Friday, December 4, 2020

Window for inspirational African writers open

As a platform that engages various African writers and leading storytellers through dialogue and founded by local writer Gaamangwe Joy Mogami, web-based literary magazine African in Dialogue is offering a window into the lives of both local and African writers.

An innovative platform, the magazine will now be accepting submissions from writers all over Africa, and will be guest edited by renowned writer and interviewer Emmanuel Iduma.

“Growing up I have always been interested in the stories and the people who create them. I believed and saw value in the contributions that storytellers added to our own understanding of our history, realities and humanity.

“Storytellers reflect to us the times as they are, and helps us introspect and meditate on our pasts as well as possibly map a better future. I believe so deeply in the power of stories to shift and change our realities and destiny as people, especially as African people,” she tells LifeStyle.

She says the platform explores different themes and narratives that many writers encounter, in the context of being African and living on the continent. “We are really looking for interviews that read as free-flowing and organic dialogues rather than pre-planned and static interviews. Generally, we are interested in exploring historic, cultural, social and philosophical narrative of Africans in relation to the African history, present and future.

“We want narratives that reflect the African human experience. Some of the themes are human and gender rights, human development, mental health, sexuality, politics, war, migration, as well as black love, black joy and the pursuit of happiness,”she says.

Having interviewed an array of writers with different creative and educational backgrounds, Mogami states that she has had plenty of highlights since the inception of the magazine last year September.

“My first highlight is first of all interviewing some of the most renowned writers in Africa. The likes of Gbenga Adesina, Safia Elhillo, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Ladan Osman, Barolong Seboni, Koleka Putuma and others. I have also published two books to support Brunel International African Poetry Prize as published by Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature in Nigeria, and The Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlists for this year.

Forthcoming is another book with Jacana Media based in South Africa in support of their Gerald Kraak Award. My interviews have also been republished in Peolwane, Air Botswana Inflight Magazine, Alephi Magazine in India, Brittle Paper in Nigeria, Africa Writes in the UK, Mosaic Magazine in USA and reblogged in countless literary magazine and blogs in Africa and the world,” she explains.

Speaking on upcoming projects, she says the magazine will introduce new segments: “Soon I will be doing a new series called ‘Founders’, which will be interviews with founders of some of the most renowned literary magazine in Africa. This series will expand more on creation and runnings of literary magazines, as well as details of how one can get published there. The whole aim is to bridge the gap between literary platforms and upcoming storytellers. Otherwise, Africa in Dialogue intends to be proactive in creating more projects that engage as many Africans in dialogues as possible.”

For submissions, writers can send their work to [email protected] Submission guidelines are in archives title “Call for Submissions”. They will be accepting submissions from July 15 until August 31. More information is on their website www.africaindialogue.com

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