Word From Africa - a London-wide celebration of the languages of Africa - takes place @ various venues between 2 - 10 June. There's some 2000 languages spoken on the African continent apparently (I'd hazard there's more). But don't worry if you don't speak 1, 2 or more of these languages. All are encouraged to come along anyway, because events will be in English or in translation or with commentary.
As for Music, organisers are confident it won't need translating.
Word from Africa kicks off with a full day of free events @ the British Museum on 2nd June.
- On 2nd June, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (a passionate advocate of writings in African languages; and he has put his own writing/books where his mouth is) will give the keynote speech. Very appropriate.
- Poetry from Sudan & Somalia
- Music from Zimbabwe & Cameroon - and a talking drum performance by Nigeria's Ayan Ayandosu
- Helon Habila & Chuma Nwokolo will be discussing how their native languages influence their writings. It's a pity the programme records both writers' native language as Igbo. Incorrect. Nwokolo is Igbo. Habila isn't.
- 4th June - and there'll be a Zimbabwean Writers' Evening @ Borders, Islington. Valerie Tagwira will be reading from her novel, The Uncertainty of Hope [title reminds of 'The Redundancy of Courage']
- And London-based Ghanaian Nii Ayikwei Parkes will host an African Writers Evening @ The Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden - on 8th June. Ayikwei Parkes will be keeping company with giants soon on the London Underground. He is one of 6 African poets whose work will be read on tube trains during June. Others include Wole Soyinka, Leopold Sedar Senghor & Niyi Osundare. Giants, yes.
And so on and so forth. Lots more writers & artists including Wangui Wa Goro & Blessing Musariri.
More information on Africa Beyond.