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A New Perspective on Modern African Literature and Its Contribution to the Global Cultural Mosaic

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A New Perspective on Modern African Literature and Its Contribution to the Global Cultural Mosaic
Dr. Wale Okediran, Margarita Al, LIFFT Gold Series Book, the 6 Gold Medal Laurates in the Open Eurasian Literature Festival, Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, 5th Laurate handles LIFFT flag to the 6th Laurate Dr. Okediran, Cairo, 2023, and the First World Organization of Writers, Congress in Abuja, Nigeria (round the clock from top left).

From April 4-6, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria, the book presentation of the 6th Laureate Wale Okediran from Nigeria will take place

By Margarita Al

On February 2, 2023, in Cairo, Egypt, Nigerian writer Wale Okediran was announced as the laureate of the 6th Open Eurasian Literature Festival (LitFest-2023). According to the contest rules, the laureate receives the opportunity to participate in the festival and a voucher for publishing a book in the “Golden LitFest. Writers of Eurasia” series. For the first time, the award went to a writer, as previously it had been exclusively poets from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Egypt.

From April 4-6, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria, the book presentation of the 6th Laureate Wale Okediran from Nigeria will take place.

Wale Okediran writes in English. Even at the stage of getting acquainted with the works of the festival’s contestants, his works were noted and attracted attention. To make a decision in the final voting, I had to sit down and translate several chapters of his anthology. Then more and more. Thus, over a year, I translated his book. His creativity enriched my perception of the world and opened up a new modern literary Africa to me. In Wale Okediran’s collection of stories “Travels of a Troubadour,” I found a unique interweaving of cultures, histories, and experiences, covering various corners of the world. The author, being both a traveler and a literary chronicler, created a mosaic of impressions from visits to countries such as Texas, Istanbul, Rwanda, Abuja, Taiwan, Togo, Kumasi, Algeria, Morocco, Tangier, Pakistan, Alexandria, and a return to Ghana. Each story carries a deep personal look at the cultural peculiarities, historical moments, and socio-political context of each place, describing both the joys of discovery and the painful moments of encountering cruelty and injustice.

Also read: The World Organization of Writers (WOW) – From Baku to Abuja across Cairo and Moscow

Wale Okediran effortlessly transports the reader from one city to another, showing the diversity of the African continent and the world as a whole. He does not shy away from addressing complex issues such as the consequences of colonialism, genocide in Rwanda, problems of modern society, and internal conflicts experienced by his characters. At the same time, his stories are replete with descriptions of the beauty of nature, the richness of cultures, and enduring human values.

“Travels of a Troubadour” is not just a collection of stories but an exploration of humanity through the lens of travel and literature. Okediran skillfully uses his literary journeys as a means to explore and understand complex issues of identity, belonging, and transformation, making this collection an important contribution to the global cultural mosaic.

For me, it is a great joy and honor to be the translator of the works of the distinguished world writer Wale Okediran into Russian.

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By Margarita Al is President of the World Organization of Writers “WOW”, poet, publisher, literary critic, and translator

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