TEDxBrixton Talk – To change the world, change your illusions

TALK

Last month, I gave a TEDx Talk titled “To change the world, change your illusions” at TEDxBrixton, which has now been uploaded on YouTube. Watching the clip takes me right back to the day: all the great talks, the wonderful TEDxBrixton team, the excitement and nerves but most of all the energy in a room…

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African men, are you still not listening?

VAW

Hey, it’s the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Violence against women is ginormous, ginormous, ginormous. It is so ginormous that the UN says it is a global pandemic. Other examples of global pandemics are Ebola, HIV and Bob Geldof. Due to its enormity I am thinking this post will be about how it is possible that male…

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So you want to know what men really gain from patriarchy?

PatriarchyPiece

Patriarchy is an unfashionable term. But it is also the only term that describes the oldest, most widespread and most enduring form of governance. It is much older than democracy, for example. It seems to me that patriarchy, which is the ‘system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are…

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Decolonisation, feminism, blogging, sexuality, poetry…discussion topics with the African Book Review

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Sharing a link to an interview of mine posted at the African Book Review earlier this week. We covered a lot: decolonisation, African feminism, blogging, sexuality, poetry and more. I hope you like it, I put a lot into it. Minna Salami: An Interview with the Creator of Ms. Afropolitan Let me know if you have any…

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When it comes to the bride price app there is only one word. No.

BridePr

This post is inspired by a piece  CNN published on Wednesday about the Nigerian bride price app, an app/quiz which calculates the marital value of a woman by pricing attributes such as her height, weight, beauty, cooking skills, education and dialect. All in jest, yeah, the app, as the site’s disclaimer says is, “a joke, and…

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Awra Amba, an Ethiopian village where gender equality is real

Gebeyehu & Mesghana from Awra Amba

If I were an alien visiting our planet this week I’d think, “Whoa, how’s that for a mess, one half of the species trying to annihilate the other half!” We on earth don’t see it that way ourselves; or we would be in revolution against misogynist warfare. Yet an eye that has not been conditioned to normalise the…

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Seven things that women want in Africa’s future

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This week, more than 3000 delegates are at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali discussing new strategies to tackle poverty, underdevelopment, and put their weight behind global schemes that ensure Africa’s progress. To mark the occasion, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, published an OpEd today titled Women’s Role in the Next 50…

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The truth about girls lives in Nigeria

Image Source: GirlHub Nigeria

In March this year, GirlHub Nigeria invited me to give a talk during Social Media Week Lagos, which I started with a prayer I’d written for little girls. I’d like to share it with you bearing in mind that it is not religion specific. Dear God, may the next generation of girls not grow up to worry…

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Is feminism the right choice for you?

femchoice

Before addressing the title topic, I just want to share that I have a piece about the abduction of girls in Nigeria at The Feminist Wire this week. Also this week The Guardian hosted a debate panel on African feminism based on Doreen’s guest blog here on MsAfropolitan. The panel (myself included) answered the question…

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5 things my vagina does not make me. A guest blog by Doreen Akiyo Yomoah

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“You’re a woman.” These three words are quite possibly my least favorite words strung together in the English language. When people repeat them to me it’s usually to judge how I can or cannot behave, or how I should or shouldn’t behave. But aside from the genitalia that I was born with, no other assumptions…

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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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7 great novels by African women writers

Americanah

“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life…

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7 tips for African women bloggers

Relaxed Business

This is a follow up to a previous post “Why African women should blog” Happy women’s day! Sticking to my tradition of posting a “Seven” series blog every 8 March, this year I’m dedicating the slot to something that is at the heart of this blog, which is to encourage more women in the continent and diaspora…

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How do you manage negative reactions to feminism?

mesmerized

When I’d first “come out” as a feminist publicly, and when people I’d never met heard that I was a blogger and asked what my blog was about, I would sometimes say that it was about women’s rights, which is true. But what’s truer is that I write an African feminist blog. The reason for my carefulness was…

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A badass case of Beyoncitis

music-beyonce-xo

It starts with cunnilingus. Not the “Beyoncé ” album (which starts with “Pretty Hurts”) but this review. After all, when a megastar like Beyoncé dedicates a song to oral stimulation of the clitoris in a world where the opposite is more common, an emphasis is only appropriate. OK, “Lick my skittles, it’s the sweetest in…

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What is conscientious feminism?

Head of Woman

In July 1992, an international conference on Women in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare incident: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa. The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month…

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The difference between feminism and humanism

Wonder Woman

When it comes to labels, I like mine earnest but not intransigent. So there is something almost moving about someone (most often a man) asking a self-declared feminist like myself why I call myself a feminist and not a humanist. Almost. What prevents me from exultingly throwing my hands up in the air when a…

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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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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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Guest Post: Acceptance breeds solutions, or why Africa needs feminism

AngelEvansPic

This is a guest post by Angel Evans. — After multiple surgeries, my dad now walks with a limp. When he visited me in New York and we toured the city together last summer, I was reminded of his ageing every time I stopped to match his pace or slowly walk by his side. It…

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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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The objectification of men

African Renaissance Monument - From Above

I am intrigued, despite my previous post about how African women’s art is feminist, by how seldom women artists (from Africa but also elsewhere) objectify the male body. We lose out from this disengagement with the male as object. Whether it is fine or digital art, photography or sculpture, we are culturally deprived of an artistic female…

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What makes African women’s art feminist?

It has been said that artistry in Africa is an intrinsic part of life rather than a commercial or careerist enterprise. I’d say that this notion is not only applicable to African art, all across the world art has explored the sensitivities of life and the social environment. However, it is in this process of examining life…

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What does feminine power look like?

Laughter - Explored!!!

Women and power is a current hot topic. It was much discussed at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, for instance, where I too spoke about this very theme last week. It has also been recently debated at the Harvard Business School, FEMNET and  BBC’s 100 Women campaign. I welcome the increased emphasis on this topic because…

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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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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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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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We need to eroticise society

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I know what you’re thinking: What do I mean by “eroticise” society and why on earth should we do that? Surely we are obsessed with sex as it is! Well, yes, sex is everywhere but Eros, i.e. Erotic love, isn’t. Our sexual culture is either prudish or pornographic. On one end, we are surrounded by explicit…

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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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Global war and its impact on African women

ArmyAmber / Pixabay

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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