Good to have you back for another read on here.
So, I’ve always wanted to do something like this on my blog when I started Reviewing various books for you to read and I’m glad I chose to do this during the Black history month. Well, everyday should be a space to celebrate the beauty and chaos that Africa is but these next two weeks on the blog, I’ll be hosting renown bloggers to review some of their favorite AFROLIT so that we get to know and celebrate African writers.
For so long, we have been taught to believe and have the perception that African writers don’t write as well as the rest, but we’re here to show the wealth of knowledge, creativity, ingeniousness and wit that flows so effortlessly within the African blood. That’s a trait that can’t be taken from us. Our prose.
The first guest is Uncle B from Zimbabwe and I’m honestly honored to have him on the blog to review some of his favorite African Literature. He went all out to recommend amazing reads for you all so please do feel free to indulge with the literature as well as on his blog.
February is Black History Month (even though on this continent its black history month every day of the year as we embrace our roots) February is also the month of love (again even if you don’t have to wait for one day of the year to show someone you appreciate them)
In honour of the two I am going to share about my love affair with three books that unconventionally celebrate black history in the sense that they are fictionalized recollection of African History. If our history text books read like this, I bet I would have loved history class back in High School….
To quote the Aaron Brady From introduction of Kintu:
…History as it’s written down in books is one thing, but history as it’s lived is another.
how the past recedes into the background as we race irrevocably forward….
Kintu is a novel by Jennifer Makumbi. Kintu is a story of Uganda and ultimately Africa, how the past has shaped what the present becomes following generations of Kintu’s bloodlines.
This multi-character tome sweeps across bloodlines following descendants of Kintu’s kin from the precolonial times to modern, giving a panoramic view of Ugandan history, culture and tradition. While the book is unashamedly Ugandan, it is very relatable to any country in Africa as we have travelled unerringly similar paths to get where we are.
The Old Drift
The Old Drift is a novelby Namwali Serpell and this gives a narrative of Zambia’s history and partly Zimbabwe with which it once shared the name Rhodesia and still shares the Kariba Dam and the Victoria Falls whose story is pivotal to how the plot plays out.
Once again this is a multi-character multi-generational story which not only spans continents it sweeps across time and genre, part history, part romance, part fantasy even part science fiction.
The blending of reality and make believe is so seamless that I am still down the rabbit hole of checking what really transpired and what did not and it has made me appreciate our history even personifying some moments which upto now have been footnotes in barely read history textbooks.
House Of Stone
House of Stone is a a novel by Novuyo Tshuma with a story whose backdrop is set in the Zimbabwean history, the struggle for independence and and the mostly untold, unwritten, unspoken and barely confessed about Gukurahundi Massacre.
Listening to the author comment on writing the book, they mentioned how difficult it was to research and get insights on this unfortunate period of Zimbabwean history as there is an unacknowledged trauma which people cant move on from something they cant talk about.
The story unfolds though one unreliable character who makes it possible for us to be a part of His story while being apart from the history yet witnessing the making of hi-story as the main character likes to call history.
And perhaps that just what history is the stories we tell about our past, real and imagined recollections of how things became the way they are ….
Guest post on black history month and African literature by Beaton aka Uncle who writes about the beauty and chaos of the place he calls home on Becoming The Muse
Please feel free to follow his blog and indulge in his musings.