Wende Luvinga, is from Tanzania, and has been living in Finland for more than 10 years. She holds a Master’s degree in social science from the University of Jyväskylä. Wende started to write short stories mainly for her children as a way to document some of the stories that her grandmother told her when she was grown up in Tanzania. Over the years, she has written several stories and contribution to children platforms. Her first published book was in 2017, Hamisi the Complaining Lizard and Hamisi Mjusi Mlalamishi (Kiswahili ). Wende interest in writing is to explore the African values embedded in folktale, and adapt it to modern children stories. Hence most of her stories are based on African proverbs, and folktales. Inspired by her education experiences in Tanzania, she is a founder of Watotoread group in Tanzania, aiming at encouraging children to read books, and she is also a founder of children reading group Swahili for kids in Finland. As an African diaspora writer, Wende believe that “the short distance you can travel is through a story” . Hence, she has visited schools and library to read to students “stories from Africa” with aim to promote diversity. Apart from being a writer, Wende is employed as an international development professional, and she lives in Helsinki, with her a husband and two joyful children, who love to listen to African folktales.
Obert Hodzi is postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He also holds a visiting scholar position at Boston University, U.S. He has a PhD in Political Science from Lingnan University, Hong Kong (2016), an MA in Democratic Governance and Civil Society from Osnabrueck University, Germany and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe (2006). He has previously been a visiting researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden (2018), Renmin University of China (2017) and at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia (2015). His research focuses on emerging powers and global governance, China-Africa security and economic relations, and politics in Africa, and his recent publication is a book entitled: The End of China’s Non-intervention Policy in Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Some of this publications on politics in Africa, global governance and China-Africa relations has been published in RUSI Newsbrief, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Modern Africa, South Africa International Affairs journal, International Politics and International Relations, among others. Obert has also worked with regional and international organizations in Zimbabwe and Kenya as a governance and transitional justice expert. In 2010, he co-founded, Governance Network International, an international organizations focused on promoting good governance and public policy in Africa. He also serves as co-editor of Democracy in Africa, a platform that promotes analysis on democracy, governance and politics in Africa.