16 April 2014 ~ 3 Comments

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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03 April 2014 ~ 35 Comments

The sacred is political

Religious text

“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 […]

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21 December 2013 ~ 17 Comments

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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05 December 2013 ~ 6 Comments

African Cosmopolitanism part I

African Cosmopolitanism part I

At the 15th summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1978, then Lieut. General Olusegun Obasanjo said, “no African nation is about to embrace communism wholesale any more than we are willing to embrace capitalism.” In 2013 such a statement seems alien. Rejecting capitalism is not a real option for African nations, right? […]

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28 November 2013 ~ 2 Comments

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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21 November 2013 ~ 6 Comments

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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14 November 2013 ~ 3 Comments

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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01 November 2013 ~ 12 Comments

7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

Globalisation, the compression of the world through cultural exchanges and innovation, is not a new incident to Africa (nor any other part of the world for that matter). Africa is interwoven in a millennia-long global exchange, where it has often lost out but also benefited from and shaped the course of global innovation to a far […]

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17 October 2013 ~ 26 Comments

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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11 October 2013 ~ 9 Comments

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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26 September 2013 ~ 23 Comments

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

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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28 August 2013 ~ 3 Comments

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 […]

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26 August 2013 ~ 3 Comments

Alliance 54 to host Africa Global Women in Business Forum

Alliance 54 to host Africa Global Women in Business Forum

As a member of the advisory board of the Africa Global Women in Business Forum (AGWIBF), it’s my pleasure to inform you of the upcoming Africa Global Women in Business Forum hosted by Alliance 54 taking place in London on 30-31 October. The aim of the meeting is to promote financial inclusion for African women and a […]

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17 August 2013 ~ 43 Comments

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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08 August 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Global war and its impact on African women

Army, Weapon, Bullets

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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02 August 2013 ~ 13 Comments

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

This post is in remembrance of the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, deceased on this day in 1997. May his soul continue to rest in peace.  Extract from “Lady” If you call am woman / African woman no go gree / She go say, she go say, I be lady o / CHORUS: She go say, I […]

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30 July 2013 ~ 3 Comments

Event: An African summer festival in London

Event: An African summer festival in London

If you are a reader who is currently in London, I hope you are enjoying the heat, sunshine, rejuvenation, relaxation and enjoyment that the summer season promises. It’s been a rare treat na! As a friend and supporter of the Africa Centre in London, I’m sharing an upcoming event of theirs that I’m looking forward […]

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02 July 2013 ~ 42 Comments

A brief history of African feminism

A brief history of African feminism

Can I start this post with saying, “SIGH”. Reason for my exasperation is the continued suggestion that feminism is “unAfrican” – whatever “unAfrican” means. Personally, I missed the how-to-be-an-African memo! The truth is that feminism is an absolute necessity for African societies. We rank lowest in the global gender equality index, have some of the […]

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19 June 2013 ~ 7 Comments

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

When I think of nationalism, I think of Virginia Woolf’s words – “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” I too find that there is a tension between the terms ‘nation’ and ‘woman’. Nevertheless, having contributed to the New York Forum […]

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03 May 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Winner of the “Outstanding Achievement in Media” Award at the African Diaspora Awards!

MinnaADA

I am happy to announce that I have won the ”Outstanding Achievement in Media” award at the African Diaspora Awards which took place on 2 May 2013. The African Diaspora Awards (ADA) ceremony is an event which pays tribute to African success across all walks of life; emphasising achievement and highlighting inspirational role models in the fields […]

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18 April 2013 ~ 15 Comments

Why the Ugandan miniskirt ban proposal is good news

South Africa miniskirt protest

If the government passes a proposal that bans miniskirts, Uganda may soon join the list of countries to restrict women from making independent choices about what they wear. If the bill, which has been proposed by (insert drumroll) the minister of ethics, Simon Lokodo, is passed, women who fail to abide may be sentenced to a […]

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03 April 2013 ~ 28 Comments

Can Africans have multiple subcultures? A response to “Exorcising Afropolitanism”

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On 24 June 2011, over 5,000 people showed up for an event at the V&A Museum in London titled “Friday Late: Afropolitans”. Now, packing the world famous museum is usually the function of western art and high fashion, but on this night the crowd came to listen to artists like Spoek Mathambo, taste palm wine […]

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25 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

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. […]

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20 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

Africa is a great country – new photography exhibition in Sweden

Africa is a great country – new photography exhibition in Sweden

On April 11th, I’m in Stockholm as one of four keynote speakers at the launch of Africa is a Great Country, a photography exhibition by Jens Assur, taking place at Liljevalchs. I’ll be speaking alongside Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Richard Dowden and Hans Rosling and my speech is titled “Images of African women“. Africa is a Great Country is about seeing Africa […]

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14 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

The unusual relationship between religion and modernity in Africa

Cross in chinatown

Two things are growing faster in Africa than anywhere else – religion and the economy. Africa is the most devout continent in the world with 89 percent of participants in a 2012 WIN Gallup survey saying that they were religious, compared to 59 percent in the world at large. In Ghana, the country with the […]

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08 March 2013 ~ 13 Comments

What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

When I was seventeen, I got a job as a telephone salesperson of ink cartridges. The worst thing about the job was that I was so good at it. I was promoted and was eventually earning a serious lot of money. I don’t know what made me a successful ink cartridge seller but I use […]

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14 February 2013 ~ 8 Comments

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 […]

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26 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

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

when_shall_we_three_0

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 […]

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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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