Afro young adult anthology in English, French and Swahili hits bookshelves

#AfroYoungAdult: a talent-search for Young Adult fiction from Africa! Picture: Supplied
#AfroYoungAdult: a talent-search for Young Adult fiction from Africa! Picture: Supplied

A highly anticipated Afro young adult anthology, Water Birds on the Lake Shore: An Anthology of African Young-Adult Fiction, will finally be hitting stores this November.

The anthology, released by the Goethe-Institut, is a culmination of a series of workshops which have resulted in 17 stories that have been written in English, French and Swahili and each appears in the three languages respectively.

The official launch of the anthology took place at the Ake Book Festival in Nigeria on October 24 to 27 and contains short stories from 13 African countries.

Acclaimed author Zukiswa Wanner, who was the project coordinator working on the anthology told City Press that the process of selecting the stories was a collective effort.

“We had some exciting facilitators from across the continent who workshopped the stories from the ok-work they were, to the great stories we now have like our own Mohale Mashigo, and Burt award-winners Maamle Kab, Elias Mutani and Kinyanjui Kombani and Africa39ers Ediwge Dro, Richard Ali Mutu and I.”

The anthology, Wanner says, includes a fresh list of writers from varying backgrounds.

“The beauty of this collection is that most of the names in this anthology are fresh names in literary circles. Our own Shamin Chibba, who is in advertising and has written plays at the Market Theatre; a 22-year-old roboticist from Benin, Kelvin Adantchede; Priscillar Matara, who is a filmmaker from Botswana; Laurence Gnaro, a technician from Togo; an academic on Genocide and Neurolaw from Mauritius, Sabah Carrim; and Ghanaian banker Asiedu Benneh are some of the writers featuring in the anthology,” she said.

The stories range from the fantastical of a re-imagined future Africa, to experiencing parental separation and questioning religion, sexuality, first loves to power relations between domestic workers and their employers as seen from the eyes of the domestic worker’s child.

The common thread among the stories is that they are written by young adults who give a fresh new look at topics such as family, friendships and sexuality.

The anthology will be available at selected book stores for R200 and libraries across Africa from November 1.

For more information visit or contact Zukiswa Wanner at 

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