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

Doreen-007b

“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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

We need to eroticise society

tumblr_ml

I know what you’re thinking: What do I mean by “eroticise” society and why on earth should we do that? Surely we are obsessed with sex as it is! Well, yes, sex is everywhere but Eros, i.e. Erotic love, isn’t. Our sexual culture is either prudish or pornographic. On one end, we are surrounded by explicit…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

What do Oscar Pistorius, men’s liberation and asteroids have in common?

Silhouette

Four things happened on February 14th, 2013, that were strung together in an eerie way. These were the celebration of Valentine’s day, the One Billion Rising protests in over 200 countries around the world, the murder of Reeva Stenkamp by Oscar Pistorius, and, Asteroid 2012 DA14 almost wiping us all out. You probably agree that there…

Continue Reading

In praise of, Beyoncé.

I can’t believe I fell for your schemes, I’m smarter than that/So dumb and naive to believe that with me you’re a changed man/Foolish of me to compete when you cheat with those women /It took me some time, but now I moved on/Cause I realized I got/Me, myself and I/That’s all I got in…

Continue Reading

Why Spike Lee was right about Django Unchained

django

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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….

Continue Reading

The power of images – African women and Swedish politicians

Lena Liljeroth Adelsohn ger regeringens syn på Kreativa Europa

I don’t tend to get surprised about racist acts, at least not when it’s so stereotypical as this whole tragic ordeal with the Swedish culture minister eating a cake of what is supposed to be a mutilated African woman. As a mixed race person I’ve experienced racism from the places where it possibly chafes the…

Continue Reading

Some thoughts on Ashley Judd’s definition of patriarchy

DSC_0069

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Why men love feminists

Contrary to popular belief many feminists have active, and even pleasant love lives. Before I continue let me clarify, and oversimplify (terribly) for purposes of this commentary, by saying that there are two types of feminists. It’s oversimplifying by the way, because we live in an age of individual feminisms rather than theory-centered doctrine. And…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Fashioning Africa exotic, colonial and tribal

M&Sbanner

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…

Continue Reading

Interview feature on black feminism, Afropolitanism and more

LU

Cross-post from my two part interview with Kathryn & Miriam from the much recommended Live Unchained project blog www.liveunchained.com @liveunchained —— For Minna Salami feminism sparked a revolution within, meaning the end of many illusions. Namely, the illusion that anything would be handed to us in terms of respect and empowerment in a world that denied…

Continue Reading

Dating while feminist

I prefer going out on a date with a guy who’s read my blog than one who hasn’t. When a man hasn’t visited this site, at some point during the date something like this happens: Guy: You mentioned that you’re doing an MA at SOAS. What’s your area of study? Me: (clears throat, prepares): Gender…

Continue Reading

A Diaspora canvas: Exploring the feminine heritage of African art

pia

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading