Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Kwani

If Africans receive and consume media through the Internet using cell-phones, why bother about getting your writing to African readers through print format? Why go through the ordeal of printing books that your audience cannot afford? Kwani?, a Kenyan literary journal, has been thinking along these lines and are working with tech experts to create a literature app specific to their literary market.

To that end, the group has been working with experts from Nairobi’s pool of mobile phone innovators to develop its own literature app, which will run on both smart phones and the “feature phones” ubiquitous around the continent, which offer Internet connectivity but are cheaper and less sophisticated than their smart phone cousins.

Wachuka envisions making 600- to 2,000-word excerpts from Kwani? literary journal available via the app, which she expects to be tested in the next few months and launched in November. The app is expected to be rich in supplementary features as well, she says, including podcasts, videos, and interactive content like chats with writers and text-message poetry contests.

Going digital has meant “a complete revamp of how we produce content,” Wachuka says. “We’re basically creating an entirely new product. It’s an extension of what we do already, but it’s a reshaping of things and spaces.’’

Last year, Kwani for the first time worked with 3Bute (pronounced “tribute”) a site where users can access graphic novel versions of fiction and journalism. But 3Bute is not a read-only experiences. Users can add comments that pop up on the screen, becoming part of the story.

Dan Raymond-Barker, books marketing manager at UK-based New Internationalist, a non-profit publisher, cites 3Bute and Kwani as examples of the innovative, collaborative thinking Africans are bringing to e-publishing.

“It’s not necessarily about the commercial approach – selling books. It’s about people sharing ideas,” he said. “You capture someone’s imagination. You capture their interest. By doing that, you have opened the opportunity to sell them something.” — The Christian Science Monitor

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

#LIPFest18 | Register for Poetry Workshops with Kwame Dawes, Nick Makoha, Lebo Mashile, and Yomi Sode 

lipfest - lebo mashile

The 2018 Lagos International Poetry Festival (#LIPFest18) is offering workshops by some of the biggest names in contemporary African poetry. Much-honoured […]

The Freedom Artist, Ben Okri’s New Novel Forthcoming in January 2019, Is a Rallying Call in a Post-Truth Society

Ben Okri. Photo credit: David Levenson / Getty.

Ben Okri has a new novel forthcoming in January 2019. The Nigerian novelist-poet-essayist, who is the only black African to […]

Nuruddin Farah’s 14th Novel, North Of Dawn, Explores the Lives of Somali Immigrants in Norway and Experiences of Religion and Jihadism

nuruddin farah boundary2.org

Celebrated Somali writer Nuruddin Farah’s new novel will be out on 4 December 2018. The 384-page North of Dawn, forthcoming […]

Literary Prizes and the Decisions of Writers

Conde

Maryse Conde, the French-Guadeloupean author of I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (1986), Segu (1987), A Season in Rihata (1988), […]

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Turns 15: The Best Moments of a Modern Classic

chimamanda ngozi adichie - by ecrivain

“It wasn’t the first novel I wrote,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told the audience at the University of Nairobi, during her […]

Quramo Writers’ Prize 2018 Unveils Top 5 Finalists

Quramo 1

Lagos – 10/10/18: Quramo Publishing has unveiled the Top 5 finalists of the Quramo Writers’ Prize 2018, two weeks after […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.