AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

POETRY

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Thursday, July 31st, 2014

James Matthews being James Matthews

The film, Diaries of a Dissident Poet, follows poet James Matthews around Cape Town, tracking him during a year, from his 83rd to 84th birthday. It opens with a small celebration of his 83rd at the District Six Homecoming Centre in (downtown Cape Town) and moves on to scenes of him in conversation or banter with

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Lesego Rampolokeng’s Elegy To Robo The Technician

“Raise your hand up if you’re a hip-hop head” said Lesego Rampolokeng, rallying a house full of poets at a gathering in Melville on a wet Sunday afternoon in 2013. I put mine up, as did a few...

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...

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Post-Script: Germany’s Colonial Legacy

The recent controversy around Günter Grass’s criticisms of Germany’s arms trade with Israel is an interesting post-script to the Namibian genocide controversy. The Nobel prize-winning author has written a poem – called ‘What needs to be said’ – which...

Monday, April 9th, 2012

‘Restless City’ at the 19th New York African Film Festival

Towards the final scenes of Restless City, Jessye Norman’s solo soprano voice scales the great buildings and the conveyor belts of vehicles, between all of which a small red scooter navigates, carrying the slim bodies of Djibril...

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The Party is not The Nation

From that same interview that I have been so liberally cutting and pasting from this week—in Comparative Literature–the Communist poet and intellectual, Jeremy Cronin, talks about the conundrum for black intellectuals after the end of Apartheid: …...

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