AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Transgendered in Botswana

“Pula, pula, na, na, ke tla gola leng.” The ethereal club banger “My Body” by Kat Kai Kol-Kes and her band Chasing Jakyb is an ode to the physical meeting of human body and rain. Kat is from Botswana, a country made up of 85 percent desert. Unsurprisingly, rain and water take on a mystical

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The Fingo Festival Revolution in South Africa’s Eastern Cape

“You’ve got a car? It’s less than two hours from here” says a Rasta woman I’ve known for a total of ten minutes. In that time, she’s managed to convince me to travel with her to a town...

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...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Can an algorithm be racist?

Can an algorithm be racist? Google’s translator (the new 2.0 version) works statistically. That Connectivist article (at the link) calls it “the great equalizer.” Unlike the first iteration that was based on the input of grammar rules...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

It’s just like Africa!

Linda de Mol is enormously popular in The Netherlands. She hosts tv game shows, even has her own talk show, speaks German fluently, and moreover, comes across as very approachable. (She also happens to be the sister...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Make Ignorance History

I wouldn’t be surprised if the two white South African students—Mark Burman and Ross Bartlett—who donned blackface and dressed up as “Venus and Sarena Williams” at a party at the University of Stellenbosch were sitting around a...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hipster’s Don’t Dance’s Top 5 World Carnival Tunes for September 2014

The second edition of the Hipster’s Don’t Dance monthly chart on Africa is a Country is here! Check it below, and be sure to visit the HDD blog regularly for all their great up-to-the-timeness out of London.

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...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Two filmmakers tackle sexual harassment in Egypt

Both domestically and abroad, the issue of sexual harassment has been called a sickness in Egyptian society. Abroad what had previously been framed mostly as an annoyance for female tourists was thrust into the spotlight in 2011...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hip Hop And Religion

Off the whim, I asked Kwanele Sosibo if he’d be interested in contributing to the series. He swung me this fascinating, unpublished piece about hip-hop and religion within a South African hip-hop context. Sosibo writes for the Mail and...

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Travelling while black

It takes a while to blink the light out of my eyes. I’m sitting in the back of a songthaew headed for a bus to Bangkok from Chiang Mai when suddenly the world goes white before returning...

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

‘The Italian Joseph Conrad’

Described by the literary press as the “Italian Joseph Conrad” and “a 20th century Balzac”, Alessandro Spina–the pen name of Basili Shafik Khouzam–was a Syrian Maronite who was born in Benghazi in 1927 and died in Milan...

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

The Afropeans are Coming

Over the next three days, a  group of artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural commentators will meet at Afropea Now!, a a symposium of film screenings, concerts, a workshop and an exhibition taking place at the cultural institution Stadtwerkstatt in...

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

5 Questions for a filmmaker … Taghreed Elsanhouri

Taghreed Elsanhouri directed the first Sudanese film to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, “All about Darfur,” in 2005. That same year the film also won the Chairperson’s Prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival...

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Letter to Kenya

Dear Kenya, My friends and family know I have been one of your biggest advocates and ambassadors. I love you. You are mine and I am yours. I chose to leave the bright lights of the west...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

To Live and Die with Ebola in Liberia

Shaki Kamara was a 15-year-old Liberian boy who lived in Monrovia’s notorious and misunderstood neighborhood of West Point. He was one of the casualties of the awful Ebola epidemic that’s gripping Liberia, but he didn’t die of...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Why are affected West African states so spectacularly ill-prepared to deal with Ebola

I was in Conakry when reports first surfaced of cases of the Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in the Forest Region of Guinea.  There had never been an Ebola outbreak outside of Central Africa before.  Initially, my colleagues...

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

New film, “Beats of the Antonov,” unlike anything I have ever seen

Every now and then, its seems as if there is nothing new out there. Everything seems derivative, repetitive or just plain bland. As a filmmaker, I sometimes go through moments of extreme lack of inspiration; and even...

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...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Scotland’s referendum is significant for people that want to secede. Like Zanzibaris

“Should Scotland be an independent country?” That is the question Scots will be asked when they go to the polls on September 18th. The outcome of the vote will have a significant impact on the future of...

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

The Resurrection of Nat Nakasa

“This is Simply a Personal Statement from Me to You” On August 18th I attended the memorial service for Nat Nakasa at the Broadway Presbyterian Church in Harlem.  What began as a somber event quickly turned joyous...

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The Economist magazine has had a “Slavery Problem” since 1843

The Economist has a slavery problem, as Greg Grandin has recently called it. Grandin’s wonderful article is a response to a series of lamentable book reviews published by The Economist that deal with the topic of slavery: Grandin’s own The Empire of...

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

What’s the matter with … R.W. Johnson

The South African RW Johnson has undergone a transformation of youthful radical to smug “anti-apartheid” liberal anti-communist and scholar of the French Left (think Tony Judt-lite), resulting in the final incarnation of a  pompous red-faced “liberal” colonial...

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Sepp Blatter says sports boycotts don’t work. ‘Would Mandela agree?’

Earlier this week Sepp Blatter, defending FIFA’s decision to not rescind its decision to award Russia the World Cup in 2018, said “Boycotts in sport never has had any benefit.” Watch it here for yourself. As 101GreatGoals.com,...

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Prayer in the time of Ebola

News of Ebola in West Africa immediately sent me back to the spring of 1974, when another highly contagious and deadly hemorrhagic virus known as Lassa fever swept through my hometown of Jos, Nigeria. All through that...

Friday, August 1st, 2014

We will be back tomorrow

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)...

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...

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