Peter Salzano: Who are the Top Contemporary African Writers?

There is no doubt that countries like Africa have given us beautiful cultural and ethical writers contributing towards literature, says Peter Salzano, a popular playwright.  Africa, a country where people have dealt with a range of cultural and social issues, from sensitive issues like women’s rights and feminism to most talked about events like post-war and post-colonial identity.

We shall give the credits to the writers especially the contemporary African Writers who have closely observed the situation and made an attempt to share the true stories, and the people’s perspective with the world.


Let’s take a look at some top contemporary African writers who are known for their amazing work as writers. Here is a list shared by Peter Salzano:

Ayi Kwei Armah

The novels by Ayi Kwei Armah are known for their intense, powerful depictions of social frustration and political devastation in Armah’s native Ghana narrated from the point of view of the individual.

He is one of the best contemporary African writers known for his amazing work, “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968).

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna has written several novels, praised by the readers. But if we talk about her top works then we must mention “The Devil That Danced on Water (2003). This is a fearless brave account of her family’s experience living in war-torn Sierra Leone and in particular her father’s tragic fate as a political dissident. 

Nuruddun Farah

Nuruddun Farah was born in Somalia in 1945 and has written numerous plays, short stories, and novels, all focused on his experiences of his native country. He is known for his subsequent works to feature similar social criticism, post-colonial identity, and dealing with themes of war.

Peter Salzano - Playwright

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Born in Nigeria in 1977, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is considered as a part of a new generation of African writers taking the literary world by storm. Talking about her popular works “Purple Hibiscus (2003) that depicts the life experience of Kambili and her family during a military coup followed by her latest work “Americanah (2023) is an insightful portrayal of Nigerian immigrant life and race relations in America and the western world. 

Nadine Gordimer

The work of Nadine Gordimer is heart touching that explores moral, social, and racial issues in South Africa under apartheid rule. She is a Nobel Prize winner in Literature for her prodigious skills in portraying a society interwoven with racial tensions. 

Alain Mabanckou

Alain Mabanckou’s works are written primarily in French. His novels are prominent character-focused, often featuring ensemble casts of figures, like “Black Bazar, narrating the experiences of various African immigrants in an Afro-Cuban bar in Paris, “Broken Glass”, which focuses on a former Congolese teacher and his interactions with the locals in the bar he repeated visits.

There are more to the list of top contemporary African writers like Ben Okri, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and many more that might have missed in this article.

Peter Salzano Playwright work

Peter Salzano says, one thing that is common about these contemporary African writers is that they all inspired to write from the serious issues they faced or the people around them faced post-war and during immigration. It is a proud thing to say that the beauty in which these writers have managed to share the emotions, troubles, and personal thoughts have never been aggressive or hurtful.