Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing

Front Cover
Jack Mapanje
Heinemann, 2002 - Social Science - 328 pages

This anthology introduces the African literature of incarceration to the general reader, the scholar, the activist and the student. The visions and prison cries of the few African nationalists imprisoned by colonialists, who later became leaders of their independent dictatorships and in turn imprisoned their own writers and other radicals, are brought into sharper focus, thereby critically exposing the ironies of varied generations of the efforts of freedom fighters. Extracts of prose, poetry and plays are grouped into themes such as arrest, interrogation, torture, survival, release and truth and reconciliation. Contributors include: Kunle Ajibade, Obafemi Awolowo, Steve Biko, Breyten Breytenbach, Dennis Brutus, Nawal El Saadawi, M J Kariuki, Kenneth Kaunda, Caesarina Kona Makhoere, Nelson Mandela, Emma Mashinini, Felix Mnthali, Augustino Nato, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kwame Nkrumah, Abe Sachs, Ken Saro Wiwa, Wole Soyinka, and Koigi wa Wamwere. Although an often harrowing indictment of the history, culture and politics of the African continent and the societies from which this literature comes, the anthology presents excellent prose, poetry and drama, which stands up in its own right as serious literature to be cherished, read and studied.

 

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Contents

Kaunda Colour Bar
2
Oginga Odinga The Rise of Politics
8
Mau Mau Patriotic Songs Why Sell Your Land?
14
Jomo Kenyatta Independence Day 1963
21
Eddison J Zvobgo Vanished Peace
28
Jeremy Cronin Faraway City There
42
Kwame Nkrumah Cell Number Eleven
50
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki Kowop Camp
58
Edison Mpina The Men Next Door
155
Abdellatif La‚bi Dream of a Wake
168
Syl CheneyCoker The Night of the Beasts
179
Jack Mapanje Skipping Without Rope
185
Tahar Djaout March 15 1962
192
1 and 2
203
Abdellatif La‚bi Hunger Strike
214
Edison Mpina Summer Fires of Mulanje
220

Sam Mpasu The Interrogation
66
YvesEmmanuel Dogbe The Prisoner
78
Mau Mau Patriotic Songs A Letter from Prison
86
Agostinho Neto two years away
95
Dennis Brutus On the Island
102
Kofi Awoonor The Second Circle
112
Felix Mnthali Solid State Physics
118
Ogaga Ifowodo A Room of My Own
128
Agostinho Neto create
138
Eddison J Zvobgo Upon the Sixth Anniversary
148
Caesarina Kona Stubborn Segregation
241
Jeremy Cronin For Comrades in Solitary
250
Kwame Nkrumah Elections
264
Edison Mpina Reborn
271
Tandundu E A Bisikisi The Theatre
278
Pitika Ntuli Sculptor in Prison
286
Jeremy Cronin Inside
295
Jaki Seroke We Presume for our
301
Christine Anyanwu Rats on Two Legs
317
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About the author (2002)

Jack Mapange was born of Yao and Nyanja parents in Kadango Village, Mangochi District, in southern Malawi. He went to school at Kadango, Chikwana Mission, and Zomba Catholic Secondary School. He has a B.A. degree and a diploma in Education from the University of London. In 1975 he joined the staff of the Department of English at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, as a lecturer, before working as a research student in linguistics at University College, London in the early 1980s.'Of Chameleons and Gods' received the Rotterdam International Poetry Award in 1988. Mapanje was arrested soon after this book was banned in Malawi. He was imprisoned in Malawi and detained without Charge or Trial from September 1987 to May 1991. His second volume of Poetry, 'The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison', written while he was detained, was published by Heinemann in 1993.

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