15 Literary Magazines That Have Transformed African Literature

Take a look back at the African literary magazines that provided a platform for political discourse and great artistry, and shaped today’s richly varied African literature. Based in Nigeria, Black Orpheus was groundbreaking as the first African literary periodical on the continent publishing works in English. It was founded in 1957 by German editor Ulli Beier, and was later edited by Wole Soyinka, Es’kia Mphahlele, and Abiola Irele. Transition was founded by Rajat Neogy in Kampala when Uganda, like other African nations, was gaining its independence. The magazine published notable writers like Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Nadine Gordimer, and Taban lo Liyong when they were new writers.

SOURCES: okayafrica

2Halima Aden: British Vogue Hijabi Cover Star on Growing Up in a Refugee Camp

With a childhood spent in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp, model Halima Aden is using her platform to raise awareness for the challenges of the displaced. Kakuma was set up to serve mostly south Sudanese refugees but is now home to thousands displaced by wars across Africa. When war broke out in Somalia in 1992, Aden’s family’s house was set ablaze, forcing them to flee to neighboring Kenya. Earlier this month, Aden went back to Kakuma for the first time in 13 years. She had been invited to speak at the first ever TEDx event in a refugee camp, and she highlighted a more inclusive approach in improving living standards at refugee camps.


3Architecture: Africa, Your Time is Now

The future of cities is changing, and the world is looking to Africa as a model for tomorrow’s urban environments. Architecture ZA 2018 (AZA18), an architecture conference in Pretoria placed emphasis on building cities as a response to the rapid urbanisation taking place around the world, and particularly in Africa. Speakers and guests described the future of African cities as those that create the vitality, social cohesion, economic activity and safety necessary to make its residents thrive.

SOURCES: Financial Mail

4Looking to Afrofuturism 3.0

The concept of Afrofuturism has been around for a long time, but a recent surge in interest is prompting a new wave of creatives to inject new life into the discussion. The Maasai people reimagined in outer space, African space operas, and Kenyan migrant warriors in a galaxy far away are examples of a proliferation of black narratives in spaces historically reserved for white characters and audiences.

SOURCES: Design Indaba

5Akara Bean Cakes and Spicy Ogbono Soup: Nigerian Cuisine is Going Global

Nigerian cuisine is suddenly popping up all over the world. Nigerian-born Lohi Busari, who was head chef of African restaurant MamaLand Resto-Lounge in Toronto started a food blog in 2009 to popularize Nigerian cuisine and draws more than 15,000 page views a month. In London, 25-year-old Ariyo won an African cooking competition last year for her fusion fare which landed her a book deal from HarperCollins in the process. These two are among a growing band of foodies who are bringing the taste of Nigeria to a global audience.


6How to Market Africa to the Young Traveler

Through Afrobeats and the growing popularity of African textiles in modern fashion, there is a new, more intimate curiosity to discover Africa beyond the traditional images of game reserves. Even though niche African American travel companies have existed for decades, a new generation of Instagram-savvy startups is offering experiences curated to black culture, disrupting the tourism industry.

SOURCES: Quartz Africa

7Why People Come Back to Nosy Be

Madagascar is for those looking for a perfect island oasis and a chance to get away from the everyday routine. Nosy Be is a haven just off the northwestern tip of the main island, surrounded by lush wilderness, pristine beaches and waterfront seafood restaurants.


8Discover Culinary Traditions that Stretch Date Back to Ancient Egypt

There is much more to Egyptian cuisine than the triumvirate of kebab, falafel and shawarma. A dark green stew made from the leaves of the jute mallow plant is one of Egypt’s national dishes. The leaves called Molokhiyya, were a typical foodstuff in the days of the pharaohs. There is also Egyptian pizza or Egyptian pie, fiteer is made from super-thin layers of flaky pastry, stuffed with a caboodle of different ingredients and then cooked in a brick oven. Fiteer is said to date back to the Pharaonic age, when this layered bread was made as an offering to the gods.

SOURCES: Lonely Planet

9The Birthplace of Safari Travel

From seeing the wildebeest mega-herds move into the Masai Mara and Amboseli’s legendary elephant herds against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro to the majestic leopards of Samburu, Kenya will not disappoint. Go2Africa, a premier travel magazine and tour operator puts together its list of the best safaris in Kenya.

SOURCES: Go2Africa

10Gambia’s First Inland Hotel

Tendaba Camp lies on the southern shore of the Gambia River and is located opposite the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, one of the premier birdwatching sites in Africa. Small, old-fashioned rondavels line the neatly swept grounds, beneath an avenue of trees. Another popular activity is to take a safari truck into the dry deciduous forests of Kiang West National Park.


ADC Editor
ADC editors curate, aggregate, and produce news and information for Africa. Contribute stories by sending an email to media@africa.com.