03 April 2014 ~ 35 Comments

The sacred is political

Religious text

“You can’t not be religious!” is a reaction I often receive when someone asks me first whether I am Muslim, as my name implies, and then (when I say no) whether I am a Christian, which I am not either. Having found out that I’m neither Christian nor Muslim, the inquirer then often proceeds to […]

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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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10 November 2013 ~ 6 Comments

What makes African women’s art feminist?

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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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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27 June 2013 ~ 2 Comments

Meditations with Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Why do I like pictures that seem ghostly? I’m not religious and I am no more spiritual than any one else. I’m not an atheist either but I cherish rational argument. I spend quite a lot of my time upside down, in Adho Mukha Svanasana and occasionally Urdhva Dhanurasana and so on, and yet despite my fondness for […]

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14 March 2013 ~ 5 Comments

The unusual relationship between religion and modernity in Africa

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Two things are growing faster in Africa than anywhere else – religion and the economy. Africa is the most devout continent in the world with 89 percent of participants in a 2012 WIN Gallup survey saying that they were religious, compared to 59 percent in the world at large. In Ghana, the country with the […]

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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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05 October 2012 ~ 5 Comments

On Vagina by Naomi Wolf and the reviews that followed

On Vagina by Naomi Wolf and the reviews that followed

The release of Naomi Wolf’s “Vagina: A New Biography” was met with scathing criticisms from feminists like Laurie Penny, Ariel Levy and Zoe Heller. These influential writers all bring up some valid arguments about problematic ideas presented in the book. Vagina is indeed a book that in many ways feels unfinished and often naïve. It […]

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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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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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01 June 2012 ~ 34 Comments

Feminism has always existed in Africa

A Woman’s Strength

Feminist activism has always been a part of African society and in a radical way. By radical, I don’t mean the strand of the western feminist movement that very necessarily revolutionized western societies in the 1960s and 1970s, but rather, I mean the mobilized commitment to uprooting patriarchy, imperialism and human injustice to women. In much of premodern […]

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23 December 2011 ~ 14 Comments

Is it unAfrican to be gay? The Nigerian case

Is it unAfrican to be gay? The Nigerian case

Since 1960 Nigeria has had no more than eleven years of unbroken civilian rule. Out of those, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) now led by Goodluck Jonathan has held a tight grip on power whilst barely contributing to any growth. Shell has just admitted that thousands of barrels of oil have spilt in the Bonga oil leak, the worst […]

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19 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Celebrating African Music – The MsAfropolitan Mixtapes vol. 1

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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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02 December 2011 ~ 23 Comments

Africa is not a brand

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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12 November 2011 ~ 6 Comments

Speaking about African feminism at the Global Feminism Symposium, University of Warwick

Speaking about African feminism at the Global Feminism Symposium, University of Warwick

I am currently in Lagos. I am working on projects with TV and Radio Continental and the STAR company/Seeing through the Arts collective who are using art and creativity to promote important causes in society. There is a similar reasoning behind the  MsAfropolitan Boutique, namely to use fashion and creativity to highlight the importance of the African […]

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03 November 2011 ~ 23 Comments

Learning to love white men

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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01 November 2011 ~ 13 Comments

Why history is written in flesh

Why history is written in flesh

I believe in the sixth sense, not in a ‘seeing dead people’ way, but the sense of shift, that feels the brewing zeitgeist of future generations. The things that they will understand, that our generation can not. This is what activism and creativity alike ought to explore. Can one set of people understand what the previous […]

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07 October 2011 ~ 13 Comments

7 fucked up things

7 fucked up things

1. People that moan about the use of expletives. 2. The combination of capitalism and yoga. I can’t claim to know all there is to yoga but I can say for certain that apart from keeping you healthy, yoga philosophy aims to connect with something profound, some call it god, some peace, some essence. There […]

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29 September 2011 ~ 12 Comments

My channel 4 interview on mixed race identity

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How can someone who propagates themselves as 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 deep […]

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11 September 2011 ~ 11 Comments

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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03 August 2011 ~ 17 Comments

The best kept secret for youth

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It’s my birthday today. I’ve given myself two birthday presents. One was a day with nature. I started the day with a long and playful walk in the woods. The forests in Finland (where I am right now) make me feel like a little girl; the strawberries you can pick and munch on as you […]

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03 June 2011 ~ 25 Comments

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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26 May 2011 ~ 8 Comments

How to use isms to be more open-minded

Impostor

It is by acts and not by ideas that people live. Anatole France ~ Coming from an (unapologetic) feminist it may seem contradictory to say that I am weary of labels. I think that labels are somewhat like tampons; they exist not because they are necessary but because they are useful. It helps to know […]

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22 April 2011 ~ 9 Comments

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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09 April 2011 ~ 11 Comments

No longer at ease

No longer at ease

I am writing this on my porch in Nigeria. I am surrounded by beauty. It is midday and the sun is shining. Pink bougainvillea is keeping me cool and wherever I look I see different types of leaves that must have inspired every single pattern that exists in this world. I am drinking a ginger […]

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29 March 2011 ~ 11 Comments

African women writers and stories that raise awareness

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Writing down some of my new year’s resolutions earlier this year inspired me so much I’ve been maintaining the practice by making ‘new month’s resolutions’. In March my goal was to sleep more and as a result feel more energetic and reconnected with mother and father earth but I failed miserably. Instead March was a […]

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20 March 2011 ~ 4 Comments

The melodious song of longing, Baaba Maal – In Praise of the female voice

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Apart from lyrical gratification, what do you get when you fill the Royal Festival Hall in London Southbank with artists like Senegalese superstar and advocate of women’s rights Baaba Maal, Speech Debelle, VV Brown, Eska, Krystle Warren and Annie Flore? You get a powerful evening of inspirational female voices from across three continents aptly title […]

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06 March 2011 ~ 12 Comments

Listen. Risk. Help. One woman’s thoughts on how to do career.

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I eavesdrop a lot, my ears are like antennas picking up conversations that I’m not supposed to hear. It might be indecent but hey, it’s fodder for my craft. So the other day whilst enjoying a coffee at Starbucks, I pretended to read an article on my ipad, but in reality I was occupied by […]

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