The Valentine’s Day Anthology of African Romance

Ankara Press is delighted to announce the imminent arrival of a very special Valentine’s Day gift for all lovers of African romance. On Saturday 14th February – which also happens to be Presidential Election Day here in Nigeria (or so we believe at the time of writing…) – we will be releasing a lovingly-prepared Valentine’s Day anthology. We have asked seven of Africa’s most exciting authors to write a short romance story. Each story has been translated into different languages spoken by the authors – including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Kiswahili, Kpelle and French – and audio recordings made of the stories and translations. The original stories, the translations and audio versions have all been compiled into a beautiful Valentine’s Day anthology, which will be freely available from the Ankara Press website on 14th February 2015.

We are thrilled that we have been able to attract some of the most exciting names in contemporary African literature to join our Valentine’s Day project. Established writers Toni Kan, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Binyavanga Wainaina and Chuma Nwokolo are joined by Africa 39ers Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Edwige-Renée Dro and Hawa Jande Golakai. Seven talented translators, including Chikodili Emelumadu, Kola Tubosun, author and visual artist Victor Ehikhamekor and Tanzanian author Elieshi Lema, have contributed to the initative. And the seductive tones of well-known literary figures including Mukoma wa Ngugi, Elnathan John, Yemisi Aribisala, Eghosa Imasuen and Helene Cooper bring the stories to life in their wonderful audio recordings.

Our mission with the Valentine’s Day story project is to show readers around the world that there is more to daily life in Africa than corruption, insecurity, Ebola and election violence, all of which have dominated the headlines in recent months. Of course, these issues are important, but we wish to highlight that life in Africa is multi-faceted, and full of joy as well as heartbreak. As one of our contributors, Binyavanga Wainana, so eloquently puts it:

“If you are to ask me what are the greatest issues in Africa, I would say it is that people love, people fuck, people kiss, people speak.”

The Valentine’s Day Anthology will show what romancing looks like in different languages and highlight the very best of African contemporary writing. You’ll see that a romance story can be elegantly written by men as well as women and does not have to conform to an outdated genre stereotype. We can’t guarantee conventional happy endings to all our stories, but we can promise that they’ll be entertaining. Now there’s a treat to look forward to on Valentine’s Day…

The Valentine’s Day anthology will be available for download from from 14th February 2015.

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