32 views on Afropolitanism

We - Inspired by Gra Gra by Segun Aiyesan [5x6ft - Mixed Media on Canvas]  Read more below

Last month, I took part in a panel discussion about Afroisms at Busseywood film festival. The panel, moderated by Tega Okiti, consisted of Emma Dabiri and Chardine Taylor-Smith, both opponents of Afropolitanism, and myself – a proponent of it. When I chose the name for my blog, I didn’t intuit becoming a proponent of Afropolitanism. The term…

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7 non-fiction books African feminists should read

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African feminists, that is African women who are feminists, should not only read books by other African women. From my Afropolitan point of view, our reading should be cosmopolitan, we should enjoy books about all kinds of topics from anywhere in the cosmos. That is how you expand your mind, and not by repeatedly reading one genre. However,…

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A discussion with Nawal El Saadawi and other upcoming talks


Next month, I will be in discussion with one of my biggest role models, the renowned Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi. The impact El Saadawi has had on my work (and my life!) is profound, I intensely admire her achievements as a writer, intellectual, feminist, philosopher and activist. In fact, I live by one of her wisdoms. She says: “Words should…

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A brief history of portrayals of African women in the west

"Bosch, Hieronymus - The Garden of Earthly Delights, center panel - Detail women with peacock" by Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)

The western world has for a long time tried to distort and demonise African womanhood. From historical art to modern day icons such as Serena Williams, there’s no doubt that a campaign to demean black beauty is ongoing and far-reaching. However, western history is also sprinkled with appreciation of the beauty of African women, particularly dark-skinned African…

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Frida Kahlo’s few little pricks exposes male violence


  It is shocking how common stabbing to death by men is a cause of death for women. In the past month alone a 21 year old, Laura Davies, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend near a pony sanctuary in Essex. Another British woman, Jennifer Williams, 25, was stabbed to death by her partner too….

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What is beauty?


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


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


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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You love me, you love me not


I’m sharing some display pieces from the exhibition You Love Me, You Love Me Not showing now at the Galeria Municipal Almeida Garrett in Porto, Portugal. The exhibition is named after a piece by Kenyan artist, Wangechi Mutu (featured). You Love Me, You Love Me Not is a major exhibition – over 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs and video by 50…

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Charlie Hebdo deserves the PEN courage award but not without critical discussion

lilya brik

It’s World Press Freedom Day today, 3 May. The motive of World Press Freedom Day is that Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. It’s a right which is hardly…

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The paintings of Manuela Sambo


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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Q & A with Angélique Kidjo

Grammy Award

A celebrity is commonly seen as “a person who is known for his well-knownness”. However, Angélique Kidjo is a celebrity in the original meaning of the term, celer: which has roots in change and of course, celebration. In other words, she is someone we celebrate because she transforms us, her work touches us both poetically and politically. Watching Kidjo perform…

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Listed in some exciting women’s month features


I was incredibly honoured and quite stunned, frankly, to be one of twelve esteemed women (including Michelle Obama, and other heavy weighers!) to feature in ELLE Magazine Malaysia feature “Celebrating International Women’s Day: 12 women changing the world”. http://www.elle.my/life-and-love/Career-and-Money/gallery/Women-who-make-it-happen#1 It was also a delight and honour to be among YNaija’s Nigeria’s 100 most influential women list. http://lindaikeji.blogspot.de/2015/03/meet-nigerias-100-most-influential.html Check…

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


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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On Afropolitanism and westernisation


While reading Olufemi Taiwo’s book “Africa Must Be Modern”, I came across the following: It is almost required of an African intellectual that she or he be hostile to modernity and it suppositions. It is almost as if an African like me who deliberately embraces modernity as a way of life that promises at the…

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Q & A with Walter Mosley about Ferguson, race and his latest novel

Walter Mosley photo

What I especially admire about Walter Mosley, author of 37 critically acclaimed books including DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, is that although his novels explore serious matters, they make a light read. In fact, people wrongly think that seriousness is a sign of depth. Simplifying serious matters, which Mosley does skilfully, is often a mark of profound…

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