There’s a need right now for truth and transformation in a world engineered for the opposite. I’ve lived most of my life in London through which the world passes and not always because the world wishes to. But great for a Londoner and a writer. I’m English, some of my childhood spent in Africa, so I’m not English as well, attracted to foreigners, outsiders, those who don’t belong and who find received versions suspect. And I love writing.
My fiction includes a lot about race relations and how people grasp hold of dramas as likely as not forced on them by circumstance, how they find their plot or not, how they deal with conflict inside themselves and outside. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by the many voices that clang around the head of any one person at any one time let alone city streets and flats? I’m becoming less gripped by tragedy, more aware of human possibility, though I’ll always love the ancient Greeks for their savagely detached eye.
Journalism – well, Africa of course because the history of horrors overcome and holocausts survived has gone largely unsung and that’s because the piper has a corporate paymaster. Neither oversimplification nor outright misinformation are easy to combat, and the working conditions of many in-house journalists for sure militate against reporting the truth. But the regularity with which ‘tribalism’ is used to explain African affairs is shameful. Until this year, I was production editor of a Pan African magazine published in London for ten years. I work freelance.
Art and book reviews reconcile my two inner writers, artist and journalist. Nothing more pleasurable than gallery gazing in London’s crowded art scene, but that woman with a notebook in one hand, a pen in the other and a glass of wine in a third, she’s working.
Publishing history: Fiction, 1993 to present, magazines: Staple, Metropolitan, Tears in the Fence; anthology: Duckworth 'Valentine's Day'
Articles and reviews, 1990 to present: Third World Review, Kilombo, Morning Star, The Small Press Review, Tears in the Fence, The Insight (Ghana), Pambazuka News, Tinabantu (South Africa), Alquds Alarabi (London),
Publications: 'Proxy Wars in Africa', 44pp, 2004, 2008, Kilombo Community Education