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Jalada Africa Unveils Professor Wole Soyinka as Guest Author for Translation 02

Jalada Africa Unveils Professor Wole Soyinka as Guest Author for Translation 02

—Announces Language & Translations Symposium for 16/17th November

Pan-African arts collective and digital publisher, Jalada Africa, is pleased to announce Professor Wole Soyinka as the Featured Author for our Translation 02 project which will be curated by former Managing Editor, Wanjeri Gakuru. Professor Soyinka has contributed a 100-word poem, Leah Comes to Mandela, which deals with the humanity and dissidences of Leah Sharibu, Malala Yousefzai, and Nelson Mandela. We are extremely grateful for this invaluable gift and honoured to work with Africa’s preeminent Nobel laureate. 

(Wole Soyinka reads Leah Comes to Mandela © Jalada Africa 2021)

Professor Ngugi wa Thiongo contributed his Gikuyu language fable Ituika Ria Murungaru: Kana Kiria Gitumaga Andu Mathii Marungii for the inaugural Jalada translation Issue. The project, conceptualised and led by former Managing Editor, Munyao Kilolo, saw this story translated into 100 languages, completing an “Ngugi century of translations”, with most of these being African tongues. 

To celebrate these two important milestones, we will be holding our first Jalada Language & Translations Symposium on November 16th and 17th, 2021, to pay homage to Ngugi and Soyinka. The two-day Symposium will feature a total of ten panel discussions and readings, comprising 32 writers, academics and activists. Free registration HERE

Official Symposium poster

About Jalada Africa

Jalada Africa established itself as a leading literary force on the continent through its influential anthologies. The first, Jalada 00: Sketch of a Bald Woman in the Semi-Nude and Other Stories, is an anthology of short stories loosely themed around insanity, published in January 2014. This was followed by Jalada 01: Sext Me poems and stories, published in June 2014. Readers and critics lauded the anthology for breaking the implicit modesty of fictional and literary boundaries on the continent. The anthology was a central subject of discussion during the 2015 Africa Writes Festival in London, at which Jalada gave a presentation and participated in panel discussions.

Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s) is a collection of short stories and poems centred on the genres of Afrofuturism and AfroSF published in January 2015. The prelude to the anthology featured work by visual artist Wangechi Mutu with an accompanying text by Binyavanga Wainaina. The anthology garnered wide readership and received critical acclaim. Two stories, “eNGAGEMENT” by Richard Oduor Oduku and “A Brief History of Nonduality Studies” by Sofia Samatar, were long-listed for the prestigious 2015 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards.

Content from the anthology was republished as part of the 2015 African Futures festival—Nairobi Edition, a project of the Goethe-Institut South Africa funded by the Goethe-Institut and the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Jalada participated in the festival with readings and panel discussions around imagining African futures. Additionally, a Spanish translation of select stories from Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s) was published as an e-book by 2709books in Spain.

Jalada 03: My Maths Teacher Hates Me and Other Stories was published in collaboration with the Kampala-based Writivism Literary Initiative and the Center for African Cultural Excellence (CACE).

Jalada 04: The Language Issue (September 2015) was followed by the Collective’s ambitious translation project, Jalada Translation Issue 01, where Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s short story “Ituĩka Rĩa Mũrũngarũ: Kana Kĩrĩa Gĩtũmaga Andũ Mathiĩ Marũngiĩ” (“The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright”) is currently available in 96 languages.

Jalada 05: Transition 123 (June 2017) was a historical collaboration. It was published in partnership with Harvard University-based Transition Magazine.

Jalada 06: Diaspora (October 2018) was a meditation on confounding experiences of loss, scattering and (mis)recognition, and a testament to the possibilities for collaboration and communication that we are afforded as members of diaspora in the digital age. It was developed in collaboration with Australian-based online writers’ festival, Digital Writers’ Festival (DWF),

Jalada 07: After+Life (May 2019) asked probing questions regarding the transmutation of disintegrated flora and fauna and inanimate objects. It wondered at the whereabouts of consciousness and even language after passing. The results were both philosophical and fantastical. 

Jalada 08: Bodies (December 2019) was a multidisciplinary project exploring all things “bodies” through an anthology, podcasts and a visual art exhibition. The project received funding from the Hivos Foundation via the ROOM Media Grant.

Jalada 09: Nostalgia (December 2020, February 2021) is an exploration of memory; tradition and modernity, the tactile and the intangible, legacy and erasure, stagnation and evolution, the possible and impossible.

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