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 unequal application of firepower by Israel.  After close to 20 days of Israeli air raids followed by a

Friday, April 11th, 2014

‘Films to fall asleep to': Are development agencies derailing the film industry in Tanzania?

Smooth camera work. Masterful writing. Clear audio. Linear narratives. There are plenty of people who watch Hollywood films and think that their local films could look and feel more like the productions that grace movie theatres across...

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...

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard—A Story About Cape Town’s Tanzanian Stowaways—Summer 2012

Towards the end of 2012 Moses was arrested and charged under the Immigration Act for being in the country illegally. He called to say he was being held in Pollsmoor Prison, then weeks went by in which...

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard—A Story About Cape Town’s Tanzanian Stowaways—Winter 2012

Adam called one day in June 2012 to say he had seen a ship he liked the look of in the Ben Schoeman Dock, and that he would probably be gone before the end of the day....

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard—A Story About Cape Town’s Tanzanian Stowaways—Spring 2011

It was a few months before I bumped into Daniel-Peter again. His once tiny English vocabulary, which had nevertheless contained the words “anchorage”, “fibreglass”, “first mate” and “consulate”–gleaned from the Ukranian crew of a ship he boarded...

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard—A Story About Cape Town’s Tanzanian Stowaways—Fall 2011

It was mid-2011 when I first heard about the community of Tanzanian stowaways living under Nelson Mandela Boulevard at the foot of Cape Town, where the high rise buildings end and the docklands begin. David Southwood was...

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

We need to talk about Jeremy Clarkson

In the spirit of recent posts on AIAC about reality TV shows in Germany and Italy which use Africa as background to national television’s asinine imagination, I’d like to step back a few months and check out...

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,...

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

RIP Bi Kidude, Empress of East Africa

It was 2011 and we were preparing for TEDxDar. Behind schedule as always, we needed to get Bi Kidude, this iconic figure on our stage. We wanted to hear her voice and her story in an intimate...

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 7th, 2013

Marcus Garvey’s Africa

Late last year I had the opportunity to review College of William and Mary History Professor Robert Vinson’s remarkable new book, The Americans Are Coming! Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa. Vinson details both...

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 and Albinos in Tanzania has become a bit too predictable with their cheap alarmist headlines, and overly simplistic narratives of “other” people. Recently Vice published “The Fight to Stop Tanzanians Killing and Eating Albino People” which they have now changed...

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Mozambique, the new frontier of global capitalism

Recent business reporting on newly discovered natural resources in Eastern and Southern Africa evokes a new frontier for explorers on the Indian Ocean: Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania have become the center of an “energy boom” and thus,...

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

How to write about children in Africa

In early October this year, PBS released the documentary ‘Half the Sky’, based on the book by frequent AIAC target and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn (a former Times journalist) focusing...

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Film Africa (4): ‘Veejays in Dar es Salaam’

My first thought was wow; some anthropologists went to Tanzania to make a documentary about the politics of translation and made something a lot more fun. This is the inside story of Lufufu and DJ Mark, the...

Friday, June 8th, 2012

New Media and Activism

A couple of weeks back I had the privilege of being able to bring together a few of the leading lights in social media in eastern and southern Africa, for a discussion about the role of social...

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Afrikaans struggle

The obituary of British anti-apartheid campaigner Bruce King makes reference to his marriage to his South African wife, Jamela Adams. It describes their wedding in "a Muslim ceremony in Cape Town" in 1964 in defiance of the...

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°4

Five for the weekend. I haven’t done this in a while. First up Philadelphians Chill Moody (rapper) and Cody Kahmar with the music video for “My Eyes”:

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Music Break. Cabo Snoop

An older Cabo Snoop tune (kuduristas in Angola and elsewhere have been dancing to ‘Zagala’ since 2010) but it comes with a new video in which he gets away with dropping his name (and record) among the...

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The Spanish-Tanzanian Connection

One of the things that impressed me the most during several visits to the Arabian/Perisan Gulf over the past couple of years were clear signs of African influence on the Peninsula. It made think a lot about...

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Music Break. Friday Bonus Edition

You won’t see or hear a more exciting song by a South African rapper this year than Kanyi’s ‘Ingoma’. Produced by Mananz, with Teboho Semela (sister of Ben Sharpa) on violin. From Gugulethu, Cape Town:

Monday, November 7th, 2011

South Africans ‘going into Africa’

My friend Chipo recently sent me this pilot of a documentary travel series entitled Going Native. Not only was I pleasantly surprised to find Chipo in the pilot as one of the characters, but also found the...

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Music Break. X Plastaz

Nice work by Tanzanian crew X Plastaz, with some help of Fid Q, Bamba Nazar and J4. The video comes with subtitles, and the lyrics speak for themselves. Curious how many recent tracks carry an explicit ‘Africa’...

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

‘Hipster in Africa’

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

‘For the Africans in the Diaspora’

From somewhere in American suburbia, the very frank, at times trite The Ten Minute Fix, a Youtube “talk show” series with an East African bias. Here’s the raison d’etre: “This idea was born from the sheer fact...

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Snake Oil

Selling desperate people false hope, especially AIDS patients, are common on the African continent–well documented in my native country, South Africa–now there’s this “faith healer” in Tanzania who has people in East Africa traveling thousands of miles...

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

‘Shaka Zulu’

Not sure what to make of the video. The video was filmed “in Africa.” Kage Sparks, who calls himself “the African Street Ambassador,” and whose family hails from Kenya and Tanzania, has his “tribe riding for me.”

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Film Critic

The 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick “Commando” is narrated–“shot for shot”–by a 9-year old Tanzanian boy. (The video is is part of a campaign by a US-based NGO; forget the politics, just indulge in the joy of children)....

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Swahili Cipher

Thomas Gesthuizen, known by followers of as Juma4, has been running the number one African Hip Hop site and radio show in the world for a few years.  The site, which has had various incarnations over...

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