Blog entries from: AFRICA IS A COUNTRY


1 to 10 of 222

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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April 15 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Tue Apr 15 2014, 11:59:22

Henry Okelue suggested that today's History Lesson be about Nigeria's security agencies. Problem is, there's paucity of verifiable information, so, we'll go ahead with what was mapped out for today, which is about slavery, it's effects on us, up until this day. And before some people chop my head off, it is not possible, in any way, to compress five centuries of history into a few paragraphs. The idea behind this is so that those who are interested will pick it up. Like I stated earlier, I committed to doing this once a week as a response to Nigeria's removal of history from its school curriculum.

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Tue Apr 15 2014, 09:00:06

"The Forgotten Kingdom," the new feature film by American director Andrew Mudge, depicts the story of a rebellious young man called Atang, toiling in inner city Johannesburg. When Atang's father, living elsewhere in a Joburg township, passes away, he must voyage back to his homeland of Lesotho to honour his father's wish to be buried in [...]

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April 14 2014

From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 14 2014, 12:00:00

What is it with some white South Africans' penchant for living in an a-historical bubble? Gumtree, the South African Craigslist, is running an ad for an apartment in Randburg, a former white suburb of Johannesburg (with about 30% black residents) to which only "young white professionals" are invited to apply; then people who should know better (journalists, researchers) think Apartheid wasn't so bad after all. Now there's a Cape Town company that--in the name of subversive "art"--designs products using a slave ship drawing from a 1788 abolitionist broadside (chances are you've seen it). Yes: a graphic of a slave ship packed with slaves, intended to depict the inhumanity of chattel slavery, is now printed on dresses, aprons and ironing boards (which they actually refer to as "slaving ...

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 14 2014, 11:00:55

Peter Clarke. It is such sad news to hear of his passing quietly in the middle of the night on Sunday 13 April. His body is gone but his art remains - bearing witness, etched into memory. Peter Clarke holds a special place in my personal history. He was born in my home town, Simonstown in Cape Town. He and my mum grew up in the Kloof (pronounced Kloef)--what was then the poorer part of town. They went to the same school, Arsenal Primary, and my mum always recalls his artist prowess from then; the Clarkes were regular customers in my grandfather's shop in Waterfall Road, at the foot of what is still one of the resident naval barracks. He is the only South African artist I know of to have captured Simonstown pre-forced removals.

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From AFRICA IS A COUNTRY Mon Apr 14 2014, 09:00:57

The stuff rich white people say sometimes. The New York Times' Style section is more often than not full of arse-kissing puff pieces that do little besides illustrating the genealogies of privilege stretching between New York, Hollywood, Paris, London, and Caribbean island tax havens. Lots of these people also claim to love everything "Africa" (read: going [...]

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