Nanjala Nyabola is a writer and political analyst based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on the intersection between technology and politics, as well as migration and human mobility. A constant traveller, at the time of writing she has visited over seventy countries across four continents.
'An insightful, sometimes uncomfortable read, and, like travel itself, opens our eyes.' -- The Times 'Nanjala Nyabola is a highly self-aware guide in this personal investigation into race, travel and migration in the 21st century... exploring them with depth and insight and a bright alertness to difference. [...] Often beautifully written, the book rewards on many levels, especially when the personal and political are brought together.' '[Written with] passion, erudition, and fluidity ... Provocative and always willing to take on the conventional wisdom, Nyabola emerges with this book as an important observer.' -- Foreign Affairs 'Nyabola's strength lies in an ability to join the dots and analyse what she sees before her, in fiercely articulate and erudite prose. ... [She] exhorts us to ... look at the bigger picture and rethink the status quo.' -- Times Literary Supplement 'Through her experiences, [Nanjala Nyabola] brings to life the legacies of othering and colonialism that impact how Black people are perceived and treated around the world.' -- Metro 'Reading Travelling While Black feels like engaging in a conversation that I have always wanted to have. ... Inspirational, thoughtful and informative.' -- The World Today 'Skilfully told ... constantly challenging the reader to ask questions and see the world from varying perspectives.' -- African Arguments 'Reading Travelling While Black feels like engaging in a conversation that I have always wanted to have. ... Inspirational, thoughtful and informative.' 'A valiant exploration of one of humanity's most fundamental needs: the freedom to move. Drawing on a captivating life of her own, Nanjala Nyabola powerfully reminds us of the complexity of human identity. Above all, an incredibly moving book.' -- David Lammy MP, author of 'Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society' 'Nyabola's insightful essays deal with identity and the notion of home and belonging, in a world challenged by mobility and dislocation. This collection joins a venerable tradition of Black essay-writing, as it discovers for the socially aware traveller new routes and philosophies to explore.' -- Margaret Busby, editor of 'New Daughters of Africa' 'In the great tradition of Said, Orwell and Bessie Head, Nyabola's is a profound, gripping and beautiful book of undeniable genius on exile, migration and travel in our catastrophic times. It speaks to all those committed to truth and justice.' -- Cornel West, author of 'Race Matters' and Professor of the Public Practice of Philosophy, Harvard University 'What a book! Nyabola takes us on a travel odyssey and an inner quest, and with her we recognise what remains undone and how we see or unsee others. Lethal and restless, yet tender and vulnerable. Disturbing, delicious, defiant. A triumph.' -- Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, author of 'Dust' and 'The Dragonfly Sea' 'A unique, provocative and thoughtful collection of essays. Part autobiography and travelogue, but also a powerful reflection on migration, travel, identity, racism, literature, language, Pan-Africanism and the experiences of a young Kenyan woman travelling throughout the modern world.' -- Hakim Adi, Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora, University of Chichester, and author of 'Pan-Africanism: A History' 'At a time where the freedom of Black people to exist and move safely feels compromised, Nyabola's collection of essays on travelling is an urgent intervention which powerfully marries cultural and political exploration to the intricacies of modern Black identity.' -- Jason Okundaye, writer and campaigner