UNBREAKABLE BONDS: An Anthology of Fiction, Photography and Nonfiction from Eastern Africa and the UK

Apart from Unbreakale Bonds being this year’s theme for our activities, it is also the title of a special anthology of fiction, photography and nonfiction from Eastern Africa and the UK diaspora. The anthology is edited by Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, Esther Mirembe and Sumayya Lee. This anthology is a part of the activities funded by the British Council nAnA grant.

About the Contributors

Acan Innocent Immaculate is a Ugandan speculative fiction writer who is also currently in her final year at the Makerere University School of Medicine, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery. She won the Writivism Short Story Prize in 2016, and has been published by AFREADA magazine, Omenana Magazine, and Brittle Paper. Her most recent works have appeared on Sooo Many Stories and in Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction.

Amandla Mugisha Karungi is a wife and mother. She spends her weeks working as a Legal Associate in a commercial law firm. She spends 90% of her time thinking of things she wants to put in ink, things she wants to talk about on paper. She is her most authentic self when writing and hopes to write a great novel (or three) soon.

Asha Mohamed is a Somali born British Illustrator and short story writer. Both her art and stories focus on the inner-self and how it is affected by the external world. She is currently working on a children’s novel and is studying for a Masters in Psychology.

Barbara Wanjala is a Kenyan writer whose work appears in Chimurenga, Kwani?, Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction (Dundurn Books, 2016), among others. She was a 2016 Investigative Journalism Fellow with Africa Uncensored and a 2017 Gabriel García Márquez Cultural Journalism Fellow.

Beverly Akoyo Ochieng‘ is a reader and writer based in Nairobi. She co-hosts the literary podcast 2 Girls & A Pod and would like to be paid to read books and to be paid in books. Her literary reviews have been featured in The Magunga, The New Inquiry and Africa in Words.

Daniel Charles Msirikale is a travel and documentary photographer from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. From the honeycomb hills of Cappadocia to the shimmering shores of Matema Beach, Daniel is driven by an insatiable hunger for capturing moments and telling stories. With a focus on Tanzania’s less explored landscapes, Daniel seeks for his photography to inspire Africans to explore their own backyards. His work has featured in Nomad Magazine, Go2 Africa Travel & Leisure Magazine, OkayAfrica, Tastemakers Africa, Afropunk and more.

Dayo Ntwari, a Rwandan-Nigerian writer, has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since childhood. He enjoys writing stories inspired by African legends and myths. He believes Africa’s diverse histories, religions, spirituality and mythologies can serve as a never-ending treasure trove of inspiration for African science fiction and fantasy. He has been shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize and the Huza Press Award. He has been longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa Prize. His work has also been published in Lightspeed Magazine. Dayo lives with his wife in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is currently working on his first novel. He also hopes to publish a collection of his short stories.

Kakinda Maria Birungi is the inaugural Nevender Fellow (2018) and attended the SuccessSpark Brand Retreat of 2018. She is also a contributor to the Odokonyero Anthology; a collection of short stories by emerging Ugandan writers. She was also shortlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2016 and participated in Writing Our Worlds training for youth in debate, writing and speech in 2014. She writes in English and experiments with Luganda and French. She is also a lawyer by training.

Lucky Grace is a writer. Her short story The Weaving of Death is part of Redemption Song and other stories, the 2018 Caine Prize Anthology. Her short story Beyond Repair was shortlisted for the Huza Press 2016 Prize. Lucky is a 2018 African Writers Trust Publishing Fellow. She is a student at Mount Kenya University Rwanda in Bachelors of Arts in Communication and Mass Media. She is the content creator and social media manager of Huza Press, a publishing house based in Kigali and has handled Communications on the RadioBook Rwanda project. She is also the distribution manager for Pages, an online bookstore based in Kigali. She is an Amplify II Fellow at aKoma Media.

Lydia Kakwera Levy is the founder of Omusana Review, an online magazine that reviews African literature and culture. She earned a doctoral degree from the Department of African Studies at Howard University, where she specialized in African Cultural Development. Lydia continues to write and present scholarly articles. She has a forthcoming chapter on Richard Wright’s View on Africa that will be published by Nova Publishers. Lydia lives in London with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling and attending plays in the city’s old theaters. Lydia can be contacted through her website Omusana Review.com and on Instagram at ugandanlydia.

Marcelle Mateki Akita is a writer, consultant and co-founder of Afrikult. – a literary organisation widening access to African literatures. She has worked with the Caine Prize for African Writing and is currently Programme Co-ordinator at Royal African Society co-producing the Africa Writes festival at the British Library. Her fiction has appeared in online and print journals including AFREADA and Aké Review. In 2016 she self-published Lizard & Other Stories. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Morland Writing Scholarships. She blogs on matekiwrites.com and shares her visual diary on Instagram at @matekiwrites.

Marie Ainomugisha is a queer East African feminist creative using visual and literary mediums to tell and amplify stories about the people of Africa; centering the experiences of all who identify as womxn and/or trans.

Nebila Abdulmelik is a pan-African and feminist storyteller who uses the creative arts to speak her peace and archive stories of daily existence. Born and bred in Addis Ababa, she has since criss-crossed the earth but found her way home again. She is a photographer, poet, writer and editor. Find out more about her here, visit her site (aliben86.com), and follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @aliben86.

Nyachiro Lydia Kasese is a Tanzanian writer, poet and media director among other things. Her first collection of poetry Paper Dolls was published in 2016 by the African Poetry Book Fund in their chapbook collection, New – Generation African Poets: Tatu. Her poem Things That Were Lost In Our Vaginas was shortlisted by the BNPA poetry prize in 2014 and her short story Inside Outside was long listed by Writivism in the same year. In 2017, her short story, My Mother’s Project was published in the Caine Prize 2017 Anthology, The Goddess of Mtwara. In 2018 her poem SIlver Spoons was published in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry

Wasi Daniju is a therapist and photographer who works mainly in portraiture, theatre, documentary and photojournalism.  A keen community organiser, she considers her camera a vehicle for story-telling & testimony. She exhibited re:present, a portrait series on Black Muslim women, in 2017 and 2018, and was part of group residency and exhibition Manifesting the Unseen.  Her work has appeared at the South Bank Centre, various theatres nationwide, and in a number of publications. Wasi is currently building an archive of photos of black women, girls and non-binary folk, and completing an MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

Yovanka Paquete Perdigao is a Bissau-Guinean writer, editor, and translator. Born in Lisbon, Yovanka grew up in Guinea-Bissau until the age of six, a civil war in 1998 forced her and family to return to Lisbon as refugees and has since lived in Ivory Coast, Senegal and now London. Yovanka’s writing has been featured in several platforms and her manuscript “1998” was longlisted for Penguin 2016 WriteNow, her short fiction Crying Cobalt Blue was highly commended for the Spread the Word’s City of Stories competition. Yovanka is currently writing her debut novel that was longlisted for the 2019 Miles Morland scholarship. She is the Assistant Editor at Dedalus Books and 1/3 of the “Not Another Book Podcast” as PostcolonialChild.

About the Editors

Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire is a writer and academic. His work appears in Chimurenga Chronic, New Orleans Review, African Roar, African Arguments, Africa is a Country, This is Africa and Africa in Words among other platforms. He has taught Law and Human Rights at various Ugandan universities and is a Doctoral student of English at Cornell University. He is also the founder of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence, the curators of Writivism, a Kampala based Pan-African literary initiative.

Esther Mirembe is the Managing Editor of Writivism. Their work has been featured on AFREADA, LeO Review, Black No Suga, The Daily Monitor, AFReviews and koikoi.ug; and published in Odokonyero (Black Letter Media, 2018). They study Software Engineering in their free time.

Sumayya Lee was born in Durban and spent part of her childhood in the UK. She has worked as an Islamic Studies teacher, Montessori Directress and Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Her debut, The Story of Maha (Kwela, 2007) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book – Africa and longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. She has been a judge for the Writivism Short Story Prize and Kofi Addo prize for Creative Non Fiction and is also the Mentoring and Residency Liaison at Writivism.

Check out Odokonyero, 2018 special anthology of Ugandan writers.