Helena Dolny is an international executive coach, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the author of four books. Her new book, Before Forever After, is a ground-breaking exploration of the subject of human mortality, and how ordinary people deal with the inevitability of their dying, or with losing a loved one. It explores different themes, including the often difficult choices and revelations that follow death.
This month, Africa Book Club speaks with Ugandan author Wambalye Weikama. Born in Uganda, Weikama later moved to the United States, where he earned his Master’s degree in Technology Management from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. He later returned to his home country and is currently based in Kampala. Weikama is the author of African Son (2015) and The Bonds of War (2015). The stories in Weikama’s books are largely influenced by his childhood years in Uganda and the sixteen years he lived in the United States. In this interview, he talks about what inspired his acclaimed novel “The Bonds of War”, a work of historical fiction that centers around the lives of two child soldiers.
Congratulations to the winners of our May 2015 round of the Africa Book Club Short Reads writing competition.
We continue to be amazed by the quality and richness of the entries and this month was no different.
Macharia Mwangi from Kenya is this month’s winner with his story, At Work Today, in which the main character recounts his day at work on a flower farm. It is a moving story with a twist. Followers of this competition will know Mwangi from some of his earlier winning stories.
Nelson hated driving, especially driving to and from work through the Lagos rush-hour. So, he always engaged chauffeurs even though they came with a lot of baggage. Another thing that Nelson had learned was that you couldn’t trust chauffeurs, even when they claimed to be born again. But when he hires a relative as a driver, Nelson is unprepared for the surprises that follow.
Now, Okhai was in trouble and there was no way he was getting out of this unscathed.
This is a short story about a man who dies while working at a sand quarry. Inspired by a newspaper article about people dying at an illegal sand quarry, the story puts a human face to the people involved in this kind of work- their lives, routines, hopes, and how they deal with poverty.
In this moving story that speaks to despair and hope, a man recounts his day at work on a flower farm.
Our author of the week, Nathan Haddish Mogos, was born in 1982 to Eritrean parents in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He attended the acclaimed Boy’s Catholic School up until tenth grade when the border war broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998. His family was deported and settled in the city of Asmara where Nathan went on to attend college at the University of Asmara. Eventually, he sought asylum and resettled in Norway in 2009.
Enter our June 2015 book giveaway competition to win a copy of Mr. Fox (by Helen Oyeyemi).
Published by Picador, Mr. Fox was one of the New York Times 100 notable books of 2011 and also among the Africa Book Club 2011 Books of the Year. The novel centers around Mr. St. John Fox, as the main character, his wife Daphne and his muse, Mary. Fox, a writer, cannot help killing off the heroines of his stories.
A 2014 Indie Book Award winner, Losing My Religion is the first novel written by the Nigerian author, Jide Familoni. The principal protagonist is Olufẹmi (meaning “God loves me”) or Femi. Fẹmi hails from Ido-Ekiti village, in the South Western region of Nigeria in Yorubaland. The story tracks his life journey, as he relocates from his homeland to Canada, and eventually to the United States.
Published by The Mantle in 2014, Gambit: Newer African Writing is a collection of short stories by emerging contemporary African writers. In addition to the stories, the anthology includes a number of author interviews that offer an in-depth insight into the authors’ personalities and experiences, concerns, hopes and dreams as they weave a path into their writing careers.