9911
5 mins read

Mandela had an Ethiopian passport under the name David Motsomayi. Where did he go?

We don’t live in a world of heroes, but at rare moments we celebrate those who emerge from the shadows to push them further back. I don’t know if Nelson Mandela had heroes. He must have done. We all know he had comrades, both within the ANC and without. When he visited Mali in 1996, he wanted to see some of those foreign comrades, men who had helped him in the early 1960s before they were all—guest and hosts alike—imprisoned. When, in 1962, he had come to Bamako before his trial at Rivonia and his imprisonment, the struggle in South Africa was accelerating. When he returned thirty-four years later, he was a sitting president. Some Malians remember with pride that pair of visits, separated by decades, one by a young freedom fighter, another by an elder sage.

5 mins read

‘Very African and Very Modern’

It may be tempting to read Congolese-Belgian rapper Baloji’s music as a relatively straightforward exercise in “indigenizing” or localizing hip-hop, but the story of his transnational musical moorings — especially his ambivalence toward Congolese pop — complicates such an interpretation.

724
2 mins read

Coming to America

  It would be difficult for me to write this post without revealing my excitement at discovering the talents of Sierra-Leonean, American, Atlantian, New Yorker filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu. After seeing…..

Less than a minute read

'100% Liberian'

African nationalism from an unlikely quarter;  rapper I-20 from Ludacris-owned label, Disturbing Tha Peace. Great hook too.  (Actually scrap the stuff about unlikely quarters.) via Bombastic Elements

Less than a minute read

Corporate sponsored Pan-Africanism

Footage of rappers Ludacris and Busta Rhymes performing in Nigeria last December. The video was made by a member of Ludacris’ entourage. The corporate sponsored Pan-Africanism is something to behold.

Less than a minute read

Soldier Boy

I don’t have much time for the phenomenon that is Soulja Boy and his nonsensical lyrics. Like in “Turn My Swag On.” But a German group, Die Orsons, took the…..