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

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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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Awra Amba, an Ethiopian village where gender equality is real

Gebeyehu & Mesghana from Awra Amba

If I were an alien visiting our planet this week I’d think, “Whoa, how’s that for a mess, one half of the species trying to annihilate the other half!” We on earth don’t see it that way ourselves; or we would be in revolution against misogynist warfare. Yet an eye that has not been conditioned to normalise the…

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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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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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What is conscientious feminism?

Head of Woman

In July 1992, an international conference on Women in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare incident: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa. The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month…

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The African Femme Fatale

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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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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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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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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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Global war and its impact on African women

ArmyAmber / Pixabay

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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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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Thoughts on “Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa”

I just watched Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa, a documentary by FEMNET and UNDP and thought I’d share it with you all here (embedded below). To me, the need for more women in political leadership is possibly the most urgent task for the African feminist agenda. If women are not determining the future of…

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Esther Madudu for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

© Diane McCarthy

I’m helping a leading African health development organisation, AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation), spread the word about their Stand Up For African Mothers campaign to nominate a Ugandan midwife, Esther Madudu, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.  If you watch this video you will see why this remarkable woman deserves the prize and all the support in…

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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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Guest blog: My mother and the marriage question

Back Camera

This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World   **** Most of my American friends do not think about marriage until around 33. Particularly those who I went to graduate school with in DC, they would laugh at the crazy stories that I would share about my mother. Her…

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Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

WAN

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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Apart from Chinua Achebe, which other African writers deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In the lead up to the short list announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature on 30 May, headlines this week brought to the fore the problematic obsession that some people have with the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to the late Chinua Achebe. For years, the pre-announcement period has seen speculations demands as to whether…

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Winner of the “Blogger of the Year” Award at the Women4Africa Awards

I am glad to share that I have won the ”Blogger of the Year” award at the Women4Africa Awards. The awards, which took place on 18 May 2013, was described as “the most honourable event for African’s by Africans ever in the UK”. Another attendee said “No organisation in Europe has ever created a platform to celebrate…

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Why African women should blog

The world has never been as patriarchal as it is today. I’m not claiming that individual societies don’t treat their women better than they did previously, but in the globalised, interconnected world we live in, we can no longer consider issues in an isolated fashion. So as we now consider the situation of women everywhere,…

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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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Why the Ugandan miniskirt ban proposal is good news

7/365 Take control, own me just for the night

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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Conversations with women who empower: Precious Williams

Precious Williams, image used with permission of interviewee

Conversations with women who empower is a quarterly interview series where women of African heritage share their views on work and life. The series highlights women whose work empowers and inspires in its skilfulness, ethos, creativity and impact and who also are women that I can picture myself having a tête-à-tête with. I’m delighted to feature Precious…

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Mobilising African Women in the Diaspora – FORWARD Conference

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On Saturday, 6th April, I’ll be joining a host of inspiring speakers (see below) to address the matter of ‘Mobilising African Women in the Diaspora: Creating a movement for African women’s leadership, rights and development’.  The conference is hosted by FORWARD UK and will take place between 10.30am-6.30pm at Greencoat Place. If you would like to attend, complete the registration form which…

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

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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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