Highlighted by Stephanie Fomenky

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These questions surface because of the bewildering silence of African (star) writers in matters affecting black African nations. From South Africa to Nigeria we are witnessing horrid oppression of the people, especially the poor, injustice that rivals the horror of apartheid. We hear nothing from our writers unless it is for pay (in their books). They are quick to attend rallies against First World Injustice (Trump, identity politics, white police brutality, blah blah blah) and sign well written communiques along with western writers. You will not see their names in any petition against say Buratai and El Rufai showing shock at the mass murder of 1,000 Nigerians who were hurriedly buried in mass graves. If any one of those was a (White) American they will go and carry aso ebi tee shirt. On the one hand, given the expectation of their role and purpose, this is disheartening. We must come to the reality, that the African writer is just telling his or her own story, with little or no interest in creating a space warmer than his or her own. They are just being human. And that is fine. What they are creating is not African writing. They are Africans creating literature for themselves and a paying audience. Like their Western peers who do not have the burden of unrealistic expectation heaped on them. This is as it should be. They are writers, telling their own stories. The term “African writer” has a noble historical basis, but today it is just a shtick that buys the chicken nuggets. Fair enough. The era of unrealistic expectations is over. Bin the pretense, we are each on our own. It is what it is.