Jekwu Anyaegbuna is a Nigerian writer. He won the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa and the 2015 fiction fellowship of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing in Bulgaria. His fiction and poetry have been published in several literary journals including Granta, Prairie Schooner, Transition, The Massachusetts Review,among many others. He is currently enrolled in the MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, where he is a recipient of the Miles Morland Foundation African Scholarship.
Jekwu spoke to the Enkare Editorial team about his short story, Little Entertainment Centres.
When I first read “Little Entertainment Centres” I was admittedly in shock. The story deals with so many sensitive subjects at once that I was initially overwhelmed. Tell us a little about your process making this story, and what it meant both for your craft, and personally to complete and share it. Which writers/thinkers informed your process? To whom would you compare your style?
First off, I condemn pedophilia in its entirety. It is an awful attraction to possess. This story is expository fiction meant to unravel the modus operandi of pedophiles in our society, so that people would know and be watchful. The story is fiction, fiction, fiction, not a nonfiction essay. It is an imagined reality. The protagonist has a warped brain, extremely disgusting in its entirety. I was also shocked writing him, but I felt he had to be written.
Woods and termites, reverence and profanity, Of godship, of glory and nothingness. When those sacral relics commences a siege on My spirit, I hope the termites have found a haven on your doorstep. I, happily beleaguered—the wood, yearning for worms from time unknown, Creeping like shape-shifter’s shadow, look, it has slipped in.
In September 1945, when Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir together with a group of friends launched their literary journal, Les Temps modernes, they declared, “…We at Les Temps modernes do not want to miss a beat on the times we live in. Our intention is to influence the society we live in. Les Temps modernes will take sides.”
Billy Kahora’s short fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in Chimurenga, McSweeney’s, Granta Online, Internazionale and Vanity Fair and Kwani. He has written a non-fiction novella titled The True Story Of David Munyakei. His story Urban Zoning was shortlisted for the prize in 2012, The Gorilla’s Apprentice in 2014. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which both won the Kalasha awards. He is working on a novel titled The Applications. A short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Youthful Follies will be released soon. As Managing Editor of Kwani Trust he has edited 7 issues of the Kwani journal and other Kwani publications including Nairobi 24 and Kenya Burning. He is also a Contributing Editor with the Chimurenga Chronic. He has been Kwani Litfest Curator since 2008 and recently curated Kwani Litfest 2015 Writers In Conversation: Beyond The Map Of English. Carey Baraka talked to him about his short story on Enkare Review, World Pawa, and his fiction-writing.
‘Charity begins at work,’ she says
at every desk she stops at in her workplace, Domestic Revenue, ExtelComms Inspectorate. She licks her lips – a
nervous habit from childhood – trying to recruit members. A few have promised
to join the Chinese venture, Kianshi Multi-marketing, that she has just signed
up as an agent for: Mama Kitu, the Domestic Revenue manager’s soon-to-retire
secretary, who has a sausage and ‘Buru Buru free-range’ eggs business; Bob
‘just call me Bobby’ Onyango, who offers green card opportunities for a price, and
who starts asking Jemimah whether she can hook him up with red cards to go to
China – Bobby says he needs a new product and he sees potential in their
working together; Assumpta from Engineering. Then there is Silas, the intern
from Domestic Revenue, and Dennis Wafula from Wires and Cables, who needs
something on the side to help him pay school fees for his twelve children.