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African Books & Games in Kenya

The term African literature refers to that created by the peoples of Africa, while the European and Latin American idea of ​​literature generally refers to written texts.

While Europeans and Latin Americans frequently separate art and content, the African concept is all-inclusive.

Early writings

The first indigenous literature in North Africa is located in Ancient Egypt from which some of its hieroglyphs have survived. North Africans also contributed to the Phoenician language, the Greek language, and Latin.

Most of the Phoenician material, coming from Carthage and other colonies on the mainland, has been lost.

Under the royal patronage of Ptolemy, Alexandrian scholars organized the Library of Alexandria, and Alexandrian writers helped increase the material held at the institution.

North African Latin writers include Apuleius and Augustine of Hippo.

Oral literature

Oral literature can be in prose or verse. The prose is often mythological or historical in theme and may include short stories.

Storytellers in Africa often use a technique where they expect a response from their audience. Poetry, often sung, includes epic narrative, ritual verses, poems to rulers, or prominent figures.

There are also love songs, work songs, children's songs, proverbs, and riddles.

Colonial literature

The best-known works of the colonial period are those about slavery, such as Olaudah Equiano's "The Interesting Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Olaudah Equiano," also known as Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789).

During this period, Africans learned about European languages ​​and began to write in these languages.

In 1911, Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford published what is possibly the first African novel written in English, Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation.

Although the work moves between fiction and political themes, its publication and subsequent revision in Europe marked a turning point in African literature.

In the period between the end of the Second World War and national independence, African literature shows themes related to independence and liberation and, especially in the territories controlled by France, blackness appears.

One of the leaders of this movement, the poet and president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor, published the first anthology of African poetry written in French.

It was titled “Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malagache de langue française” (Anthology of the New Black and Malagasy Poetry in the French Language” (1948) which included a preface by the French writer Jean-Paul Sartre.

Post-colonial literature

With the liberation and increased literacy achieved by many African nations after their independence, literature increased in quantity and recognition. Authors from this period write in both European and African languages.

According to Ali A. Mazrui, seven conflicts appear as themes: the clash between Africa's past and present, between tradition and modernity, between indigenous and foreign, between individualism and community.

It was also between socialism and capitalism, between development and independence, and between Africanity and humanity.

Other themes include social problems such as corruption, economic disparities in the newly independent countries, and the rights and duties of women. Women writers are valued more highly than in any previous period.

Some writers, when analyzing African literary creation, consider that it is marked by a triple heritage or influence: indigenous values, Islam, and Western culture.

For example, African fiction has been enriched by contact with the narrative of the northern countries, and native African poetry, in East Africa or on the shores of the Indian Ocean, has benefited from the Islamic tradition.

The traditional literary forms or sources that influence contemporary African literary creation are mainly the following: proverbs, short stories, fables, and historical narration (sometimes by professionals, as in the case of griots).

Poetry, oral or written, in the native language or a foreign language, continues to represent the most alive literary form in Africa.

The most outstanding case of the strength of poetry is Somalia, where it became a political weapon before independence and continued to be, already in independent Somalia. It is the most popular and accepted way of transmitting all kinds of literary creation, political criticism, and customs.

Another case is the Acholi fighter of the 1980s, Alice Lakwena, who was considered by the government of Yoweri Museveni as a "tribalist rebel", which put obstacles to the dissemination of works that could sing her glory.

In the 1930s, African artists residing in Europe created the African cultural nationalist movement that would most influence later artistic creation, known by various names: "blackness", "authenticity".

They tried to resist the colonization of the African mind. It is a movement in which literature and politics are so united. This union made it difficult to say if it was a cultural movement that influenced political activity or the other way around.

When the writer chooses to use his mother tongue, he finds himself with new problems. Literacy in African languages ​​is a recent fact in many countries and, therefore, the potential audience is scarce. If the language, moreover, is not used by a large population.

Wole Soyinka was the first post-colonial African writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1986. Albert Camus, who was born in Algeria, had previously won it in 1957.

Product types, features, and specifications of African Books & Games



Once Upon a Time in Africa - Joseph G. Healy

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Through My African Eyes -Jeff Koinange

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How do you get African Books & Games in Kenya

If you are interested in preserving the African culture and heritage, you can go on the Jiji website to choose any of the available products on purchase.