Richard Ali A Mutu popularly known as Richard Ali is a very special man. He came to our attention last year for a story in the Africa39 anthology which shows Kinshasha in such vivid detail that I am determined to see this town very soon. The beauty about it is that he wrote this story in Lingala and then it was translated into French THEN into English. The original version must be kick behind.
The winner of the 2009 Mark Twain Prize, published his first novel, Le cauchemardesque de Tabu, in 2009. He has also written poetry, monologues and theatre performance pieces.
Our special Congolese, or is it Congolaise, Ali kicked off the first of “Jalada Conversations” earlier this week with fellow French speaker Edwige-Renée Dro.
The Jalada Conversations is an interview series where the Jalada Africa collective talks to some of the continent’s most exciting and respected writers and get an in depth view into their writing processes, their craft and the relationship between their fiction and the spaces they write about. They will run weekly until the new anthology which is focused on “Languages” launches on 15th of September.
The first conversation is very cool. Ali talks about writing in Lingala, the relationship between our languages and penetrating (lol) the different literatures. Its worth a read.