Get Print Edition of African Writing Home Page
HomeAbout UssNewsinterviewsProfiles of Emergent African WritersFictionPoetryCultureArtReviews

  Femi Osofisan
  Tanure Ojaide
  Brian Chikwava
  Hugh Hodge
  Helon Habila
  Muhammad Jalal A. Hashim
  Ogaga Ifowodo
  Edwin Gaardner
  Harry Garuba
  Toyin Adewale-Gabriel
  Zukiswa Wanner
  Ike Okonta
  Maxim Uzoatu
  George Ngwane
  Ike Anya
  E. E. Sule
  Beverley Nambozo
  Obi Nwakanma
  Matthew Dodwell
  Ikhide Ikheloa
  Afam Akeh
  Femi Oyebode
  Chika Unigwe
  Linda Chase
  Mohamed Bushara
  Wale Okediran
  Niran Ok
  Remi Raji
  Ahmed Maiwada

  Laura King

  Chuma Nwokolo



50 African Writers;

A Special Profile

Patrice Nganang
Patrice Nganang (Cameroon, US)
Born in 1970, Nganang is a Professor of Modern European Languages. A first volume of poems, Elobi, appeared in 1995. He has also published several novels, the most famous of which was translated into English as Dog Days (2006). In its original French version, Temps de Chien (Dog Days) won the Prix Marguerite Yourcenar in 2001, among other awards.
Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenya)
Winner of the 2002 Caine Prize for his short story, ‘Discovering Home,’ he was born in 1971. Wainaina is the Founding editor of Kwani?, an important source of new writing in East Africa. He is an outspoken commentator on international politics and African culture, and has written for many international journals, including Granta, The East African, The Guardian (UK) and the New YorK Times. He was honoured in 2003 by the Kenyan Publishers Association for his contributions to Kenyan literature.
Binyavanga Wainaina
Dayo Forster
Dayo Forster (Gambia, Kenya)
Her recent novel, Reading the Ceiling (May 2007), has been well received by commentators in the international media. She is the first woman to have been internationally published and acclaimed in this way from Gambia, the country of the author, Lenrie Peters. Appearances at the Sable Lit Mag International Literature Festival in July and the Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2007 will further establish Forster as one of the more visible younger African writers.’
Abdourahman Waberi (Somalia, France). Journalist and novelist, born in 1965, he left his Somalian homeland for France in 1985. His first novel, Le Pays sans Ombre (The Land Without Shadow,1994) won the Grand Prize for new French speakers in Belgium. Other works include Harvest of Skulls(2004), Rift, Routes and Rails (2001) and Nomad’s Book (1999).
Abdourahman Waberi
Alain Mabanckou
Alain Mabanckou (Congo, US)
Winner of the Prix Renaudot 2006 for his novel Memories of Porcupine, Mabanckou was born in 1966, and is a Professor of literature in the United States. He has written six novels, six collections of poetry and other work in journals. He is much honoured for his work and is one the leading voices among this generation of cultural interpreters from Africa.
Chris Abani (Nigeria, US)
Abani’s novels includes The Virgin of Flames (2007), Graceland (FSG 2004/Picador 2005) and Master of the Board (1985). There are two novellas, Becoming Abigail (2006) and Song for the Night (2007). He also has four collections of poetry and has won many awards for his writings, including the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and is currently a university professor in the United States. Chris Abani is also a jazz musician.
Chris Abani
Brian Chikwava
Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe, UK)
Winner of the2004 Caine Prize for African writing for his short story ‘Seventh street alchemy,’ Chikwava is now resident in England, where he is completing his first novel. He is also a musician, and was part of Rhythm of the Mind, a show involving visual artists musicians, dancers and writers experimenting on mixed idioms and genres for performance practice.
Biyi Bandele (Nigeria, UK)
Born in 1967, his career began when he won a prize scholarship in 1990 for his theatre sketch, ‘Rain.’ He has received many awards, including the London New Play Festival Award (1994). His work has included novels, poetry, radio plays, screenplays, and drama for stage productions. His first novel was The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond (1991) and his latest, Burma Boy (2007). There are two other novels, The Sympathetic Undertaker and Other dreams (1991) and the Street(2000). Drama publications include the volume of two plays, Brixton Stories and Happy Birthday, Mister Deka D (2001), Two Horsemen (1994) and Marching for Fausa (1993).
Biyi Bandele
Uche Nduka
Uche Nduka (Nigeria, Germany)
Born in 1963, the poet Uche Nduka now lives in Bremen, Germany, from where he has maintained a prolific online and other publishing presence. He was a winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize in 1997 for his book Chiaruscuro. His other collections of poetry are Flower Child, Second Act, The Bremen Poems, If Only the Night, Heart’s Field and eef on reef ( to be published in late 2007). He has also edited a anthology of new Nigerian poets and published a prose journal of personal musings, Belltime Letters.
Ogaga Ifowodo (Nigeria, US)
Winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize, Ogaga Ifowodo’s books include Homeland and Other Poems, Mandiba and The Oil Lamp (2005). A former political activist from his student days in Nigeria, Ifowodo’s poetry is highly regarded by his Nigerian contemporaries. He now lives in the US.
Ogaga Ifowodo
Doreen Baingana
Doreen Baingana (Uganda)
Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe, her collection of linked short stories won the Commonwealth Prize for First Book, Africa Region, 2006. She teaches writing and her work, which is widely published in journals, has been shortlisted twice at the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Helon Habila (Nigeria, US)
Habila’s new novel, Measuring Time, (2007) is his second. His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, was developed from a short story with which he won the 2002 Caine Prize for New Writing in Africa. He has also won other awards for his writing.
Helon Habila
Jean-Luc Raharimanana
Jean-Luc Raharimanana (Madagascar, France)Born in 1967, he was awarded the Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo Poetry prize in 1987 for his early poems. His first play, The Prophet and the President (1989), won the Tchicaya U’Tamsi Prize for theatre, but its performance was disallowed by the Madagascan government. He has also published two novels, Le Lepreux (The Leper, 1992) and Nour, 1947 (2001). Dreams Under the Shroud (1998) is his collection of short stories.
Kossi Efoui (Togo, France) Playwright and novelist, born in 1962. He migrated to France in 1992. Among his many plays is Le Carrefour, which won the Grand Prix Tchicaya U’Tamsi in 1989. His works outside the theatre include Les coupons de Magali (short stories, 1994), La Polka (novel, 1998) and La Fabrique de ceremonies (a novel).
Kossi Efoui
Fred Khumalo
Fred Khumalo (South Africa)
Born in 1966, Khumalo is a journalist and novelist. His novels, Bitches’ Brew (2005) and Touch My blood: The Early Years (2006), were published to much critical attention, also winning awards.
Vamba Sherif (Liberia, Netherlands)
Born in Liberia, 1973, his novels include The Land of the Fathers (1999), The Kingdom of Sebah (2003) and Bound to Secrecy (2007). Sherif speaks three African languages, English, Arabic and Dutch.
Vamba Sherif
Mary Watson
Mary Watson (South Africa)
Moss, her much praised collection of short stories was published in 2004, and one of the stories, ‘Jungfrau,’ won the 2006 Caine Prize for African Writing. She was born in 1975.
Toyin Adewale-Gabriel (Nigeria)
Author of Naked Testimonies, Adewale-Gabriel has also edited work by her contemporaries and was a founding member of WRITA, an organisation supporting writing by women. She is much travelled and honoured as a poet.
toyin adewale
Gabeba Baderoon
Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa, US)
Born in 1969. Acclaimed poet of A Hundred Silences (2006), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005) and The Dream in the Next Body (2005), Baderoon’s poetry also appears in journals and anthologies. Among the many honours attracted by her poetry is the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry, which she won in 2005.
Eduardo White (Mozambique)
Born in 1963, with eight collections of poetry, White is one of the leading writers of Mozambique. He was indeed honoured as Mozambican Literary Figure of 2001. Among other literary prizes, he won the Mozambican National Poetry Prize in 1992.
Eduardo White Eduardo White
Uzodinma Iweala @ Barnes & Noble Uzodinma Iweala
Uzodinma Iweala (Nigeria, US)
Born 1982, Iweala is the youngest of the writers under consideration. His novel, Beasts of No Nation won him instant literary fame and the acclaim of many critics across the nations. In 2007, he was named one of Granta magazines 20 best young American novelists.
Segun Afolabi (Nigeria, UK)
His novel, Goodbye Lucille, follows a collection of short stories, A Life Elsewhere, from which the story ‘Monday Morning’ won the 2005 Caine Prize for African Writing. Born in 1966, Afolabi’s short stories have appeared in many journals.

Segun Afolabi
Kola Boof
Kola Boof (Sudan, US)
Born in 1969, Boof, a poet, novelist and rights activist, is the author of the books Flesh and the Devil and Nile River Woman among others. Diary of a Lost Girl, her 2006 autobiography, was well received. Virgins in the Beehive (2007), is a ‘hip hop pop novel.’ She has also written for television. Much controversy has dogged the literary career of Boof over her cultural and political activism, and accusations of media manipulation.
Jackee Batanda (Uganda)
Regional winner, 2003 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, and special commendations at the Caine Prize and Macmillan Writers awards, Batanda’s stories have appeared in many publications and in radio broadcasts. Was Writer in Residence at Lancaster University, UK. Author of The Blue Marble, a children’s book, she has also completed ‘Everyday People’ (a collection of short stories) and ‘Our time of Sorrow’ (a novel).
Jackee Batanda Jackee Batanda @ Crossing Borders
Chimamanda Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria, US)
Two critically acclaimed novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of A Yellow Sun, which just won the Orange Broadband Prize, have now established Adichie as a major new African writer. She was born in 1977.
Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone, US)
Born 1980, he is celebrated for his account of his experiences as a boy soldier in his home country, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.
Ishmael Beah
Moses Isegawa Moses Ishegawa @ Randomhouse
Moses Isegawa (Uganda, Netherlands)
Isegawa’s novels for which he has been much praised and honoured are Abyssinian Chronicles and Snakepit. He was born in 1963.
Leila Aboulela (Sudan, Scotland, UAE)
She was winner of the inaugural Caine Prize for African Writing with a short story, ‘The Museum,’ taken from her collection Coloured Lights (2001). Her acclaimed novel, The Transistor, was published in 2001, and a second novel, Minaret, in 2006. She has also done much work with radio adaptations, and is the author of the play, The Mystic Life.
Leila Aboulela Leila @
Mark Behr
Mark Behr (Tanzania, South Africa, US)
Born 1963 in what became independent Tanzania, Behr and family would later emigrate to South Africa. His novel, Die reuk van appels (The Smell of Apples), 1993, has been translated into nine languages. It won the Eugene Marais Prize among other prizes. His other novel is Embrace. Behr is much honoured for his work, receiving the Betty Trask Award(1996). He has been shortlisted for The Guardian Fiction Award and the Encore Award among others.
Lebogang Mashile (South Africa)
A multi-skilled creative arts professional, Mashile is a celebrated spoken word poet in South Africa. A NOMA award winner, she has been an honoured guest at international literary meetings in various parts of the world. Her collection of poems, In a Ribbon of Rhythm, was published in 2005.

Lebogang Mashile Lebogang @
Olu Oguibe Olu @
Olu Oguibe (Nigeria, US)
Born in 1964 and widely exhibited as an artist, Oguibe is also a prize-winning poet. His second book of poems, A Gathering Fear, won the 1992 Christopher Okigbo All-Africa Prize for Literature. His other poetry collections include A Song Of Exile and Songs for Catalina. He is also the author of a book of essays, The Culture Game (2003).
Sefi Atta (Nigeria, US)
A second novel, Swallow, is expected from Seffi Atta, whose first was, in part, a coming of age tale titled Everything Good Will Come. She was awarded the PEN international David T.K. Wong Prize in 2005. She has also won several prizes and awards for her stories and plays, and was shotlisted for the 2006 Caine Prize for African Writing.
Seffi Atta Sefi @
Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah @
Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah (Nigeria, US)
Critic with a growing reputation for his work on the traditional oral forms of African literature, he has published scholarly papers in many journals and is the author of Introduction to African Oral literature (1994). He has also co-authored and edited other books. A useful voice among the emergent interpreters of culture and writing in Africa.
Pius Adesanmi (Nigeria, Canada)
Poet and Professor of African Literature Pius Adesanmi’s The Wayfarer and Other Poems won the Association of Nigerian Authors in 2001. He has been a noted critical voice and promoter of work by the younger African writers. He has co-edited volumes of scholarly essays and contributed also to books and journals. In Canada, he has recently established PONAL for his affiliated Carleton University, intended as a major online audio-visual resource project archiving and presenting new writing from Africa to an international audience.
Pius Adesamni Pius @
Jamal Mahjoub Jamal @
Jamal Mahjoub (Sudan, France, Spain)
Author of three novels, Travelling with Djinns (2003), which won the Prix de l’Astrolabe in 2004. A short story, ‘The Cartographer’s Angel’ won the Heinemann//Guardian Africa Short Story in 1993. He was also shortlisted for the 2005.
Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda, Kenya)
Before winning the 2007 Caine Prize, Monica had earlier been shortlisted in 2004 for her story, ‘Strange Fruit’. In 2006, she won the Women’s World Women in War Zones Competition with her personal essay, ‘In the Stars’.
Monica Arac de Nyeko Monica @
Aminatta Forna Aminatta @
Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone, UK)
Her memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water (2000) was shortlisted in England for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She also has a novel, Ancestor Shoes (2006).
Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria, UK)
Her first novel, The Icarus Girl, was published to much media attention. Her second novel, The Opposite House is released this year. She has also had two plays, Juniper’s Whitening and Victimese published by Methuen.
Helen Oyeyemi Helen @ WGBH
Amatoritsero Ede
Amatoritsero Ede (Nigeria, Canada) Born in 1963, Ede won the All-Africa Christopher Okigbo Prize for Literature in 1998 with his Collected Poems: A Writer’s Pains and Caribbean Blues. He is Editor of Sentinel Online Poetry magazine, and in the editorial team of the online PONAL African literature site established for Carleton University, Canada, where he is based. His work appears in many journals and anthologies of African poetry. Ede was also Second Prize Winner at the May Ayim Award: International Black German Literary Prize, 2004.
Remi Raji (Nigeria)
Aderemi Raji-Oyelade’s volumes of poetry include A Harvest of Laughters (1997), Webs of Rememberance (2001), Shuttlesongs America: A Poetic Guided Tour (2003) and Lovesongs for My Wasteland (2005). His works have been translated into French, German, Ukranian, Swedish and Catalan. He is often travelling outside his home base of Nigeria as scholar and writer. Among the honours to his poetry is a 1997 association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize.
Remi Raji
Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Jose Eduardo Agualusa (Angola, Portugal) A writer and journalist with books translated into several European languages. He was this year a joint winner with Daniel Hahn, his translator, of the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his novel Book of Chameleons(2006). Agualusa is a prolific novelist ,poet and playwright. His other book to be translated into English from Portuguese is Creole (2002). Other works include Um estranho em Goa (2001) and O ano em que Zumbi tomou o Rio (2002).
Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa)
Born in 1971, she has published two novels: Shark’s Egg (2000) and The Rock Alphabet (2004). She works a literary editor. In 1996, she won the first Cosmopolitan/Vita Short Story Competition.
Henrietta Rose-Innes
Sami Tchak Sami @
Sami Tchak (Togo)
Sadamba Tcha-Koura, who writes as Sami Tchak, was born in 1960. His novels include Femme Infidele (1988) and La fete des masques. He won the Grand Prix of Black African Literature for his body of work.

Imraan Coovadia (South Africa)
Born in South Africa, but has also lived in Australia and England, his first novel was The Wedding (2001). It was runner-up to the Sunday Times Fiction Award, 2002. It has been translated into Hebrew and Italian. In 2006, he published his second novel, Green-Eyed Thieves.
Imraan Coovadia Imraan Coovadia @
Sandrine Bessora Nan Nguema Bessora @
Sandrine Bessora Nan Nguema (Gabon, Switzerland)
Better known by her literary name of Bessora, she was born in 1968, Belgium, her parents from Gabon and Switzerland. From childhood, she has lived in Africa, Europe and the USA.Her 1999 novel was 53cm. Her other works include The Ink Stains (2000), Two Babies and the Bill (2002), A Breath of Fresh Air in the Galleries (2003) and Petroleum (2004). Bessora was awarded the Prix Feneon for her book, The Ink Stain.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Ghana, UK) Noted performance poet and BBC radio host, his poetry chapbooks include Eyes of a Boy, Lips of a Man (1999) and M is for Madrigal(2004). His poem was recently chosen with other poems from some distinguished African poets as part of a public poetry initiative to feature African writing in the media spaces of the London Underground. He has worked with and written for children, and is an effective literary voice for African writing in the UK, networking and serving in various public initiatives for the arts. Parkes has just completed a novel, ‘The Cost of Red Eyes.’

Nii Aykwei Parkes Nii @
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya) won the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing with her short story, ‘Weight of Whispers’. A recent short story, ‘The Knife Grinder’s Tale,’ has been made into a film. Yvonne Owuor has graduate qualifications and professional experience in film development.
Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe, Switzerland)
Won 2nd Prize for her short story ‘At the Sound of the Last Post’ in the 2007 HSBC Bank/ South African PEN Competition. She has contributed reviews, stories and other writings for journals and is completing her first novel.
Petina Gappah
Laila Lalami Laila @
Laila Lalami (Morocco, US)
Her book of fiction, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits was published in 2005 and she was on the shortlist of the 2006 Caine Prize with her story ‘The Fanatic.’ Her work has appeared in several newspapers and other journals.
Calixthe Beyala (Cameroon, France)
A novelist and female rights campaigner, she was born in 1961. Beyala is a much published (12 novels) and honoured writer in France, prizes won including the Grand prix du roman de l’Academie francaise (1996), but her work has also been considered controversial and accorded mixed receptions.
Calixthe Beyala
      Go to Top      
Go to Top  
Copyright © Fonthouse Ltd & respective copyright owners. Enquiries to