Since 7 December, The Pigeonhole has been serialising Mother Never Sleeps, an anthology of new african writing put together by Bahati Books in daily digital instalments delivered straight readers’ devices via the Pigeonhole iOS app, Android app or web reader.
My Story The Confession ,one of the stories in the anthology and is up today.
Hurry now and download The Pigeonhole app on iOS and Andriod to read for free. You can also read on the Web reader here. Its free to sign up.
Do drop a comment to let me know what you thought.
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This piece was written in commemoration of #BlackHistoryMonth 2016
I first became conscious of race and the history of black subjugation while watching the screen adaptation of Alex Haley’s 1976 classic novel, “ROOTS” on NTA, Nigeria’s leading television channel. I was seven or eight. In those days, television time on national broadcasting stations was limited so it was a special feeling to be invited by my dad to watch this programme which had become at the time, a favourite for many families in the neighbourhood. I am grateful that he did. I was so enraptured by the story and the experiences of the main character – so much so that I hardly referred to the programme as “ROOTS”, rather, it was “Kunta Kinte” to me. That show broadened by understanding of identity and black consciousness.
Before then, we had sang during morning school assemblies songs which pledged solidarity with the black struggle against apartheid and segregation in South Africa. We often donated with our meager lunch allowances to the “Free Mandela” efforts, of which Nigeria was at the forefront. We had also been taught about colonialism, of our country once being under the rule of white people, of how Nigeria won its independence on 1st October 1960 from Britain, a story that welled in me a sense of national pride. Nothing however brought all of these experiences – slavery, colonialism, apartheid and racial segregation, to life as much as “ROOTS”.
I remember feeling hurt knowing that what I was watching was not fiction, but an experience lived by people who look like me. I remember how I would lie in bed after each episode, mentally rewriting the script and changing the plot to enable Kunta Kinte’s escape. In my mind, he would succeed in his escape attempts, and he somehow returned to The Gambia as a free man. My young mind could not understand why one group of humans would subject another to such treatment. It made absolutely no sense and for many years, images of a defiant Kunta Kinte in chains, being whipped and forced to accept a new name was etched in my memory.
Many books, movies, and news stories later and I still struggle to grasp this history: not so much the past which I cannot change but the present, which point to the fact very little has changed in a system characterised by racism and prejudice.
Read the full article here
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So yes, its done. I am excited to announce that I am now a Bahati Books author. Today, in a series of tweets, I was unveiled as the latest member of #TeamBahati. The publisher will be releasing my debut novel later this year as an ebook. A print version is planned and will be released shortly afterwards.
Bahati Books is an eBook publishing company that aims to bring to global readers captivating and well written African literature by African authors. See more about this innovative and forward thinking publishing house here. Follow them on twitter @bahatiBooks and like their facebook page here
In signing onto Bahati, I am excited at exploring the potentials of digital technology in telling stories especially in Africa. I am convinced that digital is the future and even-though we might not be there yet, there is a steady move in that direction and I am happy to be among those to herald it.
Whats the novel about? Well not so much details now (I am superstitious like that lol) but just to say the work is very much engaged with issues of migration and trafficking and the pressures that influence the decision of young people to ‘check out.’
Following the announcement, my profile is now listed on the sites ‘author page’, do check it out. And while you are at it, I am pleased to also inform you that I have a brand new short story “The Confession” published on the site which you must hurry now to read.
Tweet me @nzesylva and let me know what you think of the story.
So now the count down to the release. I cant wait!
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