With its glocal understanding of culture, Open Country Mag’s in-depth coverage of African literature and Nollywood set it apart as an influential multiplatform space for revelatory and original storytelling. From acclaimed writers to award-winning actors, from industry icons to emerging voices, in inspiring Profiles and incisive reviews, OCM serves its intercontinental readership stimulating features on the forces shaping our time, leading a new ascent of African media in the global conversation.
As a hub of some of the continent’s most important conversations on ideas and innovation, celebrated artists — including cover stars Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rita Dominic, Teju Cole, Damon Galgut, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Maaza Mengiste, and Chinelo Okparanta — and corporate and cultural stakeholders — such as Paramount Africa and Centre for Memories — come to us to share their journeys and visions, to look from the past into the future.
OCM was founded by Otosirieze, in reaction to industry backlash, in African literature, against young writers who criticize rape culture. It takes its name from the new generation of writers, especially in Nigeria, who are pushing back against censorship and leveraging social media and a newfound confidence to speak up and make the world they want to see. This generation is saying: This country is now open to freedom. The website launched on December 26, 2020.
An ambitious new magazine committed to African literature.
Our layered cultural journalism is driven by our need to contextualize Africa in the global conversation, and, crucially, to be a ladder for the next generation of creatives in literature and film, to help provide necessary tools in their development.
Our expansion into film and TV is partly inspired by our recognition that a sustainable literary model for the 21st century must be in communion with other creative industries. It allows us to explore options to realize our potential, which is why we launched our OCM Bookshop, where we market books for commission, and the fancily-named OCM Streaming, where we showcase films, shows, music, and podcasts. Both will be further developed.
Our vision, guided by values of integrity and communal support, is to attain that media benchmark rare for African organisations: become a profitable business.
- We want to identify, produce, and document literary and film knowledge and history as they are experienced in Africa and in the Diaspora
- We want to play a role in creating a thriving literary culture in Africa, with institutions dedicated to moral responsibility, especially the defense of our freedom of speech
- We hope, ultimately, to help make Nigerian literature more accessible to the general reading public, the way it used to be
- We are committed to connecting the literary and film industries in ways that we can, including through collaborations
- We plan to extend collaborations beyond literature and film, into art, music, fashion, and tech
Essential content, beautiful production. Readers can get inside the literature, and industry insiders can discover new talent.
Our debut special issue released in April 2022, profiling 16 writers and curators who have influenced African literary culture in the last five years.
A collaboration with bookstore Rovingheights: the first formal bestseller list in Nigerian literature, released in February 2023.
Sponsored by Africa No Filter and aimed at providing mentorship and a total of $6,000 in funding for projects in a range of artistic fields: film, music, art, fashion, tech, media, literature, photography, and more.
Our work has been praised in public by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo, and our unparalleled industry reach is underscored by this paragraph in our founder’s announcement of our expansion into film and TV:
I knew that our work in African literature had reached the tipping point when, months ago, the great Wole Soyinka replied in an email to say, among other things: “I am well acquainted with your magazine, frequently receive links to its contents. Always a stimulating read.”
As a multiplatform space for cultural storytelling, we are testing and adapting, treading in uncharted territory. While we have a defined direction, our ears are on the ground, listening to our readers, to know what they want, the stories they want to tell and want to see us tell.
You, dear reader, can contribute to this vision, you can help us achieve it, by making a PayPal donation.