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Dope African Feminist Books

  • Posted on Jan 11, 2017

Welcome back to The Wall! Expect more cool things to read, watch, and appreciate by Black excellence throughout the universe. Here are five “Dope African Feminist Books”. Enjoy!

-Stephanie G.

 

1. Aya Series by Marguerite Abouet

Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya’s house every evening to watch the country’s first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, “the strong man’s beer.” It’s a golden time, and the nation, too–an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa–seems fueled by something wondrous.

Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. She grew up during a time of great prosperity in the Ivory Coast. At the age of twelve, she and her old brother went to stay with a great-uncle in Paris, where they further pursued their education. Years later, after becoming a novelist for young adults, Abouet was drawn to telling the story of the world she remembered from her youth. The result was the graphic novel Aya de Yopougon, published in North America as Aya, illustrated by Clemént Oubrerie, that recalls Abouet’s Ivory Coast childhood in the 1970s, and tells the humorous, engaging stories of her friends and family as they navigate a happy and prosperous time in that country’s history.

2. The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Amecheta

Nnu Ego is a woman who gives all her energy, money and everything she has to raising her children – leaving her little time to make friends.

Buchi Emecheta OBE was a Nigerian novelist who has published over 20 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979). Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through education have won her considerable critical acclaim and honours, including an Order of the British Empire in 2005.

3. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

This novel brings to the politics of decolonization theory the energy of women’s rights. An extraordinarily well-crafted work, this book is a work of vision. Through its deft negotiation of race, class, gender and cultural change, it dramatizes the ‘nervousness’ of the ‘postcolonial’ conditions that bedevil us still. In Tambu and the women of her family, we African women see ourselves, whether at home or displaced, doing daily battle with our changing world with a mixture of tenacity, bewilderment and grace.

Tsitsi Dangarembga spent part of her childhood in England. She began her education there, but concluded her A-levels in a missionary school back home, in the town of Mutare. She later studied medicine at Cambridge University, but became homesick and returned home as Zimbabwe’s black-majority rule began in 1980.

4. The Girl Who Can: And Other Stories by Ama Ata Aidoo

In “The Girl Who Can,” the irrepressible Ama Ata Aidoo looks at the roles and rules, and the games people find themselves playing, often unwillingly. She analyses African women’s struggle to find their rightful place in society.

Ama Ata Aidoo was born on the 23 March 1940. She is a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic, who is also a former Minister of Education in the Ghana government. She currently lives in Ghana, where in 2000 she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers.

5. Have You Seen Zandile by Gcina Mhlophe
Zandile lives with her grandmother in Durban, a bright child who dreams of growing up to become a teacher . . . until her world is turned upside down.

Gcina Mhlope lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gcina Mhlope has been writing and performing on stage and screen for over 20 years. She has written many children’s books as well as adult audience poetry, short stories and plays. She produced and performed on a CD for children with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. She has written music for the SABCTV series Gcina & Friends where she performed her own stories for television audiences.

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