Top 15 recently published books by writers and poets from Sub-Saharan Africa

by Samira Sawlani As the festive season begins, so does the enjoyable and/or stressful task of choosing Christmas presents for loved ones. Fret not; be it for the book and poetry lovers in your life or a reward for yourself after all that shopping, here is a list of recently published fiction and poetry by… Read More

Garissa University Attack 1 Year On: Not Just a Number, Not Just a Hashtag

by Samira Sawlani  2nd April 2015, Garissa University College, Kenya. It should have been a normal day, one of corridors brimming with individuals rushing to classes, lecture theatres filled with the noise of chatter and students preparing to wind down for Easter. However, 2nd April 2015 will never be looked upon as a normal day… Read More

The Theft of Innocence: Voluntourism and Child Sexual Abuse

by Samira Sawlani Trigger Warning: Article contains stories of rape and child sexual abuse On the 7th of March 2016, at an American district court in Oklahoma, twenty-year-old missionary Matthew Durham was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,863 in restitution after he was convicted of sexually abusing children at… Read More

Top 12 Books by Novelists of Colour Published in 2015

by Samira Sawlani It has been a joy to see the authors and books I mentioned in my Top 10 Books by Novelists of Colour published in 2014 list gain great successes and recognition in 2015. For example, Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, Imran Garda’s The… Read More

Review: WORD by JJ Bola

by Samira Sawlani “Hype your writers like you do your rappers”, says JJ Bola. If ever there was a writer who deserved that hype, it’s Bola himself. This Kinshasa born, London raised poet, educator and speaker arrived in the UK at 7 with his family as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As… Read More

What fresh hell is this? ‘The Princess of North Sudan; more scary tale than fairy tale’

by Samira Sawlani Between Sudan and Egypt lies Bir Tawil, an area which is simply desert, rocks and mountain under the scorching sun. Both states neither claim nor desire Bir Tawil, preferring to focus upon their dispute over the nearby territory of Hala’ib which is situated by the Red Sea. As with many regions which… Read More

Review: “Hotel Arcadia” by Sunny Singh

by Samira Sawlani ‘Her photographs are tombstones for those unnumbered, nameless dead. But she files away the negatives and memory cards and crams the commendations, critiques, prizes in an ancient, creaking Ikea cabinet in the far corner of her studio.’ So begins Sunny Singh’s literary thriller Hotel Arcadia, immediately grasping the attention of the reader… Read More

America Strikes Somalia, Without the Drones

by Samira Sawlani  “For too long, the people of Somalia have suffered from civil strife.Now is the best time for them to realize the promise that accompanied their nation’s independence. In that quest, the United States is right where it should be: on Somalia’s side. And as we support the country’s progress, our strategy is centered… Read More