doek | (dʊk) | (noun): a cloth or a headscarf.
‘Doek | (dʊk) | (noun): Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
Doek! | (dʊk) | (noun): A literary magazine from Namibia.
Doek! Literary Magazine (Doek!) is a free, independent, and Pan-African online literary magazine produced in Windhoek, Namibia. It publishes short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art from Namibia, Africa, and the African diaspora.
Founded in 2019, Doek! is an important step—but not the only step—towards creating a diverse, curious, and robust literary culture in Namibia. By publishing diverse writers and visual artists, Doek! seeks to provide an encounter between local and international storytellers and a global audience.
As a literary journal, Doek! seeks to emulate cousin publications such as AFREADA, Bakwa Magazine, Chimurenga, Jalada, The Johannesburg Review of Books, and Lolwe by contributing to Africa’s literary footprint.
Though the magazine’s vision is grand, its first steps in the literary world are local. Doek! primarily publishes work from Namibia and the Namibian diaspora while it establishes Namibian writing and art in the country’s literary consciousness. However, as part of the continental literary community, Doek! solicits work from storytellers outside Namibia to showcase the breadth and depth of continental creativity. In time, Doek! hopes to be a completely Pan African publications accepting submissions and publishing work from the continent and the African diaspora.
Doek! is published online three times a year: in March, July, and November. The magazine is published in English with some select content appearing in Namibia’s indigenous languages.
Over the course of its issues Doek! had published writers, poets, and visual artists from: Namibia (37) • Angola (3) • Barbados (1) • Brazil (1) • Congo (1) • Democratic Republic of Congo (2) • Egypt (1) • Eswatini (1) • Ethiopia (1) • France (3) • Finland (1) • Germany (4) • Ghana (2) • Iran (1) • Jamaica (1) • Kenya (4) • Lesotho (1) • Liberia (1) • Mauritius (1) • Madagascar (1) • Malawi (2) • Mozambique (1) • Nigeria (2) • Papua New Guinea (1) • Rwanda (3) • São Tomé and Príncipe (1) • Sierra Leone (2) • South Africa (14) • South Sudan (1) • Sudan (2) • Switzerland (1) • Tanzania (1) • Togo (1) • United Kingdom (1) • United States of America (8) • Zambia (2) • and Zimbabwe (3).
In 2020, Doek! was selected as Brittle Paper’s Literary Platform of the Year.
The magazine’s contributors have been the recipients of various prestigious literary recognitions. In 2021 Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo, Natasha Uys, Pauline Buhle Ndhovu, and Namafu Amutse won the inaugural fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts prizes of the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards. In 2021 Troy Onyango (Kenya) was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for “This Little Light of Mine” (Issue 3: July, 2020).
The following Namibian contributors have their work forthcoming in the 2022 Doek Anthology: Charmaine //Gamxamûs, Roxane Bayer, Kay-Leigh De Sousa, Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo, Katherine Hunter, Filemon Iiyambo, Dalene Kooper, and Ange Mucyo.
Tamanda Kanjaye’s “Auralgraph, Lilongwe, Salima, and Blantyre: Song Of The Lake“, first published in Issue 7: November, 2021 was republished by Guernica in May, 2022.
The New Magazines And Journals Shaping Africa’s Literary Scene • By Abdi Latif Sahir in The New York Times, 2021
“All you heard about Namibia was our sand dunes, our lions and black rhinoceroses,” Ngamije said. But with Doek’s focus on publishing work by Namibians, he added, he hoped to “bring not only Namibian writing to Africa and the world but to also bring a little bit of Africa to us… We are taking baby steps in this literary marathon…and we always have to fight this feeling that we are late, that we are in the last place.”
Intellectual Magazines Are Flourishing In Africa • By Liam Taylor in The Economist, 2021
“In 2019 Rémy Ngamije co-founded Doek!, a Namibian literary magazine. Contemporary Namibian writers are, he says, exploring the legacies of colonialism and “the unspoken losses of the liberation struggle” against white-ruled South Africa. “We’re basically doing the grassroots work of starting a literary tradition.”
African Literature And Digital Culture • By Bhakti Shringarpure in the Los Angeles Review of Books, 2021
“The credit must go to the dynamic, creative, and forward-looking thinkers on the continent itself — the young and hip creators of popular platforms such as Saraba magazine or Kwani? back in the day; journals such as Jalada, Doek!, and Lolwe; presses such as Cassava Republic and Huza; and events such as Ake Arts and Book Festival, Hargeysa International Book Fair, Afrolit Sans Frontieres, and the Gaborone Book Festival.”
Doek!: Brittle Paper’s Literary Platform of the Year 2020 • Brittle Paper, 2020
“Given its primary focus on publishing content produced by Namibian writers and artists, especially black writers and artists, Doek! claims space for Namibian literature within African literary culture. Its founding is a sign that African literature is not just thriving but also advancing in interesting directions.”
The Doek! editorial team can be reached in the following ways: