7 South African rebel women artists – in memory of Miriam Makeba

Miriam_Makeba_(1969)

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?’

cruise

  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

nigeriawomencitizens

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

Sho

(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

Birds

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

Cosmo

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

TALK

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?

VAW

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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September events, workshops and talks – Afropea Now!, Digital Women UK, Complicit No More

AFROPEA-Poster-A2_web

Complicit No More In creating a forum to discuss gendered racisms, ‘Complicit No More’ aims to encourage more generous and ‘conscientious’ feminist inspired dialogue. The panel event will highlight themes and challenges for black feminism and intersectionality, tackling topics that have been framed by Eurocentrism but which are also a part of intra-oppressions: how we relate…

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

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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…

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When it comes to the bride price app there is only one word. No.

BridePr

This post is inspired by a piece  CNN published on Wednesday about the Nigerian bride price app, an app/quiz which calculates the marital value of a woman by pricing attributes such as her height, weight, beauty, cooking skills, education and dialect. All in jest, yeah, the app, as the site’s disclaimer says is, “a joke, and…

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Seven things that women want in Africa’s future

onu-phumzile-mlambo-ngcuka

This week, more than 3000 delegates are at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali discussing new strategies to tackle poverty, underdevelopment, and put their weight behind global schemes that ensure Africa’s progress. To mark the occasion, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, published an OpEd today titled Women’s Role in the Next 50…

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The truth about girls lives in Nigeria

Image Source: GirlHub Nigeria

In March this year, GirlHub Nigeria invited me to give a talk during Social Media Week Lagos, which I started with a prayer I’d written for little girls. I’d like to share it with you bearing in mind that it is not religion specific. Dear God, may the next generation of girls not grow up to worry…

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Is feminism the right choice for you?

femchoice

Before addressing the title topic, I just want to share that I have a piece about the abduction of girls in Nigeria at The Feminist Wire this week. Also this week The Guardian hosted a debate panel on African feminism based on Doreen’s guest blog here on MsAfropolitan. The panel (myself included) answered the question…

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5 things my vagina does not make me. A guest blog by Doreen Akiyo Yomoah

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“You’re a woman.” These three words are quite possibly my least favorite words strung together in the English language. When people repeat them to me it’s usually to judge how I can or cannot behave, or how I should or shouldn’t behave. But aside from the genitalia that I was born with, no other assumptions…

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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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7 great novels by African women writers

Americanah

“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life…

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How do you manage negative reactions to feminism?

mesmerized

When I’d first “come out” as a feminist publicly, and when people I’d never met heard that I was a blogger and asked what my blog was about, I would sometimes say that it was about women’s rights, which is true. But what’s truer is that I write an African feminist blog. The reason for my carefulness was…

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A badass case of Beyoncitis

music-beyonce-xo

It starts with cunnilingus. Not the “Beyoncé ” album (which starts with “Pretty Hurts”) but this review. After all, when a megastar like Beyoncé dedicates a song to oral stimulation of the clitoris in a world where the opposite is more common, an emphasis is only appropriate. OK, “Lick my skittles, it’s the sweetest in…

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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…

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Winnie Mandela’s derivative portrayal in a Long Walk to Freedom

winnielongwalk

The latest Nelson Mandela biopic, “Long Walk to Freedom” is not a disappointment. It’s a moving, informative treatment of Nelson Mandela’s eponymous autobiography. And Winnie Mandela as played by Naomie Harris is compelling. Harris conveys well the impassioned spirit of the most powerful woman in the history of African anti-colonial struggle. The movie’s blurb states,…

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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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Interview with Iheoma Obibi, founder of Nigeria’s first online sex shop

iheomapic

Welcome back to my interview series! Over the past years I’ve interviewed inspiring women of African heritage highlighting their work and observations on life. This time around, I’m especially excited to introduce readers to Iheoma Obibi, an African feminist writer, human rights activist and more recently the creative director and business owner of Intimate Pleasures Desires…

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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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What makes African women’s art feminist?

It has been said that artistry in Africa is an intrinsic part of life rather than a commercial or careerist enterprise. I’d say that this notion is not only applicable to African art, all across the world art has explored the sensitivities of life and the social environment. However, it is in this process of examining life…

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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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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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