Thomas Sankara Boulevard

Plus the great novelist Sarah Ladipo Manyika has put together a list of the best books of the Mugabe years.

Thomas Sankara.

First up: There is outrage all over the continent and in the diaspora in reaction to the CNN’s reporting on Libya’s slave trade. But this level of racism in Libya and the Maghreb is old news. Libya is only one stop on a treacherous journey that finds thousands of migrants without power over their own lives. Meanwhile, Blackwater is pitching itself to the European Union for an Afghanistan-style private police to patrol Libya’s southern border.

(2) The African Union hasn’t looked good in any of this, particularly in the last two weeks. From its lack of awareness and measured action concerning the dangers of the migrant route to its dilemma over what to do during in the non-coup coup in Zimbabwe. An old piece about the African Union’s role in Libya is a helpful read. How did we get here?

(3) All eyes are on Musevini in Uganda, who most have been watching the unfolding events in Zimbabwe perhaps more closely than usual. Last week he decided to decorate a number of Army officers out of the blue.

(4) There is, rightly, so much comment and reflection on the ongoing upheavals in Zimbabwe. Here are a couple we thought you shouldn’t miss:

Pettina Gappah’s essay on growing up in the early years of Mugabe’s rule.

A summary of Mugabe’s exit package (Arsenal fans will do well to take note)

A list of cultural mainstays that are as old as Mugabe’s presidency

If you looking to go down a more literary route to learn more about Zimbabwe in general, the great novelist Sarah Ladipo Manyika has put together a list of the best books of the Mugabe years.

(5) The Nigerian government is planning on turning the home of Yusuf Mohammed, founder of Boko Haram, into a museum. Critics point out that rather than serving the intended purpose of reminding posterity of this scourge, it might serve to immortalize him.

(7) Youth in Burkina Faso changed Charles DeGaule Avenue to Thomas Sankara Avenue, after the murdered president, on the day the French President Macron delivered his “Africa” speech in Ouagadougou. There was little new Macron said on his visit, outside of a promise to declassify the documents related to the assassination of President Sankara. Oumar Ba directs our attention not to the speech, but to the nature of the students interaction with Macron as the real insight to be gleaned from this visit contrasting African leaders’ relation to their citizens and former colonial leaders.

(8) The journalism educator Frankie Edozien comments on the agony and joy of being a gay African compares progress as well as obstacles remaining from our highest institutions on the continent to local communities.

Further Reading

A power crisis

Andre De Ruyter, the former CEO of Eskom, has presented himself as a simple hero trying to save South Africa’s struggling power utility against corrupt forces. But this racially charged narrative is ultimately self-serving.

Cinematic universality

Fatou Cissé’s directorial debut meditates on the uncertain fate and importance of Malian cinema amidst the growing dismissiveness towards the humanities across the world.

The meanings of Heath Streak

Zimbabwean cricketing legend Heath Streak’s career mirrors many of the unresolved tensions of race and class in Zimbabwe. Yet few white Zimbabwean sporting figures are able to stir interest and conversation across the nation’s many divides.


After winning Italy’s Serie A with Napoli, Victor Osimhen has cemented his claim to being Africa’s biggest footballing icon. But is the trend of individual stardom good for sports and politics?

Breaking the chains of indifference

The significance of ending the ongoing war in Sudan cannot be overstated, and represents more than just an end to violence. It provides a critical moment for the international community to follow the lead of the Sudanese people.

The magic man

Chris Blackwell’s long-awaited autobiography shows him as a romantic rogue; a risk taker whose life compass has been an open mind and gift to hear and see slightly into the future.

How to think about colonialism

Contemporary approaches to the legacy of colonialism tend to narrowly emphasize political agency as the solution to Africa’s problems. But agency is configured through historically particular relations of which we are not sole authors.

More than just a flag

South Africa’s apartheid flag has been declared hate speech by a top court. But while courts are important and their judgments matter, racism is a long and internationally entrenched social phenomenon that cannot be undone via judicial processes.

Resistance is a continuous endeavor

For more than 75 years, Palestinians have organized for a liberated future. Today, as resistance against Israeli apartheid intensifies, unity and revolutionary optimism has become the main infrastructure of struggle.

Paradise forgotten

While there is much to mourn about the passing of legendary American singer and actor Harry Belafonte, we should hold a place for his bold statement-album against apartheid South Africa.

The two Africas

In the latest controversies about race and ancient Egypt, both the warring ‘North Africans as white’ and ‘black Africans as Afrocentrists’ camps find refuge in the empty-yet-powerful discourse of precolonial excellence.