Sudanese Translator Adil Babikir Recipient Of Global Africa Translation Fellowship

Sudanese Translator Adil Babikir Recipient Of Global Africa Translation Fellowship

By: Yahya Hassan

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudanese translator, copy writer, Adil Babikir, has received the Africa institute Global Africa Translation Fellowship, among a group of translators from around the continent in recognition of his creative effort to acquaint the World with treasures of Sudanese literature.

A statement published on the occasion has read: The Africa Institute is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural Global Africa Translation Fellowship launched as part of its African Languages and Translation Program.

It said Mr. Adil Babikir was awarded the fellowship for his translation of Sudanese author Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin’s book Samahani from Arabic into English.

It said grants in the range of $1000 to $5,000 are offered annually to support the completion of translations of original works from the African continent and its diaspora, into Arabic and/or English. Selected works may be retranslations of old, classic texts, or previously untranslated works, collections of poetry, novel, prose, or critical theory.

In addition to Mr. Babikir the fellowship winners were Ms. Reem Abou-El-Fadl, for translation and editing of the Arabic-language memoir of Egyptian intellectual and activist Helmi Sharawy, Sira Misriyya Ifriqiya (An Egyptian African Story), which was first published in 2019 by independent Cairo press Dar Al-Ain, Claretta Holsey, for the translation of four scholarly essays from René Ménil’s Tracées: Identité, Négritude, Esthétique aux Antilles from French into English. David Shook, for the translation of Francisco José Tenreiro’s collected poems from Portuguese into English, including his seminal 1942 debut Ilha de Nome Santo (Island with a Holy Name).

Congratulations to ArabLit contributing translator Adil Babikir, to translator and scholar Reem Abou-El-Fadl, and to all the awardees of the 2021 Global Africa Translation Fellowships, which were announced today, said the Institute.

Mr. Babikir is a graduate of Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum. Shortly after graduation he  joined the state-run Sudan news Agency(SUNA), serving in its highly- demanding and, indeed, laborious English News Desk, always with an eye on upgrading his writing and translation competence.

A few years later, he traveled to Saudi Arabia where he worked for a number of companies, doing an amalgam of business and general translation, before he joined the US Embassy in Riyadh as information officer for over a decade.

Then he moved to the United Arab Emirates doing translation and business promotion work for several companies, a career he keeps up to now.

Academically, Mr. Babikir also holds an M.A in translation from the Faculty of Languages, Sudan University for Science and Technology.

Mr. Babikir’s achievement was received with high acclaim at home here from some of the country’s renowned writers. 

Wrote writer, advocate and former chairman of the Sudanese writers union, Mr. Kamal Aljizouli, who formerly wrote the foreword of Sakin’s thriller “The Jungo –Stakes of the Earth, a novel depicting the tiresome life of daily farm workers in Sudan, which was published in the USA:

Adil Babikir was bent throughout the previous years on the translation of much of the fruit of Sudanese literature, prose and poetry, to the English language and vice versa. In addition to Sakin’s Samahani and the Jungo Stakes of the Earth, he also translated the book Mansi, written by international Sudanese Novelist Tayeb Salih, which is a sort of biography written in narrative form. He also translated a collections from a selection of Sudanese poets he entitled “Modern Sudanese Poetry”. He also translated some of the works of Southern Sudanese writers. In this derive he also translated a selection of narrative writings from Sudanese and Southern Sudanese writers, entitled “Literary Sudans, fore-worded by Professor Taban Lo Liyong.

Also wrote Poet Fedaily Jamma’a:

A piece of cultural news carried by the news agencies and the social media in different languages says some of the African translators who conveyed African literature into some of the most widely spoken languages of the World were awarded the Global Africa Fellowship for 2021, including the skillful Sudanese writer and translator Adil Babikir,  for his translation of Sudanese writer Baraka Sakin’s novel Samahani.

Mr. Adil Babikir has taken it all upon himself to do the huge institutionalized translation of several works of verse and fiction by Sudanese writers. 

This spectacular success of one of our creative writers was carried by the news agencies and praised by Africa’s cultural institutions. We congratulate translator Babikir for this deserved award and we also congratulate our country that brought his like of talented persons.



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