This is a bold and audacious anthology- Toni Kan
Nonso Anyanwu has compiled one of Africa’s biggest e-anthology, Love Stories from Africa. The e-anthology features fifty writers- emerging and established from across the continent writing on the theme of love.
Love is not one of the many themes coming out of Africa, according to the introduction written by award winner writer, Helon Habila, many assume Africans are too busy dealing with issues of war, poverty, diseases and terrorism to bother with love. “What’s love got to do with it? The stories in this collection prove that love has everything to do with it. The myth has always been that Africans are too busy dealing with the politics of things, with poverty and bad governance and Boko Haram and El Shabab and a million other micro-aggressions thrown at them by Africa to bother with love’s niceties. As the saying goes, Na love I go chop? This worldview is best captured in the Swahili love song, Malaika, popularized by Miriam Makeba. It is the story of two lovers—the words are the words of the young man, telling his fiancée how lack of money has defeated him. He loves her, he wishes to marry her, and yet, he is brought low by poverty.”
This is what makes this anthology, which is dedicated to Meibi Ifedigbo and Buchi Emecheta, really special. The writers in spite of all the issues in Africa show that love is still possible, Helon Habila wrote, “Do not be deterred by the thorns, focus on the petals. I like the fact that not all the stories are about perfect, escapist, romantic love. They are steeped in the socio-political realities of their milieu—and that is why they are African love stories. They take everyday settings: schools, offices, homes, and defamiliarize them by raising their romantic coefficient, and yet, because they were familiar settings to start with, we see ourselves in the stories and characters, and we are convinced that yes, despite the challenges of these everyday scenarios, love is still possible.”
The collection is available for download online