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New flavours every time

Doreen Baingana

Via The Literary Saloon

The Ugandan poet and novelist, Doreen Baingana, talks about the difficulties of being read primarily as an 'ethnic' or African writer.


'The current focus on aid for Africa is one I applaud,' she says, 'But it leads many people to hold such narrow impressions of one of the most diverse continents.'

'As an African writer, I pluck what I know and throw it into a pot with what I don't and what I conjure out of nothing and dreams. I shake in all sorts of spices, grains, water, salt and lies, African or not, and try to create a new stew with new flavours every time. I ask my audience to demand this much of me and other African writers. To expect so much more than yesterday's leftovers: the newspapers' diarrhoeic stream of problems and problematic stories. Let's imagine together all the possible and impossible ways individuals try to make sense of themselves and their worlds, African or otherwise.'
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