19 April 2014 ~ 3 Comments

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 […]

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06 February 2014 ~ 11 Comments

What is conscientious feminism?

NationPiece

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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23 January 2014 ~ 16 Comments

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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02 January 2014 ~ 16 Comments

Let 2014 be a year of emotional awareness

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  Welcome to 2014. It’s going to be a special one coming up to the 4th anniversary of this blog, and especially as we are going to have the fearless African femme fatale energy present. But before settling in to the new year: if you could sum up 2013 in one word only, what would it […]

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21 December 2013 ~ 17 Comments

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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28 November 2013 ~ 2 Comments

Guest Post: Acceptance breeds solutions, or why Africa needs feminism

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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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24 October 2013 ~ 7 Comments

What does feminine power look like?

Laughter – Explored!!!

Women and power is a current hot topic. It was much discussed at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, for instance, where I too spoke about this very theme last week. It has also been recently debated at the Harvard Business School, FEMNET and  BBC’s 100 Women campaign. I welcome the increased emphasis on this topic because […]

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11 October 2013 ~ 9 Comments

What I like about African men

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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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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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31 May 2013 ~ 4 Comments

What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment?

Hallway, Milwaukee Art Museum

This post is an extract from a Q&A by sixty7 Architecture Road, a Canadian site devoted to the built environment, which asked four individuals, from various professional backgrounds, and from different parts of the globe, to give answers to the question What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment? Read my […]

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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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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 February 2013 ~ 8 Comments

Valentine’s Day Give-Away – My free poetry e-book

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  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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08 February 2013 ~ 8 Comments

International Women’s Month event for your diary: FRIDA – Female Revolution In Dance & Art

FRIDA

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”  ― Frida Kahlo To celebrate the forthcoming International Women’s Month 2013, join us (Pia Cabble, Bumi Thomas, CRE8 LIFESTLE CENTRE & MsAfropolitan) for a spectacular multidisciplinary art project inspired by the legacy of Frida […]

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31 January 2013 ~ 11 Comments

Can women have it all? On marriage, motherhood and work

The Weaver

  One of the most popular articles in 2012 was “Why women still can’t have it all“, by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. It received the most facebook likes any Atlantic article has ever received and everyone from Michelle Obama to Gloria Steinem weighed in on the matter. Whether or not women can have it […]

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23 January 2013 ~ 5 Comments

Barack Obama, villain or hero?

Breakfast with Barack

When it comes to places, the affection that I have for my hometown, Lagos, is matched only by a sort of nostalgia that I harbour towards Tampere, the Finnish city I’m from, which shapes many of my memories but in which I’ve never lived. Yet, my being Scandinavian feels like a secret. Not from anyone, I […]

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20 September 2012 ~ 36 Comments

Who is an African woman?

African Profile at Peace with the World

When people ask me what I do, and I respond that I’m a blogger, and that I blog about topics that primarily concern African women, quite often they proceed to either tell me about an humanitarian or developmental cause they are involved with or have read about. Sometimes they ask me how my blog reaches […]

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28 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Huffington Post: Meditate Your Way Through Negative Articles About Black Women

Huffington Post: Meditate Your Way Through Negative Articles About Black Women

I submitted the below post to the Huffington Post editors before the racist and sexist cover image of Michelle Obama as a nude slave appeared in one of Spain’s biggest newspapers, El Mundo’s, supplement. This morning an interview with Gabby Douglas went live revealing that her teammates called her a slave. Unfortunately, the constant tending […]

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23 August 2012 ~ 21 Comments

On Bitch Bad by Lupe Fiasco

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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 […]

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16 August 2012 ~ 18 Comments

7 key issues in African feminist thought

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  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 […]

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13 August 2012 ~ 9 Comments

Discovering African feminism

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  ‘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 […]

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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 […]

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27 April 2012 ~ 13 Comments

Beyonce, skin colour and carrots

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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. […]

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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 […]

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15 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Some thoughts on Ashley Judd’s definition of patriarchy

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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 […]

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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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20 March 2012 ~ 10 Comments

The real reason African patriarchs have a problem with African feminism

The real reason African patriarchs have a problem with African feminism

Upon hearing the term African feminist, many African men and women will say, we as Africans don’t need feminism, we just need to return to our roots to see that there was harmony between the genders. The first problem with such a statement is that Africa is not that simple. African pasts are complex and […]

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29 February 2012 ~ 14 Comments

Sex, Religion and Hair Weaves

dreams

Sex Havelock Ellis, one of the most successful sexologists of the 20th century believed that sexual intercourse between men and women was based on animal courtship which he defined as “the pursuit and conquest of the male”. The female, he said, plays a game where she pretends to resist in order to be caught. He […]

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16 January 2012 ~ 23 Comments

White Women, Black Men & African Feminists

White Women, Black Men & African Feminists

Occasionally I worry I’ll hurt my mum with some of the stuff that I write about white people, or that my dad will be offended by my criticism of African men. Then I visit them in Lagos and I’m reminded of how, and why, my concerns are completely unnecessary. They expected, and are pleased, with […]

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04 January 2012 ~ 8 Comments

The Afropolitan year in review and 7 amazing photos from ‘The Rise of Afropolitan Fashion’ show

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When we look back at Afropolitanism in the future, 2011 will certainly stick out as a landmark year. It was the year the Afropolitan movement reached both virtual and actual spaces that define global culture. For example, Afropolitanism got a wikipedia listing. ARISE, the magazine that brought Afropolitanism to the mainstream, hosted ARISE Nigeria Fashion […]

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