A review extract of Langaa RPCIG's new title from Professor Robin Palmer, Faculty of Anthropology, Rhodes University, South Africa.
Tendai Mwanaka is a Zimbabwean writer, editor and publisher who has published 21 books and 23 curated anthologies. Perhaps his best-known anthologies are the Best New African Poets anthologies that have provided a forum for poets across the African continent.
At the last count there were 48,400,000 fictional accounts on the theme of Colonialism globally.
It is amazing that in a year when an African novelist, Abdulrasaq Gurhni won the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Norwegian Academy referred to as "his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents," a phenomenal new book on ‘the cause of women, love and immigration’ would be published.
Published in 1995, The Disillusioned Africans consists of letters about the observations and experiences of a black student-academic living in London in the 1980s. The novel brings up many issues that determine the present and future of the continent, from the African discourse to the administrations in the postcolonies.
The authors of this book paint a detailed and dispassionate yet wrenching picture of the painful and bloody transformation of Rhodesia into Zimbabwe in the period following the white leader Ian Smith’s unilateral declaration of independence from Britain in 1965. Their main gift to historians is the wealth of information they provide, much of it hitherto unknown outside secret service circles, about how Rhodesia’s Special Branch, of which the authors themselves were two of the wiliest spooks, helped to keep the forces of African liberation at bay for so long.
This collection of poems by Allan Kolski Horwitz and illustrated by the painter James de Villiers was awarded the 2020 Olive Schreiner Award for poetry.
At a book fair which was held last year in Port Elizabeth by the Imbizo Arts Publishing, I bought from one of its writers’ copy of the Dramas of Life which is a collection of short plays by different playwrights published by Botsotso, shortly after its launch.
Although typified in some blurbs as crime fiction, Mukuka Chipanta’s second novel is so much more than that: it is also a well-crafted historical novel.
"My Life, My Purpose is the memoirs of Tanzania’s third president, Benjamin Mkapa. President Mkapa takes the reader on a journey from his childhood in rural Mtwara to post-presidential semi-retirement. He is not reluctant to offer opinions on a range of topics along the way. "
"Drinking from the Cosmic Gourd by Francis B. Nyamnjoh is a deeply infused treatise that aims to exorcise a hegemonic spell, occasioned by the ready-made epistemologies that have enthralled its consumers and reproducers in a dreamy state since the colonial age. "
Une Jeune Femme sur un Bateau Ivre : Agathe Uwilingiyimana du Rwanda is a poignant portrait by a loved one of a courageous, headstrong human being for whom “the word ‘abandonment’ was not part of her vocabulary”. She would go down with her “drunken boat.”
"Overall, the book examines various political, economic, social and healthcare issues from interdisciplinary perspectives that pose a challenge to the Second Republic in Zimbabwe. By adopting historical and social perspectives, the various contributors to this monumental work traversed the effects of Mugabe’s legacy on the Second Republic."
Collective Amnesia is a work of immense power, from a voice that is sure only to grow louder as Putuma steps deeper into the light she has already begun to cast.
"The story of Garfield Todd in Central Africa starts in 1934. At the age of 26 he and his 23- year old wife, Grace and their adopted daughter, Alycen, came from New Zealand to the British self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia to run the New Zealand Churches of Christ mission station at Dadaya in the Lundi Native Reserve near Shabani (Zvishavane)."
"You can only be one of the uHlanga New Poets once, it seems. Published by Nick Mulgrew, who offers his own poems here, the series is intended to collect and publish the first collections of South Africa’s most promising young talents, who will hopefully go on to greater things"
A group of animals tries working together to save a village in this picture book based on an African story.
"Black South Africans have embraced European ideas, so why can’t citizenship be equally fluid?...Anthropologist Francis Nyamnjoh, a Cameroonian South African and a South African Cameroonian, sharply raises these and similar questions in his recently published book titled #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa – a must-read. "
"The message of this book is that against colonial oppression there was resistance, and `Liberating Minds` were the voices of activists and others who opposed British rule in Kenya."
"The essays in this book all touch on what I see as a particularly Tanzanian syllogism: Nyerere was all that was best about Tanzania in the past, while Tanzania remains all that its greatest son made it. Whether the conclusion of this logical expression is true or not, I expect that this volume is only the beginning of a much deeper study of the symbolic power of Nyerere-asmetonym-for-Tanzania, as well as a more wide-ranging consideration of his significance(s) in East Africa and further afield."
"Zimbabwe has a literature of migrant writers. While some have lost their voices by moving away, in a manner that reflects emigration’s blessing and curse, some have discovered theirs. Bongani Sibanda writes from that destination of mixed fortunes, Johannesburg."
Since the privatization of the Zambian copper mines in the late 1990s, Chinese contractors have become heavily involved in the copper industry as well as in other sectors of the Zambian economy, including construction and agriculture.
"ONE OF THE MAIN surprises that followed Robert Mugabe’s overwhelming election victory (57 of the 80 seats open to Africans) in March 1980 was Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s decision to appoint the Oxfordshire-born President of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), Denis Norman, as the country’s first Minister of Agriculture. "
"It is difficult not to be fascinated by the Hadza, speakers of a unique click language and one of the last remaining groups of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. It is easy to sympathise with their struggle to retain control over their customary lands in the Lake Eyasi basin, near Ngorongoro."
"This book is for enthusiasts on development and the water sector in particular. Water governance, management and the water sector as a whole is gaining prominence in view of climate change and general competition for natural resources."
"I have to confess that before reading this, I could only name three Cameroonian artists: Azante Spee, Angu Walters and Napoleon Bongaman. But thanks to this timely edition, I've been introduced to others; such as Koko Komegne, Pascal Kenfack and Goddy Leye. But let me begin my review, with the one that attracted me the most."
"Trinity High: Back to School presents a remarkable portrait of life among high school girls resident in a fictional boarding house. "
"The Mirror & Nine Other Short Stories is an interesting collection of stories with a host of characters that provide young readers with a sense of Cameroonian life in all of its complexity and variety."
"Summoning the Rains is a collection of twenty stories by women writers from eleven African countries, stories which emerged from FEMRITE’s third annual Regional Women Writers Residency in Uganda."
"Cottrell and Kumassah have assembled a collection of ten traditional Ewe stories originating from the Volta Region of eastern Ghana. The collection comprises ten didactic stories about situations concerning drought, deception, choice of children, husbands, etc. Most of the topics address ethical issues and respect."
"The short story collection Nothing to See Here (2015) is a literary house unto itself. Readers must not assume that these new stories will be like others. Each writer within Nothing to See Here (2015) dwells in a different house encased under one dome."
"This is one of the best compilations of essays on Southern Africa I have read in a long time. Although a wide range of views are presented in 18 chapters by 19 writers (including the two editors), there is, as the title suggests, a common thread that runs through these essays."
"Mean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa draws attention to the fact that some of the most resourceful entrepreneurs in the South African informal economy are migrants and refugees, despite the dangers they face in trading on the streets. Kate Dawson describes this as a landmark volume in the growing literature on African cities which brings into sharp focus the conceptual cornerstones of the subject."
"This inspiring autobiography is the story of a remarkable, strong, and courageous woman’s love of family, community, and country."
"The authors of Malawi’s Lost Years (1964-1994), a long-term labour of love, are thereby on a mission. Veteran opponents of Banda’s, they seek to tell what they see as ‘the truth’ about his regime by documenting the testimony of those who suffered under it in myriad ways; and in so doing to denounce any rehabilitation as an insult to these ‘forsaken heroes,’ and a dangerous precedent for the future."
"It is little short of miraculous that, despite the disease, oppression and hyperinflation that is the reality of today's Zimbabwe, writers are writing and publishers are publishing. "
"This memoir is very much a personal journey seen from the eyes of an Asian growing up in Tanganyika/Tanzania during a period of great change. It provides a rare glimpse of the Ismaili community and its cohesiveness. "
"GIZO-GIZO! A Tale from the Zongo Lagoon is a well-written and drawn story about a group of animal friends who live around a lagoon."
"In his study based on a thorough investigation of colonial papers, minutes, memoranda, correspondence, and gazettes, Komla Tsey points to the historic roots of this tradition of corruption. The British engineers working in the Gold Coast put colonial interests and self-interest first; they got away with botched jobs and skull-duggery."
"MANY have been wondering why South Africans insist on telling the story of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), in the heroic mode when, in truth, the country would be better served if the story were told in the tragic mode."
"this volume represents a landmark contribution to our understanding of the Marange diamonds and where the missing billions might be "
"Amos Tutuola deserves contemplation as a writer independent of the clutches of anthropology, argues Sanya Osha. How can we foster such a critical approach?"
"The right strategy for cotton in Tanzania has been a key issue for the agricultural sector both before and after independence. The question is complex and many observers and participants have contributed analyses which were specific to their time."
"The sixteen chapters in this book form a Festschrift in honour of Henry Chakava, the distinguished Kenyan publisher who is widely recognized as one of the continent's most dynamic and most innovative publisher, as well as being a prolific author of numerous articles and studies on many aspects of publishing and the book sector in Africa."
"This work is the result of government endeavors to examine the state of child affairs. On a statistical level, this book provides documented studies of the relations between children, families, and the various African governments."
"In recent years, there have been numerous discussions about Ubuntu in almost all spheres of life and across disciplines especially in African universities and other institutions of higher learning."
"Blood Ties depicts South Africa’s Cape Town minus the varied neighborhoods and complexities that characterize large cities. But the novel provides the setting in which two high school girls try to carve out lives in the most disadvantaged sector."
"Mkuki na Nyota’s 2016 edition of The Art of the Zaramo: Identity, Tradition and Social Change is a well-produced (and more affordable) paperback edition of Fadhili Mshana’s doctoral dissertation, which he completed in 1999 with the original title Art and Identity among the Zaramo of Tanzania (State University of New York at Binghamton)."
Contrary to what is sometimes said, in South Africa the past is not past; it is still a strong presence in people’s lives. It is not possible to understand the present without understanding the past. Forgiving does not mean forgetting.
"...the book is a well-researched and comprehensive overview of the African philosophy debate. It is written in an accessible language and will make a good paedagogical text. But even beyond its use at universities, it provides interesting original perspectives and insights for scholars of African philosophy."
Africa through Structuration Theory - ntu joins the discourse by attempting to restore intellectual freedom and convincingly defends structuration theory not only as the way forward for Africa but also as a legitimate African concept.