Arts & Culture

Africa Talks: The Global Legacy of African Women Writers

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm | 07 March 2020
London School of Economics | FREE

African literature is increasingly esteemed around the world, but the true extent of its global historic influence remains largely overlooked. Negotiating the common obstacles of race, class and gender, African women writers have long-confronted crucial matters of independence, freedom and oppression.

We’ll be speaking with Margaret Busby, the editor of New Daughters of Africa —a major international collection showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent; the highly acclaimed writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika; and Angela Wachuka – leading publisher of some of Africa’s leading voices, to reflect on the impact of women writers on shaping the ways we understand today’s social and political upheavals.

Addressing African literature’s rich cultural history across centuries and continents, the event will explore sisterhood, feminist movements, political and academic thought and the ways African women have taken ownership of these spaces through memory and storytelling.

By putting writers in conversation with social scientists, the event will demonstrate the importance of fiction and non-fiction alike in understanding the African female experience, and the enduring legacy of African women’s thought.


Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL is a Ghanaian-born publisher, editor, and writer. She was Britain’s youngest and first black woman book publisher when in the 1960s she co-founded the publishing house Allison and Busby.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika is a writer, academic and overall lover of stories. She was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, Zimbabwe and England. Sarah is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her debut novel, In Dependence, is an international bestseller while her second novel, Like a A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, has been translated into a number of languages. Sarah was Founding Books Editor of Ozy Books and a long-time lecturer at San Francisco State University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the women’s writers residency, Hedgebrook.

Angela Wachuka is co-founder of Book Bunk, a firm driving restoration and programming for some of Nairobi’s iconic public libraries. She has published some of Africa’s leading voices in the past decade and her main interests lie in the intersection between media, popular culture & the creative industries. She is a founding member of the Creative Economy Working Group, a critical intervention for Kenya’s creative economy’s policy formulation. She holds a BA in Anthropology & Law from the London School of Economics (LSE) and was previously an Arts Management Fellow at the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts. Wachuka is a 2019-2020 Africa Leader at the Obama Foundation and is Publisher at Bunk Books, the Nairobi-based content development arm of Book Bunk.

Karin Barber is an Africanist anthropologist whose work has focused on the anthropology of texts, oral performance, popular culture and religion. Her core regional specialism is Yoruba (Western Nigeria). Karin will be chairing the discussion.

This event is organised by The Firoz Lalji Centre For Africa 


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