Buchi Emecheta is revered as one of the most important African female writers of the twentieth century. Writing at a time when African literature was dominated by men, Emeheta wrote more than 16 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977), The Joys of Motherhood (1979), Head Above Water (1986), Gwendolen (1989) and The New Tribe (2000).

Her themes are wide-ranging, including personal hardship, marriage and family, motherhood, education, death, migration, racism, the changing roles of women in Nigerian society, the Nigerian civil war and colonialism.

In January 2018, on the first anniversary of the passing of Buchi Emecheta, Pambazuka News will publish a special collection of articles on the legacy of this eminent Nigerian-born writer, considering her reflections on and representations of both the personal and political elements which shaped the experiences of Africa and its diaspora.

The objectives of the proposed Special Issue are:

(i) to celebrate Buchi Emecheta’s life and work

(ii) to critically appreciate her messages to Africa and the world and

(iii) to reflect upon the challenge that her example offers for our times.



Pambazuka News welcomes a broad array of articles on Buchi Emecheta, including poems, scholarly, creative and creative non-fiction submissions.

Sub-themes to consider (but not limited to) are:

  • The African world through Emecheta’s eyes: Pasts, presents, futures
  • Emecheta and ‘motherhood’: Race, gender and class
  • Emecheta and Black thought: Continuity and change in a globalizing world
  • Emecheta: intellectuals and political struggles in post-independence Nigeria
  • Writing and reading: Emecheta in the Cyber Age
  • Form, style and aesthetics in Emecheta’s writing
  • Perspectives on identity and sexuality
  • Womanist literature, patriarchy and transformation of the African world
  • A Black woman in the African diaspora
  • Personal encounters and tributes


Submission Guidelines

Word limit: Articles should not be more than 3,000 words long, although we will accept longer articles if subject treatment requires it.

Authors should list references including endnotes fully at the end of their articles. Kindly use the Harvard referencing style.

Each article should end with a 150-word biography of the author including their email address.

Articles should be submitted as a Word document attachment.

Relevant images to illustrate an article may be sent as jpeg attachments. Any other graphics may be placed within the relevant sections of the article with captions (and credits/permissions).


Deadline and publication date

The deadline for submission of articles is 1 October 2017.
Publication date is 25 January 2018.

Enquiries in the first instance should be to the guest editors (see their emails below).

For further enquiries about this special issue contact the Pambazuka News Editors: editor@pambazuka.org


Guest editors

The guest editors for this special publication of Pambazuka News on Buchi Emecheta are:

Louisa Uchum Egbunike: louisa.egbunike@hotmail.com

Kadija (George) Sesay: kadijageorge@gmail.com

https://www.pambazuka.org/announcements/celebrating-buchi- emecheta-special-issue- pambazuka-news

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