You know you’re an African writer if….

You are currently reading this because this was the last page you had open when your internet stopped working. The gods of technology created the internet so that writers all over the world could have an ocean of information to drink from at a moment’s notice. But not us African writers, no reader. You see, after decades of underfunded libraries and secondhand book stores that only stocked the copies of Danielle Steel novellas favored by 80s backpackers, the gods are quite sure that this sudden access to adequate information would be simply too much for the average African writer. And in any…

BIG IDEA | How the African Union can make young people give a f***

The African Union owes the citizens of African states an opportunity to gain true inspiration from their organisation. We have not been given that opportunity. The average educated African citizen sees the Union as a toothless dog barking at its problems, and if they surmount, merely burying them in Africa’s backyard, which I imagine is an abandoned desert filled with broken dreams. If this appears to be a dramatic analogy to you then allow yourself the chance to imagine what the uneducated citizen considers the African Union to be. Nothing. And no dramatised imagery can take that truth away. Numerous articles have been…

African Reader | Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Why I Read This Book When I was briefly in Finland, I saw more Somalian people than I every had before. Although I had grown up watching the news and seeing the reports of civil war and famine in Somalia, like many people, I’d never given much thought to what happened to those people after the TV was switched off and we children were sent to bed. Even as my interest in pan-Africanism grew and my curiosity about other African countries exploded in my adolescence, for some reason, Somalia had never popped up. Not until I landed in Helsinki during one of…

Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

Somehow, Beyonce’s latest music video release — a sloppy mix of bathroom selfies and dancing-on-a-hotel-balcony-in-a-pantie shots called “7/11″– got me thinking about democracy. The music video and its sloppiness , the crowd-pleasing lows of it, the commonness of it, was not simply a video to me. It was a law in practice that I had only begun to recognize. A law whose name I could not easily find on the first page of google results, so I’ll summarize it as: “at any given moment, we get the Beyonce we deserve.” When we celebrated excellence and talent and hard work, we got excellent, talented, hard-working Beyonce.…

Conversations With Siyanda Mohutsiwa

Originally posted on The Odyssey of Afro Artivism:
Siyanda Mohutsiwa is one of the most intelligent and alluring writers of our time. Her incredible passion for African issues are transparent in national and international publications she has done. She talks to me about African Feminism and the importance of Black Consciousness movement. Gaamangwe: So, In my books you are one of the most thought-provoking writers I know. You are not afraid to say it like it is. How did your relationship with writing start? Siyanda: I started to writing professionally when I was 12. I had a short-lived column in a national…

EVENT | Nordic-Africa Institute Celebrates 20 Years of SA Democracy

It was by a happy internet coincidence that I found out about the Nordic Africa Institute event celebrating twenty years of South African democracy. I’d spent an afternoon googling a number of keyword combinations, including: “Africa + Finland Society”, “Southern African + Scandinavia Group”, and “Nordic + Africa Association” out of the sheer longing that comes from having not made contact with another African in weeks.   So it was quite a wonderful thing when google brought up a number of results that included a business seminar hosted by the Finnish African Society, that I attended a week prior, and most wonderfully,…

Its Not About Evil | Why Examining Motives for Colonization Is More Important Than Ever

Now this may sound like a radical concept—and indeed it may very well be to some, but my stance is simple: Colonization is not an act of inherent evil. In order to explain this I will highlight what may not be obvious to some: ‘inherent evil’ is not a complicated idea. In fact, for something to be inherently evil it must be born or designed with the sole, or at least, major purpose of carrying out evil. (I will not dictate to you what you should consider evil, I will only say for the purposes of this article, ‘evil’ will mean the…