Watching ‘Concerning Violence’.

CV

                      The trailer for Göran Hugo Olsson’s ‘Concerning Violence’. I just watched ‘Concerning Violence’.’ ‘Anger. Catharsis. Birth. Small paroxysms of ritualistic release.’ ‘I also felt serene watching it.’ ‘This is what it is to be a woman. It is to be pain. Femininity is not a…

Continue Reading

What is the point of dialogue? (When everyone got so much things to say)

saraswati_yantra

Contemporary exchanges, on- and offline, often claim to be encouraging dialogue. Especially analyses of race, gender, sex, pop culture, identity, nationality, religion and so on. Yet, while many indeed claim to encourage dialogue in theory, in practice few have understood the point of it at all. Dialogue has become a platitude. Whether it’s feminism, Afropolitanism, racism, religion, migration,…

Continue Reading

Why you should read Assata Shakur in times of Ferguson

ferg2

Having witnessed police officers mercilessly beat up a group of young hippies, Assata Olugbala Shakur, at the time a young activist in the Black Students Union in New York, had an epiphany. It was this: she was not going to change a thing by smoking weed in the park and complaining about brutally racist police….

Continue Reading

Media frenzy about Ebola

panic

On a flight to Lagos last week, a woman with a terrible chesty cough and feverish eyes sat a couple of seats away from me. Unlike many a public transportation commuter, the woman was considerate; she covered her mouth when she coughed and it was evident that she was trying to cough as little as she could despite…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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

blog

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…

Continue Reading

The sacred is political

Religious-text1-700

“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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

We need to eroticise society

tumblr_ml

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Meditations with Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Why do I like pictures that seem ghostly? I’m not religious and I am no more spiritual than any one else. I’m not an atheist either but I cherish rational argument. I spend quite a lot of my time upside down, in Adho Mukha Svanasana and occasionally Urdhva Dhanurasana and so on, and yet despite my fondness for…

Continue Reading

What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment?

Hallway, Milwaukee Art Museum

This post is an extract from a Q&A by sixty7 Architecture Road, a Canadian site devoted to the built environment, which asked four individuals, from various professional backgrounds, and from different parts of the globe, to give answers to the question What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment? Read my…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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….

Continue Reading

What do Oscar Pistorius, men’s liberation and asteroids have in common?

Silhouette

Four things happened on February 14th, 2013, that were strung together in an eerie way. These were the celebration of Valentine’s day, the One Billion Rising protests in over 200 countries around the world, the murder of Reeva Stenkamp by Oscar Pistorius, and, Asteroid 2012 DA14 almost wiping us all out. You probably agree that there…

Continue Reading

Valentine’s Day Give-Away – My free poetry e-book

cache-jpg

  I don’t consider myself a poet but that’s an odd thing to announce given that I am next going to offer you to download cache, my poetry book. And for free too in the spirit of Valentine’s day and love! Poetry is a form of writing that I’m compelled to engage in when I’m…

Continue Reading

Can women have it all? On marriage, motherhood and work

The Weaver

  One of the most popular articles in 2012 was “Why women still can’t have it all“, by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. It received the most facebook likes any Atlantic article has ever received and everyone from Michelle Obama to Gloria Steinem weighed in on the matter. Whether or not women can have it…

Continue Reading

Female skin, male masks

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 I attend ‘hip hop on trial’, a global debate discussing whether hip hop is the authentic, revolutionary voice of the oppressed or if it is a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation. At 32 minutes into the discussion, which is streamed live, there is an episode…

Continue Reading