The Doek Anthology is a collection of writing from Namibia and across Africa. It is produced every two years by the Doek Collective — a group of 8-10 Namibian writers who have been published in Doek! Literary Magazine, served on the Doek! editorial team, or participated in Doek’s creative writing workshops. These Namibian writers are published alongside a selection of storytellers from Africa or the African diaspora who have been sourced from Doek’s expanding literary ecosystem. Each iteration of the anthology focuses on a specific literary medium: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or visual art (photography or illustration), or any combination thereof.
The Doek Anthology has three goals: firstly, to showcase some of the most promising Namibian and African literary voices from the continent to a local, national, and continental audience; secondly, to combine excellent storytelling with world-class design, thereby creating a product that ignites a passion for reading; and, thirdly, to archive Namibian and African literature for future generations of readers and writers.
The 2023 Doek Anthology is titled Now Now.
In this diverse, exciting, and energetic bold collection of short stories, four siblings spend a nostalgia-filled and truth-revealing night in their grandparents’ house before it sold; a couple considers the bloom and doom of their relationship in the Namib Desert; a young mother struggles to breastfeed her newborn infant while confronting uncomfortable truths about her marriage; a post-apocalyptic Windhoek reveals intimate ways of surviving; rain in Northern Namibia brings much needed water and dreaded terror to the land; the life cycle of a frog traces a story of attraction and love; a man reflects on a life lived and potentially lost after a violent encounter; a bar filled with boredom becomes the backdrop for a rumination on time’s passage; fire and anxiety burn without pause — and with great humour — in Cape Town; three portraits of war provide glimpses into the lives lived through and around conflict; two young boys discover the meaning of friendship in a small town; and a protest ushers in new and uncomfortable truths for Namibia’s young and restless generation.
Written with heart, curated with care, and designed with love, the 2023 Doek Anthology features emerging and award-winning storytellers from Namibia, Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe that will surely become important voices in African literature.
Produced with the generous support of the University of East Anglia’s International Chair of Creative Writing Tsitsi Dangarembga, the award-winning author of Nervous Conditions, The Book of Not, and This Mournable Body, the 2023 Doek Anthology is an important milestone for Doek as an arts organisation with great ambitions and ongoing projects designed to nurture a culture of reading and writing in Namibia. It showcases the diversity of narrative styles employed by Namibian writers as well as the richness and inventiveness of local storytellers.
It comes with a foreword by Jean McNeil.
“After two years in production, I am delighted to see this anthology making its way into the world,” said Rémy Ngamije, co-founder of Doek! Literary Magazine and chairperson of Doek Arts Trust, who served as the anthology’s editor. “The featured writers have produced an anthology that is worthy of a reader’s time, they have written stories that provide numerous avenues and angles of discussion. The gravitational pull of incessant work in the modern capitalist economy, the changing nature of marital relationships, sexual identity and the need for social camouflage, and the fluidity of memory and remembrance of war-related trauma — these are just some of the discussions swirling in the stories from Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Truly, the anthology would feel at home on a bookshelf in Windhoek as it would in Nairobi, in Accra as it would in Cairo. These writers will surely go on to produce further writings that will help to shape continental literature.”
The stories in the collection are:
- “Bastards of Remember When” by Roxane Bayer (Namibia)
- “Leave Love In The Desert” by Charmaine //Gamxamus (Namibia)
- “Mastitis” by Mubanga Kalimamukwento (Zambia)
- “Rosary, Key, Battery, Marble, Flash Drive” by Ange Mucyo (Namibia)
- “When The Rains Come” by Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo (Namibia)
- “Amphibian Means Both Life” by Zanta Nkumane (Eswatini)
- “Eat Or Be Eaten” by Katherine Hunter (Namibia)
- “They Say Change Is Inevitable” by Kay-Leigh De Sousa (Namibia)
- “Make Busy” by Jason De Klerk (South Africa)
- “War People” by Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe)
- “My Friend Rajiv” by Darlene Kooper (Namibia)
- “A Thousand Ungovernable Voices” by Filemon Iiyambo (Namibia)
Now Now is published in November, 2023.
More information about the anthology can be found here: https://doek.africa/doek-anthology/
Date: Thursday, 16 November 2023 • Venue: Goethe-Institut, Fidel Castro Street, Windhoek
Time: 18h00 for 18h30 • Entrance: Free, no reservations necessary
The evening’s proceedings will include panel discussions with the contributors and designers. Copies of the anthology will be available for sale and signing.