AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Friday, October 17th, 2014

What does it take to become a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador?

After Africa Is A Country learned that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) appointed former Spice girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham as a Goodwill Ambassador, our team decided to debate, “What does it take to take to become a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador?” Here’s what we came up with as a way to

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The great Thomas Sankara was murdered on this day 27 years ago

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

That story about Akon’s “giant Ebola air bubble”

People, that story about Akon, the Senegalese-American R&B singer, performing in an air bubble to thousands of screaming Congolese in Goma, because he doesn’t want to get Ebola is false. The hip hop magazine The Source (or whoever started...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

T.O. Molefe on South Africa’s “War on Women”

The essayist T.O. Molefe (he is a contributor here too) has a new op-ed column up at nytimes.com. He writes about “South Africa’s War on Women.” The oped opens with a discussion of why South Africans appear so...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Mos Def/Yasiin Bey: ‘I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa’

Mos Def, now living in Cape Town and collaborating with Petite Noir, talking to Dazed Digital. I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa. Consider the Blk Jks and The Brother Moves On, those that are...

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

‘This Ewe Boy’

New video for ‘Hope,’ by Ghanaian rapper Abladzo Kwame, off his EP ‘This Ewe Boy.’

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

The Independent African Republic of Scotland

Nelson Mandela speaks to the crowds in George Square, Glasgow, 1993. He received the Freedom of Glasgow bestowed on him 12 years previously, when Margaret Thatcher regarded him and the ANC as terrorists. Watch clips from his...

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

What is the matter with … TB Joshua

Last week a building that was part of the complex that is the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria (‘pastor': TB Joshua) collapsed. When the story was first reported on Friday, the death toll stood at 3...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

What Binyavanga Wainaina thinks of the Caine Prize

This is Africa is prone to tabloid headlines (they’ve been running tons of sex related posts lately), but Nigerian journalist Chiagozie Nwonwu‘s interview with Binyavanga Wainaina (writer, commentator, rights defender “a public figure, not D’Banj, but with enough...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Telling “the African story”

We often hear political and business leaders and Africanists talk about the need to “tell the African story.” For us, “tell the African story” means nothing. In other words, it is a cliché of no value. We don’t know...

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

There are apparently only three people in the world that can cook pasta like Wole Soyinka

Soyinka turned 80 this year. We learn this in an interview a Nigerian newspaper did with his wife, Folake: “He cooks and he is quite good at it. He even cooked about two days ago. When the boys...

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Thank You, Associated Press

We published “Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey” (to coincide with the World Cup in Brazil) on June 17th. The story included a list of race-colors from a 1976 study done in Brazil. On June 22 the big-time...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The World of Ridiculous Youtube Music Videos: First Bangs, then Ice JJ Fish, Kwality, now Berenice

Singing or rapping off key in an expensive or sometime low budget music video is now a cottage industry in the rabbit hole that makes up Youtube.   The African diaspora have not been spared. The pioneer of...

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Adam Sandler’s “Africa” (late night TV talk shows can’t get enough of it)

Just based on the trailer alone, it was safe to predict that “Blended,” the comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore about two single parents who after a dismal first date, magically end up on vacation at the...

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

A drive-by analysis of Malawi’s election

The whole election seems to have been pretty dodgy. From the outside it looks like all major parties have tried to cook the electoral books with some intense rigging, and the consensus is that it’s by far the...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

A Rwandan storify: The sensational tale of Rwanda’s gospel-singer-terrorist

Stories shift quickly in our 24-hour news cycle. The sensational tale of Rwanda’s gospel-singer-terrorist is no exception. Authorities have attempted to shape the narrative and control the headlines. For better or worse, Rwanda’s embrace of social media allows us...

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

#GEJPOSE: When Goodluck Jonathan got the hashtag treatment

It baffles us why politicians and public agencies–especially unpopular ones–think they can still control their images in the age of social media. Take the New York Police Department’s @NYPDNews account on Twitter to #MyNYPD campaign to solicit...

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Nene Leakes’ ‘African tribal dance’

"He said, 'Hunni nobody can do this, you're the only person here who can do this. You're always the queen bee, and fabulous, and over the top, so there's nobody else here who can do an African...

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Cape Town company that designs and markets “slave ship” ironing boards and aprons

What is it with some white South Africans' penchant for living in an a-historical bubble? Gumtree, the South African Craigslist, is running an ad for an apartment in Randburg, a former white suburb of Johannesburg (with about...

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Can forgiveness that is mandated by a government be genuine?

Reviewer Neil Genzinger (in The New York Times) writes about the new documentary film, "Coexist" (to be shown on US public television this month) about post-genocide Rwanda, 20 years later. The film, according to Genzinger, "... at...

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Sunday night on Twitter with Binyavanga Wainaina

We sometimes joke that often when we're online the only other person who's consistently awake and on Twitter (no matter where he is in the world) is Binyavanga Wainaina. It's like, if you blink, you miss out...

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The wisdoms of Akon

The Senegalese-American singer Akon may be a very talented musician, but he has terrible politics. And he likes to share them. Remember when George W Bush was still President in the United States and Akon opined to...

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The trouble with #WhiteHistoryMonth is that it is not history yet

Today, the theft of Aboriginal children – including babies taken from the birth table – is now more widespread than at any time during the last century. As of June last year, almost 14,000 Aboriginal children had...

Friday, March 14th, 2014

#CaptionThis: What was Madonna pointing at?

For some odd reason, last weekend, this striking black and white image by photographer Terry Kane of pop singer Madonna "tour(ing) a UN millennium village in Mtanga, Malawi, in 2007" illustrated a Financial Times book review...

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: When Marlon Brando brought up Native American rights at the Oscars

In March 1973, Marlon Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “The Godfather.” Before the live broadcast of the ceremony Brando indicated he would not turn up at the ceremony and refuse...

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Debate: The future of the workers’ movement in South Africa

In May this year, South Africa will host its 5th general election since the advent of democracy in 1994. The ruling African National Congress have dominated these elections until now (62.6% of the vote in 1994, 66.3%...

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Blame it on Botswana

Spain’s monarchy is apparently having a hard time–in the latest round of scandals, one of the princesses is accused of public corruption along with her husband. But where did it all start to go wrong for the...

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Winnie Mandela on the South African exceptionalism embodied by Nelson Mandela

Mandela was extricated from the masses. He was made an idol, almost Jesus Christ! This is nonsense, a lot of nonsense. The freedom of this country was attained by the masses of this country. It was attained...

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Trevor Schoonmaker

Schoonmaker: When did you start to see work by African artists that you did respond to? Was that in New York? Mutu: In New York, ironically, you know, in the early ’90s. Richard Onyango, one of Kenya’s...

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Shameless Self Promotion: T.O. Molefe makes New York Times debut

The New York Times gave us Kristof, Friedman and Brooks. We gave them the Rt Hon T.O. Molefe. Africa is a Country's T.O. Molefe, one of two dozen new columnists, made his debut in The International New...

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