Where is the Great African Novel?

Good folks,

I’m late bringing you May/June happenings, pardon me.

In case you missed the International dialogue we organized on 31st May at Fairway Hotel, Kampala, from 5-7pm, here’s a chance to feed your eyes, at least. We had policy makers, educationalists, poets, novelists, playwrights, folklorists, cultural critics, editors, students, aspiring writers, readers, supporters, partners and friends of AWT.

It was participatory, ladies & gentlemen. With the mike is Kalundi Serumaga, cultural activist, Uganda

Standing is Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare, playwright, folklorist, former Head of Music, Dance & Drama dept, & currently Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

It was free, beloveds. How do you miss a wonderful thing like that?

Young writers: Carol Beyanga & Crystal Rutangye, trying to see if they’ve written that great African novel, during the workshop that preceded the public dialogue

The search for the great African novel continues: (Left) Dr. Edith Natukunda-Togboa, formerly Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts ( MUK); Dean of African Studies & Director of UPEACE. (Right) Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntagaare, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts (MUK)

Truth is, there are many outstanding African novels that were written and published. Think Ayi Kwei Armah, Nuruddin Farah, Elechi Amadi, Wole Soyinka, Bessie Head, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Mariama Ba, Yvonne Vera, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ben Okri, Doris LessingMoses Isegawa, Zakes Mda, Chimamanda Adichie, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nawal El Saadawi…God, I can easily drop a thousand names!

With the mike is Prof. Arthur Gakwandi, author of Kosiya Kifefe.

What we are saying is that that’s not enough, especially from the Generation Y/dot.com generation, through Generation Z. (I wonder what those born after Generation Z will be called. Maybe back to letter A, or will it be the end of the world?) Anyway, that’s the context. When you analyze country by country, the numbers of great writers/novels dwindle, even among the Generation X, and the ones before that. We are looking at a billion people who populate the continent, so we need at least a million great novels. We are watching all generations, but mostly the dot.com generation for the Great African Novels,

and they have something to say: They are the Future, says the student from Trinity College Nabbingo.

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