The Jalada Conversations

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The Jalada Conversations is an interview series where we talk to some of the continent’s most exciting and respected writers and get an in depth view into their writing processes, their craft and the relationship between their fiction and the spaces they write about. These unique interviews afford us a glimpse into some of our greatest minds, where we hope to enrich the terrain of ideas, interrogate modes of thought and illuminate the new directions that our stories are taking the concept of the continent and its varied spaces.

Once a month, we shall post a podcast along with a transcript of a conversation with one writer of African origin.


The Jalada Conversations No 1. Richard Ali

Our generation arrived, saw the situation and I think it would be a major contribution for us to close the gap, because that can’t just continue. Our continent has a great wealth in terms of literary talents in whatever language you take: Anglophone, Lusophony, Francophone, Swahilophone, etc. African writers have this tendency to lock themselves in the language in which they work when mixing stuff up would be much more enriching for them: mixing things up in terms of themes, styles, approaches, etc.

Richard Ali A Mutu


The Jalada Conversations No 2: Yvonne Owuor

I love the language, it’s the language through which I navigate the world most confidently. I dream in English, for example, but I own it, and I don’t want it to be limited to just England, because it’s been here, whether we like it or not as a country, it is the language that framed the vision and the idea of contemporary Kenya. And I was born into it, this was the landscape, both the physical and metaphorical landscape into which I was born, and that to which I’m born I claim with no apologies whatsoever.

Yvonne Owuor