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  Alex Smith
  Amanze Akpuda
  Amatoritsero Ede
  Amitabh Mitra
  Ando Yeva
  Andrew Martin
  Aryan Kaganof

  Ben Williams
  Bongani Madondo
  Chielozona Eze
  Chris Mann
  Chukwu Eke
  Chuma Nwokolo
  Colleen Higgs
  Colleen C. Cousins
  Don Mattera
  Elizabeth Pienaar
  Elleke Boehmer
  Emilia Ilieva
  Fred Khumalo
  Janice Golding
  Lauri Kubuitsile
  Lebogang Mashile
  Manu Herbstein
  Mark Espin
  Molara Wood
  Napo Masheane
  Nduka Otiono
  Nnorom Azuonye
  Ola Awonubi
  Petina Gappah
  Sam Duerden
  Sky Omoniyi
  Toni Kan
  Uzor M. Uzoatu
  Valerie Tagwira
  Vamba Sherif
  Wumi Raji
  Zukiswa Wanner

   Ntone Edjabe
   Rudolf Okonkwo
   Tolu Ogunlesi
   Yomi Ola
   Molara Wood

August Debut

Issue 2; October/November


Detail from Mixing business with Pleasure



The simple life – what we dream about but never quite have at African Writing. Life and its complex ambiguities – that is more the common fare of our editorial interests at African Writing. In Issue No. 2, in which we focused on African writing in Britain, there was the challenge of interpreting and making the term “Black British” relevant to our interests. You couldn’t choose a more suitable location than South Africa for a sequel on writing from the fractured and contested identities of contemporary Africa.


Photo: Tolu Ogunlesi



Welcome indeed to our South African special issue. It is also a bumper holiday issue, so we nod our season’s greetings with vacation photographs from the poet Tolu Ogunlesi. Writer and journalist Molara Wood advances this end-of-year mood, bringing her now familiar annual survey of favourite readings by African writers to this issue of African Writing. Wood’s ‘Books of the Year’ is usually an authoritative sample of what a fair proportion of African writers have read in the given year. From Rudolph Okonkwo, in our new photo gallery, we have an engaging offering of conference photographs from the recently concluded Christopher Okigbo International Conference in the US.

But it is to South Africa we must go for most of our features this issue. Special thanks to Chimurenga Editor Ntone Edjabe, Ben Williams of Book SA Daily, the supremely resourceful Victor Dlamini, Mark Espin of Centre for the Book, publisher Rose Francis, poets Chris Mann and Lebo Mashile, novelists Zukiswa Wanner and Alex Smith, National English Language Museum researcher Andrew Martin, and others, for believing in our project and offering their time, resources and other invaluable assistance in what was mostly a labour of love – this special South African issue of African Writing. Special thanks yet again to Zukiswa Wanner and Alex Smith for their representative AW profile of women writers in South Africa, involving some research and many interviews. Thanks to publishers Umuzi and African Perspectives for access to some of the writers. Not long ago, Chimurenga had its special Nigerian issue, ‘We Are All Nigerians!’ In this special South African issue of AW, you could be forgiven for thinking all of African literature now happens in South Africa. So impressive has been the development and excellence of its post-apartheid writing. Yes – We are all South Africans now!

In addition to the many interesting contributors form South Africa, this issue is significantly empowered by Ghanaian writer Manu Herbstein’s special investigative report on the British Council’s 2007 slavery abolition anniversary events in his country. Herbstein is the author of Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, a critically acclaimed novel. We are also paying tribute in this issue to the literary lives of four African writers – the Nigerians Idzia Ahmad and Cyprian Ekwensi, both now departed, South African poet and senior literary figure Don Mattera and the Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who is 70 years, January 2008. Special thanks to Amanze Akpuda, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu and Emilia Ilieva, for their labour on the tributes. Please locate the AW Issue Nos. 1 and 2, included in our archives. The second issue profile especially offers an extensive and frequently challenging range of contributors to the making and development of African writing in Britain.

In African Writing, we are constantly reviewing the services we offer our readers to identify possibilities for improvement and growth. Reader reactions and letters are useful ways by which we access our progress. Please find the time to respond to the Readership Survey, which is one of our new online features. For on-going concerns and extended reactions to features and operations, or regarding any matter of concern in African literature, consider using the more elaborate set-up of our Readers Forum. A letter to the Publisher on publishing and subscription matters, or the Editor on editorial and submission matters might also serve your purpose. The addresses are publisher@african-writing.com and editor@african-writing.com

Another new feature in is the Image Library, where our online visitors can browse the photographs, illustrations, cartoons and other art works provided by AW contributors. Look out for the new African Writing Blogs. African Writing Publisher Chuma Nwokolo and South African novelist Zukiswa Wanner are our first two bloggers. We expect to add more writers from Africa and its diaspora in our list. We will consider all approaches to African Writing for this purpose, but this will not guarantee acceptance. There will be other additions to our online services and further operational changes as we seek to strengthen our structures and improve our systems towards becoming all we want to be. Welcome to Issue No 3 of African Writing.

The Editor


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