Words From Our Team…

…our Authors and Guests

Follow this link for Words from our Guest Authors, who join and broaden AiW’s conversations. For more info, bios and links about each of our AiW Guests, scroll to the foot of their individual posts.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a blog piece and become one of our AiW Guests, please see and follow our info about Submissions here.

…our Editorial Team

Davina Kawuma (Content Editor) is a writer of short fiction and poetry for children and adults. She has eight years’ experience in the implementation, assessment, evaluation and administration of education policies in a private university. She has a wide range of academic and non-academic interests, including the socio-cultural evolution of religion and the intersection between poetry and theatre. She’s passionate about improving the research culture in post-secondary school teaching and learning contexts in Uganda. Her background is in the biological sciences. 

Wesley MachesoWesley Macheso (Reviews Editor) is a Malawian writer with a PhD in literature from Stellenbosch University. He conducts research on queer representations in African literature, among other emerging issues in literatures from the region. He teaches literature at the University of Malawi to survive and he writes to live. His short story “This Land is Mine” is published in Water: new short story fiction from Africa (2016) by Short Story Day Africa. He won the 2014/ 2015 Peer Gynt Literary Award in Malawi for his children’s book Akuzike and the Gods.

Tom PenfoldTom Penfold (Reviews Editor) researches a wide range of South African cultural production ranging from fiction to graffiti. In 2017, he published a monograph with Palgrave MacMillan, entitled Black Consciousness and South Africa’s National Literature. He has a longstanding interest in performance poetry and song, and has worked closely with poets and artists across South Africa. 

Katie Reid – Katie is a founding member of Africa in Words, a recovering academic and a freelance editor and educator. She has been a prizewinning university lecturer, and still teaches in global literary, art historical, and cultural studies, with an area focus in southern Africa, a role she’s held since 2011. Her primary interests are in works that have a text/image relation at their heart, architectural forms, and the ways multi-modal work informs the cultural and arts-based archive.

Social & Communications
Comms/Social Editor
Joanna Woods is currently studying for her doctorate at Stockholm University. Her main research interest lies in African contemporary speculative fiction. She has been involved in working within the space between theory and praxis in Malawi, and has a book published: A Negotiation of Ideas about Home in Malawian Poetry (2015).


Associate & Social Editor (Instagram)
Ellen Addis (2018- ) is currently studying for her PhD at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Her project is a collaborative doctoral award with Hay Festival where she researches literary festivals and how people experience literature collectively today. 


Rebecca Jones – Rebecca Jones has a PhD from the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham. Rebecca’s book on Yoruba- and English-language travel writing in Nigeria from the early twentieth century to the present day, At the Crossroads: Nigerian Travel Writing and Literary Culture in Yoruba and English, is out with Boydell & Brewer as part of their African Articulations series.

DoselineKiguru_headshotDoseline Kiguru is a researcher, teacher, creative writer and hustler. Her research engages with issues of cultural and literary production in Africa with a major focus on the publishing and prize industries, and the effects that they have on local literary production. In her research on the contemporary literary scene on the continent, she engages with questions of language use in literature, the significance of writers’ organisations, literary magazines, creative writing, and the history of publishing and promotion of literature on the continent, among others. Doseline has previously worked as a researcher, assistant lecturer/teaching fellow, writer, editor, and journalist in different organisations both in Kenya and South Africa. 

Temitayo Olofinlua2


Temitayo Olofinlua is a creative writer, editor, and communications specialist with a series of awards to her credit. Temitayo has completed writing assignments for national and international organizations such as Facebook,  Global Press Journal, BudgIT, to mention a few. She studied Literature-in-English at Obafemi Awolowo University (BA) and University of Lagos (MA). Her essays have won several awards including the Peter Drucker Challenge (2012 and 2014) and the Paula Chinwe Okafor Prize for Creative Non-fiction (2019). She has also completed various ghost-writing projects. She is currently finishing a Ph.D. programme in African Studies at the University of Ibadan. Follow her on Twitter

Katie Reid – Katie is a recovering academic, an editor and educator, who has taught in global literary, art history and cultural studies, with an area focus in southern Africa, since 2011.  


Stephanie Bosch Santana is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at UCLA. Her work focuses on southern African literary networks and the migration/transformation of genres in the region. Stephanie lived and worked in southern Africa from 2005-2008 and is the assistant editor of ‘The Face of the Spirit: illuminating a century of essays by South African women’ (2007) and co-editor of ‘Winning Stories from the Malawian Girls’ Short Story Competition’ (2009).

Kristen Stern 2017Kristen Stern est chercheuse, spécialiste en littérature africaine francophone contemporaine. Elle est diplômée de Nazareth College (NY) et de Boston College, et elle a reçu son doctorat en littérature française de Boston University. Elle écrit et fait régulièrement des interventions sur la littérature africaine contemporaine en français, sur les performance studies, et sur la sociologie de l’auteur. Elle enseigne également la langue et les littératures françaises et francophones à tous les niveaux. Elle est Assistant Professor en études francophones à University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Kristen Stern 2017Kristen Stern 2017…is Assistant Professor in Francophone Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is at work on a book on contemporary francophone writers from the African continent and the performance of authorship. She regularly presents and publishes on contemporary African literature in French, performance studies, and the sociology of the author. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University.


Kate Wallis (Haines) – is a Lecturer in Global Literatures at the University of Exeter. Her research has explored the ways in which writing by African, namely Kenyan and Nigerian authors published since 2000, have intervened in the creation of cultural memory. She was previously Head of Humanities at Palgrave Macmillan, Associate Editor for the Kwani? Manuscript Project, and is now Editor at Huza Press.


…our Founders

Founding Editor:


Nara Improta – Nara has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Sussex, where she studied the intellectual production in Lagos-Nigeria in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Trained as a historian at the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil, she also has an MA in African Studies from El Colegio de Mexico, in Mexico City. Twitter: @naraimprota

Co-founders – Katie Reid and Kate Wallis.

Previous team members…


Charlotte Hastings (General Editor) – Dr Hastings works on the intersection between gender, education and Africa, most recently in terms of the work of a early 20C teacher in colonial Lagos. Fascinated by texts of all kinds, Igbo-learner, book junkie and Freshlyground fan. Teaches African history, gender history and interdisciplinary gender and urban studies.



(2018) Rodney Likaku is employed as a doctoral researcher (PhD) in English Literature at Uppsala University, Sweden. His research is in the economic systems that govern the production of fiction in the megacities of African literature. He is curator at africanstreetliterature.blog: a research project that investigates emergent African literary forms. His wider ambition in academia is to work within alternative methodologies that supplement the reading, construction, and distribution of the African literary imagination.

Chelsea Haith

(2018-19) Chelsea Haith is currently a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford. She grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and studied French, journalism, and gender studies at the University Currently Known as Rhodes and the University of Cape Town before moving to the University of York for her MA in 2017. She has worked in the South African small magazine and publishing industries and her current research interests include speculative fiction, life writing, and global literatures.


(2018)Thando Njovane is a teacher, researcher and writer interested in psychoanalysis, fiction, and higher education. She is also the founder and co-chair of Finding Africa, a cross-continental independent interdisciplinary postcolonial African Studies platform located at Rhodes University and the University of Leeds.

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(2016-17) – Tamara Moellenberg is a DPhil candidate in English at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research examines representations of child figures in selected Anglophone West African novels. She has taught courses in postcolonial, African, and children’s literature.

(2015-16) Rashi Rohatgi has a PhD in Languages and Cultures from SOAS. Her fiction can be found in The Misty Review, her poetry in Allegro, and her academic writing in Matatu,Wasafiri, and other journals. Her recent monograph, Fighting Cane and Canon, is about World Literature in Mauritius.

Associate Editors


Communications: (During her time with AiW…) Miriam Pahl [was] a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at SOAS in London and focuses on contemporary African literature in English. In her work, she explores the concept of the human and personhood in genre fiction by authors in Africa and the diaspora. She is at home in London, Nairobi and Bremen.


Reviews: Matthew Lecznar ( -Dec 2017) is a PhD student at the University of Sussex, and a former member of the editorial team at Africa in Words. His doctoral research considers the artistic legacies of the Nigeria-Biafra war, and he is more broadly interested in the ways artists respond to conflicts in a range of different forms and media. He has published articles on the fiction and celebrity of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and is an editorial assistant for Africa in Words

Editorial Assistants:

Nneoma Amadi-obi ( -2017) graduated with an MA in African Studies from SOAS. Passionate about literature, she is particularly interested in narrative non-fiction and literature in translation.

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(During her time as AiW’s Editorial Assistant 2014-15)  Nomonde Ntsepo is pursuing her Masters in Modern and Contemporary Literature, having earned her undergraduate degree in English at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She is particularly interested in contemporary literatures of African migration.


(As AiW’s Events and Social Media Assistant Ed in 2014) Lilly Kroll is a graduate from the University of Sussex, where she completed a dissertation on diasporic identity and Afropolitan imaginings in the writing of Taiye Selasi. She is interested in the marketing and reception of contemporary anglophone African literature, states of in-betweenness, and West African stringed instruments. She has not yet found a way to combine these three things but is working on it.


(Editorial Assistant 2014 – at that time…) Rachel Knighton is a PhD student in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. Her research looks at postcolonial African prison narratives.

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