We wouldn’t be denying the truth that running a magazine that publishes content strictly from writers and writings from and of the spheres of one single continent is a privilege. And it sure has its perks, too, the major one of which is the pleasure we get from promoting in our own ways the voices from our home. It’s an exciting and heady feeling to house local and expatriate voices seeking the warmth and freedom only home offers.
Yes, there is a freedom that comes with being able to soar in spaces known to you, your wings being carried by the same air you breathe and let out. It is the freedom that comes in writing about the people and events you see everyday or were used to seeing when you lived here in Africa. It is the freedom a proper Lagosian in Nigeria or Ghanaian feels writing of the aromatic flavours of ewa agoyin and kenke, agbo or akpeteshi than of burgers in MacDonalds and coffee from Starbucks. There is then the need to reiterate that African writers think about the beauty of home, because home is a beautiful place. But what’s better than thinking about home than writing about it?
Yet, we wouldn’t also deny the obvious truth that is evident in our preponderance on African literature. In a sense, we would, and we have, been labelled by critics as adherents of literary prejudice. Many would ask us what the use of art is when we limit it to a particular continent. And in a sense, they have a point. Indeed, literature, art as it were, is one monolithic structure that, by rule of thumb, should not be broken into continental divides. But then, I’d ask: what is the use of art if it doesn’t speak of its own? We believe Africans are the only ones, truly, who know where the shoe hurts us, and no one would be able to tell our stories better than us.
This edition draws the voices of writers from East and West Africa, and with it creates a luscious meld of African literature. We have put together a medley of talents whose works cannot but be enjoyed by sitting comfortably in an armchair. These works tackle the society in novel, avant-garde ways. Many of them would make you laugh, some would make you cry, and others might make you think very deeply on the nature of life in Africa.
This issue is a testimony to the boldness and creative maturity of the African. It testifies to the fact that we have begun to hold our voices with a deeper certainty to speak of the ills of the world. We have taken the time to catalogue our own stories to present our timeless effort at growing, in becoming.
The Shallow Tales Review literary magazine is a production of The Shallow Tales Review. We do not take any responsibility for the ideas published under its name, as they are, in their entirety, prerogatives of the contributors.