Jalada Africa Trust is grateful to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o for writing the feature story and to the following translators, editors, assessors and proofreaders from across fourteen African countries who worked so tirelessly to make this project successful.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, was born in Kenya, in 1938 into a large peasant family. He was educated at Kamandura, Manguu and Kinyogori primary schools; Alliance High School, all in Kenya; Makerere University College (then a campus of London University), Kampala, Uganda; and the University of Leeds, Britain. He is the recipient of ten Honorary Doctorates from universities in Denmark; Germany; Britain; New Zealand, America and Africa. He is also Honorary Member of American Academy of Arts and Letters and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A many-sided intellectual, he is novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist. His books include Devil on the Cross; Matigari; Wizard of the Cross, (English translations from the Gikuyu originals)
NOTES ON TRANSLATORS AND PARTICIPATING EDITORS
Dholuo translation by Richard Oduor Oduku
Richard Oduor Oduku (@RichieMaccs) is a post-cynical humanist, researcher, poet and writer. He studied Biomedical Science and Technology and works as a Research Consultant, in Nairobi. He has been published in Kwani? Jalada Africa, Saraba Magazine, Storymoja and numerous online portals. His story ‘eNGAGEMENT’ published in the Jalada Afrofutures anthology was longlisted for the BSFA Awards 2015. He commentates on topical issues via #MaskaniConversations in the Star Newspaper, writes monthly book reviews for Wawa Book Review, and judges bi-monthly Slam Africa Spoken Word Poetry competition. He is a Founding member of Jalada Africa – a Pan-African collective and Hisia Zangu – an artists’ society. He is a serving Board Member on Youth on the Move (YoTM), Kenya – an organization that empowers persons with epilepsy and ensures equal participation in the society through lobby and awareness creation in partnership with stakeholders.
Dholuo translation edited by Linet Atieno
Linet Atieno is a teacher by profession, a reader, and has recently started collecting myths, legends, and proverbs in the Luo language.
Kikamba translation by Peter Ngila
Peter Ngila (@pinjefifty) is a Kenyan bibliophile and writer. He has recently finished studying Journalism at Mount Kenya University, and is currently a correspondent with the Star, a Kenyan daily. He has participated in Writivism literary workshops and mentorship. His fiction has appeared (or are forthcoming) on HisiaZangu, Muwado, Amka Space Literature Forum, and Daily News – a Tanzanian newspaper. Ngila has finished writing his first book – a short novel.
Kikamba translation edited by John Ngila
John Ngila Currently is an MBA student at Africa Nazarene University and an holder of Bachelor of Science in International Business Management (1st class honors) from the same institution. John works as an admin assistant at Africa Nazarene University and a diploma instructor. He has a great interest in African traditional myths and legends as well as African literature. John is a great lover of history and philosophy.
Amharic translation by Mahelet Lisanwork
Mahelet Lisanwork is an Ethiopian writer and translator working for the Ethiopian Airlines.
Amharic translation edited by Hewan Semon
Hewan Semon was born and raised in 22 Mazoria, Addis Abeba. She an Ethiopianist, who has dedicated her life to the study of Ethiopian history, society and politics.
Lwisukha-Lwidakho (Luhya) translation by Lutivini Majanja
Lutivini Majanja’s writing has been published in Kwani?, McSweeney’s and The Golden Key. She holds a B.A from the University of Nairobi and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland.
Lwisukha-Lwidakho (Luhya) translation edited by Gerishom L. Majanja
Gerishom L. Majanja lives in Kakamega, Kenya.
Arabic translation by Nazar Mubarak Al Emam
Nazar Mubarak Al Emam is a Sudanese translator and interpreter who started his career since 1996. He is currently working in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He holds a Bachelor degree in English from the University of Khartoum, and a Master’s in Translation from the Sudan University of Science and Technology. He translated part of a book entitled “Inclusive Education in the Middle East”, by Eman Gad, as well as many other unpublished short stories.
Arabic translation edited by Adil Babikir
Adil Babikir is a Sudanese translator and copywriter based in the UAE. His translations include Mansi: a Rare Man in his Own Way, by Tayeb Salih; The Jungo: Stakes of the Earth, by Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin (AFRICA WORLD PRESS); The Messiah of Darfur, a novel by Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin (under publication); as well as two anthologies of poetry and short stories. Excerpts of his translation of the The Messiah of Darfur were published in The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, Winter 2015.
Luganda translation by Nakisanze Segawa
Nakisanze Segawa is a Luganda performance poet. Some of her short stories and poetry have been published in, Never Too Late, Summoning The Rains, Boda Boda Anthem, and Are you Caravanning?, an anthology in which Luweero triangle was first published. . Currently, she is working on her first novel.
Kiswahili translation by Idza Luhumyo
Idza Luhumyo is a writer-becoming, a lawyer-becoming and a woman-becoming. Idza is a founding member of Jalada African Writers’ collective.
Kiswahili translation Edited by Okwiri Oduor
Okwiri Oduor was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Her short story, My Father’s Head, won both the 2013 Short Story Day Africa Feast, Famine and Potluck story contest and the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies in Africa, the United Kingdom and America. She has taken up fellowships at the Macdowell Colony in New Hampshire and the OMI Ledig House in New York. She is currently at work on her debut novel.
Hausa translation by Mazhun Idris
Mazhun Idris is a Nigerian bilingual author, multimedia content writer and freelance translator. He presently has one short story book to his name and a number of poetry lines, published across print and online media. His most recent work appeared in Sentinel Literary Quarterly.
Hausa translation proofread by Maryam Aliko Mohammed
Maryam Aliko Mohammed is insanely curious and has opinions to share. Her writing is insomnia-induced: when the voices in her head reward her with moments of insight. She holds that life comes down to who you love and who loves you back, and her conviction is that she is at the centre of defining these.
Meru translation by Brian Njagi
Brian Njagi is a 22 year old copywriter and actor. He co-founded Story Zetu, a literary blog in 2011. He published Breathing Poetry, a poetry anthology, in 2015.His works have also appeared on Storymoja and Essy Oscar Journal. He writes in Kimeru, Swahili and English and hopes that one day he will get a permanent residency to the House of Ideas.
Meru translation edited by Ngartia Brian
Ngatia Bryan is a writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is an active member of the performance poetry and storytelling community. Raised in a rural Kenya, and moved to Nairobi to pursue a degree in Theatre arts and Film Technology at Kenyatta University. He is looking for different ways to tell stories – mostly from his home at http://www.storyzetu.com
Lingala translation by Richard Ali A Mutu
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Richard ALI A MUTU KAHAMBO, better known under the name of Richard Ali lives in Kinshasa where he studied law. He has been selected for some literary prizes such as the Mark Twain Prize in November 2009. In 2011, his collection of short stories, Le Cauchemardesque de Tabu” was published by Mabiki and then by Mediaspaul Publishing in 2015. His novel, EBAMBA, Kinshasa-Makambo, written in Lingala helped him be selected by the Africa39 project as one of the best 39 young African writers in 2014. He is the founder and the president of the Association of Young Congolese Writers (AJECO), a TV presenter on literature and a copywriter consultant. He collaborates on different cultural projects both at national and international levels.
Approuvé par le Professeur BIENVENU SENE MONGABA (Phd Lingala)
Professor Bienvenu Sene-Mongaba teaches Lingála at Univeristé Pédagogique National of Kinshasa. He is also a Manager of a publishing house Editions Mabiki, specialized in Congolese languages texts. He is author and writes in Lingala :three novels in Lingala, chemistry schoolbook, Learning Lingala. He is also author of several scientific publications on Lingála and sciences in Lingála. Professor BienvenuSene-Mongaba has studied first Chemistry at Université of Kinshasa and at ULB in Belgium. After working as a researcher in chemistry, he performs a PhD in African languages and Cultures at University of Ghent. His PhD thesis concerns :The use of Lingala in the teaching of Sciences in Kinshasa schools. He writes is composition entirely in Lingala and then translated in French. Born in Kinshasa on 1967, he is married and has three children.
His research area concerns:
1. Pedagogical Lexicography for Lingala schoolbooks,
2. Coining, Defining and illustrating Lingala specialized terms
3. Writing science in African language
4. African languages literature
isiZulu translation by Sihle Ntuli
Sihle Ntuli is an up and coming writer from South Africa. He has recently published his debut anthology Stranger and is currently completing his M.A in classical civilizations at Rhodes University. His work has been featured on StoryZetu, Saraba, Arusha, Bakwa & Kalahari Review amongst others.
Ibibio translation by Daniel Ben Udoh
Daniel Ben Udoh was born in Akwa-Ibom, the southern part of Nigeria on November 1997. A poet and aspiring performance artist, Daniel enjoys speaking and reading his Language anywhere he goes.
Ibibio translation edited by Nsikan Edem-Umanah
Nsikan Edem-Umanah is a Nigerian blogger, an Environmentalist by training, a systems/software analyst and social media expert by passion, currently curating and developing contents for #SpeakIbibio. He is a political and current affairs commentator as well as good governance advocate. His Ibibio translations via the platform @speakibibio has been quoted by enthusiasts all over the world
Somali translation by Khalid M. Said
Khalid M. Said (Khaloudy) is a young writer. He blogs at http://www.khaloudym.blogspot.com. He also writes a series of articles published in the WAAHEEN newspaper. Khalid lives in Hargeisa from where he graduated from university of Hargeisa in the Department of Biomedical science. He is working on his first book.
Somali translation co-translated by Abdillahi Raage “Sayyidka”
Abdillahi Raage “Sayyidka” works at the University and has his own YouTube show called TALLAN. He studied Economics and Political Science. C.lahi lives in Somalia and is a fiction writer currently busy working on his first book, which he hope to complete in the coming year. His blog is in both Somali and Arabic; sayyidka.wordpress.com.
Igbo translation by Nzube Ifechukwu
Nzube Ifechukwu was born on May 25, 1992 in Onitsha, Nigeria. He studies electrical engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has been published in the Sunday Sun (Nigeria) and on Sentinel Nigeria, amongst others.
Igbo translation edited by Dr. Nkem Ekene Osuigwe
Nkem Ekene Osuigwe, B.A (English) – University of Benin, MLS – University of Ibadan, Ph.D Abia State University is interested in building public libraries into strong institutions for national development through active engagement with communities of real and potential users for innovative and more effective information services. She is also deeply involved in advocacy on many platforms for branding of public libraries as essential and trusted institutions for education, literacy and access to information. She successfully deployed e-Library services as the Head of Prof. Kenneth Dike State Central eLibrary, Awka Anambra State. She has served as the Secretary and Chairman, Nigerian Library Association, Anambra State Chapter, Secretary, Public Library Section, Nigerian Library Association and is currently National VP2, Nigerian Library Association. She is also the interim Vice Chairman of the Public Library Section, AfLIA. Currently, she serves as the Chief Editor of the Library and Information Science Digest and editor of African Public Libraries eNewsletter. She is an administrative member of SDGs Action Group Nigeria – an online advocacy group for achievement of SDGs in Nigeria. Presently, she works as Director, Nigerian Book Foundation and is devoted to the revitalization of the book industry in Nigeria.
isiNdebele translation by Junior Moyo
Junior Moyo was born in Lupane, Zimbabwe. She holds a BA Honours Degree in Language and Communication Studies from Lupane State University. She has worked as a journalist for Southern Eye Newspaper, and was a participant at the Minds Youth Dialogue Conference in Rwanda in 2014.
Nandi (Kalenjin) translation by Gideon Chumo
Gideon Chumo (Mr. Roundsquare) is a dark humour monger, tramedist, and fictioneer of maximalist prose, poetry and short story. He studied English Language, Linguistics and Literature in college, and taught for long in the Horn of Africa before retiring back home to HR practice. You can catch up with him @Chumolet or in http://www.myroundsquare.blogspot.com and http://www.abortedpoet.wordpress.com
Bambara translation by Ismaila Samba Traoré
Ismaila Samba Traoré was born in Mali then went to France for university studies in Communication, Sociology of Literature, Anthropology, Development Sociology and Lexicology. He first worked as a journalist for Radio Mali before going to the department of Oral Traditions at l’Institut des Sciences Humaines of Mali. He has also worked as a university professor and a high level official in Mali. Ismaila Samba Traoré has written novels, chronicals, essays on artistic and agricultural fields as well as various other topics, poems and children’s literature in French and Bamanankan. Three of his books are on the Malian school curriculum. In 1993, he set up La Sahélienne GROUP which is made up of 3 publishing houses and is considered to be the leader in publishing in Mali. Ismaila Traoré is the president of PEN Mali and also head Mouvement Malivaleurs
Rukiga translation by Clare D Kyasiimire
Clare D Kyasiimire is a stay home mother of three, married to one man. Clare holds a degree in Adult and Community Education and is passionate about reading and writing poetry. She grew up listening to folk stories-mostly in her mother tongue, Rukiga; and those made for a strong bond with African (or Ugandan) literature. Clare never wants to miss a good story and given a chance she’d love to share those stories, which in most cases she internalises and thinks about in her mother tongue. So whenever she is a bit swamped with so many things to do; Clare begins with a story- and her day is alright- it’s the balm that patches her wounds.
Rukiga translation edited by Gilbert Musinguzi
Musinguzi Gilbert is a civil society based good governance and human rights activist born in Kabale, western Uganda. He studied English Literature and Political Science from Makerere University. He later pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and an MA in Public administration and Management from Makerere University. He has served in various capacities, starting as a secondary school teacher of English Literature and Religious Education, he later worked with Uganda’s public service as a Radio and Television based information Officer with the ministry of Information, joined NGOs like World Vision International. He is a freelance writer.
Shona translation by Tendai Huchu
Tendai Huchu’s first novel The Hairdresser of Harare was released in 2010 to critical acclaim, and has been translated into several languages. He is a creative writing PhD student at Manchester University. Between projects, he translates fiction between the Shona and English languages. His new novel is The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician. Find him @TendaiHuchu or on http://www.tendaihuchu.com
Shona translation edited by Memory Chirere
Memory Chirere is a Zimbabwean writer. He enjoys reading and writing short stories and some of his are published in Nomore Plastic Balls (1999), A Roof to Repair (2000), Writing Still (2003) and Creatures Graet and Small(2005). He has published short story books; Somewhere in This Country (2006), Tudikidiki (2007) and Toriro and His Goats (2010).Together with Prof Maurice Vambe, he compiled and edited (so far the only full volume critical text on Mungoshi called): Charles Mungoshi: A Critical Reader (2006) His new book is a 2014 collection of poems entitled: Bhuku Risina Basa Nekuti Rakanyorwa Masikati. He is with the University of Zimbabwe (in Harare) where he lectures in literature.
Lugbarati translation by Diana Santiago
Diana Santiago is a Ugandan singer, song writer, music Trainer and cultural leader who loves reading and tries her hand at writing short stories sometimes. She holds an Honors degree in Financial and Investment Analysis from Amity University India. Diana developed an early interest in Culture and arts. In Sunday school, she acted and directed plays based on Bible stories, she was also in her high school drama team. She has worked with First Love Studios in translating Scripts into her local Language (Lugbarati) for Radio Adverts. She worked with BAYIMBA Cultural Foundation as a Workshops Administrator and as an Artists Manager for the Kampala International Theatre Festival 2014. She participated in the Reading Association of Uganda annual conference 2015 and the Uganda International Writers Conference 2015. She has participated in Arts Festivals including K’la Arts Festival in Kampala, Writivism Festival Kampala, LABA Arts Festival Kampala, Storymoja Festival in Nairobi and Amakula Film Festival among others. She received Cultural Leadership Training from Arterial Network, Uganda Chapter in 2015 where now serves on the Executive Board of the Network. Diana currently works with African Writers Trust in Kampala. Out of office, Diana enjoys being great mother to her daughter, and spends her spare time working in her farm.
Lugbarati translation Edited by John Y. Ondoma and Emmanuel Candia
Lubukusu translation by E. Wekulo
Emily Khalayi Wekulo is a twenty seven year old passionate writer who was born and raised in Bungoma County in a village called Marinda. She currently teaches English and Literature at Talai Secondary school in the same county. Emily has a BA in Education, majoring in Literature. When not teaching, she works as a freelance writer.
Kimaragoli translation by Anne Ayuma Odary
Anne Ayuma Odary is a teacher of Kiswahili language and a graduate of Nairobi University. Anne belongs to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development which gives her an upper hand in handling language materials. She has taught for over thirty years and amerced wide experience. As a married lady with a family of her own, Anne is a team player who can work with anybody anywhere under whatever circumstances even under durace. She is also a trained counselor who works with youth to get a bearing in life, and has done this in her church and community.
Giriama translation by Ngala Chome
Ngala Chome was born and raised in Mombasa and has studied the politics and social history of Kenya’s Coast for the past six years. In addition to his collection of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and opinion pieces in journalistic publications, he has also recently published non-fiction accounts in magazines such as the Chimurenga Chronic and Kwani? Translation work on this story wouldn’t be successful without the help of Kiponda Gandi.
Giriama translation edited by Gandi Kiponda
Gandi Kiponda is an undergraduate student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology and an active member of Kenya Red Cross Society.
Sheng translation by Mwangi Wa Mahugu
Mwangi Wa Mahugu pen name Mwas Mahugu is a writer and an afro -hip hop artist, a pioneer sheng writer published by kwani Trust in several editions, his literature is inspired by people and it revolves around love and hate, conformity and rebellion, innocence and experience. He is the coordinating Trustee East Africa rise Up Project; a music & development movement project running CO-OP projects in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi. When not writing, he is recording music, coordinating music events and managing artists. He writes to discover and to tell stories, since he believes artist and writers are mirror of society. Mwas is a part of jalada Africa collective.
Sheng translation edited by Monaja Monch Kimenchu
Monaja is a performing and recording artiste who has been working on his craft for the past 13 years. His music, done primarily in Sheng and Kiswahili, features sociopolitical content and is a fusion of different genres of music, a style that he calls TemaImba music. Besides his craft, Monaja has various intellectual pursuits. He has served as a history lecturer, a researcher and a moderator of community debates. He recently released his second musical compilation – TemaImba Mixtape, which fuses rap with song as a cohesive artistic style. He is presently working on follow up compilations to be released later this year.
Ewe translation by Lydia Yayra Pentem Ayisah
Lydia Yayra Pentem Ayisah, prefers to be simply called Yayra. She has certificate in Computer Technology, GIMPA. Yayra is currently working with Votomobile Technology as Contact Center Agent, a mobile engagement company.
Ewe translation edited by Efo Dela
Dela Nyamuame is more commonly known as Efo Dela. He is a Graduate from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a BSc in Computer Engineering. Efo currently works as an Operation Associate at VOTOmobile a Mobile Engagement company.
Naija Languej translation by Eriata Oribhabor
Eriata Oribhabor is a poet and frontline promoter of Naija languej. He started off writing poetry in the indigenous Nigerian Pidgin currently being standardized as Naija languej. Writing in the languej, he authored; “Abuja na kpangba and Oda puem-dem (2011), edited, “IF YU HIE SE A DE PRIZIN” (poems) and “AMEBO YAD” (collection of plays). A former chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Abuja Branch, Eriata Oribhabor is the author of two poetry collections; “Beautiful Poisons” and “CROSSROADS & THE RUBICON”. He is the Editor, WUSHAPA – Beating the Drums of Peace, Who Shall I Make My Wife (collection of Food related poems), and a passionate lover of the streets where he once hawked various items in Warri, Nigeria; his place of birth.
Marakwet translation by Paul Kipchumba
Paul Kipchumba studied literature and language at the University of Nairobi and at Tianjin Foreign Studies University, in China. He is a writer, a researcher, and a founder of the Kipchumba Foundation that promotes education in Marakwet. He is also the author of ‘Oral Literature of the Marakwet of Kenya’.