I Am An African Writer, Thus; My Writings Reflect On My Culture

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 An African painting

Once a journalist asked Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s greatest and international known writers, the reason he hasn’t written any book about Europe or America. Achebe responded by saying that a lot has already been written about those two continents. Yes, there are thousands of European and American writers but only a few write about Africa, and what they write is disgusting, just like how the colonial masters underdeveloped the continent.

The Western and America media promote Africa as a continent of poverty, war, disease and ethnic conflicts, than a place where tons of raw materials are imported to feed, employ and develop the Advanced Countries. Even though poverty has prevented many African children  out of schools, social problems in Advanced Countries exceed what is in Africa. It is often said that one of the reasons of teenage pregnancy is illiteracy, yet Britain leads with teenage pregnancy followed by America.

 

Social problems

Teenage pregnancy, a common problem in Britain and America than Africa.

We need to find out the reasons educated Britain and America are facing teenage pregnancy explosion, despite their best educational facilities, while such problems are less in underestimated Africa. So who is learning? I am an African writer, therefore my writing reflects on my culture, Africa can be set on top of the mountain by the Western and American media, as number one problem continent in the world, yet Europe and America have no solutions to their innumerable social problems, including teenage smoking, drug abuse, child abuse, immorality, drug trafficking and suicide.

The face of Africa is physically and medically disfigured and tainted. Many of Africa’s hardships were caused by external factors, but how many times adults and teenagers in Africa commit suicide like Europeans and Americans?  A British or American says it’s not important to study or learn anything about Africa. Many will scratch their heads when you ask them of the capital city of an African country, yet an African child can tell you everything including the geographical positions about America and Europe. Who is the clever one?

Being an African writer residing in Europe, for a very long time doesn’t make me European. I am still an African and therefore writes like an African. The more the foreign media excavates the earth to throw dust on Africa, the more I also dig the weaknesses, immorality and every disease plaguing the European and American societies, for others, especially those in the Third World Countries, to know that not everything that glitters is gold. In fact, I don’t even think there is anything in America called ‘The American Dream’ because many are poor and roofless.

Frankly speaking, despite everything Africans have passed through, including the Aids and Ebola crimes, it’s one of the happiest continents in the world, happier than Europe and America, because they don’t commit suicide. I will repeat, they don’t commit suicide, thus; instead of the media keep underestimating Africa, they should rather write about how they survive in that harsh continent, to save the mass Europeans and Americans killing themselves.

Teenagers snog at a party

Social drinking problems are commonly seen in Europe.What are they doing?

I am very happy to be one of the African immigrants to force my way to Europe to study and learn about Europeans and Americans. There are problems everywhere but since journalism has lost its credibility, it’s no more shamefulness for journalists to write any nonsense, since, at the end of the month, they will be paid to feed their families.

I eat, drink and write like an African, without competing with anyone.  Since I have readers interested in what I write,  it makes me feel I’m writing something they like. You may put down your pen as quick as possible if you step into the writing world, with money in mind. Let your passion propel you to write without ceasing and later you will make money as a writer.

Hungarian Writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai Wins Man Booker International Prize

Hungarian

Innovative Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai is tonight announced as the winner of the sixth Man Booker International Prize at an award ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Krasznahorkai was chosen from a list of ten eminent contenders from around the world.

The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, is awarded for an achievement in fiction on the world stage.  It is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or available in translation in the English language. It has previously been awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005,Chinua Achebe in 2007, Alice Munro in 2009, Philip Roth in 2011, and Lydia Davis in 2013.

Born in 1954, László Krasznahorkai gained considerable recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango, which he later adapted for the cinema in collaboration with the filmmaker Bela Tarr.  In 1993, he received the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year for The Melancholy of Resistance and has since been honoured with numerous literary prizes, amongst them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize.

Krasznahorkai and his translator George Szirtes were longlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Satantango and Krasznahorkai has won the Best Translated Book Award in the US two years in a row, in 2013 for Satantango and in 2014 for Seiobo There Below. Seiobo There Below was published in the UK on 7 May by Tuskar Rock Press.

The judging panel for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize was chaired by celebrated writer and academic Marina Warner. The panel also comprised Wen-chin Ouyang, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London; acclaimed author Nadeem Aslam; novelist and critic Elleke Boehmer, who is currently Professor of World Literature in English at Oxford University; and Edwin Frank, editorial director of the New York Review Books Classics.

The judges said of Krasznahorkai’s work:

‘In László Krasznahorkai’s The Melancholy of Resistance, a sinister circus has put a massive taxidermic specimen, a whole whale, Leviathan itself, on display in a country town. Violence soon erupts, and the book as a whole could be described as a vision, satirical and prophetic, of the dark historical province that goes by the name of Western Civilisation. Here, however, as throughout Krasznahorkai’s work, what strikes the reader above all are the extraordinary sentences, sentences of incredible length that go to incredible lengths, their tone switching from solemn to madcap to quizzical to desolate as they go their wayward way; epic sentences that, like a lint roll, pick up all sorts of odd and unexpected things as they accumulate inexorably into paragraphs that are as monumental as they are scabrous and musical.’

Announcing the winner, Marina Warner commented:

‘Laszlo Krasznahorkai  is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful. The Melancholy of Resistance, Satantangoand Seiobo There Below are magnificent works of deep imagination and complex passions, in which the human comedy verges painfully onto transcendence. Krasznahorkai, who writes in Hungarian, has been superbly served by his translators, George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet.’

Manny Roman, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘I would like to congratulate László Krasznahorkai and all the finalists from ten countries around the world. We are very proud to sponsor the Man Booker International Prize, recognising the hard work and creativity of these talented authors and translators. The prize also underscores Man Group’s charitable focus on literacy and education, as well as our commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence and we are honoured to support that.’

Krasznahorkai has chosen to split the £15,000 translator’s prize between two translators, George Szirtes (who translatedSatantango and The Melancholy of Resistance) and Ottilie Mulzet (who translated Seiobo There Below). Szirtes is a Hungarian-born poet who came to the UK as a refugee. He has won a number of prizes for his poetry, including the T S Eliot Prize. He has also translated Sándor Márai amongst others.

Ottilie Mulzet is a Hungarian translator of poetry and prose, as well as a literary critic. She has worked as the English-language editor of the internet journal of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Prague, and her translations appear regularly at Hungarian Literature Online.

László Krasznahorkai will be interviewed by Marina Warner at the Hay Festival on Sunday 24 May at 7pm.

The Man Booker International Prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.  The prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize in that it highlights one writer’s continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.  Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature.

 

Quotes Of Some Of Africa’s Great Writers

Africa is a continent of rich culture, tradition, heritage and customs, producing great writers from different backgrounds. Some of the writers’ books have played significant role in Africa’s education for ages. Below are quotes of some of Africa’s great writers.

Chinua Achebe

Achebe

“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.” – Chinua Achebe.

Wole Soyinka

Wole

“My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being.” – Wole Soyinka.

Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal

“Life is very hard. The only people who really live are those who are harder than life itself.”
Nawal El Saadawi.

Nadine Gordimer

Nadine

“Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.”- Nadine Gordimer.
Nelson Mandela

Dela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.

Kwame Nkrumah

Nkru 1

“The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.” ― Kwame Nkrumah

http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Spaces-Anthology-Contemporary-African/dp/0435910108/

 

 

 

One Man, One Wife

Aluko’s One Man, One Wife (1959), a satirical novel about the conflict of Christian and Yoruba ethics, relates the disillusionment of a village community with the tenets of missionary Christianity. A second novel, One Man, One Matchet (1964), humorously presents the clash of an inexperienced district officer with an unscrupulous politician. Kinsman and Foreman (1966)

Wife

One Man, One Wife (1959), was equally shrewd in its depiction of village politics, pitting Christians against the authority of traditional chiefs. Other novels include Kinsman and Foreman (1966), about a civil servant’s struggles to resist the demands of his relations; Chief the Honourable Minister (1970), which deals with the problems of government at the top.

His Worshipped Majesty (1972), which focuses on the loss of political power by traditional chiefs; and Wrong Ones in the Dock (1982), which denounces certain aspects of the Nigerian legal system. Despite his exposure of political chicanery, Aluko, unlike many other prominent African novelists, such as Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, appears to be a champion of the post-independence élites in government and civil service.

The Author

Wife 2

T. M. Aluko, Nigerian novelist, is significantly undervalued in comparison to many of his contemporaries in the so-called ‘first generation’ of Nigerian writers. Although he is concerned with such commonly treated themes as the impact of Western modernity on traditional Nigerian culture and the social and political failings of the postcolonial era, Aluko has approached his subjects with a comic detachment that is largely at odds with the more serious mood of most West African fiction. As a result he has been neglected and even dismissed by many critics.

Timothy Mofolorunso Aluko, a member of the Yoruba tribe, was born on 14 June 1918 in Ilesha, western Nigeria. He received a colonial education, attending primary school in Ilesha, at Government College Ibadan and Yaba Higher College near Lagos. From 1942 to 1946 Aluko worked as a junior engineer in the Public Works departments of Lagos and Ilorin.

During this period he also began to earn recognition for his short stories, the first of which, ‘The New Engineer’, appeared in the anthology African New Writing (1947), edited by T. Cullen Young. Travelling to England in 1946, he resumed his studies at King’s College, London, where he graduated in civil engineering and town planning in 1950.

Alongside his academic work, Aluko also became a regular contributor to the Liverpool-based West African Review. It was in that journal that he published his prescient essay, ‘Case for Fiction’, in which he argues the need for literature that is written by Africans, about African subjects, and for an African readership; in it he also outlines the various dilemmas and impediments faced by African writers of that time.

In 1950 Aluko returned to Nigeria to become a senior public-works engineer, working in various different cities. Also that year he married Janet Adebisi Fajemisin, with whom he had six children.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Wife-African-Writers-Series/dp/0435900307