Press Release



Creating a Multilingual Anthology of Stories in Kenyan languages

NAIROBI, September 15, 2021. We are pleased to announce the 17 participants selected to the Ituĩka Writing and Translation Workshop. The first of its kind, the workshop will run from 11th to 13th November 2021 in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. It will be the genesis of developing a Multilingual Anthology of Stories in Kenyan languages.

The 17 participants selected to participate in the workshop are:

1 Sahara Abdi Somali
2 Doreen karimi Nyaga Embu
3 Paul Nganga Mutua Kiikamba
4 Daniel Si’wa Bukusu
5 Kapante Ole Reyia Maa
6 Felix Omondi Sheng
7 Peter Kuria Mburu Gikuyu
8 Ajiambo Nafwa. Wanga (Luhya)
9 Matano Nyundo Kiduruma
10 Naomi Ndumba Kimonye Meru
11 Beverlyne Asiko Ambuyo Luloogoli.
12 Kepha Onchaga Kiswahili
13 Jack E. Odongo Ogembo Dholuo
14 John Titi Namai Luhya
15 Bonface Isaboke Nyamweya Ekegusii
16 Maina wa Mutonya Gikuyu
17 Georginah Nyatichi Makini Ekegusii

This workshop will be a multilingual network model of writing and translation for Kenyan languages in African literature. The participants will contribute to the development of a multilingual anthology of stories in Kenyan languages. To facilitate global readership, all accepted works will be translated into Kiswahili and English and the final multilingual anthology will be published both in print and digital formats.

Our vision through this workshop is to have a major turning point in dialogue between African languages and multilingual publishing. We must move away from abnormality, where our literary tradition is shaped by European languages and where no right or privilege is given to African languages. As Ngúgi wa Thiong’o observes, writers from ‘marginalized cultures and languages have the duty and responsibility of making themselves not only visible in their languages’ but also have ‘to challenge and shake up that view of languages in theory and practice.

To realize this vision, we welcomed those writing original stories in any of the languages spoken in Kenya, or those translating works from English and Kiswahili by Kenyan writers into other Kenyan languages to submit their works. We received 48 submissions between August 1st and 31st from a pool of greatly talented and creative Kenyan writers, in different Kenyan languages.

The workshop will be facilitated by Kimani wa Njogu and Jane Obuchi. Guest appearances will be by renowned authors, scholars, and practitioners who have made major contributions in African Literature in African languages including Henry Chakava and Madhu Krishnan. There will also be a pre-session welcoming all those who applied to the workshop to a virtual pre-workshop masterclass delivered by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, and an after interaction with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in early October 2021.

To the Editors:

About Ituĩka: Ituĩka is an online and print platform devoted to publishing writers in African languages, facilitating translations, and raising the visibility of African language literary projects. Anyone writing in, translating into or from an African language is welcome to contribute to the platform. Together, Africans writing in African languages can overcome the great odds that have consistently faced publishing of literary and scholarly material written in their languages. We acknowledge the logistical hurdles that come with opening the door to such numerous languages.  However, we welcome the challenge as a way to develop working mechanism for multilingual publishing, African translation and literary theories, and exciting the market to engage with African literature in African languages.

About the Workshop:This Inaugural Ituĩka Writing and Translation Workshop 2021, and the book that will be published thereafter, is part of a larger, five-year project funded by the European Research Council titled ‘Literary Activism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Commons, Publics and Networks of Practice’. The project explores the contours of literary activism in Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria and is led by Professor Madhu Krishnan at the University of Bristol. Selected participants in this workshop will be given a full project description and asked to attend a virtual pre-working briefing.