AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Friday, August 1st, 2014

We’ll be back on Monday, September 7th

Starting this morning, we begin our annual month-long break from this site (we’ll still be active on social media–Facebook and on Twitter and Twitter again). We’ll be back after Labor Day (the Americans’ poor excuse for May Day) at the start of September.  In the meantime, this is a good time to revisit our greatest hits from the

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Brazilians are used to this

The Mexican writer Alma Guillermoprieto declared this World Cup “the best ever.” Few can disagree. A total of 136 goals were scored in 48 group matches and another 18 in the 8 matches of the last round....

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

History Class with Cheta: Who is Herbert Macaulay

Too many people have forgotten about the one Naira coin, and the chap on that coin. This is a big disservice to Nigeria. Today’s History Class is going to be about that fellow, the one who has...

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

When Maya Angelou lived in Egypt and Ghana

In 1961, Maya Angelou, already a civil rights worker, and her then partner Vusumzi Make, an exiled activist from South Africa (he was a leading Pan Africanist Congress member), moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she found work...

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has opinions about social media (he hates them all)

‘… Let me take this opportunity to announce yet again that I do not tweet, blog or whatever goes on in this increasingly promiscuous medium. I do not run a Facebook, even though I am aware that...

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Why you’ve got to love the way the tabloid Daily Sun reported Caster Semenya’s marriage

Despite its much lauded, progressive marriage equality laws, South Africa can be a shit place for gay people, especially black lesbians living in poor neighborhoods, but then this also happens there: Olympian Caster Semenya has announced that...

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Admit it, you didn’t expect the Economic Freedom Fighters to do so well

At first sight, the results for national and provincial elections in South Africa may suggest that little has changed. The ANC still got more than 60% of the national vote (despite its poor leadership); the largest parliamentary...

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Fumana isazisi sakho. Bhalisa. Vota.*

I came across this image taken by a press photographer in May 1990 after one of the first public meetings between the last white minority government and the liberation movement (led by the ANC), to negotiate a new...

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Chris Hani’s political legacy

The American political scientist Adolph Reed Jnr. once said of Malcolm X: "… He was just like the rest of us—a regular person saddled with imperfect knowledge, human frailties, and conflicting imperatives, but nonetheless trying to make...

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Africa is a Country Radio

On Groovalizacion. The host is Chief Boima, from his new base in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (check out his first post from there). The format is a monthly round up of audio treats from around Africa...

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Happy Africans

By 11am this morning Pharrell Williams' pop friendly and infectious "Happy" had racked up 138,948,968 views on Youtube and obviously making him and his record company a lot of money. If it's not enough that it is...

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Instagramming Africa

Everyday Africa is an Instagram-based project aiming to document moments from daily life. It was founded in 2012 by the American photojournalist Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill. Initially featuring the work of mostly American foreign correspondents,...

Monday, March 10th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: The American reservation became the South African reserve

In 1993 Mahmood Mamdani first went to South Africa to study apartheid as a form of the state: 'I realized that basic institutions of apartheid had been created long before the name and the state came into...

Friday, March 7th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth

Every February here schools, McDonald's, television, corporations, the advertising industry, celebrate Black History Month. The whole thing is a charade. That black people don't get a break from police brutality, red lining, profiling or plain neglect, doesn't...

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Give that man a Bells

There’s a commercial for Bell’s, a popular South African whisky (“Give that man a Bells”), that is currently doing the rounds on the Interwebs and has a lot of people weeping on Twitter and Facebook. The ad...

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The ‘Born Free Generation’

The Fader (yes, they're still around) has been putting up a series of posts from Johannesburg (Obey You Collective: South Africa) that focuses on "artists, trail-blazers, and bright young talents from South Africa." (The series is paid...

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

“Happy Africans”

It’s unclear how big the Gun Owners of America are (the NRA predominates in the numbers and in terms of influence), but it’s important enough that the organization’s lobbyists write bills for congressmen, calling for no gun...

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Zoran and his African Tigers

Every new nation (or with claims to nationhood) wants a national football team otherwise you may as well not exist in the first place. Palestine and Taiwan are recognized by FIFA, but not so lucky are Kosovo...

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The “Apartheid-era Robin Hood”

I wrote a long piece on Zola Mahobe, a Soweto businessman who died last December (two weeks after Nelson Mandela) and who is credited with transforming Mamelodi Sundowns. The team is currently one of the “big three”...

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The public television series on contemporary life in the African Diaspora that’s in its 6th season

For at least six seasons now the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), in conjunction with American Public Television (APT) has presented AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, on “contemporary life throughout the African Diaspora.” Past seasons have brought...

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

When Steven Van Zandt convinced AZAPO to take Paul Simon off a hit list and what Paul Simon really thought of Nelson Mandela

Later today in Cape Town Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band start off a four-date concert tour of South Africa–the first time ever Springsteen and his band will perform in South Africa. The Cape Town dates...

Friday, January 24th, 2014

How to come out as an African (in the social media age)

In an interview with NPR, Binyavanga Wainaina (“I am a homosexual, mum”) explained to host Celeste Heedlee why he did not include the fact that he was gay in his 2011 memoir One Day I Will Write...

Monday, January 20th, 2014

France is no longer needed

Pratt Institute professor Ellery Washington writing in The New York Times: In the spring of 1984, during an interview for The Paris Review, a nearly 60-year-old Baldwin was asked why he had chosen to live in France,...

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Boss Player

The BBC news presenter Komla Dumor, who passed away this weekend from cardiac arrest, was an exceptional broadcaster; read Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie’s obit here. Everyone loved him. He was probably the most stylish newscaster also, and was well on his way...

Monday, January 13th, 2014

File Under: Mahmood Mamdani on South Africa’s much vaunted Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Because the (South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission) focused on perpetrators and overlooked the beneficiaries of mass violations of rights abuses – such as the pass laws and forced expulsions – it allowed the vast majority of...

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year!

We're taking a well deserved break. Back on January 11th. Meanwhile, go crazy in our archive.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The problem with Hollywood Mandelas

More important than the inaccuracies (and makeup malfunctions) is what "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (which stars Idris Elba) erases. Among its elisions are the Cold War, communism (the South African Communist Party recently confirmed that Mandela...

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

A Hollywood studio is making a film about Pele

Dramatic films about football–with few exceptions, say “Sixty Six” or “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation“– are usually a bust. It seems hard to recreate on-field action or to make connections to larger themes about the...

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Obiang’s son offers Equatorial Guinea’s national team a bonus of $6,7m if they beat Spain in friendly

We’re beginning to think the higher-ups at the Spanish FA didn’t really prepare themselves for what they were getting themselves into when they decided to schedule–at short notice–a meaningless friendly football match for La Roja against a...

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Football and Dictatorships

World and European champions Spain will play Equatorial Guinea in a friendly in Malabo on November 16th. We can only speculate as to why Spain is playing this match. There’s of course history: Spain once colonized Equatorial...

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