Charlie Hebdo deserves the PEN courage award but not without critical discussion

lilya brik

It’s World Press Freedom Day today, 3 May. The motive of World Press Freedom Day is that Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. It’s a right which is hardly…

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Commonwealth Writers hosts migration debate – read African feminist writers on migration


In the lead up to International Migrant’s Day, which took place on December 18th, Commonwealth Writers joined the migration debate by running brief stories by writers about their own migrations. My contribution is titled “Migrating to Myself” and you can read it on the Commonwealth Writers blog. It was good to read reflections of other African women…

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7 great novels by African women writers


“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life…

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Apart from Chinua Achebe, which other African writers deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In the lead up to the short list announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature on 30 May, headlines this week brought to the fore the problematic obsession that some people have with the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to the late Chinua Achebe. For years, the pre-announcement period has seen speculations demands as to whether…

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Conversations with women who empower: Precious Williams

Precious Williams, image used with permission of interviewee

Conversations with women who empower is a quarterly interview series where women of African heritage share their views on work and life. The series highlights women whose work empowers and inspires in its skilfulness, ethos, creativity and impact and who also are women that I can picture myself having a tête-à-tête with. I’m delighted to feature Precious…

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African women writers and stories that raise awareness


Writing down some of my new year’s resolutions earlier this year inspired me so much I’ve been maintaining the practice by making ‘new month’s resolutions’. In March my goal was to sleep more and as a result feel more energetic and reconnected with mother and father earth but I failed miserably. Instead March was a…

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‘Children of War’ Inspired by ‘Beasts of no Nation’ by Uzodinma Iweala

I am remembering the night when the war is starting. Even before they are arriving to killing us the air is feeling sticky like okra and people are not happying. I am sensing that something is wrong but my mother and father is saying that everything will be fine. But if everything will be fine…

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