Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club Presents: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman

Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club Presents: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman
Date: Tuesday 24 November
Time: 16:00 – 17:00 (GMT)
Location: Crowdcast
Tickets: FREE (suggested donations: £2 / £5 / £10)

With Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Billy Kahora.

Join award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi as she discusses her latest epic and deeply personal novel The First Woman with author and Saseni!’s co-founder, Billy Kahora. 

Following the international success and critical acclaim of her debut epic novel, Kintu, Makumbi hits the scene with her newest epic: The First Woman. This is a sweeping tale of longing and rebellion following the story of a young Kirabo on her journey to becoming a young woman and finding her place in the world, as her country is transformed by the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin.

Launching the first of Africa Writes – Exeter’s four-part book club series, Makumbi will share her thoughts and inspirations behind The First Woman as well as discussing her approach to narrative voice and the reworking of histories and myths in this novel.

Whether you have read The First Woman or not, we invite you to join us for an evening of discovery and enriched discussions on epic storytelling from two authors who harness and master their craft.




About The Authors

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan fiction writer.

Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013. Her second book is a collection of short stories, Manchester Happened for the UK/Commonwealth publication and Let’s Tell This Story Properly (for US/Canada publication) came out in Spring 2019. It was shortlisted for The Big Book prize: Harper’s Bazaar. Her third book, The First Woman for UK/Commonwealth and A Girl is a Body of Water for USA/Canada publication came out in Autumn 2020.

Jennifer is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize 2018. She won the Global Commonwealth Short story prize 2014 for her short story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly. She is a Cheuse International Writing Fellow (2019) and KNAW-NAIS residency (2021). She has a PhD from Lancaster University and is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Billy Kahora is the author of the short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and the non-fiction novella The True Story of David Munyakei. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which won the Kalasha awards.  He worked for nearly a decade for Kenya’s leading literary publisher Kwani Trust, editing seven issues of the Kwani? journal. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Bristol.


About the event:

Presented in partnership with Saseni!, Authors.Cafe, Jalada Africa, Festival of Ideas, Libraries Unlimited and the University of Exeter.

This event is part of the Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club series which is being launched through Exeter’s UNESCO City of Literature Programme. More information on the Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club will be coming soon.

Image of Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi by Danny Moran.