African literature has been dynamic over the past decades and is now at a point where writers are blooming from all corners of the continent. Their genius ideas and remarkable writing skills are changing the reading culture and making way for more African masterpieces over the mainstream American/European works we are used to reading. Although the school curriculums are still dominated by mainstream European-American literature that many of us cannot relate to, the wave of supporting African literature is slowly rising on the continent.

African literature has been dynamic over the past decades and is now at a point where writers are blooming from all corners of the continent. Their genius ideas and remarkable writing skills are changing the reading culture and making way for more African masterpieces over the mainstream American/European works we are used to reading. Although the school curriculums are still dominated by mainstream European-American literature that many of us cannot relate to, the wave of supporting African literature is slowly rising on the continent.

Warsan Shire

The Kenyan born Somali writer and activist, famously known to be behind the poetry in Beyoncé’s breathtaking album Lemonade. In 2014, Shire was appointed the first Young Poet Laureate of London, and has received the Brunel University’s African Poetry Prize. Some of her known works that are worth the time and money are ‘Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth’ and ‘Her Blue Body.’

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

If you are looking for some poetry to soothe your soul, Ijeoma’s works are here for that. She published her first collection of poems titled Questions for Ada in August of 2015. Ijeoma’s works started through Tumblr, and slowly gained public attention. She is now among the promising poets giving African literature new meaning.

NoViolet Bulawayo

Born Elizabeth Zandile Tshele, Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author famously known for her book ‘We Need New Names’. She has also received several awards, one of them being the Caine Prize for African Writing for the short story “Hitting Budapest.” Bulawayo sits on the Pan-African literary initiative, Writivism’s Board of Trustees and continues to work on bringing African literature to mainstream media.

Leila Aboulela

A Sudanese writer and playwright, she is best known for her novels ‘Lyrics Alley’ and ‘Kindness of Enemies.’ Aboulela was the winner of the very first Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000. She uses her platform to tackle minority issues, social injustice as well as religion. Aboulela’s work has been translated into fourteen languages and a number of her plays have been broadcast on BBC radio.

Zakes Mda

Mda is a south African poet, playwright and novelist. Mda is a founding member and currently serves on the advisory board of the African Writers Trust, a non-profit that seeks to bring together African Diaspora writers and writers on the continent. He has won several awards for his works, and his novels have been translated into 21 languages. Some of his works include, but are not limited to, ‘Little suns’ and ‘Rachel’s Blue.’

Alain Mabanckou

Congo Brazzaville’s very own Alain, is well known for his satirical yet heavily charged novels. His well-known books ‘Broken Glass’ and ‘Black Bazar’ explore his need to use his writing platform to make social commentaries on African and French culture. Although he is highly controversial, it is important to read his books with an open mind and receptiveness to new ideas. His writing is bound to give your brain cells a workout!