Africa Month: 8 Novels by African Authors to Add to Your Reading List

To write is an act of love. Writers openly undo and untie themselves and their thoughts with the intention of feeding our minds with their beautifully written words on an array of topics. Books are indeed embodiments of love! With this mind, we’ve listed African who have shown this act of love through literature:

Indaba, My Children by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa 

Indaba, My Children is an internationally acclaimed book that was first published in 1964. The book holds a collection of African folk tales that touch on tribal historical legends, customs, and religious beliefs.

MARU by Bessie Head

Bessie Head is one of Africa’s leading women authors. Her 1971 body of work explores racism and ethnic conflict, specifically that of the Tswana and San people. This read is centred around an orphaned Masarwa girl who comes to the community of Dilepe to teach.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean writer and author who made her very first debut with this novel. We Need New Names dives into the life of her fictional character Darling, a 10-year-old navigating a world of chaos and degradation with her friends, and later as a teenager in the United States.

Intruders by Mohale Mashigo

Intruders is a collection that explores the feeling of ‘not belonging’. These are stories of unremarkable people who thrust into extraordinary situations by events beyond their control.

Period Pain Kopano Matlwa

Period Pain captures the heartache and confusion of so many South Africans who feel defeated by the litany of headline horrors; xenophobia, corrective rape, corruption, crime and for many, the death sentence. Where are we going? What have we become? This book helps us navigate our country. Period Pain introduces the character Masechaba, who, through her story, allows us to reflect, question and rediscover our humanity.

Dr T: A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure by Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng 

Dr T is passionate about making sexual health and well-being services available to all, regardless of one’s sexual and gender identities, and their economic status.  This book is filled with the specifics of sexual anatomy and health, as well as advice and factual information about pleasure and sexual rights.

You Have to Be Gay to Know God by Siyathokoza Khumalo 

In this book, Khumalo takes us on a daring journey, exposing the interrelatedness of religion, politics, and sex as the expectations of African cultures mingle with greed and colonial religion. Khumalo also sheds light on his personal experiences with sexuality.

The Fatuous State of Severity by Phumlani Pik

The Fatuous State of Severity is a fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explore themes surrounding the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language insecurities and relationships of various kinds.

Written by Ntsako Mlambo

Between 10 and 5