red Merlot from the Cape winelands, and give your lover a bouquet of protea flowers, the national flower of South Africa

Sudan: Read the poem The Trees Have Passed, by formerly imprisoned poet Mahjoub Sharif

South Sudan: Take a rafting expedition along the White Nile river and get a glimpse of wildlife along the untraveled section of the Nile

Swaziland: Light your bedroom with the gentle and romantic glow from Swazi candles

Tanzania: Indulge in a konyagi, an indigenous, gin-like beverage

Togo: Hang a zota painting (which is made with scorched wood and smoke) made by Paul Ahyi, the designer of Togo’s flag

Togo

Togo

Tunisia: Visit a hammam, a traditional Tunisian public steam bath

Uganda: Take a romantic safari in one of Uganda’s many safari parks

Zambia: Wrap your gift in a tonga basket, which are woven by Tonga women, renowned for their weaving abilities

Zimbabwe: Propose to your loved one at Victoria Falls with a platinum engagement ring, with platinum exported from Zimbabwe.

Mr. Footballer, Osi Umenyiora, Nigerian Engaged to Former Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, Angolan

Featured

Osi Umenyiora and Leila Lopes

Osi Umenyiora and Leila Lopes

Congratulations galore are pouring in for NY Giants Osi Umenyiora and former Miss Universe Leila Lopes, who tweeted their engagement from Europe.  The newly engaged couple spent this week in Europe with friends and family (his brother Okwi and his wife) visiting such sights as Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo and posted photos from Twitter and instagram. The couple are both African. He’s Nigerian and she’s Angolan!

Keshi dedicates Cup to local coaches who have been shown lack of respect by sports administrators and fans

Featured

Speaking after the Eagles defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final of the tournament last night, Keshi said that he was fulfilled that his dream of putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians had come true with the team’s success in South Africa.

“It is mainly for my nation. My dream was to make Nigerians happy. We are not there yet. This is a work in progress but I want to dedicate this to all Nigerian coaches, who have been praying for this. In Africa, they give you a job today and want you to win the World Cup the next day. This cannot work. You have to give local coaches a chance”, said Keshi, who was not done with his indictment of football administrators, who he said were not patient enough with local coaches.

“To succeed, we need time and I thank God that all the years of waiting have finally ended. Our people do not know how to give you time to get your programme through. These things take time but people seem not to care about it. But I thank God for seeing us through”, said the former Togo and Mali coach, who hailed his players for their great play and uncommon discipline.

“There is a lot of potentials in this team. I needed to push them and they responded. They were great as a team”, said Keshi.

On what was going on in his mind with five minutes left to play, Keshi said that “many things were going on in my mind. I wanted us to score another goal but knew that if we did not score that they were not going to score because of the way my boys were playing. I knew it was possible because of what were playing”.

Keshi said that before the team arrived South Africa that he told skipper Joseph Yobo that the Eagles were going to win the Cup but the former Everton defender did not believe.

“I am an optimistic person. Even if the world is falling apart, I still believe. I told my players that we were coming here to win because I had faith. The hard work was also there and that made it very easy for us to go for the Cup”.

FIVE (5) Eagles make the 2013 AFCON XI

Featured

Goal king Emmanuel Emenike led four other Nigeria stars in the official team of the 2013 AFCON picked by the CAF technical group.

The other Super Eagles stars on the tournament XI are Chelsea stars Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Efe Ambrose.

The other players in this team include Burkina Faso central defender Bakary Kone, Ghana skipper Asamoah Gyan, Cape Verde skipper Fernando Neves.

Rennes and Burkina Faso winger Jonathan Pitroipa was picked as the MVP of the 2013 AFCON.

Emenike, who missed the AFCON final due to a hamstring injury, was joint top scorer with Mubarak Wakaso of Ghana after both players scored four goals each.

Nigeria will represent Africa at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil from June 15 to July 1.

They are drawn against world champions Spain, Tahiti and Uruguay in the first round of the dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup also in Brazil.

ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES: Super Eagles Are The Champions Of Africa

Featured

Chelsea winger Victor Moses

Chelsea winger Victor Moses

Mikel tackles Kabore of B/Faso

Mikel tackles Kabore of B/Faso

Revelation of the tournament, Sunday Mba jubilates after scoring the all important winning goal

Revelation of the tournament, Sunday Mba jubilates after scoring the all important winning goal

Nigeria's coach Keshi becomes only the second person to win AFCON as a player and then a coach

Nigeria’s coach Keshi becomes only the second person to win AFCON as a player and then a coach

Joseph Yobo and Victor Moses

Joseph Yobo and Victor Moses

we are the champions

we are the champions

The Eagles thank God for the sweet victory

The Eagles thank God for the sweet victory

Man of the tournament, Emenike flaunts his personal award and the AFCON trophy

Man of the tournament, Emenike flaunts his personal award and the AFCON trophy

A disappointed BANCE

A disappointed BANCE

Sunday Mba celebrates his goal

Sunday Mba celebrates his goal

Beautiful fireworks to end the 2013 AFCON

Beautiful fireworks to end the 2013 AFCON

We are the new KINGS of AFRICA

We are the new KINGS of AFRICA

Nigeria ended a 19-year wait for another Africa Cup of Nations title by defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final at the National Stadium in Soweto on Sunday night.

Locally-based youngster Sunday Mba scored the only goal of the game five minutes before half time, and he will go down in Super Eagles folklore regardless of what he does in the rest of his career.
All the pictures and beautiful moments captured im the pictures above. Enjoy!