Mariama Bâ


Born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1929, Bâ has come to be regarded as one of the most original writers to have emerged from west Africa.

Her life and work were preoccupied with issues such as gender relations, power and inequality, as well as the ways in which these were framed and affected by African and Islamic cultural beliefs. In many ways, her own narrative corresponded with a key feminist mantra: “The personal is political.”

Her early struggle for education informed her writing, both fictional and critical.

Mariama Bâ

Her first novel, So Long a Letter (1981), uses the raw material of her own life to create a narrative which, owing to its resonance with the experience of other African women, is widely acknowledged as a seminal feminist text.

She died before her second novel, Scarlet Song (1986), was published.

Since her death, academics and general readers alike have come to appreciate the peculiar power and considerable contribution of Bâ’s writing, as well as her political legacy.

While she composed her work in French, it has been translated into many different languages, and is read and studied worldwide.

Source: 24 News


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