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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Repowerment rather than empowerment


I’m getting impatient with the idea that the reason we should empower African women is to lift African economies, as UN under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, argued in The Sowetan on Sunday. I’m not fed up with this proposition because economic growth isn’t important for African countries (although I do think…

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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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Sexism is pan-Africanism’s Achilles heel


  In the 19th century, books in the west were often published in weekly segments in journals and newspapers. Readers awaited each new instalment and the discussions that followed eagerly. Pigeonhole is a new publishing platform aiming to revive this communal spirit of reading.  One of the series you can read on their platform at…

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On the African Union’s message to women


Yesterday, to commemorate International Women’s Day, the former chairperson of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, posted a message for African women on the union’s website. The focus of the update, one which I have pasted below, was to hone in on a political vision and action plan – ‘Agenda 2063‘ – which, among other things, “envisages a…

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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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‘Who will be the first African woman to sail the length of the River Niger?’


  Here is a link to an interview that I did for The Corporate Canvas, a South African Careers, Finance, Culture & Lifestyle platform for African Millennial women.  The questions were great, I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to reflect on things that truly matter to me. Below is my favourite question, you can read the rest of the interview…

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‘A letter from one African woman to another’

Akua-Adiki Anokye by Nontsikelelo Mutiti

In January 2015, the Warrior Poets collective invited me to speak at Litanies For Survival, part of Afropean+ at The Bozar Centre For Fine Arts in Brussels. The event turned out to be a vibrant, memorable night of African culture – music, fashion, talks, art, dance, flash mobs – taking over one of Europe’s leading art institutions. Other talks and…

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Citizens and women – two neglected words in Nigeria’s elections


Nigerians have experienced some of the most unstable five years in their country’s history under the rule of President Goodluck Jonathan. Not so much because the problems we face today – such as poor infrastructure, oil corruption and terrorism – have not previously existed but because there is a heightened sense of awareness among citizens, a…

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The sexual (r)evolution of an African feminist – Part II


(This is the second part in a three-part blog essay about the aforementioned. Read part I here.) — In my twentieth year on earth, I discovered feminism and therein the tools with which to question the prey/hunter paradigm that to a great – and rather unfavourable – extent had shaped my sexuality thus far. I lived in Sweden…

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The sexual (r)evolution of an African feminist – Part I

balloon penis

(This is the first part in a three-part blog essay about the aforementioned.) Like many girls I entered puberty with both trepidation and excitement. It was a time marked by changes: psychological and physical. However, I soon learnt that girls were not meant to take an interest in a variety of things that came along…

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Commonwealth Writers hosts migration debate – read African feminist writers on migration


In the lead up to International Migrant’s Day, which took place on December 18th, Commonwealth Writers joined the migration debate by running brief stories by writers about their own migrations. My contribution is titled “Migrating to Myself” and you can read it on the Commonwealth Writers blog. It was good to read reflections of other African women…

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Help! @CosmopolitanUK ‘discovers’ horrific African sexual practices


It has come to the attention of Cosmopolitan UK that women in Africa (the country) are using “various means” to reduce moisture in their vaginas and consequently tighten them so that men can enjoy sex more. This “dry sex” as Cosmo call it, making it sound like some weird pornographic fetish, is due to a “distinct lack of…

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TEDxBrixton Talk – To change the world, change your illusions


Last month, I gave a TEDx Talk titled “To change the world, change your illusions” at TEDxBrixton, which has now been uploaded on YouTube. Watching the clip takes me right back to the day: all the great talks, the wonderful TEDxBrixton team, the excitement and nerves but most of all the energy in a room…

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African men, are you still not listening?


Hey, it’s the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Violence against women is ginormous, ginormous, ginormous. It is so ginormous that the UN says it is a global pandemic. Other examples of global pandemics are Ebola, HIV and Bob Geldof. Due to its enormity I am thinking this post will be about how it is possible that male…

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Speaking about African feminism at TEDxBrixton in October

my pic

I’m excited to share that on 11 October 2014, I will be one of around twenty speakers at TEDxBrixton, an independently organised event operated under licence from TED. The event will be taking place at the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton and will feature a selection of carefully curated speakers from Brixton and beyond to give inspiring…

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