AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Friday, October 31st, 2014

Hipsters Don’t Dance Top 5 World Carnival Tunes for October 2014

The October edition of Hipster’s Don’t Dance’s 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. DJ Olu x Bance HKN records has been quiet of late but this debut single from DJ Olu’s up coming mixtape is something

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Digital Archive No. 1 – The Afrobarometer

A few weeks ago, at the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa in Burlington, Vermont, I got a chance to participate in a roundtable on Digital Southern African Studies with Africa Is a Country’s Sean Jacobs.  Sean...

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Maliban White Choclet Puff Sells Superior Light Skin

You all know that South Asians have this “thing” about light skin, right? I don’t need to go into too many details – the skin lighteners, the Bollywood films dominated by people who look like they came...

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker… Dani Kouyaté

In 1995 filmmaker and griot Dani Kouyaté won the Golden Stallion – The award for Best First Film at the pan-African film festival FESPACO – for his first feature Keïta! The Heritage of the Griot. He has...

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Gerard Gaskin, Legendary: Interview with the photographer

“I started become interested in this project, ‘Legendary’, back when I hung out in 42nd Street and Time Square in New York City. In the 42nd street area there was a place right across the street from...

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

What If We Publish Children’s Books African Kids Could Relate To?

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,” wrote Toni Morrison. Imagine a world with no Hobbits, no Aslan, no Dr. Who. These English mythologies,...

Monday, October 27th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Producer Brian Soko

Brian Soko is not a happy man! Not only is he having to deal with the trauma of a daylight break-in at a cottage he’s renting while on a three-week work-related trip to Jozi, but the rappers...

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The Dookoom debate in South Africa

Sometimes one can’t help but feel disheartened by the way we speak to each other in South Africa. Or rather, how people talk past each other, or about each other. Despite the fact that the peaceful transition...

Friday, October 24th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Video Profile On Rapper Sam Turpin

“The thing about Joburg,” observes rapper and producer Sam Turpin “it’s kind of on the scale of rich and poor.” Sam’s music explores themes of growing up in a changing South Africa. He’s constantly questioning, learning and...

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Pan-African fashion that rejects “social entrepreneurship”

‘Kushn’ is a chic, afro-futurist fashion and design store based in Cape Town. Owners Greer Valley and her husband, Themba Mntambo, started the company three years ago using leather and colourful woven cloth sourced from textile co-ops...

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Canadian burden

The “Of Africa” symposium begins at the Royal Ontario Museum tonight with a keynote by Binyavanga Wainana.  The gathering is an attempt by the museum to finally move beyond its vile and condemned 1989 exhibit “Into the heart...

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Music Revue, No.2: Dookoom Rises Up

Finally South African hip hop is spurring national debate, and it’s not Die Antwoord.  No it is Dookoom, the new Cape Town hip hop outfit fronted by local legend Isaac Mutant, which has caused a huge stir with...

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Thoughts On The Late Rapper Mizchif

I was home alone one Friday night around 2001 watching, as was tradition, one of the music shows which came on at SABC 1 during that period. It could’ve been Studio Mix during its dying years, or...

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Film Review: ‘100% Dakar–More than Art’

Dakar has long been hailed as a center of African visual arts since President Leopold Senghor hosted the World Festival of Negro Arts in 1966. More recently African Artists and art enthusiasts descend onto the city for...

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

South Africans lack table manners and posture. That’s all.

South Africa TV will soon debut “Real Housewives of Johannesburg.” If that’s not enough, in other news, the country’s first School of Etiquette is now open in one of Johannesburg’s rich northern suburbs. The owner of the...

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The Photographs of Thabiso Sekgala

There is one photograph (above) of the late Thabiso Sekgala’s that always reminds me of home. It is of lavender jacarandas lining a country road, paling a little from the weak winter sun. The haze of purple is...

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Future of The Gettleman

After re-reading this article last night, I traveled to the end of the world and was happy to find that I am still writing insightful pieces such as the below, which was first published in the New York...

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

‘There is no Ebola here’: What Liberia teaches us about the failures of aid

Professor Thandika Mkandawire is a development economist with a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue – one of Africa’s finest.  Last week I moderated a discussion on health and governance in Africa at a conference in...

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...

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Misunderstanding the Ebola Crisis Is Worse Than Ignoring It

When the first case of Ebola reached U.S. soil last month, the world finally began to pay attention—but not in the right way.  In December 2013 the Ebola virus appeared for the first time in rural Guinea....

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

How do we talk about the memory of Apartheid

In 1966 the South African government declared District Six—a high-density, mostly coloured residential area intrinsic to the fabric of downtown Cape Town for at least a century and situated on prime land beneath Table Mountain —to be...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Rusty and Golden Radiators are back!

The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), the organization responsible for the brilliant Africa for Norway campaign, is back with their annual awards for the worst and best fundraising videos by international development organizations: …and, like last year, Africa is a...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

#SAHipHop2014: Rapper Flex Boogie Live At Fingo Festival

As member of the hip-hop quartet Ba4za, Hakeem Lesolang presided over one of the most fertile yet under-appreciated eras in South African hip-hop. Capcity Rapcity as it was referred to by the bundles of heads scattered across...

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...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Music Revue, No.1: Is DJ Lewis’s “Stop Ebola” his “Grippe Aviaire” pt. 2?

DJ Lewis recently released a “Stop Ebola” song and video that reminds me of “Grippe Aviaire”, a song he released during the global Bird Flu pandemic some years ago: As I mentioned in my Cultural Anthropology contribution, “Grippe Aviaire” was more making...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

The South African filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, who made his feature film directorial debut with the stylish noir, “A Small Town Called Descent“. has over a decade long career spanning an entire spectrum of styles...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

LagosPhoto is Five Years Old

Four years ago I interviewed Azu Nwagbogu, director of Lagos-based African Artists’ Foundation and the annual photography festival LagosPhoto. At the time the interview appeared in Guernica, LagosPhoto had just finished its second year and Nwagbogu’s ambitions...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Ebola in Perspective: The role of popular music in crisis situations in West Africa

Cultural Anthropology published a series of articles last week called “Ebola in Perspective,” curated by two experts on crisis in the Mano River region, Danny Hoffman and Mary Moran. The Hot Spots series is an attempt by the journal to...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 6

(photo via NBC news) Africa is a Radio episode 6 opens up with a transnational blend, combining remixes of Dotorado Pro’s “African Scream” with its sample source: DJ Sbu & Zahara’s “Lengoma.” From there we travel around...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Why I am Afraid of the African Disease of Ebola

Wherever I turn, there is Ebola. In the newspapers and magazines, on television and radio, and across the ubiquitous social media. Ebola. I sweat, shake, and cringe in mortal fear. Such an ugly word, fearsome in its...

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