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Radical Publishing Futures 1: Mkuki na Nyota
Episode 820th February 2022 • BookRising • Radical Books Collective
00:00:00 01:01:49

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In this episode, host Meg Arenberg chats with Walter Bgoya, towering Tanzanian intellectual, long time progressive publisher, and founder of the country's long-running independent press, Mkuki na Nyota (Spear and Star). Bgoya describes his early years as a publisher amid the radical ferment of Dar es Salaam in the 1970s and the porous boundaries between publishing, activism, and public intellectualism. As director of the parastatal Tanzania Publishing House from 1972 to 1990, Bgoya oversaw the publication of such influential anti-imperialist texts as Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Agostinho Neto's Sacred Hope, Samora Machel's Establishing People's Power to Serve the Masses, and Issa Shivji's Class Struggle in Tanzania. He is also a founding member of the African Books Collective, a member-owned international distribution collective for African publishers across the continent. Joined by his son and successor, Mkuki na Nyota's Creative Director Mkuki Bgoya, midway through the interview, the discussion shifts to the press's more recent projects, the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, audio books, film adaptations, and the dynamic duo's ideas for strengthening independent publishing and building reading culture in Tanzania and across the continent.

Meg Arenberg is the Managing Director of the Radical Books Collective and the host for their BookRising podcast.