Lizzy Attree is a figure of importance in African writing, particular with her work as the director of the Caine Prize from 2014-2018, a director on the board of Short Story Day Africa, and as the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. She spoke to Carey Baraka about her short story on Enkare Review this week, A Funeral in Kumasi, and other things in-between.
The first time I met Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, I spent a copious amount of time telling myself to keep my cool, and not betray by nervousness in the presence of celebrity. I had read Kintu in my adolescence, and was struck by Jennifer’s ability to so wonderfully paint a community, an ability I had barely encountered elsewhere. However, I need not have worried, as Jennifer Makumbi possesses that rare gift to make one feel like they are in the presence of a dear friend they had forgotten, but have now met again. And so, as we walked down the streets of Nairobi, talking about my own writing and about the community we were, and still are, building at Enkare Review, I felt, for a brief moment, like Kintu Kidda at the beginning of his walk across o Lwera to the capital.
On 7th March 2018, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the author of Kintu, was announced as one of the eight winners of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize. Here, I talk to her about what winning the prize means to her, and to her writing.
Yemisi Aribisala has written about Nigerian food, feminism, and Nigerian Christianity in different spaces, one being the Chimurenga Chronic and the now defunct 234NEXT. In the introduction to her first collection of essays, Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds, Aribisala writes:
“I tell people that the world has not met Nigerian food. They are immediately incredulous, protesting without giving the idea a chance, afraid that they will turn up at the meet and no one will be there, no one of significance anyway.”
At the time of this interview, Enkare Review could not send Sanya Noel over to Sommerset, Capetown, to conduct it. The conversation therefore took place between Sanya in Nairobi and Yemisi Aribisala in Somerset, Cape Town via email.
Conversation 003: Bethuel Muthee and Clifton Gachagua
Uko wapi? On 05/07/2017, Naijographia, an exhibition curated by Bethuel Muthee, Mbuthia Maina and Jepkorir Rose opened at the Goethe-Institut Nairobi. In a text that accompanied the exhibition, BM says, “Uko wapi? This question and other variations of it are a part of daily conversations over mobile devices. To answer is to situate yourself. It does not have to be the truth. In some cases, the placement made is not of location but of circumstance, as some have been heard saying while driving, ‘Niko karibu na polisi, acha nitakupigia.’ Niko Nairobi and we are on the same page.”
Months later, BM and Clifton Gachagua revisit the question of ‘Uko Wapi?’ In his memoirs of Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk walks us through his city, introducing us to The Bosphorus and the huzun of the city. BM and Clifton walk in Nairobi, and try to locate themselves in Kenya, in East Africa, in Africa. Or they drink and write poetry. Or they hang out and talk about life. Or they sit down and live. Or they chill and be themselves. Or whatever.
Inside Fiction: Rotimi Babatunde
Rotimi Babatunde is a Nigerian writer and playwright. In 2012, he won the Caine Prize for his short story “Bombay’s Republic.” Basit Jamiu spoke to him about his story on Enkare Review this week, his writing process, and things in between.