Lolwe, a Kenya-based online literary magazine, has released its Issue 2. Guest-edited by the Nigerian poet Gbenga Adesina, the South African writer Mapule Mohulatsi, and the Tanzanian poet Esther Karin Mngodo, it features fiction, poetry, essays, and photography by 19 contributors. The issue is illustrated by the Nigerian artist Mòje Ikpeme. The cover image, showing the Namibian model Jean-Claude Nazarii, is shot by the Namibian photographer Ericke Tjiueza.
“It is clear that African Literature is a zone of interrogation as well as activity,” the guest editors write in their introduction. “These short stories showcase Africa’s new relationship with the past and the future.” The stories revolve around “a sex addict, a nipple-pierced sexual assault victim, the afterlife and a fantastic dive into hell, siamese twins as well as a father at death’s door.”
Lolwe’s Issue 1 arrived in June 2020, six months after the publication launched. The magazine’s founder and editor is the Kenyan writer Troy Onyango, who previously led Enkare Review. Onyango named the magazine from “Nam Lolwe,” the Luo name for Lake Victoria. “Nam Lolwe” means “endless lake/water body.” One of the magazine’s objectives is to pay writers. It does so through Patreon donations and offering editorial services in exchange for donations.
“For me, Lolwe is a way to open up the space even more,” Onyango told Daily Trust. “It is my hope that more young writers get to have their work published and that the editorial process helps them find ways to improve their craft.”
The magazine has been described in YNaija as “part of a radical revival [in Africa’s literary ecosystem] powered by young people.”