One would not expect business people and activists for decolonisation to sit around the same fire, but when it comes to the publishing industry it might behove both sides to chop wood together. Writers, educators and social planners are crying out for works to be published in indigenous languages. There is a vast, virtually untouched market waiting to be exploited by those who pursue profit and revolution alike. This was one takeaway from a recent talk by Nigerian author EE Sule at a roundtable on decolonisation at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study. Sule won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature but then had doors slammed in his face when he wanted his next novel targeted at African audiences, not readers in the West. His main criticism of the African writing scene is that it is not really African. Authors born on the continent are enticed by literary prizes, prospects of book tours and academic employment into presenting exotic subjects for consumption by non-African au...

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