What I liked about Louise Mensch’s reality-based feminism piece

In a much debated OpEd last week by former conservative MP, Louise Mensch, Mensch defiantly declares that intersectionality is bollocks and that she for one, has “no intention of checking her privilege”. Mensch went on to hold this intersectional bollocks culpable for “the modern feminist movement […] wasting most of its time in frenzied internal debate about…

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Why Spike Lee was right about Django Unchained

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Spike Lee did the right thing in publicly taking issue with Django Unchained, the latest Quentin Tarantino movie about a freed African slave who embarks on a violent journey to save his wife. The wife character, Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington is monotonous to discuss for hers is a shockingly flat role. Her character serves…

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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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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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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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Discovering African feminism

two women in the park, 2010

  ‘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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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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Beyonce, skin colour and carrots

Carrots anyone ??

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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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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Speaking about race, sisterhood and citizenship at BE.BOP 2012 Berlin

I’m participating in BE.BOP 2012- BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS, an international screening program and transdisciplinary roundtable on Black European citizenship in connection to recent moving image and performative practices. My presentation is on race, sisterhood and citizenship. BE.BOP 2012 aims at facilitating a long-term exchange between specialists and time-based art practitioners of different contexts and…

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Celebrating African Music – The MsAfropolitan Mixtapes vol. 1

MsAfropolitan Mixtapes 1

I’m pleased to share that the first edition of the MsAfropolitan Mixtapes is here. Courtesy of Broadcite Music, an esteemed independent label committed to creating unique sounds for the musically aware, we are going on an Afropolitan ride from Ghana to South Africa fusing highlife, juju, afrobeat and more with Detroit House and the edgy beats of underground London….

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Africa is not a brand

When a region has been subject to genocide, slavery or Maafa (holocaust), colonialism, apartheid and financial exploitation also known as neoliberal multilateral agreements, how do we legitimise its place in a globalized modernity without examining its bruised psyche? Through rebranding it as Bono suggests? MsAfropolitan does not intend to rebrand Africa, but aims to be…

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7 Thomas Sankara quotes about women

Thomas Sankara

It’s the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today and in recognition of this dedicated day (and the 16 consecutive international activist days), I am sharing quotes from one of the best speeches on women’s liberation and the African freedom struggle by one of the most extraordinary leaders of modern history, former Burkinabe president, Thomas…

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Learning to love white men

I’d hate for my experience on earth to be lived with a heart containing animosity towards fellow human beings. We may act like different races are different species due to the irrational inventions of some power hungry ancestors of the human race, but I don’t want that confusion to make me equally disillusioned about our…

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My feature in (1)ne Drop – dialogues on racial politics and identity

Being black is not a matter of pigmentation being black kis a reflection of a mental attitude  - Steve Bantu Biko I am participating in an upcoming collaborative project by Africana Studies scholar Yaba Blay, Ph.D. and award-winning photographer Noelle Théard. (1)ne Drop, as the documentary is called, is going to be a thought-provoking look…

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My channel 4 interview on mixed race identity

My dear parents in the 60s

How can someone who claims to be a chosen messenger of god advocate such divisive, confused and love-lacking opinion as Pastor Tapiwa Muzvidziwa? “God”, he says, disapproves of mixed marriages as these are “wrong” and detrimental to the children born of such relationships. Doesn’t he understand that the whole idea of banning interracial and interfaith relationships is…

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Fashioning Africa exotic, colonial and tribal

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Cross-posted from Huffington Post —- African style is very much in vogue. Numerous runways in both New York and London fashion weeks could as well be called African fashion week. There were African influenced textiles such as the Malian Bogolan, also known as tribal in Donna Karan-review-speak. Proenza Schouler also gave a preview of their take…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Jessica Huie of Colorblind Cards

Jessica hosting the Precious awards

Jessica Huie is truly a woman to be inspired by. She is a serial entrepreneur, founder of not only Colorblind Cards, but also a columnist, an ambassador for government initiatives and the brains behind JH PR. What I love about her the most is how down to earth she is. She radiates a confidence that…

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A Diaspora canvas: Exploring the feminine heritage of African art

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If creativity isn’t about community in one-way or another it is dull at worst and provoking at best. Artists that manage to emphasize the spiritual, aesthetic and social elements of living are those that bring to us gifts of understanding. Artists that exemplify this idea are musicians like K’Naan, Baaba Maal, Nneka, Blitz the Ambassador, Fela,…

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The fashion and politics of natural hair

It’s understandable that many of us are tired of talking about hair . There’s so much around this topic. However, I’m not at all exhausted with the hair topic yet. I think we should keep talking about hair because our strands are bearers of shared cultural experiences. I don’t think the hair conversation is about…

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We need to stop the lack of response to the horn of Africa crisis

When I was asked if I could publish the below guest post with regards to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Africa I was faced with a moral dilemma. Let me explain. The original post included images of malnourished African children and as much as I support Sarah Lenssen’s work I won’t post those types of…

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Riot, rage and rebellion

Mark Duggan This is the picture the media is using to remember the man who unawarely, post-mortem, instigated the UK riots. Some see what is intended – a dangerous black man making gun gestures. To others, this is a picture of another ‘cheap’ black life taken unjustly and irreplacably. A man with a defiant look in…

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Is feminism really un-African?

As my feminist consciousness has developed the more I’ve become aware, both explicitly and implicitly, that there is a popular notion that feminism is un-African. Every time I write a post about feminism in an African context, I get at least one response about how feminism is this flawed, white supremacist ideology. The internet is rife…

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Breaking it down – V&A Friday Late Afropolitans

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Last Friday MsAfropolitan and I (some split-personality going on) participated in a wonderful event at the V&A Museum in London. We presented a fashion show and a panel discussion to a visitor count of over 5,000 people. Here are some of our, okay my, thoughts on the event. By the way, if you’re new to…

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Cadbury’s ad row with Naomi Campbell and ASA’s response

The Black History Walks website has a useful list of ways to help combat negative media portrayal of black people. Some of the suggestions are: Go out of your way to attend events, prove there is demand Buy original dvds with positive images direct from source Check out www.colourfulradio.com and www.voxafrica.com Read Frantz Fanon Wretched of the Earth and…

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MsAfropolitan presents – Fashion and Talks at the V&A Friday Late: Afropolitans

Photo courtesy of the V&A Museum

MsAfropolitan is taking part in Friday Late: Afropolitans at the V&A, the world’s largest museum of art and design. In “MsAfropolitan presents – The rise of Afropolitan Fashion” myself with the help of creative director Ola Shobowalewill conceptualize the contemporary creativity and beauty of Afropolitan fashion for women. Visitors will be able to experience the fusion of bold African patterns and…

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African witchcraft and western psychology

  There are those who believe that Oprah is a prophet of Satan, spreading a message against Christianity. Then there are a growing group who similarly to Oprah, or maybe even because of her, are keen to explore alternative ways of connecting with divinity, not by dismissing the teachings of Jesus but by understanding them in…

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Fela in Lagos, reflections and ruminations

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I don’t know what to make of the Finnish elections last weekend, where the nationalist True Finns party won 39 seats of a 200-seat parliament. The Nigerian elections, which have led to violent clashes in Northern Nigeria where hundreds of people have now died, sadden me even more so. To make sense of things, I…

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