We’ve already got into the thick of things for 2015 – however, the beginning of the first month of the year seems like a good time (the only time?) to reflect on some of our best content from 2014. We had some great highlights and content – most of which bears re-reading this year – here is a selection.
1. 2014 was another good year for women in African literature – and our sister festival, Africa Writes hosted one of the best of them, Ama Ata Aidoo – ahead of that event, we published our list of 50 Books By African Women That Everyone Should Read – which has turned out to be our most read piece ever, and with good reason – these books are amazing; the collaboration with Bookshy Blogger, Zahrah Nessbitt-Ahmed to produce it was so much fun, it was necessary for us to do another list – for the men.
2. Another great list, written by writer and consultant Fatimah Kelleher, gave us an instructive list of Ten travel Books and Narratives by African and African Diasporans; the list riffed off a panel at the Africa Writes festival, and the increasing interest in African and African diaspora audiences in travel literature that more accurately reflects their experiences and needs – as so recently picked up in an article in the Daily Beast.
3. Throughout the year we interviewed some very interesting people, including artist and curator, Ed Cross, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, and Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti, as well as author and founder of the Ake Festival, Lola Shoneyin.
4. We also reviewed the hell out of a lot of books and shows in London including the first Afrobeats musical, Oliva Tweest.
5. One of the fun things we did was host a audio-recorded conversation with five up and coming South African playwrights on life, writing and censorship in South Africa – hosted by British Nigerian playwright Dipo Agboluaje – it was a riveting insight into the challenges for writers in post-apartheid, post-Mandela South Africa.
Expect more from us in 2015 – and if you want to contribute, get in touch – we’re also doing a survey about the way we look and feel, and what kind of content you’d like to see – so, if you have a few minutes, give us your thoughts.
Dele Meiji Fatunla