A Kenyan Writer, Alexander Nderitu, on Sunday said he admires sensational Nigerian female musician, Tiwa Savage.
Mr Nderitu, who is a novelist, poet and playwright, said he has a ‘crush’ on the award-winning singer and equally likes three other Nigerian musicians: Falz, Simi and Burna Boy.
The award winning e-novelist, said this when he granted an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES. He also spoke on lessons Nigerian writers and their Kenyan counterparts can learn from one another.
“Personally, I like Falz, Simi and Burna Boy. And I have a crush on Tiwa Savage,” Mr Nderitu said. “Kenya is like a smaller version of Nigeria and is also a former British colony. We have the same things – the good and the bad – but on a smaller scale.”
“I would, however, like to see more cohesiveness amongst writers on the continent. More collaborations, events, reviews, associations, translations and so forth. Always remember that our national borders were imposed on us by foreigners. We can be more united,” he said.
He said Kenya has more lessons to gain from Nigeria in terms of literature and the arts than vice versa.
“That question is backwards. It should be what can Kenya learn from Nigeria?,” he said. “For example, we don’t have any association as influential as the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Our authors look up to famous Nigerian scribes and our movie industry – dubbed Riverwood – looks up to Nollywood. Same with musicians.”
“Incidentally, more Nigerians read my books on Worldreader than Kenyans. I often joke on Facebook that I am technically a ‘Nigerian writer’. Last year, I was a panelist at the 2nd annual African Writer’s Conference which was founded by Nigerian, Anthony Onugba. I was published in the ‘My Africa, My City’ Anthology a couple of years ago and I have a short story forthcoming in this year’s ‘Ebedi Review’,” he added.
He also said Africa should begin to crown its literary heroes rather than wait for the western world to take the lead.
“I hate it when our local heroes are crowned by foreigners. I especially detest the Nobel Prize for Literature,” he said. “Every year, African punters hold their breath hoping that a writer like Ngugi Wa Thiong’o or Assia Djebar will be crowned the new Nobel Literature Laureate and they’re usually disappointed.”
“In a continent of 1.3 billion people, only four Africans have ever scooped the Nobel Prize for Literature and that’s absurd. Let me say this once more, in case some of your readers think you misquoted me: in my opinion, the Nobel Prize for Literature is irrelevant to Africans.
“What we need to do is create our own super award. Sudanese-born philanthropist Mo Ibrahim has a foundation that sponsors a $5 million award for good governance. All we need is single billionaire or company to make a long-term commitment to sponsor a major award and we the literati will create an institution of our own.”
Mr Nderitu’s notable works include: The Stacy Walker Interview, Yuppies!, The Patriot’s Club, What’s Wrong With This Picture? and Hannah and The Angel. Another, ‘When the whirlwind passes’ is the African continent’s most downloaded book.
Co-founder of the Artists for Contemporary Theatre (A.C.T.) stage and film production group, Mr Nderitu has several written research papers on African literature and theatre under his belt.
In 2017 he was named by Business Daily newspaper as one of Kenya’s ‘Top 40 Under 40 Men’.
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