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In 2017, the pan-African collective Jalada Africa announced a mega-step: a mobile literary festival covering five countries in East Africa. The Jalada Mobile Literary and Arts Festival was held from March 3-31 of last year. A hybrid between a traditional place-based festival and a bus tour, it covered twelve towns: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa in Kenya; Mwanza, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania; Kampala and Kabale in Uganda; Kigali in Rwanda; and Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A total of 4,500 kilometers and interaction with over 10,000 enthusiasts. For the festival, Jalada partnered with Goethe-Institut Nairobi, with part funding by the British Council nAnA grant.

The video above is from the Festival’s stops in Kampala and Kabale, both in Uganda. It features clips of a workshop organised by Femrite, a writing masterclass, visitations to schools where they handed books to students, and boat rides on Lake Victoria.

Jalada Africa was formed in 2013 by writers from Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa, and currently comprises writers and artists of African origin, both from the continent and the diaspora. The Collective seeks to break boundaries by publishing works that stretch the reach of creative writing, expand the range of reading experiences, and diversify audiences for literature.

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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