What is beauty?

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There are three types of beauty, 1) Political Beauty, 2) Artificial Beauty and 3) Genuine Beauty. This is what I argue, among other things, in Pretty, a documentary series exploring different ideas of beauty across the globe. Watch my episode in the clip below. Then if you would like to hear more of my thoughts…

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Intellectual development is as important as economic development

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If I could change only one thing when it comes to African affairs, it would be that we focus on intellectual development as much as we focus on economic development. I made this argument, among others, in an interview with Charles Aniagolu on “Talking Africa”, ARISE TV’s weekly programme on current affairs last week. Check it out below….

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Oyalogy – a poetic approach to African feminism

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Below is a transcript of a talk I gave at Trinity College Dublin on May 25th, 2015 as part of their Africa Day programme. Organised by Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI) the conference, Inspiring Change: Empowering Women’s Futures in Africa, heard from leading change-makers who are transforming the landscape of gender equality in Africa and globally.  Oyalogy –…

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Black or woman?

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In a forthright interview published in The Guardian on Saturday, the eternally inspirational Toni Morrison reflects on Obama’s upcoming end of term. And on Hilary Clinton, she says, I respect and appreciate her. It was difficult in the beginning to choose between her and him. I didn’t want to do the, ‘Which is better? Gender or race? The…

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Regarding pornography

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It’s time for women to radically change our views about pornography. By radically change our views, I mean views both as in watch more porn and views as in attitudes. Statistics suggest that half of all women with access watch porn, but there’s still a veil of shame to it. Why? After all, most people, male or female,…

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The paintings of Manuela Sambo

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Manuela Sambo’s art makes me feel the same way that Yvonne Vera’s novels do. Her pieces make me (longingly) identify with a kind of primal power that women possess but, following centuries of brainwashing, that we are unaccustomed with. Like Vera’s, Sambo’s work seems to be in search of a world of poetic essence, caring deeply…

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Sexism is pan-Africanism’s Achilles heel

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  In the 19th century, books in the west were often published in weekly segments in journals and newspapers. Readers awaited each new instalment and the discussions that followed eagerly. Pigeonhole is a new publishing platform aiming to revive this communal spirit of reading.  One of the series you can read on their platform at…

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On the African Union’s message to women

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Yesterday, to commemorate International Women’s Day, the former chairperson of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, posted a message for African women on the union’s website. The focus of the update, one which I have pasted below, was to hone in on a political vision and action plan – ‘Agenda 2063‘ – which, among other things, “envisages a…

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7 ways that women are oppressed without knowing it

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I will live but that is all that I will do for patriarchy, is my conscientious feminist motto. It is not always an easy task for women, however, because society constantly tries to diminish feminist consciousness by encouraging women to redefine rather than, remove, oppression. For instance, rather than embolden legal action against rape, women are encouraged to…

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7 South African rebel women artists – in memory of Miriam Makeba

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Today, 4 March, is the birthday of the unforgettable Miriam Makeba. To honour her memory I am posting a selection of my favourite songs by seven sensational South African singers who, like Makeba, embody/embodied the spirit of feminist pan-Africa and the African femme fatale.  Pata Pata!  Busi Mhlongo “Umoya ma-Afrika”  Brenda Fassie – “Vuli Ndlela” Lebo Mathosa –…

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‘Who will be the first African woman to sail the length of the River Niger?’

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  Here is a link to an interview that I did for The Corporate Canvas, a South African Careers, Finance, Culture & Lifestyle platform for African Millennial women.  The questions were great, I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to reflect on things that truly matter to me. Below is my favourite question, you can read the rest of the interview…

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‘A letter from one African woman to another’

Akua-Adiki Anokye by Nontsikelelo Mutiti

In January 2015, the Warrior Poets collective invited me to speak at Litanies For Survival, part of Afropean+ at The Bozar Centre For Fine Arts in Brussels. The event turned out to be a vibrant, memorable night of African culture – music, fashion, talks, art, dance, flash mobs – taking over one of Europe’s leading art institutions. Other talks and…

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Citizens and women – two neglected words in Nigeria’s elections

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Nigerians have experienced some of the most unstable five years in their country’s history under the rule of President Goodluck Jonathan. Not so much because the problems we face today – such as poor infrastructure, oil corruption and terrorism – have not previously existed but because there is a heightened sense of awareness among citizens, a…

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The sexual (r)evolution of an African feminist – Part III

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(This is the third part of a three-part blog essay about the aforementioned. Read part I and part II here and here.) The sexual domain is one where women, even those who may otherwise feel empowered, often give away their power by going through years, lifetimes even, of being sexually active but not necessarily sexually fulfilled. I was guilty…

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The sexual (r)evolution of an African feminist – Part II

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(This is the second part in a three-part blog essay about the aforementioned. Read part I here.) — In my twentieth year on earth, I discovered feminism and therein the tools with which to question the prey/hunter paradigm that to a great – and rather unfavourable – extent had shaped my sexuality thus far. I lived in Sweden…

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The sexual (r)evolution of an African feminist – Part I

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(This is the first part in a three-part blog essay about the aforementioned.) Like many girls I entered puberty with both trepidation and excitement. It was a time marked by changes: psychological and physical. However, I soon learnt that girls were not meant to take an interest in a variety of things that came along…

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