Younger African Writers Have a Louder Voice but Less Power. Essay Example

Published: 2023-01-06
Younger African Writers Have a Louder Voice but Less Power. Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Discrimination Multiculturalism Writers
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1133 words
10 min read

The world has become digitalized and people can share their work to larger audiences than before. Many people can access the writers to work through these various platforms and there are also many ways to market the release of new projects. The western market has started to recognize the work of African writers and the media is marketing their work. The western market has started to acknowledge African writers not long ago making the young writers get a better voice through their work better than those writers that were in the industry before. Ghana must go by Taiye Selasi, and open city by Teju Cole got great recognition across the borders. Ghana Must Go novel got a nomination at NAACP image award and even got recognition and praise from the wall street journal. This is great progress for the young writers. The open city novel got a lot of praise for being able to capture New York through illustrations and fiction in a great way and it is also based on a story about the city (Igor, 2018).

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The improvement of the education system has also enabled the young writers to have a very big voice in the industry. Young writers have the required knowledge to write a perfect book with the right standards for the international market. Exposure is also another key factor making the young writers recognizable. The two novels base their stories on Africa and America which creates a bigger fan base and both audiences from Africa and the western countries can relate better with the stories. Creating a bigger fan base gives them a bigger voice, unlike the older generation who mostly based their stories of traditional, cultural, ethical and local stories getting most recognition in the local market. The older African writers are legends, they are the pioneers and have a lot of respect in Africa and most of their work is used for scholarly purposes and some are even integrated into the curriculum like in Kenya where a book like "the river between" is used to teach literature lessons.

In Ghana must go there are a few characters who are living in the western countries, Olu in Boston and Taiwo in New York, Kehinde is London. Most of the family is in Ghana. This book is able to incorporate two continents thus creating a bigger platform. The open city novel talks about a Nigerian immigrant who goes by the name Julius. Both writers used the same strategy by making their story more interesting by representing more than one continent, these books contain a lot of information about different countries that the readers would want to learn about. The young writers are able to incorporate all cultures and practices of almost every country through exposure, better education, the digitalization of media, higher technology and also easier ways to writing and publishing a book. Most young writers just do their work in the house due to the high technology provided hence sometimes they come up with less experience and lack of guidance from the greater experienced writers. Older writers are more powerful because they have already established their brands and they were fewer of them. Most old writers from Africa are the ones occupying big seats in the writer's organization hence retaining bigger power than the younger writers.

According to Teju Cole and Taiye Selasi, they had the opportunity to release the novels in different countries. The open city Novel was released in New York before Nigeria. This gives the writers a bigger platform and wider recognition. These large platforms give the writers a bigger voice. These writers have a change in getting their novels in different languages (Amy,2017). The new writers have the chance to even release a book in a language that they don't even understand and getting a lot of praises. Being able to release a book in different languages is very favoring to a writers fan base growth. This gives them a voice and recognition in different places. This is enabled by the availability of international professional translators who enable the translation of the books to a language that even the writer is not familiar with.

There is the categorization of African writers which is a big issue for the young writers. Most of the older writers were categorized as African writers hence getting a clear target audience and the fans always knew what to expect from them. The new generation writers cannot be placed like Teju Cole and Taiye Selasi is afropolitan according to Elnathan John who is a Nigerian novelist. Older generation got their power from the categories they respected by owning them. Selasi and Teju might have a big voice due to their great work but won't get more power than those who own specific genres because there is no consistency. The younger generation using Teju as an example, he said he doesn't care about the categorization as long as there are a variety of labels, he doesn't want to be grounded (Maximilian, 2019).

The younger writers have a bigger voice as they are able to relate their work with the young and older generation. The relevance in their stories to the current world gives them a bigger Africa, there is still the dictatorship type of leadership where the old want to stay in power until they are very old hence giving very little power to the young generation and limiting them through old styles of running the labels.

Taiye sales fought against pigeonholing of African writers which means that there is a lot of categorizing of African writers while other western writers are left to write in all categories without being categorized. She wants all African writers to be granted artistic rights like all other international western writers. This will give them more power to express their talents. After she wrote Ghana must go she managed to the list of encouragingly long writers who are on the face of things. Pigeonholing is the main cause of less power to the young African leaders who have great potential like all other writers that are not categorized because their works get the same recognition as theirs. The African younger writers according to Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi and Open City by Teju Cole have got a very big recognition in the international map making them have a big voice in the market but get less power due to categorization.

Works Cited

Feldner, Maximilian. Narrating the New African Diaspora: 21st Century Nigerian Literature in Context. Springer, 2019.

Rushton, Amy. "No Place like Home: the Anxiety of Return in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's Dust." Etudes anglaises 70.1 (2017): 45-62.

Maver, Igor. "Teju Cole's Transcultural Urban Novel Open City." The Postcolonial Subject in Transit: Migration, Borders, and Subjectivity in Contemporary African Diaspora Literature(2018): 71.

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