Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was the featured author at GoetheNamibia’s Virtually Yours on Saturday, November 14, 2020. She was moderated by series curator Zukiswa Wanner.

Virtually Yours is a new series that brings you to the centre of contemporary African literature with discussions between leading African authors curated by Zukiswa Wanner and hosted by Goethe-Namibia. The series kicked off in October with South African award-winning author Niq Mhlongo.

The featured author for November 2020 was award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi who is the author of the novel Kintu (2014), and the short story collection Manchester Happened. The Manchester UK based Ugandan is the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize both Africa and Global, the Kwani Manuscript Prize, and the Windham-Campbell Prize.

The Ugandan’s newest book The First Daughter was published by Oneworld Publication on October 1, 2020. It has the following blurb;

For one young girl, discovering what it means to become a woman in a family, a community and a country determined to silence her will take all the courage she has.

Growing up in a small Ugandan village, Kirabo is surrounded by powerful women. Her grandmother, her aunts, her friends and cousins are all desperate for her to conform, but Kirabo is inquisitive, headstrong and determined. Up until now, she has been perfectly content with her life at the heart of this prosperous extended family, but as she enters her teenage years, she begins to feel the absence of the mother she has never known. The First Woman follows Kirabo on her journey to becoming a young woman and finding her place in the world, as her country is transformed by the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has written a sweeping tale of longing and rebellion, at once epic and deeply personal, steeped in an intoxicating mix of ancient Ugandan folklore and modern feminism, that will linger in the memory long after the final page.

Goethe Namibia hosted the first official reading of this book in the Southern African region with moderation from Zukiswa Wanner via Zoom. The author who was streaming in from Manchester spoke about the new book and how it ties in with the feminism from Africa and the rest of the world, whether she ever planned to come back home to Uganda, and the writing life in general.

The session ended with books being handed out in a draw to those who had streamed in.