AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, June 5th, 2014

A Very Short Introduction to Peter Mutharika, Malawi’s new President

After a prolonged dispute, Peter Mutharika was sworn in as Malawi’s fifth president a few days ago. Whatever the ins and outs of the electoral process, nobody is in doubt that Joyce Banda, the darling of the international community, was decisively defeated at the ballot box. To find out more about Malawi’s new president and

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Friendship Between China and Mozambique Will Last Forever Like the Heavens and the Earth

In Maputo, the “Garden for Sculptors” behind the Museu Nacional de Arte on Avenida Ho Chi Minh has become a kind of prison yard for Mozambique’s various Ozymandiases, a semi-public dumping ground where colonial monuments now crumble...

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Dangers of a Single Book Cover: The Acacia Tree Meme and “African literature”

“Like so many (wildly varying) writers on Africa, Chimamanda Adichie gets the acacia tree sunset treatment. Whether Wilbur Smith or Wole Soyinka, Rider Haggard or Bessie Head, apparently you get the same cover imagery.” We’re obliged to...

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: What Britain did in Kenya

The following is the full text of a letter written by David Larder to the Guardian newspaper last year, following the court settlement which saw the UK government pay out £2,670 to each of the 5,228 elderly...

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: Audre Lorde’s Harlem childhood

As a very little girl, I remember shrinking from a particular sound, a hoarsely sharp, guttural rasp, because it often meant a nasty glob of grey spittle upon my coat or shoe an instant later. My mother...

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

“The passport that does not pass ports”

Not long ago I heard the philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne responding to a talk given by the literary critic Emily Apter titled “Translation, Checkpoints, Sovereign Borders.” Apter argues against the bourgeois fiction that globalization has turned everybody...

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The Tragedy of Justin Fashanu, soccer’s first openly gay player

With the ongoing crisis of homophobia in Nigeria, and a succession of high-profile athletes coming out in the past year, it’s well worth remembering Justin Fashanu, the first professional footballer to come out — way back in...

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Chimamanda Adichie lines up the homophobic arguments and knocks them down one by one

We’ve seen a range of responses from African intellectuals to the crisis of homophobia, especially in states that are planning  oppressive anti-gay laws As well as Binyavanga Wainaina, several Nigerian intellectuals have also weighed in. Yesterday was...

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

#Watch Binyavanga’s brilliant YouTube documentary calling out the BS behind “African” homophobia

We’ve been looking forward to this one. When our friends at the Guardian and BBC (and plenty of other outlets) finally reported on Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderful essay yesterday, we learned that he had a documentary up his sleeve as...

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s death. When we sent around the AIAC...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Songs for Mandela [International Edition]

When we sent around the AIAC “office” inviting our contributors to suggest songs for Nelson Mandela (both music about him and tracks that could stand as tributes to the man), the suggestions came flooding in. This is...

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

P-Square are Investigative Journalists

For a while now we've been toying with the idea of starting a Tumblr called "Shit The Nigerian Elite Wastes Nigeria's Money On." Since the country's vast piles of cash are certainly not being spent on...

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Who will make the great Thomas Sankara biopic?

Twenty-six years ago this month, Thomas Sankara was brutally murdered. His biopic is still waiting to be made. A revolutionary leader possessed of a towering intellect and extraordinary magnetism, Sankara had rejected the orthodoxies that still today...

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Why didn’t the New York Times publish the exposé they commissioned of virulent racism against Africans in Israel?

We’ve written plenty on this blog about the worsening levels of violent racism against Africans in Israel. This time last year Olufemi Terry reflected on a comment by the Israeli immigration minister: “This country belongs to us,...

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Aimé Césaire is a country

Aimé Césaire was one of the greatest poets of the last century. His writing was so good that the person who did the illustrations published alongside his poems was Pablo Picasso. Césaire’s best-known works are Cahier d’un retour au...

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The story of Chima Okorie, the Nigerian architecture student who became the hero of Indian football

He never played for the Super Eagles, but in India there’s only one Nigerian footballer everybody knows: Chima Okorie. Here are some excerpts from a new piece by Kanishk Tharoor (some readers may also know his brother...

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Two responses to Mindy Budgor, “Maasai warrior princess”

Yesterday we reluctantly posted on Mindy Budgor, memoirist and professional attention-seeker who’s telling anyone who’ll listen that she’s the first female Maasai warrior. Really we wanted to hear from readers. Here are two of the responses we...

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The Love Affair between Nigerians and Arsenal

The love affair between Nigerians and Arsenal is an enduring one. Other English teams are also popular in the country, but the attachment many Nigerian football fans formed with the club during Nwankwo Kanu’s five year spell...

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

What does Tony Blair want from Malawi?

Until recently, Tony Blair had never visited Malawi. Last summer there was a lot of international press coverage on the discovery of oil under Lake Malawi. Since then he’s developed an interest in Malawi’s “governance” and has...

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

At the Protests for Trayvon Martin in New York City

The picture above shows Times Square on Sunday night, during the protest for Trayvon Martin. As I took this photo the woman with the loudspeaker was yelling out “We are here to say that black lives have...

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The UK government is now tweeting its contempt for people of color

If you want to learn something about the state of political debate in the UK right now, you could do worse than to read through the public reaction to the UK Home Office’s decision last week to...

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

The Zebras of Northern Nigeria

The guy in the picture is Abubakar Suleiman, a 15 year-old Boston student whose hobbies apparently include taking condescending local reporters for a ride. When one of the more august organs of the American press, the Boston Globe (founded...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

A Potted History of “Failed States”

What version of the Third World in 2013 does Washington DC want to tell itself, and why? In the same week that investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill spoke of the need for the USA to “take a humility...

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Even after the Mau Mau case the British will never stop kidding themselves about the crimes of empire

Torture comes cheap for the old imperial powers. Just £2,670 was paid out this month to each of the 5,228 elderly Kenyans judged eligible for compensation as the British government finally settled a case it has attempted...

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Joyce Banda has bigger problems than Madonna

The historian Margery Perham once wrote that “the basic difficulty” with the British colonial technique of indirect rule, of which she was a major architect, was “the great gap between the culture of rulers and ruled.” “People...

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Madonna vs Joyce Banda: Celebrity Deathmatch (Philanthropy Edition)

We had been studiously avoiding coverage of Madonna’s latest trip to Malawi, but such is the deliciousness of the excoriating 11-point press release put out yesterday by Joyce Banda that we couldn’t resist wading in. These two...

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Can African Heads of State Speak?

These days, well-behaved African heads of state are rewarded by Barack Obama with the chance to meet with him in groups of four and have their picture taken with him. It’s like meeting Beyonce, but you get...

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The Blue Kenyan

We may not all love Chelsea Football Club (John Terry, their klepto-petro-billionaire owner, John Terry, the list goes on) but we are loving the team’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires right now. And not just for that equalizing goal...

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The Guardian’s thoughtless interview with Kony2012 creator Jason Russell

The Guardian’s Sunday edition, The Observer, have run the puff-piece nobody else wanted, a lengthy tête-à-tête with Jason Russell of Invisible Children infamy. “Jason Russell: Kony 2012 and the fight for truth” (illustrated by the photograph above) is...

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Did Goodluck Jonathan pay $1 million from anti-poverty fund to bring Beyonce and Jay-Z to Nigeria?

Whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce were expecting when they went to Nigeria in 2006, they can’t have seen this one coming.

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