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Through the Gates of Thought
In over forty portraits, African writers present extraordinary people from their continent: portraits of the women and men whom they admire, people who have changed and enriched life in Africa. The portraits include inventor, founders of universities, resistance fighters, musicians, environmental activists or writers. African Visionaries is a multi-faceted book, seen through African eyes, on the most impactful people of Africa.
Some of the writers contributing to the collection are: Helon Habila, Virginia Phiri, Ellen Banda-Aaku, Véronique Tadjo, Tendai Huchu, Solomon Tsehaye, Patrice Nganang and Sami Tchak.
Tendai Huchu’s work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Italian. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Interzone, Wasafiri, and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize.
Véronique Tadjo (born 1955) is a writer, poet, novelist, and artist from Côte d'Ivoire. Having lived and worked in many countries within the African continent and diaspora, she feels herself to be pan-African, in a way that is reflected in the subject matter, imagery and allusions of her work.
Born in Paris, Véronique Tadjo was the daughter of an Ivorian civil servant and a French painter and sculptor. Brought up in Abidjan, she travelled widely with her family.
Tadjo completed her BA degree at the University of Abidjan and her doctorate at the Sorbonne in African-American Literature and Civilization. In 1983, she went to Howard University in Washington, D.C., on a Fulbright research scholarship.
In 1979, Tadjo chose to teach English at the Lycée Moderne de Korhogo (secondary school) in the North of Côte d'Ivoire. She subsequently became a lecturer at the English department of the University of Abidjan until 1993.
In the past few years, she has facilitated workshops in writing and illustrating children's books in Mali, Benin, Chad, Haiti, Mauritius, French Guyana, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa.
She has lived in Paris, Lagos, Mexico City, Nairobi and London. Tadjo is currently based in Johannesburg, where since 2007 she has been head of French Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Tadjo received the Literary Prize of L'Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique in 1983 and the UNICEF Prize in 1993 for Mamy Wata and the Monster, which was also chosen as one of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, one of only four children's books selected. In 2005, Tadjo won the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire.