Worldtown Hearsay :: And the World Watches Africa
It’s here and the excitement can’t be contained. In case you’ve been buried somewhere… or live in North America, the World Cup is in full swing in South Africa. The first few days may have had underwhelming displays, but the hype about the First Cup in Africa has been anything but subtle. Among the major ways of marking this landmark event, a creative literary project is of note:
The Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists has chosen to celebrate Africa’s first world cup by sending 13 African writers to 13 cities for two weeks during the World Cup. Each writer will produce a book of nonfiction prose, Travel Literature, of 30,000 words, for publication in Africa and abroad.
Using multiple forms of media, the writers will first blog their journeys and create momentum online and on mobile phones while the World Cup is taking place. A media website will be created, with local correspondents introducing their cities to fellow Africans online. The climax of this process will be the launch of this new collection of thirteen books in four African cities in January 2012, during the African Cup of Nations Tournament.
A timely endeavour refocusing the light of Football spectacle towards noting African literary talent, and channeling that energy to showing the depth and clarity of image live from South Africa in 2010.
At a moment in time when the whole continent is more visible to its inhabitants and to the rest of the world than at any other since independence, PILGRIMAGES will reintroduce Africans to the literary world in the same form that so many outside writers have employed to create a distorted idea of us to the world.
Something to think about as we ponder the many uses for the rapidly growing phenomenon that is the Vuvuzela.