Hear My True Story

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi: A Literary Luminary on the Challenges and Triumphs of Translating Books

December 12, 2023 Otako Season 4 Episode 11
Hear My True Story
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi: A Literary Luminary on the Challenges and Triumphs of Translating Books
Hear My True Story
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Show Notes

This episode is a cooperation between Ugandan Art Speaks Out, a podcast produced by Omuti Kreativ, and Hear My True Story, a platform that showcases the stories of inspiring people from around the world. In this episode, we explore the fascinating world of literary translation with the esteemed author, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Jennifer shares her invaluable insights into the challenges and triumphs of translating books for Western publishing, shedding light on the delicate process of bridging cultural gaps while ensuring the integrity of the original work.

Jennifer recounts her own experiences, notably with her acclaimed novel “Kintu,” which successfully crossed cultural boundaries without losing its essence. She provides a compelling guide on safeguarding the authenticity of stories that originate from different worlds, protecting them from potential misinterpretations by Western editors.

As we navigate the terrain of cultural bridges and editorial challenges, Jennifer Makumbi offers a wealth of wisdom for writers, translators, and readers alike. Discover the art of preserving the heart of a story while making it accessible to a global audience in this insightful conversation.

Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate process of translating books for Western publishing, and learn from one of Africa’s literary luminaries how to ensure your story remains true to its roots, even in a different cultural context.

Awards and Nominations:

  • The First Woman, Winner 2021 Jhalak Prize – Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour
  • Recipient of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction
  • Global Winner, 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Lets Tell This Story Properly 
  • Winner,    Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 for Kintu


  • The First Woman shortlisted for The Diversity Book Awards
  • The First Woman shortlisted for Encore Prize 2021
  • The First woman shortlisted for James Tait Black Prize 2021
  • A Girl is a Body of Water longlisted for Aspen Words Literary Prize 2021
  • The NAIS-KNAW writer’s residence 2021
  • Kintu shortlisted for Prix Les Afriques 2020
  • Manchester Happened longlisted for Edge Hill Prize (2020)
  • The Alan Chuese Fellowship (2019)
  • Kintu Longlisted for The Prix Du Medicis 2019
  • Manchester Happened Shortlisted for Big Book Award (Harper’s Bazaar) 2019
  • Kintu Winner Prix Transfuge Du Meilluer Premier Roman Francais 2019
  • Kintu Shortlisted for Edward Stanford Awards (2019)
  • Grants of Art: The Arts council 2015
  • Kintu longlisted for the Etisalat Prize 2015

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  3. YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/c/HearMyTrueStory

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