AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Kenya

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Thursday, July 31st, 2014

What is happening to Mombasa, Kenya?

Historically known for a relaxed pace of life, Mombasa on Kenya’s coast has also been a regional hub for business, trade and tourism. Its population is diverse; recent figures indicate the city is divided between Christians and Muslims (59% and 41%, respectively), with one-third of inhabitants also originating from outside of the region. Along with

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Tanzania and the Palestinian Struggle

The current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has once again brought to the forefront the suffering of the Palestinian people. It has reignited the debate on collective punishment they are made to endure as well as the...

Friday, May 30th, 2014

What’s in the future for Lamu on Kenya’s Coast

Lamu Old Town is an ancient, bustling city of palm trees and artisans and stories, where trades and traditions are passed down from generation to generation largely unchanged. Acting as a trading hub for centuries, the archipelago’s...

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Lupita Nyong’o and the Mexicans

“How much does the Oscar belong to Mexico?” a reporter asked actress Lupita Nyong’o the day after the 2014 Academy Awards. Her answer “It all belongs to me.” A few months earlier, when “12 Years a Slave” premiered at...

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...

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: What Britain did in Kenya

The following is the full text of a letter written by David Larder to the Guardian newspaper last year, following the court settlement which saw the UK government pay out £2,670 to each of the 5,228 elderly...

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Kenya’s first mockumentary takes on the NGO world

Anyone working in international development for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) over the past few years has likely had one of the following experiences: 1) Witnessing an external consultant or boss being flown in from abroad to “manage” the...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Work of Kenyan Photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (b. 1983) is a young Kenyan photographer who lives and works in Nairobi. Educated from the University of Cape Town in 2006 she has a number of exhibition and projects behind her. Despite her...

Monday, January 27th, 2014

How to say Lupita Nyong’o

At the moment, everyone seems to be obsessed with the stunning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o. And for good reason. Her heart-wrenching performance in the film 12 Years a Slave has won her critical acclaim, while her humility...

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

#Watch Binyavanga’s brilliant YouTube documentary calling out the BS behind “African” homophobia

We’ve been looking forward to this one. When our friends at the Guardian and BBC (and plenty of other outlets) finally reported on Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderful essay yesterday, we learned that he had a documentary up his sleeve as...

Friday, January 17th, 2014

#Breaking: New York Times discovers African artists use the Internets

The New York Times’ printing press is still radiating from January 8th, 2014 when the newspaper’s East Africa correspondent Nicholas Kulish published a story (with accompanying video) about how the presence of Africans on the Internet represents...

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The Donkey that Carried the Cloud on its Back

This is just a short post to give everyone a heads up on a crowd funding campaign for a new documentary on the construction of Africa's largest port on the island of Lamu, Kenya. The film will...

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Trevor Schoonmaker

Schoonmaker: When did you start to see work by African artists that you did respond to? Was that in New York? Mutu: In New York, ironically, you know, in the early ’90s. Richard Onyango, one of Kenya’s...

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Aidan Hartley’s Africa

In Aidan Hartley’s Africa, the progress of the continent is measured by its hospitability to white people and animals. Hartley was a war correspondent turned Wild Life columnist for The (British) Spectator magazine. A white Kenyan, he...

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

The Westgate Mall photographs

It has been about two weeks since the attacks at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, and as the news reports about it and its aftermath quiet, the presence of its photographs are still strong. They appear on as...

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

A Tribute to Kofi Awoonor: The Story of Sankofa

Alas! a snake has bitten me My right arm is broken, And the tree on which I lean is fallen. (from Songs of Sorrow, by Kofi Awoonor) When Kofi Awoonor started out as a writer, after his...

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Kenya’s Westgate Mall Attack and the Politics of Spectacular Violence

The masked gunmen who stormed Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Saturday did one thing right. In targeting a site at the epicenter of elite consumerism in the upscale neighborhood of Westlands, they galvanized worldwide attention. As the mainstream...

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

“This is not only Ghana’s loss” — Ato Quayson remembers Kofi Awoonor (1935-2013)

I first met Kofi Awoonor (who died this weekend in the terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya) as an excitable 17-year-old high school student then in the Sixth Form. We had been set Awoonor’s This Earth, My Brother...

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Kibwe Tavares’ short film “Jonah”

I have been trying to attend as many of The Future Weird’s (see here, as well) screenings as possible in recent months. The Future Weird is a monthly series focused on films by directors from Africa and...

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Two responses to Mindy Budgor, “Maasai warrior princess”

Yesterday we reluctantly posted on Mindy Budgor, memoirist and professional attention-seeker who’s telling anyone who’ll listen that she’s the first female Maasai warrior. Really we wanted to hear from readers. Here are two of the responses we...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

What can Barack Obama’s “Power Africa” program achieve?

Seven billion dollars is a lot of money—except when it goes into infrastructure. Then, $7bn, the sum that the US has committed to spend over the next five years on the Obama administration’s newly-announced Power Africa initiative,...

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Tuleka Prah’s African Food Map

The genesis of the idea was simple and uncomplicated. I was looking for a recipe online and was generally disappointed with what I found. Many links were unnecessarily verbose, cluttered in structure or layout and displayed alarmingly...

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Even after the Mau Mau case the British will never stop kidding themselves about the crimes of empire

Torture comes cheap for the old imperial powers. Just £2,670 was paid out this month to each of the 5,228 elderly Kenyans judged eligible for compensation as the British government finally settled a case it has attempted...

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Kenyan Neorealism

The American film critic J. Hoberman has said that Vittorio De Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves” is “the most universally praised movie produced anywhere on planet Earth.” The 1948 Italian neorealist film won an Oscar seven years before the...

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°35

We hardly ever feature Brazilian music, and even less their take on Afrobeat. The above tune by the Abayomy Afrobeat Orchestra dates from last year, but the video’s new. Hope to see more from them. We’ve got 9...

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Kenya: The monster under the house

At the end of my first term in high school, I watched a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist, the tale of an ordinary family unknowingly living in a house built over a graveyard without the bother of...

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

The Western Journalist in Africa

In 1982, as the air force-led coup attempt in Kenya unfolded, we sat glued to our transistor radio listening to the BBC and Voice of America (VOA). In fact, the more the oppressive the Moi regime censored...

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Kenya is More than its Election

The Kenyan people have voted. The Kenyan elections have come and not quite gone. The foreign press offered its readers a veritable smorgasbord of dreadfully decontextualized representations, and now that the actual polling has passed, you can...

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Africa is a Country TV is back: We interview Kenyan supergroup Just a Band

Apart from seeing our logo superimposed on a building in downtown Johannesburg, this is a good way to celebrate AIAC TV’s return to Youtube. We (well Dylan Valley) attended STR.CRD in Johannesburg last year. STR.CRD is South...

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

How (not) to report on Kenya’s elections

Kenyans vote today (in some places voting have already started). And somehow, as in any election in any African country, the cliches are not far behind. “Will Kenya fall into mayhem after the results of the general...

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