Artists – Der Nil, Lebensader Afrikas

Euphrase Kezilahabi

Writer and philosopher Euphrase Kezilahabi (born in Namagondo, Ukerewe, Tanzania in 1944) studierd literature in Dar Es Salaam and gained his doctorate in African Literature at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, USA. Today he teaches at the University of Botswana in Gaborone. He published his first book of verse, Kichomi, in 1974, written in free verse and dealing with topical subjects. The publication of this book shattered the foundations of what had been defined as Swahili poetry. Kezilahabi is one of the most influential revitalisers of the Seahili language, not only in poetry, but also in prose fiction. In his poems he also processes elements of the language and culture of his homeland, Ukerewe. He is especially known for his ironically critical chronicling of Tanzania’s post-colonial development, and in his more recent work he has devoted himself to a universal epistemological criticism at odds with the European-influenced reception history.
Publications (selection): Kichomi (1974), Karibu Ndani (1988), Dhifa (2008).

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Spoken Word poet Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1983) took singing and acting classes even as a child. Today she combines poetry, song and theatre in her performances. She calls her art ‘poetry in performance’. Ngwatilo Mawiyoo has performed her poems, which have been translated into several languages including Swedish and German, at many festivals in Africa and Europe. In her production The Puesic Project she combines music and poetry with dance and film.
Publications (selection): Blue Mothertongue (poetry collection, 2010), Introducing Ngwatilo (EP album, 2011).

Fatima Naoot

Fatima Naoot (born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1964) finished studying architecture and now works as a columnist, TV presenter and writer. She already has eighteen books to her name, which have been translated into several languages including Kurdish, Chinese, English and Spanish. In her poems, she follows with curiosity the social and political changes taking place in her country. Fatima Naoot has chose poetry and a form of expression to shake people up and deliver truths to them that speak of dignity and mutual respect regardless of origin, belief or religion.
Publications (selection):’ala bu’d sintimitir wahid min al-ard (Kaf Noun Publishing House, Cairo, 2003), Fawqa kaff imra’a. (Ministry of Education in Yemen, and The Egyptian General Organization of Books, Cairo, 2004), Pockets Weighed with Stones (2005), Haykal az-zahr (Alnahda Alarabia Publishing House, Beirut, 2007), A Bottle of Glue (Dar Nadwa Press, Hong Kong, 2007), Ismi laysa sa’ban (Aldar Publishing House, Cairo, 2009).

Hama Tuma

Hama Tuma (born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1949) wants reconciliation, not revenge. A writer and lawyer, he conducts his struggle against the wars in his country with a sharpened pen and sharp satire. He is a founding member of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party and believes in a new start in the daily life of Ethopia that is defined by political rivalries and tribal warfare. He has been expelled from the country three times for his commitment to human rights, and he has been living in exile since 1969.
His work is banned in Ethiopia. He writes poems in English and in Amharic.
Publications (selection): Of Spades and Ethiopians (Collection of Poetry, Free Ethiopian Press, 1991), Eating an American and other Poems (English); Habeshigna 1 (Amharic, 1999), Habeshigna II (Amharic, 1999), Democratic Cannibalism: African Absurdities III (Infinity Publishing, 2007), Stories: The Case of the Criminal Walk and Other Stories (Outskirts Press, 2006).