Africa is a state of mind
The rise of the pantheon of independent, black African industry in literature, is not new but it is encouraging and hails the advent of a new future. What it is though, is a new form of democratisation of content, knowledge and production – and we own it. At its core, this pantheon is intellectual, revolutionary and subversive.
It is intellectual because it is a genuine production of black thought/thinking and black expression. It is revolutionary because it challenges all the century-old assumptions of publishing of Africans. It is also revolutionary because it subverts the colonial assumptions about what African literature and black thought/expression ought to be. It is a fertile ground for black radical thought, for black African feminism to find root – in expression and in practice. At the core of it, black African independent publishers are subverting or removing the West from the centre.
Africa is becoming – it has to be – the new centre and the black independent African publisher is the catalyst to this re-centering. This sentiment comes from my work/book-in-progress called African State of Mind – Scramble for black, African literature: The rise of the black African publishing pantheon, decolonial misadventures and other literary eruptions/disruptions on the state of our industry. It is with these sentiments that we bring back our flagship publication, BKO Magazine, that I started with friends (@GrootmanTebza) in 2004. As this is our first edition after a long hiatus, we do not have a theme; instead we focus on the breadth and width of things that BKO is going to do in the future.
On this edition, our featured writer is multiaward-winning author and intellectual; Sabata-mpho Mokae (@mokaewriter). Mokae has given a lot to Setswana literature. He remains one of the important Setswana writers in Mzansi in the post-94 literary moment. Then we get some new poetry from young guns such as Angie Chuma, (@angiechuma) and the award-winning SPU sensation, Sisca Julius with her short story Secret lovers. We also have old classics such as Moemise Motsepe (@MoemiseMotsepe) and Athol Williams (@Athol_Williams).
Exciting guest editors are going to curate their own editions/issues of BKO Magazine and I look forward to that … and further ensuring that we pursue, Africa state of mind!
Ke ya leboha,
Phehello J Mofokeng
Editor: BKO Magazine
Publisher: Geko Publishing
Author: Sankomota – An Ode in One Album & Di Ya Thoteng
Inaugural Chair: Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho