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."

Few African literary personalities are as intriguing as Akwaeke Emezi, whose work in literature and film has established her as a multi-talented artist.

This past weekend Emezi, who is looking forward to the February 2018 release of her debut novel Freshwater,  shared the delightful news about her appearance in Jay Z’s “4:44” video. “The ogbanje glimmers through a jay-z video,” she writes on Twitter.

Emezi sees this experience as a life-affirming one. Understandably so. Having a debut novel in hand and snagging a spot in a Jay Z video amount to a feat worth celebrating. In a follow-up Instagram post, pictured above, she describes the circumstances that led to her participation in the video shoot:

a couple of weeks ago, i was in bulgaria when @anamibia invited me to be in jay-z’s 4:44 video, which sounded like an incredibly fun project, so i was like — sure, but i’m only in the US for four days. turns out those were the exact days the shoot was happening, so i got to NY, flew to LA, did the shoot, and had to fly back to NY for a meeting about #FRESHWATER🌊 before leaving for singapore. sitting in that meeting, i was like wow i’m really here plotting strategy for my debut novel just off a redeye from a jay-z video shoot, like…this is my life now. and here’s the thing, it fits. i don’t feel like an imposter, i feel like i’m doing dope shit i *should* be doing. the original concept changed into something else but jafa kept short clips of his son + i in it anyway — “y’all are ghosts from a previous iteration of the video.” i love that – the glimmer, a ghost, that disjoint placement, a double take in the dark of night, sliding past into something else, am i even real…

This is exciting news. More and more African writers are embracing the multiple intersections that link them to other creative fields. It adds complexity to their identity and enriches their creative expression.

Before we sign off, though, we have to make the comparison that we know you’re also thinking about. Adichie is featured on Beyonce’s track. Emezi gets a cameo in Jay Z’s music video. Adichie and Emezi are signed on to the same literary agency. And both authors have indeed met and worked together in the past. What do you guys think? Is Emezi the next Adichie?

 

Tags: , ,

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.

One Response to “The Ogbanje Slays Again! Akwaeke Emezi Spotted in Jay Z’s 4:44 Music Video” Subscribe

  1. Hannah 2017/07/12 at 06:20 #

    Wow. Exciting for her!

    Hmm. No, I don’t think Emezi is the next Adichie. I don’t think there should be a next anybody or any attempt to try to inhabit someone else’s shoes. Adichie is Adichie and Emezi is Emezi. Everyone should occupy her own space and be her own unique person? My opinion.

Leave a Reply

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.

Monthly Newsletter!

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

Archives

What Do You Say When You’re Leaving? | Sochi Azuh | Poetry

sochi poetry

  You liked the tease of an open door drawing you in To the rumour of something less complicated than […]

This Essay Collection is a South Africa-Inspired Feminist Anthem for All Women

feminism is thorpe

In the era of #metoo and #timesup, we are, more than ever before, in need of writing that deepens our […]

WATCH | Feyisayo Anjorin’s Novel, Kasali’s Africa, Has Book Trailers

Kasali's Africa Cover

Feyisayo Anjorin’s new novel Kasali’s Africa has a book trailer. A book trailer does what a film trailer does: offer […]

Writing in Migration | Photos from the Festival of African Writers in Berlin

WIM 2018 (12)

Last month, the Nigerian-German novelist Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing, curated a star-studded festival of African writers in […]

In Poetry: Prizes and Politics | Ebenezer Agu

brunel 2018 shortlist

Right after the Brunel International African Poetry Prize released its 2018 shortlist, a friend walked into my Facebook inbox to […]

EVENT | Poets In Nigeria 2018 NSPP Awards Ceremony at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu

IMG-20180502-WA0001

Poets in Nigeria (PIN), which runs the Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize (NSPP), will be holding its 2018 Awards Ceremony at […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.