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.
E C Osondu is an award winning author from Nigeria. In 2009, he won the Caine Prize for African Writing for his story, Waiting, while an earlier story, Jimmy Carter’s Eyes made the 2007 shortlist. Osondu is also the winner of the Allen and Nirelle Galso Prize for Fiction. His story, A Letter from Home, was judged one of the top ten stories on the internet in 2006. Osondu’s debut short story collection, Voice of America (by E.C. Osondu), was published by Harper Collins in 2010, while his most first novel, This House Is Not for Sale, was released earlier this year.
Osondu currently lives in the United States, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Providence College, Rhode Island. He recently agreed to an interview with Africa Book Club to talk about his writing.
Born in Accra, Ghana, Ayesha Harruna Attah was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University, and received an MFA in creative writing from NYU in 2011. She is a 2014 Africa Centre Artists in Residency Award Laureate.
Awarded a fellowship from Per Ankh Publishers and TrustAfrica, Ayesha wrote and published her debut novel, Harmattan Rain, in 2009. It was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her recently released second novel, Saturday’s Shadows (World Editions), was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2014. In this interview with the Africa Book Club, she talks about her writing.
This month, we interview Nigerian author, Helon Habila, who recently won the 2015 Windham-Campbell prize for fiction. Habila is both a poet and prose writer. He has won several important poem writing competitions, including the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) national poetry award for his poem “Another Age” in 2000 and 2001. His short story, Love Poems, won the 2001 Caine Prize for African Writing, while his novel, Waiting for an Angel received the 2003 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region.
Habila is also the author of Oil on Water (2011) and Measuring Time (2007) and Waiting for an Angel (2002). In addition, he has edited several anthologies, including the British Council’s New Writing (2005) and The Granta Book of the African Short Story (2011).
Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up?
Born in Barbados, Yewande Omotoso grew up in Nigeria and moved to South Africa in 1992. A trained architect, she is also a designer, freelance writer, poet and novelist. Yewande’s debut novel Bom Boy was published in 2011 by Modjaji Books and won the 2012 South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author and was the runner-up for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature. Yewande currently lives in Johannesburg. She took time to answer a few questions from Africa Book Club.
In Spotlight this month, Africa Book Club interviews Kwei Quartey. A crime fiction writer, Quartey made the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 2009. The following year, the G.O.G. National Book Club awarded him the title of Best Male Author. Having published Wife of the Gods (2009), Children of the Street (2011), Murder at Cape Three Points (2014), he anticipates publication of the fourth Darko Dawson novel in the series, Gold of the Fathers, in early January 2016. Quartey currently lives in Pasedena, California
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist, short story writer, and poet. In 2014, Makumbi won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly. Her doctoral novel, The Kintu Saga, won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 and was published in 2014 under the title Kintu. In this interview with Africa Book Club, she talks about the importance of Africa traditions in writing and what it takes to be a successful writer.
In 2010, Irene Sabatini shot to international fame, when she won the Orange Award for New Writers for her first book, The Boy Next Door. Sabatini, who spent her childhood in the laid back city of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, studied psychology at the University of Zimbabwe and then took a Masters at the Institute of Education in London. She has lived and worked in several countries: teaching in Colombia, conducting research work in Barbadian schools and writing environmental science books for Zimbabwean primary schools. She currently lives in Geneva with her husband and two sons.In November this year, she released follow-on novel, Peace and Conflict: A Boy’s Tale. She talked to Africa Book Club about how she got into writing, life after winning the Orange Award, and her most recent book.
Born in Yola, Nigeria and currently living in the United States and, Okey Ndibe is a novelist, political columnist and essayist. He also teaches African Literature at Trinity College on Hartford. Ndibe is the author of the highly acclaimed novels, Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods Inc. In this interview with Africa Book Club, he talks about his new book, his two passions and the importance of creating time for family.
This month, we interview two past winners of the competition, Nicola Coady from South Africa and Mark Mngomezulu from Swaziland. Coady, (pictured), won our September 2013 competition with her short story, Obio, about a man who embarks on a journey to the town of Boje in search of a cure for his ailment. Mngomezulu’s story, The Village Breadman, won the competition in October 2013.