The Nostalgia Anthology, the latest from Jalada Africa the Pan African writers collective, launched online on Friday, December 4, 2020.

Jalada Africa, the pan African writers’ collective and publisher was born when writers from across the continent converged in Nairobi in 2014. They have since gone on to publish many critically acclaimed anthologies both as a collective and in conjunction with other organisations. Some of these include AFTER+LIFE, Sketch of a Bald Woman In The Semi-Nude And Other Stories (our review), Sext Me Poems and Stories (our review), My Maths Teacher Hates Me and other Stories, Afrofuture (2), and The Language Issue. In 2019, the collective launched their Bodies Anthology in December.

Jalada Africa’s newest anthology based on Nostalgia was launched at a ceremony online on Zoom and on their official Facebook page this past Friday. The evening started with music as the audience streamed in from all over the continent and further afield. The music went with the theme as it was classic African music from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The end of the music started the proceedings proper with Managing Editor Wanjeri Gakuru reading the editorial of the new publication. After she read, event moderator blogger and podcaster James Murua had discussions with some of the edition’s contributors. They were Nomali Cele who had submitted fiction, Raoul Djimeli who submitted poetry, Michael Chiedoziem who submitted an essay and Wanini Kimemiah whose submission was visual art.

Clockwise from top left: Michael Chiedoziem, James Murua, Wanini Kimemiah, and Nomali Cele
Clockwise from top left: Michael Chiedoziem, James Murua, Wanini Kimemiah, and Nomali Cele

It was a discussion on their work in relation to the theme of nostalgia that we observed for an hour-or-so of the evening as the writers read from their work and the visual artist explained the reasoning behind their visual choices.

The new anthology features tales of longing, poems that linger on difficult pasts, art that speaks of the macro through the micro and essays that challenge and upend colonial and imperialist narratives plus so much more. You can get the new anthology which went live at midnight at the following link.

Watch the whole event on the following Facebook link.