Nigerian writer and editor Richard Ali and Australian editor Marziya Mohammedali will be taking over editorial management of pan-African collective Jalada Africa as Managing Editor and Deputy Managing Editor respectively, succeeding Wanjeri Gakuru and Kate Hampton who served from 2018 to 2020. Ali and Mohammedali will equally serve two-year terms.

Both Ali and Mohammedali are not new to the team, having served as Board Secretary and Arts Editor in the Gakuru-Hampton management team. They are therefore expected to “smoothly transition into their new roles.”

The leadership transition was warmly welcomed by Jalada’s Board of Trustees Ellah Allfrey OBE (Hon) FRSL, Yvonne Owuor, Jekwu Ozoemene, Leila Aboulela and Stephen Partington.

Mohammedali and Ali expressed excitement at assuming editorial leadership of the collective. In an email message to Brittle Paper, they shared some insights into what their tenure might look like. They both see their appointments as auspicious for the organization. For Mohammedali, serving in this role “is an opportunity to give more to [Jalada] and support other members.” For Ali, it’s a chance to “move a beloved art collective even further than [its] already definitive place in #AfricaLit.” They are both committed to ensuring that Jalada continues to connect readers across the continent and the world.  Mohammedali is confident that Jalada will “continue making links, across Africa and internationally, and establish itself more firmly as a group that supports people to tell their stories.” Ali writes: “there will definitely be more workshops and the facilitation of inter-nation conversations in even bolder and innovative ways. #OneAfrica engagements are personally very important to me.”

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The pan-African collective Jalada Africa was founded in 2013 by a group of African writers, following a writing workshop facilitated by Ellah Wakatama Alfrey, with encouragement from Okwiri Oduor, Tuelo Gabonewe and Novuyo Tshuma. Since then, they’ve gone on to attain remarkable strides and build a formidable team that included Abdul Adan, Alex Ikawah, Nyana Kakoma, Moses Kilolo, Kiprop Kimutai, Mukami Kunga, and Idza Luhumyo. Their many achievements were documented in an uplifting essay by outgoing Managing editor Wanjeri Gakuru as part of Brittle Paper’s The Decade Project.

Regarding the transition, Gakuru expressed fulfillment at having served the team for two years and restated confidence in the ability of the incoming editors.

Go here to read the full press release.

Congratulations and best wishes to Richard Ali and Marziya Mohammedali!