Hawa Jande Golakai and Muthoni Wa Gichuru were the featured authors at Literary Crossroads at the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on June 21, 2018. They were moderated by Anja Bengelstorff.
Literary Crossroads is a Goethe-Institut event where writers meet colleagues from all over the continent and from the African diaspora to discuss trends, topics and themes prevalent in their literatures today. The project which happens in Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi usually pairs a writer from the local country and a writer from another African country. In the past, Nairobi has hosted pairings like Ayobami Adebayo and Zukiswa Wanner, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Okwiri Oduor, Elnathan John and Kinyanjui Kombani, as well as Prof Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui and Ambassador Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba.
The latest pairing to do their literary crossroads were Liberian Hawa Jande Golakai and Kenyan Muthoni Wa Gichuru.
Hawa Jande Golakai is a Liberian writer and clinical scientist who has two books to her name The Lazarus Effect (our review) and The Score. The two books follow the exploits of South African based investigative journalist Vee as she seeks to solve crimes in a unique take on the crime genre. She has also branched out into nonfiction with her Granta essay Fugee getting rave reviews. She was also in the Africa39 listing of top African writers under 40 who will influence African literature in the future announced in 2014.
Muthoni Wa Gichuru is a Kenyan writer with two books The Hidden Package which won the Burt Awards Kenya 2016 and Breaking the Silence. She has featured on the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015 shortlist, and the Morland Scholarship 2017 shortlist.
The two went through their paces as they were asked a series of questions about their work, their writing process and everything in between. You can watch a section of the forum below.