Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

When Maya Angelou lived in Egypt and Ghana

In 1961, Maya Angelou, already a civil rights worker, and her then partner Vusumzi Make, an exiled activist from South Africa (he was a leading Pan Africanist Congress member), moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she found work at a small radical newspaper. One year later, Angelou and Make broke up and she moved to Ghana with

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

The Komla Dumor I knew

A friend who knew I was once a broadcast journalist with Joy FM recently asked me whether I had any pictures with Komla Dumor (KD). My response was “unfortunately not, and I am not going to Photoshop...

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Boss Player

The BBC news presenter Komla Dumor, who passed away this weekend from cardiac arrest, was an exceptional broadcaster; read Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie’s obit here. Everyone loved him. He was probably the most stylish newscaster also, and was well on his way...

Saturday, October 15th, 2011


Tonight, the Afrikaaps crew, the South African musical about the history of the Afrikaans language, dedicated their last show in Holland to slain rapper Mr Devious; Michael Miranda, Shaun Magmoed and Jonathan Claasen, the three youngsters who died...

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Duke Ngcukana

In the last year fans of South African jazz had to contend with the passing of musicians Robbie Jansen, Ezra Ngcukana (in August 2010), Vincent Kolbe (in September 2010) and Hotep Idris Galeta. This weekend Duke Ngcukana, brother...

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Billy Bang

I am very sad to learn that Billy Bang has died at age 63. He was a beautiful musician who struggled with mental illness and other woes from the trauma of his service in Vietnam until he...

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Market Values

Since the coming of the nineties, things seem to change within . A new culture arrived with the nineties. It brought and legitimated the “market”. And in a very short space of time it took control...

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Basil Davidson, R.I.P.

The great activist historian of Africa, Basil Davidson, passed away last week in the UK. BTW, if you’re wondering about his wider impact, most college students of introductory African history or African Studies courses in the West–particularly...

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009


I got an email this morning from Johannesburg-based music journalist, Gwen Ansell: “… For those of you who have not already heard the sad news, I’ve just heard from Rashid Lombard in Cape Town that Winston Mankunku...

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


Free jazz drummer Rashid Ali, who played with John Coltrane (check the 1967 duets “Interstellar Space,” released after Coltrane passed), has passed away at the age of 74 years. Ali still performed well up to the time...