MsAfropolitan Feminism. Africa. Pop Culture. Identity. Race.

MsAfropolitan (miss Afropolitan) is the award-winning blog of Minna Salami, blogger, writer and commentator on African feminism, society and popular culture. To get an idea of what motivates me to blog please read Why African women should blog Hope you enjoy your visit! For inquiries, please get in touch or subscribe to posts

23 January 2013 ~ 5 Comments

Barack Obama, villain or hero?

Breakfast with Barack

When it comes to places, the affection that I have for my hometown, Lagos, is matched only by a sort of nostalgia that I harbour towards Tampere, the Finnish city I’m from, which shapes many of my memories but in which I’ve never lived. Yet, my being Scandinavian feels like a secret. Not from anyone, I […]

17 January 2013 ~ 15 Comments

In praise of, Beyoncé.

In praise of, Beyoncé.

I can’t believe I fell for your schemes, I’m smarter than that/So dumb and naive to believe that with me you’re a changed man/Foolish of me to compete when you cheat with those women /It took me some time, but now I moved on/Cause I realized I got/Me, myself and I/That’s all I got in […]

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 […]

03 January 2013 ~ 52 Comments

Why Spike Lee was right about Django Unchained

Why Spike Lee was right about Django Unchained

Spike Lee did the right thing in publicly taking issue with Django Unchained, the latest Quentin Tarantino movie about a freed African slave who embarks on a violent journey to save his wife. The wife character, Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington is monotonous to discuss for hers is a shockingly flat role. Her character serves […]

28 December 2012 ~ 4 Comments

A year of African feminism

Detalle del Palacio Real de Fez

I’d like to end the year here with a short recap.  I posted 72 blogs in 2012. They featured original content about race relations, pop culture, African affairs and psychology which are four of the five key themes of MsAfropolitan. The list below consists of the most popular blogs from the fifth major theme – African […]

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 […]

14 December 2012 ~ 6 Comments

Does an increasingly mixed race Britain mean that British society is postracial?

Does an increasingly mixed race Britain mean that British society is postracial?

  I have a post at Black Feminists UK today, Results of the 2011 census were published in the UK this week revealing that the number of mixed-race people in Britain has almost doubled in ten years. As a result, several journalists distributed what I’d call “unwarranted postracialism”, suggesting, for instance, that thanks to people like Jessica Ennis […]

07 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Two powerful days at Trust Women

Trust Women

  I’m slowly recovering from Trust Women, a two-day women’s rights conference co-organised by Thomson Reuters Foundation and the International Herald Tribune that brought together pioneers of women’s rights including Nobel laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Shirin Ebadi, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lydia Cacho, Queen Noor of Jordan Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy among others. I use the word ‘recovering’ because it […]

30 November 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Female skin, male masks

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 […]

23 November 2012 ~ 0 Comments

10 inspiring black British women, suggestions for BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List


BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour is to publish a Power List to rank the 100 most powerful women in the UK at the start of 2013. The list will answer – Which women have the biggest impact on our economy, society, politics and culture? Who has the ability to inspire change as a role model or […]

21 November 2012 ~ 0 Comments

I Stand Corrected tackles homophobia in South Africa and Britain straight on

I Stand Corrected tackles homophobia in South Africa and Britain straight on

“I’ll tell you what’s unnatural. Forcing a cock into a woman’s cunt!” These are the heated words that Charlie Browning,  a character played by Mojisola Adebayo, yells halfway through a new theatre and dance collaboration at the Ovalhouse Theatre, I Stand Corrected. The production sees two of Africa’s most renowned performers, the critically acclaimed Danish-Nigerian playwright, Mojisola Adebayo, and Mamela […]

15 November 2012 ~ 15 Comments

The multiple jeopardy of being an African woman

Be Girlz

This is the last in a series of posts discussing intersectionality. Read the previous two here and here. In this clip of The Actors, Denzel Washington speaks about the advice he has given to his daughter. He explains that as a black person, a woman — and a dark-skinned one at that – she is likely to […]

12 November 2012 ~ 41 Comments

7 Ethiopian Women to Watch


  This is a guest blog by Elias Wondimu Ethiopia has a rich tradition of independent, intelligent women. From the Queen of Sheba to wedding gown designer Amsale Aberra, these women have helped shaped the cultural and historical trajectory of Ethiopia and beyond. The seven women on this list are members of an extraordinary generation of […]

09 November 2012 ~ 2 Comments

A cultural history of intersectionality, and it dates back to Sojourner Truth


This is part II of three blogs about intersectionality. Read the first post here. “Woman is the Nigger of the World” and “The Black Man’s Burden” When Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989, she was criticising work that treated race and gender as exclusive parts of human experience and that as a result […]

06 November 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Why you need to know about intersectionality

Animating folklore with a feminist twist

My next three blogs are going to be about intersectionality, a theory that originates from the black feminist struggle and that has since truly revolutionised academic thought and even state policy. Following dishonest and misleading claims that feminism has always been a white middle class movement by Vagenda Magazine, publications such as the New Statesman, the guardian and The Independent among others have […]

05 November 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Shortlisted in Red’s Hot Women Awards by Red Magazine

Shortlisted in Red’s Hot Women Awards by Red Magazine

I’m very excited to share that I’m shortlisted for Red Magazine’s ‘Red’s Hot Women Awards’ Blogger category. Since the start of MsAfropolitan approximately two years ago, I’ve loved every single minute of blogging and it’s precious to receive encouragement for something that I hope to do ad infinitum. Red’s Hot Women Awards celebrates women from […]

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 […]

29 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Fufu Sessions II, with Menaye Donkor

Fufu Sessions II, with Menaye Donkor

  The Fufu sessions: Conversations with women who empower is a quarterly interview series where inspiring women of African heritage share their views on work and life. Fufu is a dish typical to a vast amount of African countries albeit sometimes under another name (eg. pap, nshima etc). It is empowering food. It is also the type of […]

26 October 2012 ~ 18 Comments

Nina Simone, Zoe Saldana and the question of glamour


On this your certain journey Do you ever doubt you have a beauty to match the strength of those of us who carve a strength to match your beauty? ~Abena P.A. Busia Images of Zoe Saldana at the shoot of the Nina Simone biopic have emerged. Her casting is creating so much anger. Resentment. Sadness. Fury. […]

23 October 2012 ~ 3 Comments

The untimely death of feminism

Female sign made from jigsaw puzzle pieces

It’s madly depressing that the same week that a survey by netmums led to a chain of reviews questioning whether feminism is dead was also the week that Panorama aired a documentary about how “an unprecedented scale of child sexual exploitation”  by television presenter Jimmy Saville was covered up by the BBC. I’m not going to write about the […]

19 October 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Seven things about gorillas and Africa


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. […]

18 October 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Black History Month reminds us that it is time to revive the dialogue on racism in the UK

the elephant in the room

Twenty-five years ago Black History Month was officially launched in the UK with an aim to “Promote race equality, equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups”. The premise was that it would eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to general history. Since then, year after year, come October, black […]

12 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Houses that heal and where conversations happen

Hundertwasserhaus Magdeburg

  Last weekend I was in Germany and while there I visited a house known as the Green Citadel of Magdeburg (pictured above). It was designed by Friedenreich Hundertwasser, who saw himself as an ‘Architect Doctor’ and a healer of sick buildings. While at the Green Citadel, I could literally feel a part of my […]

10 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

International day of the girl, speed mentoring on the London Eye with WOW Girls

International day of the girl, speed mentoring on the London Eye with WOW Girls

This October 11th marks the first ever International Day of the Girl and people and organisations all around the world will take the day to raise their voices about the significance of supporting girls to feel empowered in the choices and challenges they face in their lives. Meetings and festivities will be taking place across the globe and […]

05 October 2012 ~ 5 Comments

On Vagina by Naomi Wolf and the reviews that followed

On Vagina by Naomi Wolf and the reviews that followed

The release of Naomi Wolf’s “Vagina: A New Biography” was met with scathing criticisms from feminists like Laurie Penny, Ariel Levy and Zoe Heller. These influential writers all bring up some valid arguments about problematic ideas presented in the book. Vagina is indeed a book that in many ways feels unfinished and often naïve. It […]

02 October 2012 ~ 2 Comments

The Guardian Africa Network, multiple perspectives about African affairs


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 […]

26 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

History meets present-day in Queens of the Undead by Kimathi Donkor


In my view, if Kimathi Donkor‘s painting of Queen Nanny of the Maroons was an antique, precious Tarot card, she would be ‘The High Priestess’, standing as a veil between life and death, her arms outstretched; one mercifully forgiving, the other holding a deadly sword, reminding us that when it comes to life, she both […]

20 September 2012 ~ 36 Comments

Who is an African woman?

African Profile at Peace with the World

When people ask me what I do, and I respond that I’m a blogger, and that I blog about topics that primarily concern African women, quite often they proceed to either tell me about an humanitarian or developmental cause they are involved with or have read about. Sometimes they ask me how my blog reaches […]

10 September 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Nigeria does not have democracy

Screen shot 2012-09-10 at 15.39.51

“Nigeria does not have democracy” I tweeted last week, resulting in a brief discussion which Diary of a Media Junkie has put into a storify board. This post develops from that tweet. First of all, let’s adopt a simple definition (by Robert Dahl) of democracy as a political system that allows meaningful competition for positions of […]

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03 September 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Women, leadership and inspiration: Pan-African Powa Panel

AfriFEM panel

This is a transcript of a speech I delivered at the Southbank Centre in July. I call it a POWA panel because I was in the company of some of the continent’s most powerful voices and inspirations – Angelique Kidjo, Lebo Mashile, Theo Sowa and our moderator Jessica Horn. Below is also a clip of […]

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