How does the African family contribute to corruption?

We talk about corruption a lot. Sometimes we even discuss its causes, but often in very abstract, macroeconomic and historical terms. We talk about corruption in a very “big picture way.” However, for a time, I’ve wondered why we don’t zoom in. But not too far so that we are looking only at the psyche of the singular corrupt-or, but just far enough that we look at his family too. How does the African family contribute to corruption? This year we were given front row seats to the breakdown of football legend Emmanuel Adebayor’s family. In a move that many … Continue reading How does the African family contribute to corruption?

Africa This Week With Siyanda

If you know me, in real life, then you know that I am obsessed with YouTube. If my TV set hopped of its stand and proceeded to nae-nae on the coffee-table, I wouldn’t even notice. My eyes would be glued to the YouTube video playing on my cell. That’s how 2015 I am.  This love has existed since my parents finally agreed to install an internet connection at home. So, a few years ago I took the plunge and started a little YouTube project where I uploaded videos of myself talking about books — my favorite topic. And after I … Continue reading Africa This Week With Siyanda

An in-depth interview about #ifAfricawasaBar

This week I started a hashtag that went viral. I asked African Twitter users to answer the question: If Africa was* a bar, what would your country be drinking/doing? It resulted in a lot of humorous contributions from Africans all over the continent. By this morning, there were over 61,000 tweets under the hashtag, #ifAfricawasabar. A french journalist contacted me to do an interview for Le Monde Afrique, and although the finished product was published in French here, I decided to post the complete interview here. Please enjoy! How was the hashtag born ? “What if X was* a bar” … Continue reading An in-depth interview about #ifAfricawasaBar

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 … Continue reading You know you’re an African writer if….

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

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 … Continue reading African Reader | Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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, … Continue reading Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve