For all the serious stuff we wrote or filmed about, tweeted or Facebooked this year (we’ll have a “Blogging Gold of 2015” in the new year, promise), this was undoubtedly the year that Prince Akeem, Queen Aoleon, King Jaffe Joffer and the “African” Kingdom of Zamunda made a spectacular comeback. Whether it was Snoop Dogg’s wife throwing a “Coming to Africa” birthday party for their son (TMZ has the video evidence), rapper Jidenna (!) throwing his “Nigerian Renaissance Ball,” Action Bronson reprising the whole film as a music video (Chance the Rapper played the Cuba Gooding Jnr. role) and, most notably, the Knowles-Carters borrowing not once–but twice–first in May (we couldn’t help noticing their inspiration) or at Halloween (above), everyone seemed to be in on Eddie Murphy and John Landis’s 1988 send-up of African stereotypes. Well, not everyone seemed to be in the joke: For example, Kandi from TV’s Real Housewives of Atlanta recreated scenes from Coming to America, including rose petals and real lions, for her wedding: “I wanted to do something inspired by Africa,” she said. Nevertheless, the upshot of all of this is that it is so 1988 to go after bad Western media representations of Africa and Africans. We dispense with that on Twitter. There are more important things going on. Of course, someone is probably planning to write a blog post (calling out celebrities who can’t find Zamunda on a map) or a dense academic paper (quoting Baudrillard or Stuart Hall) about what Zamunda stands for or to decipher Randy Watson’s homilies. While they figure that out (we’re onto something else in the meantime, just check the Archive), I’ll take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who worked on AIAC this year and for staying the course. We’re exhausted. So, we’ll be on a break from tomorrow till January 13th. Here’s to 2016.
Is there a future for industrialization on the African continent?
The ruling regime in Eritrea manipulates news and information to gain total control over its citizens.
History will reward those thinkers whose ideals and actions remained aligned with the people.
Israeli propaganda in Ghana, and elsewhere in Africa, is aimed especially at evangelical Christians.
On The New York Times’ tone deaf essays portraying the Nigerian women who managed to escape Boko Haram’s captivity.
More than a decade after his first hit, Wanlov the Kubolor remains a fiercely creative, independent and critical deconstructor of all things commercial.
President Jacob Zuma oversaw a rise in political violence across all sectors of South African society.
On Mother’s Day — a dedication to hardscrabble mothers.
Reporting on protests in poor communities where the mainstream media lacks, social media picks up the slack. This isn’t always a good thing.
In post-uprising Tunisia, the western backed military is hampering the country’s transition to democracy.
Wolof-centered television may be a beacon of hope for Senegal’s waning cinema culture.
Nigeria’s young, rich and glamorous are the Trojan Horse for the pains of neoliberalism.
Private education companies have sought to cash in on the development game.
Artists played central roles in the protest movement that ended dictatorship in Burkina Faso.
New Warscapes volume explores travels and lives of migrants and refugees beyond mainstream portrayals.
On International Workers’ Day, we provide a sweeping assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and potential of African trade unions.
Historian Jeffrey Ahlman talks with Dan Magaziner about Nkrumahism’s shifting forms, and its influence on contemporary decolonization movements.
We have a new co-host for the INTL BLK show. Francesca Harding joins Chief Boima for the fourth episode recorded in Los Angeles, California. Our guest is Angolan media personality and activist Mel Gamboa.
A study of Reuters suggests news media is not a simple mirror to the world: News content is a crafted, cultural product.
China is developing a media footprint in Africa, via providing digital TV services and a global news channel.