Aisha Fofana Ibrahim. Photo/Lena Nian Photography.

The Mboka Festival 2018 hosted an evening of celebration to honour the life and achievements of Keorapetse Kgositsile, Buchi Emecheta, Dr Raphina Philott Almeida and Musa Jallow on Sunday January 14, 2018.

The African Poetry Library at the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in Banjul, The Gambia was the venue that hosted an evening of readings and tributes to African writers who had crossed from this earth and became ancestors.

Musa Jallow published Across the Scenes a short novel about youth exuberance, obsolesces, and anger in modern day Gambia. It was approved as a supplementary reading text for Gambian schools. He produced three different versions of this novel for kindergarten, secondary and adult readers.

Dr. Raphina Philott Almeida, active member of the Writers Association of The Gambia, taught in different high schools as well as at the University of the Gambia.  She also had an illustrious career in the Gambia’s civil service while writing A Succinct History of The Kingdom of Pachesi In The Empire of Kaabu.

Cherno Omar Barry gave tributes to both Musa Jallow and Dr Raphina Philott Almeida.  Musa Jallow supported him in his writing journey even sticking with him one of his publications took a long time to come to fruition while Dr Raphina was with him at the Writers Association of Gambia.

There were readings on Buchi Emecheta’s work from Anni Domingo and Aisha Fofana Ibrahim. Musufing read Dr Ralpina’s book A Succinct History of The Kingdom of Pachesi In The Empire of Kaabu. Musa Jallow’s work would be read by readers Musa Bah and Mboka Festival convener Kadija George.

The evening also saw Natalia Molebatsi gave a tribute to Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, popularly known as Bra Willie, who would be buried in the next day. Before reading from his work, the South African poet would acknowledge the important role that Bra Willie had on her work and many of her peers. Also recognising Bra Willie and his generation of Pan African writers was Nii Ayikwei Parkes who would read from both his own and the legend who had left us.

Here are a few videos from the evening taken from my dodgy phone.