Journal of Eritrean Studies Vol 6 No 2 .

Journal of Eritrean Studies


Eritrea’s famous stele at Belew Kelew and its inscription strike me as an archaeological, at least ad hoc, beginning of Eritrean literary production – be it written or oral. “Adulite. / Join here and write,” it appears to proclaim (Cantalupo, Light the Lights, 2004: 77). Subsequently, as Kenya’s and Africa’s greatest living writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o recognizes, “For at least four thousand years – from the ancient stele at Belew Kelew to the 20th century battlefields of Eritrea’s struggle for independence – and into the 21st , Eritrean...[s] have never given up writing in their own languages, which is why their... [literature] thrives” (Who Needs a Story , 2005: back cover).

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