Meet Akala at African Books To Inspire

African Books to Inspire
Sunday 3 July
12:00 – 13:30 FREE

Come to discover and be inspired with guest writers Yewande Omotoso, Abdilatif Abdalla, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Akala as they talk about the books that have inspired them. Chaired by Audrey Brown.

Akala is a poet, rapper and educator. Originally from Kentish Town, London, he has become well known globally for his music and social commentary. His fourth album ‘The Thieves’ Banquet’ was inspired by Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Devil On A Cross’. He is author of the epic graphic poem ‘The Ruins of Empire’ (2014) and founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company – a music theatre production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists.

Yewande Omotoso is an architect with a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her debut novel ‘Bomboy’ (Modjaji Books, 2011), was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Yewande was a 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow and a 2014 Etisalat Fellow. She was a 2015 Miles Morland Scholar. She tweets @yomotoso. Her second novel is ‘The Woman Next Door’ (Chatto and Windus, 2016).

Abdilatif Abdalla is a renowned poet, academic and political activist. Abdalla became well-known only after his term in prison for his publication entitled ‘Kenya: Twendapi?’ (Kenya: Where are we going?). Whilst in prison, he wrote on toilet paper to begin a collection of poetry, which would later be published as the famous work Sauti ya Dhiki (Voice of Agony) in 1973. Abdalla has worked in London and Leipzig as an academic, translator, and teacher. He has been involved in a multitude of translation and editing projects, including novels, historic Swahili poetry and critical academic works.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches literature at San Francisco State University. Her writing includes essays, academic papers, reviews and short stories. Sarah’s first novel, In Dependence, is published by Legend Press (London) and Cassava Republic Press (Abuja-London). Her second novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is published by Cassava Republic Press (Abuja-London).

Audrey Brown is a South African journalist, curator and cultural commentator based in London, and works for the BBC as a presenter. Audrey has a Masters in Journalism from the University of Wales and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and African History and Politics from Rhodes University in South Africa. She also has a diploma in film criticism and documentary film-making from Varan Institut, Cinema Direct in Paris. She tweets @BBC_AudreyB.

The panel will be followed by a book swapping session where you bring a copy of one of your favourite works of African literature to share and swap for another!