Jalada’s newest anthology AFTER+LIFE launched at the McMillan Library in Nairobi on May 31, 2019.
Jalada is a pan-African writers’ collective that was born when writers from across the continent had converged in Nairobi for a literary event in 2014. That collective went on to publish the critically acclaimed anthologies 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 May 2018, the collective made a callout for their newest publication requesting writers from across the continent to send in work following the theme AFTER+LIFE with the following brief;
The afterlife has been a mysterious curiosity for as long as humans can remember. Myths, stories, or even entire religions have been born out of our need to understand it. Be it a return to life in another form, or rewards and retribution for earthly deeds, the afterlife continues to serve as a consolation and a warning for the living.
What of the afterlife experienced by the dead in contrast with the subjective observation of the living? Could a dead being enjoy a blissful existence days after death where the living on-looker sees a decomposing corpse?
After changes in the organisation, including new leadership, the new anthology was presented to the public at the newly refurbished McMillan Library in the Nairobi Central Business District. The library which is a project of the Book Bunk is still undergoing its transformation as the wear and tear of years of neglect showed.
The evening included speeches and readings from Jalada Africa new Managing Editor Wanjeri Gakuru, Anne Moraa, and Book Bunk’s Angela Wachuka. There was also a panel session on the new publication with Ugandan lawyer George William Kiwanuka and Lena Anyuolo moderated by Nyambura Mutanyi famous as one half of 2 Girls and a Pod podcast.
After the colourful launch, the anthology went live at midnight at the Jalada website and can be read here. You are in for a treat.
Below are images from the event at the McMillan all snapped by Paul Munene and courtesy of the Book Bunk.