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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Africa's Ubuntu - Where Can You Find African Romance Today?

by Zee Monodee

Hey beautiful people!

Most of you know, by now, that I hail from the small island of Mauritius. Located nearly smack-dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is however considered part of Africa.
Yes - before you ask: I'm not Black; I don't wear a boubou; I don't live in dry arid plains, and I've never in my whole life seen a wild animal like a giraffe (outside of a zoo). So how on earth can I be from Africa?

You'd be surprised to note that Africa is sooo much more than this stereotypical idea people have of it. People of all races and cultures live and breathe, forge careers, build relationships, fall in love, every single day on almost every inch of the territories that make up this continent.


So if people fall in love in Africa, like, African people indulge in romance, too - where are all the African romances to be found?

Kind of a black hole there, innit? I mean, you can maybe once land onto a category book that's set in South Africa. Don't mention African literature, please - that kind of read can put an insomniac to sleep! Real romance, the kind that has us hooked yet shows us a slice of the world we don't know - where is that?

Enter Decadent Publishing, a rising epublisher (nominated in many polls as one of the best epublishers of 2012), with its brand new UBUNTU line. And yes, enter myself... as the Managing Editor for this line. Who better than someone from Africa to steer an African line?

What did we (the owners of Decadent Publishing and myself) have in mind when we wanted to bring this line out? Let me show you. Ready?

Africa... Land of the serengeti, of wide savannas, where exotic wild animals like giraffes stroll through your backyard— *sound of a screeching turn-disk*

If this is your idea of modern Africa, you’d be way off the mark! UBUNTU sets the ideas straight - view contemporary Africa like you’ve never seen it before!

Ubuntu is an African ethic/philosophy that states everyone is who they he/she is because of who everyone is – it embraces the notion of community, of roots, of spreading your arms open in welcome.

Stories from the Ubuntu line reflect this philosophy, and take you to Africa to meet the people from that far-away, unknown-to-many land.

And if you think African stories and Africa are all about dry-as-dust and issue-heavy, literary prose, you better have another think coming! Take a peek at modern Africa, where a South African native goes on to become a swimming champion and win the heart of a European prince in the process (HSH Charlene of Monaco, born Charlene Wittstock);



where one of the hottest talents of Hollywood hails from (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, native of South Africa);

where soccer (or football, as it is known there – a ‘religion’ on the continent) pulls some of the world’s best players (Didier Drogba, from the Ivory Coast, a key player in the British Premier League, the top football league in the world);


where a man who could step in as a Prince Charming-lookalike takes his country to win the rugby World Cup and settle in the top spots of the 6-Nations’ Cup tournament (Percy Montgomery, Captain of the Springboks, the South African national rugby team).



This is a world where, on the backdrop of the famine crisis in Darfur and Somalia, of political unrest in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt, of blood diamonds’ trade in the southern part of the continent, of the AIDS pandemic, millions step into the global village and embrace the fast-paced life offered by technology and the Internet; where roads are not simply pot-holed unpaved paths, but asphalted motorways in a modern, concrete infrastructure far removed from mud huts and tents. Multinational companies have offices in many African capitals, opening the way for a slew of expatriates to settle in those countries, and the world’s biggest brand names like Hugo Boss and Lacoste are opening outlets.

Don’t also forget that Africa is not only the black continent – a handful of islands make up the African territory as well. From minerals-rich Madagascar (and the land of Black Magic, still practiced to this day!) to tourist hot-spots like Mauritius, the Seychelles, and the Maldives (which is battling global warming and the rise of the oceans) – islander culture opens up another world. And in the top, northern parts of Africa, you get to meet the Arab world in the countries of the Maghreb (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, among others).
With its rich history, Africa has native African clans and tribes, colonist white populations – British, French, and Afrikaners, Indian-origin people who emigrated as traders and/or indentured labor, Chinese people who came in as traders.

Where are the stories set in any of these locations? Whether the characters are expats, foreigners on a visit, native Africans (of black, white, Indian, Chinese, Arab, etc, descent!), let UBUNTU show you the true face of Africa as people experience it every day.

And allow me to shout out that UBUNTU launched yesterday, with its first release from an up-and-coming African-origin author, Kiru Taye. Here's a peek at her story:



When Christy Inemi-Spiff discovers that the man she vowed to love and honor has no such feelings for her, she is determined to cut her losses and move on with her life. A quick, quiet divorce is all she wishes….

However, Joshua has other ideas. He’s not ready to walk away yet, especially when he doesn’t understand why Christy wants out of their marriage. So he demands she agree to spend a quiet Christmas on a remote African Island with him, hoping they can salvage their relationship. If she still wants a divorce after these two weeks, he will let her go. But not before he’s had his fill of her.

But with the sparking tension between them, and the secrets behind the disintegration of their marriage threatening to explode, will either of them get their wish? Or will this season of good will show them what really lies at the bottom of their hearts?

Genre: Contemporary romance, interracial/multicultural, holiday

Heat level: 3
Word count – 25k
Buy Link


Want to know more about UBUNTU? Think you could have a story for this line? Then don't hesitate to sub your novel, or email me with any questions you might have!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

9 comments:

  1. I love the idea of this line! Not only is it great to read romances from all over the world, but I enjoy learning about other cultures. I look forward to reading Island Bound and more!

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  2. I'm so excited to read the books from this line! It'll be GREAT!!!

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  3. Thanks, Jessica & Alexa! We've got a lot of goodies planned from this line. For example - this summer, travel to Cape Town, South Africa, and into the light-hearted world of modern dating, in Alissa Baxter's THE BLOG AFFAIR

    :)

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  4. Oooh, excited about this. I will be submitting a WIP in a few months. Zee, do you do historical? I have an ancient Egyptian historical that need a polishing, LOL. Congrats on the launch.

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  5. Great post, Zee! I'm absolutely excited to be part of this venture.

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  6. What a wonderful look at the new series and Africa in general! Congratulations on this launch and I'm glad I'm able to watch it from the inside at Decadent Publishing. It's been very exciting to see it develop and I believe it will be very well-received by people all over the world!

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  7. Ednah, I'm looking forward to your submission. :)

    As for historicals - our focus is more on contemporary romance right now, but we're not opposed to seeing a historical pop up in this line down the road.

    Thanks for dropping by!

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  8. Kiru, it's been amazing to start this journey with you right by our side! Thank you for all the support, and for trusting us with your baby. :) xoxo

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  9. Thank you, Valerie! The whole team at Decadent has been marvellous by getting behind this project 100%. We all really hope the readers will enjoy this new scope of romance :)

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