Ray Ndebi is a Cameroon writer and reviewer. He is the author of THE LAST GHOST: Son of Struggle, a novel. Ndebi lives in Yaoundé and works online with many authors from different countries, reviewing or translating their texts. He also trains young writers. In this interview, he shares his views about writing and publishing in Africa.
On the “lack of interest in reading in Africa”…
There’s not lack of interest in reading in Africa. Two years ago, I conducted a survey and realized that people were reading. The issue is: why are they reading books from western countries and less from authors in their neighborhoods?
Nowadays, authors don’t write books of interests in Africa. The quality of books is not considered.
Why should people read books that don’t tell them who they are? They need good companionship. Authors should consider language and culture before writing. The reader expects a book that pleases and educates.
On how social media affects literature in the continent…
It’s very positive, in general. As for literature, the impact is terrific. More and more connections are made between book lovers. We learn the way others express themselves about a particular subject. The realities are the same, only the ways they are written differ, and that diversity makes literature in the continent richer. Elsewhere, there are initiatives that promote the growth of literature, social media help gather minds, think alike and strengthen the concepts.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.