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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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. 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. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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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.

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