Blog entries from: AFRICA IS A COUNTRY


1 to 10 of 219

April 22 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Tue Apr 22 2014, 11:00:04

A few days ago, Bizcommmunity, an online platform for writings about, amongst other things, content about media, PR and advertising in South Africa published an article riddled with stereotypes. "The township is no longer a foreign land far away and its story is no longer one of the haves and have-nots," writes one Danette Breitenbach, who has clearly never lived in a township. But the narrative Ms Breitenbach weaves here is not hers alone.

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Tue Apr 22 2014, 09:00:49

"How much does the Oscar belong to Mexico?" a reporter asked actress Lupita Nyong'o the day after the 2014 Academy Awards. Her answer "It all belongs to me." A few months earlier, when "12 Years a Slave" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, she was more diplomatic. She explained that she was born in Mexico, that her [...]

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April 21 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 21 2014, 11:00:40

'... Around the 1940's, Giovanni Papini declared that Latin America had not provided anything to humanity, not even a saint, as if that was not good enough. He was wrong, because we did have Santa Rosa de Lima, but he didn't count her, maybe because she was a woman. His assertion illustrated precisely the idea that Europeans have always shared about us: that all that is not done the way they do it is a mistake, and they make everything to correct it, their way, as the United States does. Simón Bolívar, desperate to hear advises and impositions, demanded one day: "Let us make our own Middle Ages".'

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 21 2014, 09:00:50

"He said, 'Hunni nobody can do this, you're the only person here who can do this. You're always the queen bee, and fabulous, and over the top, so there's nobody else here who can do an African tribal dance. You're the only black girl here.' I thought that was creative and awesome and I was like whaaaat?! I've only been to Africa one time I don't know what they do over there, but let's try it!"

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 21 2014, 03:00:28

Right, so by popular demand, let's talk about the Nigeria Police this Easter Monday because they definitely need to be resurrected. The Nigerian Police exists as a force to provide, er, security for Nigerians. It was established in 1930 by the colonial government. Before 1930, we had the Hausa Constabulary, established in 1879, the Royal [...]

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April 18 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Fri Apr 18 2014, 14:27:45

Listen to Africa is a Country Radio every month on Groovalizacion. March's episode was the first one, and it features music from Sierra Leone, Angola, Colombia, Brazil, Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana, and more! Old episodes will be archived on the site here, and via our new Mixcloud account. Last month's show is streaming below. Look out for the next [...]

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April 17 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Thu Apr 17 2014, 12:30:52

I recently downloaded a copy of a book from a white-supremacist website (sorry, no links here). It claims that, because of evolutionary forces at work in Africa, black people have smaller brains, lower IQs, more sex hormones, higher rates of crime, and are worse parents than whites. (It also reports, with what seems like a touch of sour grapes, that black men have larger penises.) Why did I do this to myself? Because the author, the late J. Philippe Rushton, had just been cited in an op-ed appearing in the New York Times as an authority on--wait for it--morality.

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Thu Apr 17 2014, 11:00:52

When Hollywood does Africa, there's little in the romance and love department, unless it's about Karin Blixen making ill-fated choices (in white colonial men) or some random family who move to Africa and fall in love with the land ... and the flame trees (you know the list I'm thinking about). When a white do-gooder escapee from European/British stultification falls for a gorgeous Ugandan--she's going to get chopped up by Idi. If ever we see black characters falling in love, their romantic world is overshadowed by various external crisis--warlords, corrupt politicians, locusts, famine, war (then a nice white aid worker helps one kid). Love is rarely explored in terms of the emotional and existential crises that love between two white people from America or Europe is explored, or in a ...

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Thu Apr 17 2014, 09:00:30

Nigeria has a long history of communal conflicts, many of which were only suppressed under military rule. Despite the heavy handed tactics of the dictators, some of these conflicts came to the fore, the best example being the Maitatsine conflict which was eventually wiped out in the early 1990s. A lot of these conflicts and the groups that aid them found more freedom after the return to civilian rule. One of these groups is Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad, which became the Boko Haram sect.

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Thu Apr 17 2014, 03:00:10

A few weeks ago, the Central Library in the Cape Town made a book maze from books that were intended to be pulped. Inserted in between the stacks of books that were packed on the first floor, coming up to my shoulders, and sitting atop the stack was a book, Beyond the Blues: Township Jazz in the 60s and 70s, A Photographic Book. When the maze was disassembled, the public, principals and other libraries were invited to grab a book for free. Amidst the chaos that ensued I got my hands on the book 'Beyond the Blues'. I have stared at it many times. It invokes in me memories I do not own. Memories I have weaved together from other books and other people. The photographs in it are not just works of art but they are ways in which a memory can be haunted and jolted from its state of forgetting.

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