WRITER, HUMAN RIGHTS WORKER
Sisonke Msimang is a treasured member of a class of African women writers who are capturing the varied stories of what it means to be from the continent. And last fall, the South African writer and human rights worker—who covers race, gender and democracy in her work—shared her most personal and riveting story yet in the memoir “Always Another Country: A Memoir Of Exile and Home.”
Painting the picture of her childhood in exile (her parents, African National Congress members, fled to Zambia, Kenya and Canada after fighting SA’s apartheid regime), she details her life up until her return to South Africa in the 90s. But really, Msimang’s memoir is about home, and what happens when that place isn’t a physical space. For many young diasporic Africans, that’s something they can relate to, whatever the circumstances of their displacement.
“Africans are mobile, right? We move, for whatever reason,” she told OkayAfrica last year in an interview about her memoir about exile. “So my particular experience of moving because of exile was one thing. But people move. Africans move both between the diaspora in Western countries and back home within Africa, and in very similar ways to me growing up. I'm certainly not an outlier in that sense, and it's been really interesting how many people can just relate on that level to across the continent. That's been nice to see.”