Africa-London: Outsiders Insiders
Christina Fonthes, Fatima Hagi, Hasani Hasani, Amos Ruiz, Freddy Matcha and Alemu Tabeje.
Music: Otto Gumaelius
Christina Fonthes is a Congolese-British writer.Her work, laden with themes of womanhood, sexuality, and mental health has featured in several publications around the world. In 2017 she was longlisted for the OutSpoken London Page Poetry Prize. Christina is founder of REWRITE, a development organisation for black women and women of colour writers.
Alemu Tabeje is an Ethiopian exiled journalist, poet, lyric writer and campaigner who left his country in the early 1990s. He runs the website www.debteraw.com and his poems have been published in Amharic, English and Chinese, as well being projected on to buildings in Denmark, Italy, USA and UK. His first collection of poems, including the script of a sketch commissioned by BBC Radio 4, Tamrat in the Cyclops Cave (Tamrat Books)was recently published.
Amos Ruiz was born in Madrid in 1984 to a Spanish father and an Equatoguinean mother. He studied Mathematics at University of London (BSc) and University of Oxford (MSc) before working in investment banking for five years. He moved away from the world of finance at the age of 31 to pursue a creative career as an author and filmmaker. Two years later, on October 2018, he independently published his debut novel: SPILT PEPPERCORNS.
Fatima Hagi was raised in London but spent her early years in Somalia during a period of civil war that saw her family flee to Kenya; her works draw on her experiences, both past and present, and reflect on displacement, hybrid identities and womanhood. Her passion for human rights has seen her revisit East Africa, working for the United Nations and using her writing skills to raise awareness on marginalised societies. Fatima holds a Master’s in Anthropology from SOAS, University of London and is a committee member of Exiled Writers Ink.
Hasani is a writer from Zimbabwe who left his native country due to political strife. He writes poetry and short stories and advocates for the recognition of human rights and justice in Zimbabwe. He is a member of Freedom from Torture’s Write to Life, a creative writing group. His story ‘A life away from the Asylum’ appeared in ‘Five Dials’ magazine issue 29.
Freddy Macha Tanzanian born writer,integrates writing with his music. He has published two Swahili story collections and won awards including the 1981 BBC Poetry Prize. He has been writing weekly columns in the East African media since the mid 70s and does regular blogs and You Tube channels. He runs workshops in schools, prisons and colleges.
Otto Gumaelius is a London based, Botswana raised, percussionist specialising in the marimba and mbira of southern Africa. He writes and performs with his band Otto & The Mutapa Calling, and teaches both marimba and mbira music from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana through his company, Taste of Southern Africa.
Host: Handsen Chikowore