When I first began to write, (not that I have been writing that long) one of the biggest challenges I had was not having many options of publications to send my work to that didn’t require answering questions about Nigerian use English, Nigerian meals or just quite frankly my “Nigerianess”. These publications were mostly in Europe and America and so you would mostly find editors striking out sentences like I entered Okada, and replacing with I hopped on a bike, when infact, the character you are portraying, a twenty year old bus conductor from Bariga would never use the word bike speak less of the word hopped.
Our stories do not get to be told and portrayed in true light enough, which is why if you haven’t heard about it, I am happy to introduce to you, The Single Story Foundation, a publication that’s simply committed to giving opportunities to African writers.
It is a major issue when creatives have no chance at getting their work into the public eye. The Single Story Foundation is bridging that gap for Africans.
The foundation operates two publications i.e. The Single Story foundation Magazine and The Single Story Foundation Journal. The first issue of the journal recently got published and you can check it out here and agree with me that the stories are so fresh, so new, so authentic. They are legitimate even across board – Fiction, Non Fiction and Poetry.
Submissions are currently closed, but there will be a call for the next issue in early 2018. You may want to subscribe to the journal so that you don’t miss notifications and details of the submission call when it is finally out. You can find them on Social Media as well.
I particularly laude this effort because I know that Africa has barely even scratched the surface when it comes to potential in arts, in business, in the media and even in technology. I’m with anyone who is doing everything to portray the African narrative properly to outsiders be it through stories, food or business ventures. It’s not just about “pushing” the African narrative forward, it’s doing it properly. Telling true stories, challenging the false ones, educating those who don’t know, and creating space and opportunities for the African people while at it.
More journals like the Single Story Journal need to spring up.
So please keep writing. Poetry, fiction, non fiction. Put in the work. Don’t get discouraged by your work not getting the attention it deserves. Don’t worry about the legitimacy of your work being questioned as an African. Believe me, it is because of people like you that TSSF exists. The world needs to be able to read our history or about our culture based on our own experiences not by someone else’s imagined perception of it.