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AFG6 About What is MsAfropolitan about?

If you’re looking for a site that aims to unravel myths surrounding Africa and womanhood from a feminist perspective and which provides narratives that remain largely obscure from mainstream media, you have come to the right place. MsAfropolitan gives a woman’s take on Africa & diaspora society with a cosmopolitan outlook. You’ll find analyses of topics that concern African heritage women, opinion pieces and personal stories about the African Diaspora, African feminism, Afropolitanism, popular culture in Africa, masculinities, race, politics and lifestyle.

My Digital Journey

My parents sometimes jokingly tell people that I was a blogger already as a child. Of course, blogs did not exist in the 80s when I grew up. But when I wasn’t scribbling in a diary, I would contribute to school pamphlets with articles that had titles such “How to be happy” and “What is good to learn at school”. Or my favourite, which is simply called “Advice”!

My passion for writing commentary accompanied me into adulthood and so it followed that as soon as I discovered blogging, and that I, despite my limited technological knowledge, could author one, I did. This was in 2006 when some of the first platforms that enabled easy access to blogging started to appear. My first blog was called Revealing Me and, as the title implies, the idea was to share my innermost thoughts about a range of topics, from the mundane to  the philosophical, from love and relationships to fashion and technology. To be frank, the blog was quite incoherent, it had no central theme or structure but through it I learnt that I wanted to create content that I myself wished I had access to, a raison d’être that I continue to be motivated by until today.

Blogging, I discovered, could be both a fun and impactful way to engage in self-expression, thought leadership and knowledge production. In fact I enjoyed blogging so much that in 2009, I decided to abandon a successful career in marketing to focus on building my blog and learning more about the topics that I wanted to address. By then, I had worked for publishing and design agencies in Sweden, New York and London and while I enjoyed the lifestyle that my work afforded, there was a nagging voice in my head, which increasingly demanded that I should wholeheartedly dedicate my time to expressing the things that truly matter to me. Revealing Me had a new name by then, missmays, a growing, dedicated readership and my blogging pattern was by then more structured. While still posting about random topics it was becoming clear to me that I most enjoyed writing blogs to do with contemporary Africa and Diaspora society and culture from a feminist perspective. So I set out to once more to narrow my blogging focus. I enrolled to a Masters Degree in my chosen topic.

In 2010, MsAfropolitan was launched.

What you will find on MsAfropolitan

Despite the challenges and obstacles that African women encounter, and they are undeniably many, this blog is not a contribution to what I call the “textual” objectification of African women. That is, writing about the hopeless predicament of the women from the oh-so-dire African continent. Far from it. With posts tackling contemporary topic matters through an African feminist perspective, my intention is to offer a fresh voice on hot topics, to motivate, learn, share and to provide a nuanced and vibrant view of African heritage womanhood. Mind you, MsAfropolitan is not a blog that uncritically celebrates the African woman and her achievements, which, although many, don’t paint the full picture nor encourage dialogue and solutions. Rather, my hope is to engage with readers on the complexities and journeys of people of African heritage. I hope that together we can laugh, lament, get angry, rejoice and most of all, have a dialogue.

Who reads MsAfropolitan

The majority of MsAfropolitan readers today are based in urban cities in Africa, Europe and North America. They are young, modern, educated and discerning African heritage women. They come from all backgrounds: traditional, cosmopolitan, scholarly, non-academic and so on. They are women (and men) of all races who are interested in gender and feminism. They are people who enjoy reading about world politics, sexuality, pop culture, fashion and contemporary art, as much as they are comfortable talking about African customs, food, history and culture. They are students and academics. They are people who enjoy reading blogs about African affairs. Also, I myself being a Finnish-Nigerian, African-European woman with strong ties to both continents share stories and opinions that are based on my experiences. Therefore, my readers are people who have cultural experiences that to some extent resonate with mine whether they are to do with multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic or other forms of urban, hybrid identity.

You mean a lot to me!

Without question, the number one thing that I love about blogging is that I’ve been able to connect with the people who matter the most to me, namely my readers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other supporters. Thank you! To new visitors, I hope you’ll join the discussion and I look forward to engaging with you.

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