No Spicy Food, no Motto

Elnathan John: No Spicy Food, no Motto

Elnathan John came all the way from Nigeria to converse with Kinyanjui Kombani for our series Literary Crossroads in February 2017. The series brings together African writers on the continent and from the diaspora to discuss contemporary trends and themes in literature.

In Kenya I was surprised by,
… the incredible warmth and hospitality. And by how difficult it was to find spicy food. 
In Nairobi I was reminded of Nigeria by,
…turning on the television in my hotel room and finding Nigerians screaming in a Nollywood movie. 
A particular beautiful experience during my visit was,
… being hosted by generous fellow writers. 
My favorite dish in Kenya is,
… nyama choma.
My motto of life is,

… sorry I have no motto. Personally, I find mottos are like new year resolutions -- pointless, useful only perhaps for public proclamations.

Elnathan John is a writer, lawyer and satirist whose first novel “Born on a Tuesday” was first published in Nigeria in 2015. His short stories have been twice shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, in 2013 and 2015.

Elnathan John am Goethe-Institut Nairobi © Eddah Mbaya
Goethe-Institut / Ruth Asan
February 2017

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