Festivals Kenya

Lusophone, Anglophone authors to converge on Nairobi for Macondo Literary Festival.

Writers who write in English and Portuguese are set to converge on Nairobi for the first Macondo Literary Festival to take place from September 27-29, 2019.

“Macondo” is a fictional place where magical things happen in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Colombian Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Márquez. This magical place was adopted by journalist Anja Bengelstorff and award-winning Kenyan author Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor as the name of a new organisation they founded called the Macondo Book Society. It is aimed at initiating and encouraging the engagement of a wider public with literature and its creators as a means of societal growth. ​They intend to do this by organising literary festivals that promote literature and authors of and from Africa beyond linguistic borders.

The Macondo Book Society started on a high note as they unveiled a new literary festival called the Macondo Literary Festival to happen in Kenya this September. The festival, which will be hosted at the Kenya National Theatre, will feature writers from Portuguese and English speaking Africa, for conversations, debates, readings on African histories and much more.

One of the most anticipated of the writers who write in Portuguese is Ondjaki the writer of Transparent city and Good Morning Comrades who some of us were introduced to by the Africa39 project. Another writer whose language of choice is Portuguese is Dina Salústio the writer of A Louca de Serrano (The Madwoman of Serrano) in 1998 and Filhas do Vento (Daughters of the Wind) in 2009. Also being introduced to Nairobi audiences will be Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa whose debut novel is Ualalapi (1987) and Geovani Martins whose debut short story collection is The Sun On My Head (2018). Apart from the novelists, there are others like Jethro Soutar who is the translator of The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila and The Madwoman of Serrano by Dina Salústio and filmmaker Joao Viana.

The English writing contingent will have Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Peter Kimani, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, and Jonny Steinberg.

For more information about this exciting new initiative which sees Africans communicating across regions that rarely do, please click here for more information.

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