March makes it one year since the world died a social death. Geez, thank you covid. *eye roll*
But while there’s talk about one year of the pandemic, I’m keeping in mind that March is also the month that celebrates two of my favorite things. That’s right: books and women, yaay! As you know, we celebrated World Book Day on March 4, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. Talk about back-to-back. Lol. Because women and books make the world such a better place, I thought; what better way to celebrate both of them than to write a short list of my favorite books written by African women.
I love Arese Ugwu because she is a young African millennial who has built the Smart Money Woman into a proper brand. I started reading her articles about how to be financially smart as a young professional woman on Bellanaija.com years ago. And then she released her first book, ‘The Smart Money Woman’ and a few years later, ‘The Smart Money Tribe’. The mix of fiction and financial lessons makes it easy to digest and also learn form. There’s always a scenario in these stories you can find yourself in and apply the lessons from there. These are books that can set you on the trajectory to change your financial future. The Smart Money Woman also now has its own TV series. Talk about scaling a brand.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Fiction is such a powerful tool for learning how to engage with issues that feel too hard or complicated in real life. This is exactly what Ugandan writer, Jennifer Makumbi does when she gave us one of the most important historical fiction to come out of Africa. If you want to enjoy a good story that explores Ugandan cultural history and complications from colonial presence, then her book Kintu is something you certainly should pick up.
Full hair, bold red lips, blouses the color of rainbow; this phenomenal writer, Chibundu Onuzo brings both brain and glitz into writing. Despite how commitment to keep us engaged on her Instagram, Chibundu is one of the young, perceptive literary voices that have come out of Nigeria in the last ten years. She has a newest book hitting the bookstores in a few months, (yass!) but while we wait for that, be sure to pick up her previous book, Welcome to Lagos.
Like they say, oldie but goodie. See, before our fav, Chimamanda Adichie picked the feminism baton, Aunty Buchi had been writing stories that interrogated the placement of women within a patriarchal society. In fact, she did not just write it, she lived it. Her books are one of the Nigerian classics and certainly set the pace for many successful female writers that have risen from the continent. If there’s any group who embody feminist literary scholarship, then Buchi Emecheta certainly leads the trend.
Now your turn. What female African authors have inspired you in the past? Drop a comment, let’s all update our reading lists.