Welcome to EJO — A new Senegalese publishing house with great ambition.
EJO is a Kinyarwanda word meaning both yesterday and tomorrow. We found it all the more fascinating that publishing in African languages, promoting them, is in direct line with the teachings of our mentor Cheikh Anta Diop. At the core of Diop’s thoughts and writings was the firm belief that Black Africans need to better know their past and be proud of it in order to be able to face the challenges of the future.
The choice of a Rwandan name for a Senegalese publishing house is a way to underscore the Pan-Africanist ideals whose importance Cheikh Anta Diop made us so aware of.
Boubacar Boris Diop is currently considered one of Africa’s leading writers. He has written six novels in French and two in Wolof that have been translated into many languages. He is also the author of some essays, screenplays, plays. The latter have equally been translated in many languages. And he is also EJO’s founder aiming at publishing in African languages and promoting them — in direct line with the teachings of his mentor Cheikh Anta Diop.
Le temps de Tamango (1981), Les tambours de la mémoire (1990) and Le Cavalier et son ombre (1997) are among the novels that drew attention to Boubacar Boris Diop, early on in his career as a writer. But it was with Murambi, le livre des ossements (2000), his most celebrated novel, that he won critical acclaim as one of the most important literary figures in Africa. Translated from French as Murambi, the Book of Bones by Fiona Mc Laughlin, it tells the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi of Rwanda, during which over one million innocent people were savagely killed at the staggering rate of 10,000 Tutsi every single day, during 100 days.
Boubacar Boris Diop has also published essays in which he talks about the way he sees the present and the future of the African continent. L’Afrique au-delà du miroir – English translation by Vera Leckie and Caroline Fache: Africa Beyond the Mirror – and the most recent one, La gloire des imposteurs, consisting in an exchange of letters with the Malian leftist icon Aminata Dramane Traoré, are both in this vein.
In 2003, Diop published Doomi Golo, his first novel in Wolof, his mother tongue. He translated it himself in French as Les petits de la guenon. This was in 2009, six years after the original Wolof version. Despite this long interval, some still claim that the author was compelled to translate it immediately into French. In so doing, these naysayers are maligning African languages as not viable, from a literary standpoint, fully aware that this is in line with a longstanding policy of denial dating back to the colonial period.
Doomi Golo, translated as The Hidden Notebooks by Vera Leckie and El Hadji Moustapha Diop is the English version of Diop’s novel. El libro de los secretos is Carlos Lozzano’s Spanish translation. Doomi Golo has been made available online by 2709books in a bilingual Wolof/Spanish version. Affording the possibility of a dual journey through the same novel in Kocc Barma Faal and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s languages is a big step forward. It shows that any human language can – and is fully entitled to try to – conquer the world and become universal.
To show that it works the other way round, Boubacar Boris Diop has also translated into Wolof Aimé Césaire’s Une saison au Congo as Nawetu deret (2015). Bàmmeelu Kocc Barma is his second published novel in the Wolof language.
Executive Director. After studying philosophy at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Ndèye Codou Fall trained in entrepreneurship at Iseg before specializing in marketing at Ensut and Supdeco. But her real and probably unique passion has always been literature. Mrs Fall is well known for her reviews of books in the Senegalese press and is considered one of the best literary critics of the country. Interested in the revalorization of African languages, she is also sensitive to the cause of children.
Editor and representative in America. Franco-Senegalese-Canadian, wife, mother, entrepreneur and computer scientist. After studying in France computer science and social sciences, I am now living in Canada with my family since 2010. I currently work in the field of information technology. Comfortably well established in cultures from 3 different continents, I am also involved in socio-cultural projects such as Africaccueil, Homestay Travel Service in Senegal, Covoyagement (Co Travel), Collaborative support services, and parcels transfers.
Editor. EJO representative in North America. Author of a doctoral thesis in cotutelle from the universities of Grenoble and Québec, Thierno Guèye also holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Toulouse. Currently a professor of philosophy in Canada, he nonetheless highly values enterpreneurship. After co-founding the publishing house Presses Panafricaines, he founded Covoyagement, a company of solidarity travel, accompaniment and parcel transfer he still runs. A fierce supporter of reform of all African education systems, he is passionately involved in the fight for Senegal to provide education in Wolof and in its other national languages.
Retired teacher of economics and accounting, this native of the Medina has always been passionate about literature and intellectual debates. No wonder that he was in the front line during the student revolt of May 1968 in Senegal. He became later a trade-unionist and a maoist activist before joining the Rassemblement National Démocratique of Cheikh Anta Diop where his discussions with the great panafricanist will gradually change his vision of the world. Between two opinion pieces in the media, '' Ouzin '' teaches Wolof in various institutes. He is also one of the founders of Céytu, a Wolof translation structure.