Two local bookstagrammers tells us which black authors we should all be reading right now

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Lefa Nkadimeng (@between2_worlds) holding Nector by Upile Chisala and Mbali Sebokedi (flowahh_) holding We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.
Lefa Nkadimeng (@between2_worlds) holding Nector by Upile Chisala and Mbali Sebokedi (flowahh_) holding We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.
Lefa Nkadimeng and Mbali Sebokedi / DRUM

They love books so much they’ve made them the focus of their social media pages.

They are all about books that inspire, empower and teach.

Popular bookstagrammers Lefa Nkadimeng and Mbali Sebokedi spoke to Drum about who they are, what inspires their book choices and what books you should be reading right now.

Lefa Nkadimeng (@between2_worlds)

Tell us about yourself

I am a proud Pedi womxnist from Monsterlus, Limpopo but I consider myself a Pitori native. I have loved reading and books all my life. I can’t really remember when I first started reading, all I know is that books have been a part of my life from a very young age. I love books, literature and storytelling so much that I even studied and pursued a career in publishing and I am loving it.

Random facts about me: I am Cancerian, I love ice-cream, gelato, sorbet basically anything cold, sweet and delicious, caramel is my favourite flavour of anything. I also love horror films and romantic comedies. Love & Basketball starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps is my favourite film of all time.

What can followers expect from you?

Definitely literature written by womxn (black,brown, non-white trans,non-binary and cisgendered) very intersectional and inclusive. Literature that compasses the individuality and nuanced experiences of marginalized people through their own voices. I love that literature is so fun, engaging and informative  and that by reading an array of diverse voices, you open yourself up to new histories, new worlds and new perspectives.

I am all about uplifting womxn and really my page is a celebration of those voices. In my stories you find me engaging with my fellow Bookstagrammers,celebrating my friends and shining a spotlight on issues that are close to my heart.

A recent book you loved and why?

This is a tough one. Can I say all of them? I’ve read some pretty awesome books recently. I participated in a reading challenge for Pride month called #queerblackathon hosted by FrancinaSimone, MyonnaReads,Thenovellush and Bowtiesandbooks which sought to highlight Black Queer Trans literary voices and from my stack I absolutely loved Juilet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. It has been a while since I felt this way about a book.

The characters, the storyline and the writing was superb. The book made me cry and laugh and I was so sad when it ended. I loved it because it captures what it means to meet your heroes and realize that they are as flawed as you; why intersectional feminism is the best feminism; that having a community of people that look like you is so wholesome and that love is beautiful and messy but it’s worth it.

Mbali Sebokedi (@flowahh_)

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Port Elizabeth, raised in Cape Town and currently I’m living in Pretoria, but one thing has stayed true – my love for reading. It even followed me all the way to University of Pretoria where I’m now studying literary theory.

What can followers expect from you?

Book reviews and makeup looks where I do “books as lewks”. 99.9% of the time you’ll find me reading and reviewing African/Black literature and prioritising women and LGBTQIA+ writers of most genres.

A recent book you loved and why?

Now this is a hard one, so I’ll list two. Firstly, there’s Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi which was so refreshing in its exploration of religion, sexuality, mental health and trauma. If I were wealthy, I’d literally buy everyone I know a copy.  Second would be We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, the narrator, 10-year-old Darling, is hilarious when talking about her experiences growing up in Zimbabwe and later America.

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