AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

I recently downloaded a copy of a book from a white-supremacist website (sorry, no links here). It claims that, because of evolutionary forces at work in Africa, black people have smaller brains, lower IQs, more sex hormones, higher rates of crime, and are worse parents than whites. (It also reports, with what seems like a touch of sour grapes, that black men have larger penises.) Why did I do this to myself? Because the author, the late J. Philippe Rushton, had just been cited in an op-ed appearing in the New York Times as an authority on—wait for it—morality.…[ read more ]

When Hollywood does Africa, there's little in the romance and love department, unless it's about Karin Blixen making ill-fated choices (in white colonial men) or some random family who move to Africa and fall in love with the land ... and the flame trees (you know the list I'm thinking about). When a white do-gooder escapee from European/British stultification falls for a gorgeous Ugandan--she's going to get chopped up by Idi. If ever we see black characters falling in love, their romantic world is overshadowed by various external crisis—warlords, corrupt politicians, locusts, famine, war (then a nice white aid worker helps one kid). Love is rarely explored in terms of the emotional and existential crises that love between two white people from America or Europe is explored, or in a silly, light-hearted way that focuses on the couple's respective families and friends behaving badly (as in the style of,...…[ read more ]

Nigeria has a long history of communal conflicts, many of which were only suppressed under military rule. Despite the heavy handed tactics of the dictators, some of these conflicts came to the fore, the best example being the Maitatsine conflict which was eventually wiped out in the early 1990s. A lot of these conflicts and the groups that aid them found more freedom after the return to civilian rule. One of these groups is Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad, which became the Boko Haram sect.…[ read more ]

A few weeks ago, the Central Library in the Cape Town made a book maze from books that were intended to be pulped. Inserted in between the stacks of books that were packed on the first floor, coming up to my shoulders, and sitting atop the stack was a book, Beyond the Blues: Township Jazz in the 60s and 70s, A Photographic Book. When the maze was disassembled, the public, principals and other libraries were invited to grab a book for free. Amidst the chaos that ensued I got my hands on the book ‘Beyond the Blues’. I have stared at it many times. It invokes in me memories I do not own. Memories I have weaved together from other books and other people. The photographs in it are not just works of art but they are ways in which a memory can be haunted and jolted from its...…[ read more ]

It had been three years since I’d visited Cartagena, and I was shocked by all the changes. They must have been bubbling under the surface the last time I came, because they seemed so drastic. On my first visit to Colombia’s Atlantic coast, I was on a mission to hear of Afro-Colombian sounds produced and consumed …[ read more ]

Henry Okelue suggested that today's History Lesson be about Nigeria's security agencies. Problem is, there's paucity of verifiable information, so, we'll go ahead with what was mapped out for today, which is about slavery, it's effects on us, up until this day. And before some people chop my head off, it is not possible, in any way, to compress five centuries of history into a few paragraphs. The idea behind this is so that those who are interested will pick it up. Like I stated earlier, I committed to doing this once a week as a response to Nigeria's removal of history from its school curriculum.…[ read more ]

Page 1 of 101 1 2 3 4 5 6 101