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 August 2012 ~ 21 Comments

On Bitch Bad by Lupe Fiasco


Lupe Fiasco has just released the video for the ‘Bitch Bad’ track off the ‘Food & Liquor 2 ‘ album. The video (embedded below) examines the impact of the word ‘bitch’ in hip hop and how it negatively affects children and society at large. The chorus line is “Bitch bad, woman good, lady better, they […]

16 August 2012 ~ 18 Comments

7 key issues in African feminist thought


  Firstly, it is important to say that when it comes to theory, it’s more accurate to speak of African feminisms than of one almighty African feminism. Not all African feminists agree with each other–luckily, I’d add, as this would hinder deep reflection of issues such as those listed below–yet respecting differences whilst recognizing a common […]

13 August 2012 ~ 9 Comments

Discovering African feminism


  ‘Blackfeminism is not white feminism in blackface‘ – Audre Lorde As a young girl I could not get my head round the society I lived in, where Nigerian men seemed to have many more privileges than women just for being men, a reality I later discovered applied in different ways to other societies as […]

06 August 2012 ~ 3 Comments

Huffington Post: Hair-Raising Conversations

Huffington Post: Hair-Raising Conversations

Following another week of hair-related scandals in entertainment and sports, my latest HuffPo article argues that there is more to the black hair conversation than shallowness or self loathing and that as long as black hair aesthetics are part of a complex social structure we should engage with the conversations critically rather than silence them or […]

01 August 2012 ~ 17 Comments

Remembering Yvonne Vera

Remembering Yvonne Vera

On this day, August 1st twelve years ago, in an in-depth interview with Jane Bryce in Bulawayo, Yvonne Vera noted with the expressive character that marks her work, “I would not write if I weren’t in search of beauty, if I was doing it only to advance a cause. I care deeply about my subjects, […]

24 July 2012 ~ 3 Comments

Fufu Sessions, with Jerryanne Heath of Concept Link


NEW SERIES LAUNCH!!! I’m very excited to launch a new blog series – Fufu Sessions. Why Fufu Sessions? The full title is Fufu Sessions: Conversations with women who empower. The idea is to do a quarterly highlight with women whose work empowers others in its skilfulness, ethos, creativity and impact and who are also the type of […]

17 July 2012 ~ 15 Comments

Male genitalia and ideas of power


One outcome of the imbalance in social, political and cultural power between the genders is that our cultural landscape is tainted with false myths around sexuality. When it comes to sexual anatomy, some of these myths have to do with seeing a vagina as something more sacred, erotic and gentle than a penis. A penis […]

11 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Africa Utopia, celebrating Africa in the UK

Africa Utopia, celebrating Africa in the UK

As part of the Africa Utopia festival, which kicked off on Sunday July 1, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion titled WOMEN, INSPIRATION & LEADERSHIP. I’ll be joining singer and activist Angelique Kidjo, poet Lebo Mashile, Theo Sowa of the African Women’s Development Fund and member of the African Feminist Forum, Jessica Horn to discuss these […]

10 July 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Ms.Magazine features African Feminist Bloggers, my interview

Ms.Magazine features African Feminist Bloggers, my interview

  I’m delighted to be featured in the legendary Ms.Magazine today. Ms. Magazine was not only the first feminist magazine to go mainstream but it was also the magazine that inspired the name of this blog. Here’s the first of a three-part series The Femisphere: African Feminist Bloggers, Part 1 Despite centuries of cultural practice that […]

06 July 2012 ~ 3 Comments

GIVEAWAY Afropolitan Apple MacBook case by Della


It’s giveaway time! Apple is joining the increasing number of brands celebrating African style by including fabulous high-quality Ghanaian made MacBook cases by the socially conscious brand Della to their range. The fun and protective cases will hit the Apple shelves on July 10th but in the meantime I’ve  teamed up with Della who are kindly going to […]

01 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Edith Victoria of All Thingz Nice

ATN Just Africa T-shirt (S)

The MsAfropolitan Boutique aims to provide a platform where design by women of African heritage can be purchased, celebrated and reach a wide audience.  We believe that all creativity is a form of storytelling and when it reaches community the outcome is transformation and empowerment. Customers are invited to a shopping experience that centers around community and empowerment, including distinct […]

21 June 2012 ~ 3 Comments

Geocolonialism, Africa and Rio+20

Chamarel Waterfalls

Although Africa hosts 40% of the world’s biodiversity, 20% of forest reserves and over 50% of the energy potential in the world, what I’ll be referring to as “geocolonialism” is impeding the progress of a flourishing and sustainable environment in Africa and worldwide. This week has seen the much awaited Rio+20 take place, the largest […]

10 June 2012 ~ 6 Comments

A postcard from Libreville

trashed beaches of Libreville

I’m in the beautiful city of Libreville in Gabon. From the little that I’ve seen I immediately feel at home here. I especially love how Libreville’s population seem very level-headed, and how despite what feels like a heavy military presence the city’s parks and streets are characterized by people relaxing and enjoying their charming environment. […]

06 June 2012 ~ 8 Comments

Honoured as one of BlogHer’s OpEd “Voices Of The Year” 2012

Honoured as one of BlogHer’s OpEd “Voices Of The Year” 2012

Yippie!! MsAfropolitan has been chosen as one of twenty OpEd Voices of the Year by the BlogHer Publishing Network. I will receive an honour in the “OpEd” category for my post “Is feminism really un-African?” You can read the article here and the contributions of all honorees here. The 5th annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote will be on […]

04 June 2012 ~ 51 Comments

There were no matriarchies in precolonial Africa

Mucubal woman during a festivity near Virei, Angola

Following a passioned debate on my last post Feminism has always existed in Africa, I started to question why the myth of matriarchy in precolonial Africa is popular and here’s why. Because it poses less of a challenge to the status quo. It numbs the anger of the persisting patriarchy we have found ourselves in […]

01 June 2012 ~ 34 Comments

Feminism has always existed in Africa

A Woman’s Strength

Feminist activism has always been a part of African society and in a radical way. By radical, I don’t mean the strand of the western feminist movement that very necessarily revolutionized western societies in the 1960s and 1970s, but rather, I mean the mobilized commitment to uprooting patriarchy, imperialism and human injustice to women. In much of premodern […]

29 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

The Independent: Twitter, power lists and the question of gender

The Independent: Twitter, power lists and the question of gender

Power list after power list fail to represent women as influential in social media and in society at large. Why is it that women are not considered influential on social media and particularly on Twitter? To understand why, we we must answer a few basic questions: What does influence mean? How is it measured? And […]

26 May 2012 ~ 15 Comments

Key themes of African thinkers x 7. Notes from OpenForum 2012.


I got back in to London this morning from the YouthSummit and the OpenForum 2012 in Cape Town, a very relevant conference that brought together African thinkers from creative, activist, scholarly, political and technocratic backgrounds. It was expertly put together by OSISA, who as promised created a truly “unapologetic space for reflection and debate”. From […]

18 May 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Upcoming keynote speech at University of Northampton, Padare conference

Upcoming keynote speech at University of Northampton, Padare conference

On 15th June, I’ll be one of three keynote speakers at an international conference promoting the Black African social work student experience. I’ll be speaking about systematic silencing and transforming muteness into empowerment. The idea with Beyond Horizons – Padare Conference, is to bring together students, academics and social work practitioners to explore developments in the way […]

13 May 2012 ~ 12 Comments

Motherhood is about more than babies


  Motherhood and the possibility of becoming pregnant is a major difference between women and men and yet, or perhaps therefore, it is also a concept that every Tom, Dick and Harry judges women by. We hear the accusations so often we are numb to them. Comments like; you aren’t “mom enough” if you don’t breastfeed your child […]

09 May 2012 ~ 15 Comments

MsAfropolitan EXCLUSIVE Interview with Sandra Izsadore


Even in a society were polygamy is practiced, with twenty-seven wives, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti—one of the greatest men to have lived—had unusually many women in his life. But there are two particular women that the Fela story wouldn’t be complete without. His mother, women’s rights champion Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti and Sandra Izsadore, his lady, and the woman who […]

08 May 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Participating in OpenForum 2012 and OpenForumYouthSummit in Cape Town, South Africa

Participating in OpenForum 2012 and OpenForumYouthSummit in Cape Town, South Africa

From May 22 – 24, the OpenForum 2012 in Cape Town will provide an unprecedented opportunity for activists, academics, businesspeople and policy-makers to take a critical look at the factors that will influence the African democracy and governance agenda over the next decade, debate the paradox of unequal growth and turn innovative ideas into action […]

04 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Speaking about African fashion history at Afro-European conference in Berlin

Speaking about African fashion history at Afro-European conference in Berlin

                                            On Sunday, I will be presenting a photographic and discursive journey of fashion history in Africa to explore and incorporate into our social and political memory ideas of womanhood through looking at fashion. We […]

02 May 2012 ~ 5 Comments

My poetry featured in Naija Langwej antoloji


Three of my pidgin/brokin English poems have been featured in a new anthology titled ‘IF YU HIE SE A DE PRIZIN’’ (Antoloji of puem-dem fo Naija) edited by Edwin Eriata Oribhabor This anthology contains 93 poems and themes of the poems span all fields of human endeavour; love, politics, the environment, corruption and the Niger Delta […]

27 April 2012 ~ 13 Comments

Beyonce, skin colour and carrots


Beyonce was crowned most beautiful woman in the world by People Magazine this week and that resurfaced the skin colour topic with many debating whether the light skinned Beyonce is an accurate representation of “Black Beauty”. The skin colour conversation is important, crucial even, for similar reasons that I think we should upkeep the hair conversation. […]

22 April 2012 ~ 7 Comments

An Open Letter from African women to the Minister of Culture: The Venus Hottentot Cake

Cross-Post with Black Feminists UK and Honestly Abroad We the undersigned women of African /African descent and  our supporters, which include anti-racist activists, scholars community leaders and Faith leaders wish to address the Swedish  Venus Hottentot Cake Incident.  First, we commend our Swedish friends and colleagues, and those from the African-Swedish Diaspora for their substantial contribution to […]

18 April 2012 ~ 12 Comments

The power of images – African women and Swedish politicians

Lena Liljeroth Adelsohn ger regeringens syn på Kreativa Europa

I don’t tend to get surprised about racist acts, at least not when it’s so stereotypical as this whole tragic ordeal with the Swedish culture minister eating a cake of what is supposed to be a mutilated African woman. As a mixed race person I’ve experienced racism from the places where it possibly chafes the […]

17 April 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Going to see “Belong” by Bola Agbaje

Going to see “Belong” by Bola Agbaje

Supporters keh. Forget this country. How many year have you lived here?… Your English is better than the Queen’s and they still call you… I’m looking forward to my upcoming theatre date with bloggers @IamIola and @IamNicholeBlack. We are heading to the Royal Court Theatre to see the new play by Bola Agbaje, writer of […]

15 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Some thoughts on Ashley Judd’s definition of patriarchy


In the unlikely case that you missed actress Ashley Judd’s smashing op-ed piece on media’s misogynist practices, then start by reading it here. It’s truly a landmark piece in its bringing to the mainstream forefront both the f-word (feminism) and the p-word (patriarchy) and the ways in which the latter impacts relationships not only between […]

11 April 2012 ~ 13 Comments

Bad leadership is NOT the problem in Africa

Tired Old Man

Last week, Joyce Banda became the second female head of state in Africa. This kind of development is significant for the continent. Not only is Banda female, which accounts for progress in more equally gendered leadership, but she’s also got a solid background which should help get Malawi out of the economic and political mess […]

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