Bakwa magazine’s latest issue Family Politricks—its 10th since inception and second in print—is centered on the nuances of family. It was released in February 2021.
Founded in 2011, Bakwa is a Cameroon-based pan-African literary publication. Its approach is “high-end creative writing and creative nonfiction, which is urgent and experimental in nature, while being at the same time a mirror of writing from Cameroon and Africa.”
Here is the magazine’s description of Family Politricks:
What does family mean? How do we relate to it? Is it defined exclusively by blood ties? How often does it fuck us up? How often does it protect us?
From Bamenda to Maryland, Port Harcourt to Addis Ababa, Bakwa 10 explores the ways in which families make and unmake us.
The issue features nonfiction from Pwaangulongii Dauod and Eleanor Tk, fiction from Sada Malumfashi, Bertille Mbarga, Géraldin Mpesse, Nelson Kamkuimo, Mignotte Mekuria, and Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, and poetry from JK Anowe and Lebohang Mojapelo.
“After we published Bakwa Magazine 09: Taxi Drivers Who Drive Us Nowhere and Other Travel Stories, our first print issue, which explores what it means to travel as an African, we wanted to do something more personal and intimate,” the Nigerian journalist Socrates Mbamalu, Assistant Editor of Bakwa, told OPEN COUNTRY MAG.
“The nonfiction, short stories and poems we received showed us something deeper than we’d thought about,” he said. “Family relationships were more complex than we could ever imagine, and they usually came with pain. It was the vulnerability in some of the submissions that spoke to us the most. This was followed by the language and interpretation of the theme. Based on these, we selected the most powerful fifteen submissions, which we discussed and further reduced to the ten that make up the issue.”
Mbamalu continued: “We are very particular regarding the quality of stories we publish and the way each issue is curated. We seek stories that would grip our imagination and/or conjure language in a way that is both urgent and timeless. But always, we seek something distinct both in the writing and stories we publish. We are also very keen on publishing pieces which are in conversation with each other, such that they could either complete each other, challenge each other, or altogether ignore each other.”
Bakwa 10: Family Politricks is available in paperback and ebook. Buy it here.