Africans love to tell stories, and even more, they love to get their stories out there. Part of the beauty in African storytelling is the fact that it is multilingual in nature. However, there are not many platforms out there to express our rich tradition, heritage and imagination in languages other than those adopted as lingua francas around the continent. At Labarin, we see this vacuum, and we try to fill the void.
Labarin is a hub for soulful, gripping and riveting African stories, with the added gloss of having these narratives expressed in their original dialects. Here, we will have poems rendered in Hausa, imaginative stories written in Bantu, and real-live narratives expressed in Xhosa. No one deserves to have their stories diluted, and Labarin respects that.
We have an eye for the aesthetics too, and in line with that, we will make room for visual arts. We know that pictures tell thousands of stories, so we will entertain and display illustrations, motifs, paintings, murals and photographs that intensely promote the African narrative. Language, again, is by no means a barrier.
We are great admirers of African oral tradition, so there is soul food for the ears too. Labarin also provides a home for podcasts and audio renditions of spoken word performances, expressed in our indigenous African languages. Our sound conveys depth, it conveys meaning, and if you will do the listening, then we will do the talking.
Ijeoma Ucheibe, one of the curators of this cultural space, is a lawyer, publicist and literary enthusiast. She promotes books and all things literary on her blog at bagusmutendi.com.ng. She also accepts materials for writing and editing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Labarin is also peopled by Jerry Chiemeke (awardwining critic, writer, editor and lawyer), Akpa Arinze (writer, and poet) and our Ghanaian features person, Yvonne Isaac (undergrad and literary enthusiast).