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Books and Tales


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The final of this year’s Africa Talks series focuses on stories, both true and invented, with Africa at their heart. We’ll discuss ways in which stories of Africa work to define our understanding of the continent, learn about important works that are yet to reach English-speaking readers, and dig into ideas about how modern African stories should be told.

Many of us are familiar with the stories of bestselling South African novelists Bryce Courtenay and J. M. Coetzee, and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart – interrogating the influence of colonialism on a traditional Nigerian community – is a modern classic.

While a new generation of contemporary African-born writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and NoViolet Bulawayo have found success with keenly-observed and exciting books, do stories from the continent and diaspora remain on the periphery of the Australian readership? What are some of the key themes and issues in writing, publishing – and sharing – African writing in Australia?

Host Santilla Chingaipe and guests including Abdi Aden, Alia Gabres and Valanga Khoza will explore the most exciting new work from African writers and storytellers, the classics of African literature and the recent crop of local books with Africa at their core.


Santilla Chingaipe

Santilla Chingaipe is a filmmaker, historian and author, whose work explores settler colonialism, slavery, and post-colonial migration in Australia. Chingaipe’s first book of non-fiction detailing the untold stories of convicts of African descent is forthcoming, and the critically acclaimed and aw... Read more

Valanga Khoza

Valanga Khoza left South Africa in 1976, exiled along with many other young people because of their struggle against apartheid or racism. The music and stories he has since created reflects the places he has been and the people he has touched throughout his journey across the world as a re... Read more

Abdi Aden

Abdi Adenwas a teenager when he arrived in Melbourne as a refugee to begin a new life. Until recently, he was a Youth Worker for Hume City Council in Melbourne, completing postgraduate studies in adolescent mental health. He is married to the daughter of British immigrants and has three young sons. ... Read more

Alia Gabres

Alia Gabres is a Melbourne based creative producer, cultural broker and storyteller. She has worked with diverse and creative communities in Melbourne in various roles such as Lead Creative Producer for Industry and Creative Initiatives at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, and Lead Youth Arts and... Read more


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