Archive | african affairs

16 April 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Is women’s political participation in Africa really rising?

Rising or Not

Last month, a group of circa 40 women gathered in Banjul, Gambia for a transformational feminist leadership workshop organised by Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML). I was one of the trainers at the weeklong workshop; my sessions were about using communication for feminist advocacy. During the week we discussed, among other things, culturally justified […]

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03 April 2014 ~ 35 Comments

The sacred is political

Religious text

“You can’t not be religious!” is a reaction I often receive when someone asks me first whether I am Muslim, as my name implies, and then (when I say no) whether I am a Christian, which I am not either. Having found out that I’m neither Christian nor Muslim, the inquirer then often proceeds to […]

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13 January 2014 ~ 17 Comments

Winnie Mandela’s derivative portrayal in a Long Walk to Freedom

winnielongwalk

The latest Nelson Mandela biopic, “Long Walk to Freedom” is not a disappointment. It’s a moving, informative treatment of Nelson Mandela’s eponymous autobiography. And Winnie Mandela as played by Naomie Harris is compelling. Harris conveys well the impassioned spirit of the most powerful woman in the history of African anti-colonial struggle. The movie’s blurb states, […]

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21 December 2013 ~ 17 Comments

The African Femme Fatale

femmefatale

As the year comes to an end, I thought that I would like my last post of the year to be about something exciting, a feminine energy we could do well channeling more of in 2014. Scrolling through old posts and comments, I recognised an energy brewing, one not yet defined but one which can […]

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05 December 2013 ~ 6 Comments

African Cosmopolitanism part I

African Cosmopolitanism part I

At the 15th summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1978, then Lieut. General Olusegun Obasanjo said, “no African nation is about to embrace communism wholesale any more than we are willing to embrace capitalism.” In 2013 such a statement seems alien. Rejecting capitalism is not a real option for African nations, right? […]

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21 November 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Africa Lecture Series at OSI Club, University of Berlin

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The Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science at the University of Berlin hosts a public lecture series every year to ensure that students of the university as well as citizens of Berlin have a broad and diverse access to discourses on African politics. I will be a guest lecturer at the Africa Lecture Series of the OSI club at […]

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01 November 2013 ~ 12 Comments

7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

Globalisation, the compression of the world through cultural exchanges and innovation, is not a new incident to Africa (nor any other part of the world for that matter). Africa is interwoven in a millennia-long global exchange, where it has often lost out but also benefited from and shaped the course of global innovation to a far […]

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17 October 2013 ~ 26 Comments

Guest post: I love African men too, but do they love me back?

stephanie

This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World *** Minna’s article last week on the reasons why she/we love African men, was pretty spot on right? I certainly appreciate African men and if I may be biased, especially West African men – *swoon*. I agree that […]

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11 October 2013 ~ 9 Comments

What I like about African men

Cyclist tan

Let me start by saying that there are desirable traits in men from all corners of the world. From the Ken-ish charm of a George Clooney type to the Jesus-like gentle features of many Arab and Asian men, our diverse world contains a smorgasbord of likeable men. Yet there is something about African men that evokes […]

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26 September 2013 ~ 23 Comments

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

At its core polygamy is natural because men biologically need to spread their seed and it is hard for them to commit to one woman. Right? Wrong. But this argument is one commonly given to explain the tradition. For instance, Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, wrote in his autobiography that: “However unconventional and unsatisfactory this […]

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28 August 2013 ~ 3 Comments

What is the purpose of education? What can we learn from Liberia

091217 6 Liberia Security Sector Reform Sgt, 1st Class Dedraf Blash

Out of all the alarming news that we receive on any given day, the story about all 25,000 school-leavers failing a test of admission to the University of Liberia hit me like a can of whoop-ass yesterday! The Liberian newspaper, The News, has since reported that the university has agreed to lower the entry standards slightly to enable some permissions and […]

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17 August 2013 ~ 42 Comments

What makes a clitoris dangerous?

CLitoris

Estimates suggest that out of the 140 million people in the world whose clitorises have been removed via Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), 100 million are African. Three million African girls and women are at risk of undergoing the procedure annually. The countries with the highest rates are Sudan and Somalia, which unsurprisingly are two out of nine […]

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08 August 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Global war and its impact on African women

Army, Weapon, Bullets

In a 2006 interview, George Bush referred to the war on terror as World War III. Perhaps he was right. We are witnessing a modern day world (or “global”) war, very simply put between those who claim to be fighting to uphold freedom from extremist religious fundamentalism, and the other side waging war against “unbelievers”. […]

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02 August 2013 ~ 13 Comments

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

This post is in remembrance of the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, deceased on this day in 1997. May his soul continue to rest in peace.  Extract from “Lady” If you call am woman / African woman no go gree / She go say, she go say, I be lady o / CHORUS: She go say, I […]

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21 July 2013 ~ 9 Comments

Thoughts on “Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa”

Thoughts on “Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa”

I just watched Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa, a documentary by FEMNET and UNDP and thought I’d share it with you all here (embedded below). To me, the need for more women in political leadership is possibly the most urgent task for the African feminist agenda. If women are not determining the future of […]

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02 July 2013 ~ 42 Comments

A brief history of African feminism

A brief history of African feminism

Can I start this post with saying, “SIGH”. Reason for my exasperation is the continued suggestion that feminism is “unAfrican” – whatever “unAfrican” means. Personally, I missed the how-to-be-an-African memo! The truth is that feminism is an absolute necessity for African societies. We rank lowest in the global gender equality index, have some of the […]

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19 June 2013 ~ 7 Comments

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

When I think of nationalism, I think of Virginia Woolf’s words – “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” I too find that there is a tension between the terms ‘nation’ and ‘woman’. Nevertheless, having contributed to the New York Forum […]

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23 May 2013 ~ 7 Comments

Apart from Chinua Achebe, which other African writers deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Apart from Chinua Achebe, which other African writers deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In the lead up to the short list announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature on 30 May, headlines this week brought to the fore the problematic obsession that some people have with the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to the late Chinua Achebe. For years, the pre-announcement period has seen speculations demands as to whether […]

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07 May 2013 ~ 34 Comments

Why African women should blog

Why African women should blog

The world has never been as patriarchal as it is today. I’m not claiming that individual societies don’t treat their women better than they did previously, but in the globalised, interconnected world we live in, we can no longer consider issues in an isolated fashion. So as we now consider the situation of women everywhere, […]

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03 May 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Winner of the “Outstanding Achievement in Media” Award at the African Diaspora Awards!

MinnaADA

I am happy to announce that I have won the ”Outstanding Achievement in Media” award at the African Diaspora Awards which took place on 2 May 2013. The African Diaspora Awards (ADA) ceremony is an event which pays tribute to African success across all walks of life; emphasising achievement and highlighting inspirational role models in the fields […]

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18 April 2013 ~ 14 Comments

Why the Ugandan miniskirt ban proposal is good news

South Africa miniskirt protest

If the government passes a proposal that bans miniskirts, Uganda may soon join the list of countries to restrict women from making independent choices about what they wear. If the bill, which has been proposed by (insert drumroll) the minister of ethics, Simon Lokodo, is passed, women who fail to abide may be sentenced to a […]

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03 April 2013 ~ 28 Comments

Can Africans have multiple subcultures? A response to “Exorcising Afropolitanism”

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On 24 June 2011, over 5,000 people showed up for an event at the V&A Museum in London titled “Friday Late: Afropolitans”. Now, packing the world famous museum is usually the function of western art and high fashion, but on this night the crowd came to listen to artists like Spoek Mathambo, taste palm wine […]

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25 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

The more oppressive towards women, the more superstitious a society. On witch hunts in Africa

from soil to soul

It is most often agreed that poverty, exacerbated by a lack of education, tends to lie behind a widespread belief in witchcraft. However, the reasons people seek scapegoats for their misfortunes is more complex than so. First of all, let’s establish that witch accusations are widespread around Africa. And not only accusations but also murders. […]

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14 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

The unusual relationship between religion and modernity in Africa

Cross in chinatown

Two things are growing faster in Africa than anywhere else – religion and the economy. Africa is the most devout continent in the world with 89 percent of participants in a 2012 WIN Gallup survey saying that they were religious, compared to 59 percent in the world at large. In Ghana, the country with the […]

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08 March 2013 ~ 13 Comments

What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

When I was seventeen, I got a job as a telephone salesperson of ink cartridges. The worst thing about the job was that I was so good at it. I was promoted and was eventually earning a serious lot of money. I don’t know what made me a successful ink cartridge seller but I use […]

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14 January 2013 ~ 10 Comments

How to make African pie

211/365 L is for Lick

  Is Africa hopeless, hopeful, sinking, growing, shrinking or rising? Such preoccupations repeatedly appear in analyses of Africa. Here are, for instance,  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 articles from The Guardian discussing the theme,  1, 2, 3, 4 articles from African Arguments, and from Africa Unchained and TIME to link to just a few. These ruminations are no […]

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20 December 2012 ~ 2 Comments

The African Diaspora: Claiming our power to make a change back home

This is a guest post by Solome Lemma – Before we start, it is important to recognize that what we refer to as the African diaspora is not monolithic. There are many diaspora communities with their own histories, interests, needs and opportunities. That said let me get straight to the point. Namely that it is […]

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01 November 2012 ~ 6 Comments

The African Women’s Decade, two years on

The African Women’s Decade, two years on

In October 2010, an over three-decade long campaign to implement a protocol for women’s rights in Africa resulted in the declaration of 2010-2020 as the African Women’s Decade (AWD). I’ve written many articles about the AWD and I launched the MsAfropolitan Boutique in honour of it. Yesterday, I attended the 2nd year Anniversary of the African Women’s Decade  hosted […]

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19 October 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Seven things about gorillas and Africa

diamonds

Why write about gorillas and Africa? Because there is an alarm about Gorillas in the midst of Congo conflict /////// One ~  Tourists will generally shy away from unstable regions but this is not the case when it comes to regions with gorillas so I was wondering about touristic ideas of Africa and its gorillas. […]

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02 October 2012 ~ 2 Comments

The Guardian Africa Network, multiple perspectives about African affairs

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I’m delighted to share that MsAfropolitan is one of the dozen blogs that make up the just launched Guardian Africa Network. “The Guardian’s new Africa Network will join the debate – around contentious issues such as quality of leadership, the legacy of colonialism, identity politics that pitch women’s and homosexuals’ rights against a form of cultural […]

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