Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka is the featured author for the Jalada Translation Issue 02 with his short story Leah Comes to Mandela.   

Jalada Africa, the pan African arts 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), The Language Issue, the Bodies Issue, and The Nostalgia Issue.

In 2016, the collective gave us the Jalada Translation Issue 01 which featured Ituika Ria Murungaru: Kana Kiria Gitumaga Andu Mathii Marungii (English: The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright) a short story originally written in Kikuyu by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. The idea of that project, coordinated by Munyao Kilolo, was that translators would take this text and translate it to their languages. The story has been translated into 100 languages, completing a “Ngugi century of translations”, with most of these being African tongues.

Jalada Africa has today announced that Issue 02 of the translation series, curated by former Managing Editor Wanjeri Gakuru, features Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka. Professor Soyinka has contributed a 100-word poem, Leah Comes to Mandela, which deals with the humanity and dissidences of Leah Sharibu, Malala Yousefzai, and Nelson Mandela. Watch the story below;

To celebrate these two important milestones, they will be holding their first Jalada Language & Translations Symposium on November 16th and 17th to pay homage to Ngugi and Soyinka. The two-day Symposium will feature a total of ten panel discussions and readings, comprising 32 writers, academics and activists. You can register for free by clicking here.