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Africa: Stories in the 55

RFI

A monthly programme on African authors, book publishing and news throughout the 55 countries on the continent, hosted by RFI's Laura Angela Bagnetto.

A monthly programme on African authors, book publishing and news throughout the 55 countries on the continent, hosted by RFI's Laura Angela Bagnetto.

Location:

France

Networks:

RFI

Description:

A monthly programme on African authors, book publishing and news throughout the 55 countries on the continent, hosted by RFI's Laura Angela Bagnetto.

Language:

French


Episodes

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Camaraderie and Irish attitudes in Nigerian writer’s short story collection

9/25/2019
Poignant, upsetting, at times quite funny, the short story collection This Hostel Life, from Nigerian novelist Melatu Uchenna Okorie, elicits a response. Okorie’s stories stem from her life and the lives of others, ranging from childbirth in rural Nigeria to racism in rural Ireland. Okorie drew on her experiences from her eight-and-a-half years in DP, or Direct Provision – the Irish refugee system, which can be draconian. In DP, asylum seekers are housed in old hotels, at times in very...

Duration:00:17:00

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Helon Habila's novel 'Travelers' explores the lives of Africans in exile

6/26/2019
In Nigerian author Helon Habila’s latest novel, “Travelers”, Habila brings African expat and migrant stories to life in a number of short stories that are woven into a complex narrative of safety, identity, loss, and love. He also reflects on his own experiences, dealing with homesickness in “a new place that you’re trying to make sense of.” In stories that begin and end between Germany, London, Malawi, Somalia, and Libya, in apartment blocks and refugee camps, Habila draws on personal tales...

Duration:00:15:59

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Contrasting images of his native Nigeria in Nnamdi Ehirin's debut novel, The Prince of Monkeys

4/24/2019
In April's Stories from the 55 podcast, Laura Angela Bagnetto speaks to Nnamdi Ehirin from Nigeria about a coming-of-age story called The Prince of Monkeys. The author also reads an extract from his work. The Prince of Monkeys unites politics and religion through a first-person narration. It's a story weaving in and out of the bonds between four old friends. It contains hints of autobiographical writing, embodied in close observations of Nnamdi Ehirin's own culture at the end of the 20th...

Duration:00:20:08

Africa: Stories in the 55 - South African novelist Mphuthumi Ntabeni shines a light on the Xhosa narrative

3/27/2019
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, South African writer Mphuthumi Ntabeni describes his twenty-year journey into the mind of Maqoma, a chief in the Xhosa community who lived in the 1800s. Ntabeni uses Maqoma's lifelong struggle against the British as the backdrop for his novel The Broken River Tent, as Maqoma guides modern-day character Phila through the realities of fighting for their land. Writer Mphuthumi Ntabeni speaks of the difficulty in writing about such a painful time in...

Duration:00:12:13

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Life and sensuality in a refugee camp in Suliaman Addonia's "Silence is My Mother Tongue"

2/27/2019
In "Silence is My Mother Tongue", the latest novel by Eritrean-Ethiopian writer Sulaiman Addonia, teen Saba and her brother Hagos arrive at a refugee camp in Sudan, where she is determined to continue her studies, while he is content to take care of her. The other Eritrean refugees bring their conservative views to the camp, especially when it comes to women. Addonia brings Saba to life through her fight to determine her own future, refusing the traditional restrictions imposed on her...

Duration:00:19:00

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Somali writer Ubah Cristina Ali Farah speaks of trauma intertwined with beauty in her story "Jujube"

1/30/2019
In this month’s Africa: Stories in the 55, Somali-Italian writer Ubah Cristina Ali Farah speaks about her character, Ayan, a Somali refugee seeking asylum. Ayan tells part of her own story that may not be clear, or true, due to the trauma she had suffered. Ayan’s tale is featured in “Jujube”, one of the short stories in Banthology, a compilation of short stories of writers from the seven Muslim-majority countries banned by the United States: Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Syria, and...

Duration:00:10:22

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga explores post-war trauma in "This Mournable Body"

10/18/2018
The lasting aftereffects of the Liberation War on Zimbabwe's society creates the backdrop for Tsitsi Dangarembga's new novel, "This Mournable Body". The story is set in 1999, 10 years after the war, taking a look at the daily life of Tambudzai Sigauke, a Zimbabwean woman who is trying to get ahead. It is part of Dangarembga's groundbreaking trilogy that began with her award-winning novel "Nervous Conditions", but can be read as a standalone book. Dangarembga spoke to Africa: Stories in the...

Duration:00:12:59

Africa: Stories in the 55 - The perils for Zimbabweans crossing the border into South Africa personified in Sue Nyathi's new novel, The Gold-Diggers

10/3/2018
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, Zimbabwean author Sue Nyathi delves into the dangers of crossing into South Africa illegally in the hopes of finding work and a better life. The Gold-Diggers explores the lives of six people who illegally cross the border in a combi, or van, and how their hopes and dreams-- independently from each other-- are thwarted as they try to start their lives in South Africa. For characters like Portia and her son Nkosi, life is a struggle, but finding the...

Duration:00:09:05

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Honoring those who lived through Zimbabwe's Gukurahundi in Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's novel, House of Stone

6/19/2018
In Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's debut novel, House of Stone, readers are regaled with a story of the Mlambo family, as told by Zamani, their lodger and a master manipulator. In his quest to re-write his own personal history, he delves into the lives of 'surrogate parents' Abednego and Mama Agnes, and unravels their family secrets that are seemingly tightly wound amidst the backdrop of the post-liberation massacre in Ndebeleland, the Gukurahundi. Zimbabwean author Tshuma speaks to RFI's Africa:...

Duration:00:20:18

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Kenyan writer Kiprop Kimutai's short story speaks about the privilege of wealth in a queer environment

6/1/2018
In his short story "The Man at the Bridge", Kenyan writer Kiprop Kimutai explores the conflicted feelings of a closeted gay man-- a story that has garnered the 2018 Gerald Kraak Fiction prize. RFI's Africa: Stories in the 55 speaks to Kimutai about his inspiration for this piece.

Duration:00:10:01

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Does trauma define the person? Aminatta Forna's latest novel, Happiness, explores love and loss

4/10/2018
The chance meeting of a Ghanaian psychiatrist and an American urban biologist tracking foxes in London sets the pace for Happiness, the latest novel by award-winning writer Aminatta Forna. Does experiencing a traumatic event damage a person forever? Dr. Attila Asare, bucking traditional trauma research, examines his theory partially through flashbacks for the reader, as well as his attention to a case that he is indirectly tied to. Noted trauma specialist Dr. Attila Asare comes to London for...

Duration:00:19:45

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Musician examines his integrity in Nigerian magical realism novel Taduno's Song

3/20/2018
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, Nigerian writer Odafe Atogun, author of the novel Taduno's Song, discusses how he believes the arts, which are usually undervalued, could be the key to saving humanity. Taduno, his main character, is afraid of losing his values after making a pact with the despotic government. He explains how society as a whole suffers when an artist is compromised. Modelled on the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, Taduno, the main character in Nigerian writer...

Duration:00:11:34

Africa: Stories in the 55 - The struggle in Ethiopia continues - there's no stopping half way, says political poet Hama Tuma

2/21/2018
For Ethiopians, the struggle continues, veteran exiled poet Hama Tuma says in this month's Africa: Stories in the 55 literature program. Banned by three Ethiopian governments, Tuma talks about how new momentum is boosting the country. He speaks through his poetry, reading his poems entitled "Perserverance" and "Their Ethiopia". Ethiopian poet Hama Tuma reads his poetry in English and Amharic for listeners, reflecting on the various regimes, including the abolishment of the monarchy in...

Duration:00:09:47

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Tense, compelling Zimbabwean tales in Behind Enemy Lines short stories

1/24/2018
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, Zimbabwean author Joe Ruzvidzo explores coming-of-age in the years after the Liberation War, in his short story collection, Behind Enemy Lines. Ruzvidzo writes on the cutting edge-- his characters pawns or kings, depending on the readers' perception. In "The Order", set in 2023, Ruzvidzo's story of a military takeover of the country reveals some interesting parallels to Zimbabwe's own recent history and new president. His characters live through...

Duration:00:09:13

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Naivo's Beyond the Rice Fields crafts an epic historical tale set in the highlands of Madagascar

12/12/2017
This month is Africa: Stories in the 55, Malagasy author Naivo, speaks about his historical saga, Beyond the Rice Fields, which weaves the beauty of Hainteny, a traditional form of Malagasy poetry, with the coming-of-age story of Tsito, a young slave, and his one love, Fara. Set in volatile 19th century Madagascar, both characters try to find their way amidst genocide and religious persecution. Malagasy author Naivo talks about of the traditions of highland culture in Madagascar, and the...

Duration:00:10:12

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Karim Miské dazzles readers with award-winning crime novel "Arab Jazz"

11/30/2017
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, we sit down with Karim Miské, author of Paris-set crime thriller "Arab Jazz". The Franco-Mauritanian writer and documentarian speaks about his Paris, why keeping an open mind is crucial when formulating characters, and how his upbringing has influenced his work. In this extended interview, Miské reads an excerpt of his novel, "Arab Jazz" and talks about his current work-in-progress:

Duration:00:20:52

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Characters haunted by memories, prejudice in Nigeria novel "Crocodile Girl"

11/3/2017
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, Nigerian novelist Sam Omatseye talks about his book Crocodile Girl, a modern tale steeped in oral tradition. He tells the story of Alero, a woman too beautiful to be accepted by her village and the pain and suffering carried through the generations. Omatseye also addresses prejudice and stigma through his American character, Tim, who is on a quest to discover his family's controversial past and how it connects to Orogun village near Warri, Nigeria....

Duration:00:08:47

Africa: Stories in the 55 - A glimpse into the lives of Lagosians in Nigerian Ayo Sogunro's short story collection

9/25/2017
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, we speak with Nigerian novelist Ayo Sogunro, who brings to life- and death - the spirit of Lagos and Lagosians in his collection of short stories and poetry "The wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales." From beleagured politicians to self-proclaimed prophets, bridge touts to sentimental thieves, Sogunro weaves stories about the Lagosian spirit in "The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales." Original poetry breaks...

Duration:00:10:43

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Love and infertility issues in "Stay with Me", a new novel by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

6/1/2017
The pain of infertility for a couple is just the tip of the iceberg in Stay with Me, a new novel by Nigerian writer Ayòbámi Adébáyò, published by Cannongate Books. The book, short-listed for the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, is a complex web of family politics, Yoruba culture and a number of crippling health issues makes this a rich, event-filled piece of literature. Is the love between the two main characters Yejide and Akin enough? Set in Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria, against the...

Duration:00:13:44

Africa: Stories in the 55 - Young Congolese man trying to deal with life and school in JJ Bola's new novel; Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction

4/25/2017
In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, we take a look at the new Nommo Prize for African Speculative Fiction, which includes fantasy, sci-fi, the supernatural and even horror. We also talk to JJ Bola, whose debut novel, "No Place to Call Home" about a Democratic Republic of Congolese family living in London, shows how the main character Jean struggles to fit in at school and home. Young Congolese boy Jean is growing up in a cramped household in London full of TonTons (uncles), aunties,...

Duration:00:15:44