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Africa: Stories in the 55

Omotoso novel brings up uncomfortable truths, while Mujila's Tram 83 leaves the station

Audio 10:15

In this month’s Africa: Stories in the 55, we speak to two acclaimed novelists. South Africa’s Yewande Omotoso speaks about her aged characters and issues in the post-Apartheid era in The Woman Next Door, while the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fuston Mwanza Mujila makes a point of putting the frenetic all-night sights and sounds of bar Tram 83 on the page in a mythical Congolese-like city.


‘Hate thy neighbour’ sets the pace for the story of two elderly women growing old next to each other set in modern South Africa. Yewande Omotoso’s latest novel, The Woman Next Door describes a “hateship” between Hortensia James, a no-nonsense retired interior designer, and Marion Agostino, her spiteful, just as successful architect the post-Apartheid era.

Author Yewande Omotoso speaks about her new book, The Woman Next Door

Life is represented with by the characters a brothel-bar in a Lubumbashi-like town in Fuston Mwanza Mujila’s novel Tram 83, where baby-chicks hang out and mine workers mingle after hours. The winner of the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature, Mujila’s prose reflects the cacophony of life in a mining town.

An interview with Fiston Mwanza Mujila, author of Tram 83

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