AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

POLITICS

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Disgraced Abdoulaye Wade leaves behind “exile” in Versailles; returns to Dakar

Two years ago, Abdoulaye Wade, after 12 of years in power as Senegal’s President, lost his post in an election against his former Prime Minister, Macky Sall. Wade decamped to the wealthy Versailles suburb in Paris (his wife is French and he lived there during exile from Senghor’s regime). Last week he returned to Senegal.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Survey: What do Nigerians really think and know about homosexuality?

In January this year, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Anti-Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law. According to a NOI Polls survey conducted in June 2013, 92% of Nigerians support the legislation, giving Nigeria the second-highest rate...

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

20 Years of Freedom: The post-1994 power brokers and black liberation

On May 7th South Africans go to the polls to vote for national and provincial representatives (the majority party gets to pick the President and the Cabinet). In the lead up to the election, we’ll carry a few...

Monday, April 21st, 2014

#HistoryClass: Nigeria’s Police

Right, so by popular demand, let’s talk about the Nigeria Police this Easter Monday because they definitely need to be resurrected. The Nigerian police have come under a lot of scrutiny recently because of, frankly, very poor...

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Who are Boko Haram, and how did they come to be?

Nigeria has a long history of communal conflicts, many of which were only suppressed under military rule. Despite the heavy handed tactics of the dictators, some of these conflicts came to the fore, the best example being...

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The last space of cultural dynamism in Luanda’s baixa is no more

Thirty years ago Joni Mitchell sang: “They paved paradise/ And put up a parking lot/ With a pink hotel, a boutique/ And a swinging hot spot. /Don’t it always seem to go/ That you don’t know what...

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The African Cake

Last week a bunch of smartly dressed activists, myself included, made a visit to the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) offices in London pretending to be representatives of large food corporations and offering them a cake...

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, April 10th, 2014

Where were you when Chris Hani was killed?

On the day he died, i was in our flat on grafton and minors in yeoville. my dad called. i turned on the TV to hear the worst news. i remember being quite hysterical, laughing,...

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

What’s it like to be Somali in Kenya

Twitter is abuzz and Somalis are trending in Kenya, not for reasons of their own, but rather impositions beyond their capacity. There is quite a lot of outrage from all corners that Kenyans venture, from the passionately...

Monday, April 7th, 2014

#HistoryClass: On Nigeria’s standing as Africa’s “biggest” economy

It took centuries before capitalism’s survival and future growth depended on an increase of the standards of living among the general population. This was reflected in the living standards of the people in the capitalist West. They...

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Cape Town’s Pretend Partnership

There have been only a few instances in my life where my reflex response to a situation has been to throw up. One of these occasions was last Monday night − and the impulse lasted almost three...

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

Africa has always been more Queer than generally acknowledged

Homosexuality is also often depicted as an import from the deviant West. But the African Continent has always been more queer than generally acknowledged; it has always rainbow-hazed into such a range of sexualities that it is...

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

The Congolization Movement

On January 17th, a group of local artists (Pitcho Womba Konga, Fredy Massamba, Badi Banx, Caroline, Kamanda, Lety, Jack, Karim, Christian, Malkia and myself) pulled off "the Action" in L'Horloge Du Sud, better known as the Afro-European...

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...

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Going to the Mall in Brazil

Since last December, Brazilian shopping malls have become the stage for a new style of youth gathering: the rolezinho. Roughly translated as “little excursions” or outings, the rolezinhos can be characterized as planned meetings (via social network)...

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

In gratitude to Stuart Hall, a socialist intellectual who taught us to confront the political with a smile

Stuart Hall was the most important public intellectual of the past 50 years. In an age where having a TV show allegedly makes someone a public intellectual and where the status of the university you work at...

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

A ‘credible political opposition’ in South Africa

South African writer and journalist, William Gumede, in a contribution to The Guardian asserts that “South Africa desperately needs a relevant, credible and non-racial alternative to the dominant ANC” if “the infant democracy to fully...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Washington Post predicts a year full of coups in Africa

The Washington Post’s foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher (about whose infatuation with coloured maps we blogged before here and here) posted an entry earlier this week entitled: 'A worrying map of countries most likely to have a...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Fighting Poverty, Environmental Activism, and Lessons from Madiba: An Interview with Kumi Naidoo

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kumi Naidoo, the first African head of Greenpeace International. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1965 Naidoo became an anti-apartheid activist at the early age of 15, something that eventually...

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Africa: where are your openly gay public figures?

Binyavanga Wainaina’s coming out last week was seen as a ‘bombshell’ by a wide range of media, including the New York Times, and Kenya’s Daily Nation. Certainly it was cheered by many, both publicly and privately, as...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Mamphela had a Party

A star that shone too brightly has been snuffed out before its time. On Tuesday, not even a year since its launch, and months shy of contesting its first – and South Africa’s fourth – democratic election,...

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Born Free Films

In a few months, South Africa’s “born free generation” will cast their ballots in the country’s fifth democratic election for the first time. It’s been 20 years since the apartheid government lost power, and yet the country...

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...

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Ghana in 2013: Five Lessons Learned

It has been a year since Ghana held presidential and parliamentary elections — elections that saw John Dramani Mahama hold on to the presidency six months after he stepped into the position following the death of the...

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

African refugees walk to Jerusalem in mass protest against indefinite detention by Israeli state

Last week on December 16, in an act of civil disobedience, over 150 asylum seekers walked all the way from the ‘open’ prisons facility in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel to Jerusalem. Contesting the new policy which forces them...

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Nelson Mandela and the Dutch

Shortly after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela embarked on a six week tour across Europe. As the Dutch newspaper NRC mentioned last week, he initially declined the invitation to include the Netherlands in this tour, this...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Burying Comrade Nelson Mandela

Part of the difficulty of organizing this ritual is this: nearly 20 years after apartheid we are scattered generations with diverse fates. We have lived long enough after 1994 to not only be the oppressed. We also...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

The Mandela Legacy

Madiba’s example of forgiveness, reconciliation, and humility are inseparable from his unwavering commitment to combat white supremacy, and promote equality and justice. That commitment, conveyed in his leadership, provided a beacon to the negotiations to replace apartheid...

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