Tag Archives: Africa

Kingsolver’s narrative indictment of colonisation: The Poisonwood Bible

I have written about Barbara Kingsolver’s (and other figures’, such as Salman Rushdie’s) novelistic art here before and even referred to The Poisonwood Bible cursorily — but recently the effect of colonisation on the inhabitants of certain continents (in this case Africa) has occupied my attention afresh. Hence this post, specifically on Kingsolver’s masterpiece, The…

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Heritage Day: What’s wrong with this picture?

I have a love-hate relationship with Heritage Day. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings of seeing people in different and beautiful outfits representing their heritage — our diversity as the rainbow nation — it’s also a point of tension and possibly pain. In the wake of a cultural appropriation incident a few months ago, Heritage…

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Umngqusho, koeksisters and defining South African culture

Being a vegetarian I never imagined that I would find myself (happily) plating 12 dishes of a braised sheep’s head and fried chicken feet. But these are the kinds of delicacies you end up serving if you’re ever tasked with showcasing South African food. “Smileys” and “walkie talkies” are what they’re called in Khayelitsha, where…

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African leaders, please give us back our dignity in 2016

[dignity / noun, the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.] It’s taken me a short while to figure out what upsets me so much about power cuts in Africa. The experience is in both measurable and immeasurable ways un-dignifying. You are in the middle of cooking a meal for the family,…

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Obama and Kenyatta’s clash over LGBTI rights highlights the need for a much-needed discussion

By Stephen Buchanan-Clarke President Obama’s visit to Kenya as the first sitting US president will likely be remembered most for the strong stand he voiced on the issue of LGBTI rights on the continent. Standing alongside Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta at a joint press conference on Saturday, Obama unreservedly stated his belief “in the principle…

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African music should not be an event that comes once on South African radio

By Siphumelele Zondi I was listening to radio on Thursday and heard a feature called Urban Africa Thursday on a national radio station in South Africa. For thirty minutes they play music from the rest of the African continent and talk about African entertainment and travel. In the past, I have heard another radio station…

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Why Africa should join the fossil fuel divestment movement

By Alex Lenferna Concern for poverty in Africa is coming from the most unexpected places lately: the boardrooms of fossil fuels companies. Multimillionaire fossil fuel execs, like Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and Peabody’s Charles Meintjes, are painting themselves as Africa’s saviours, claiming that fossil fuels are the answer to Africa’s poverty and development problems. The often…

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Afrophobia, a case of self-mutilation

“I sang struggle songs with the South Africans when they were in Kenya hiding from the government.” Granted my uncle later admitted that it was after a few rounds at a local watering hole and he might not have gotten all the words correct but the sentiment was there. This is a fuzzy snapshot of…

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South Africans are xenophobic

By Matthew Beetar Now is rightly a time for action — to protect lives and end violence, urgently. But there will come a time in the near future for discussion and serious reflection on the recent attacks against “foreign” nationals, and I wonder whether South Africans are willing to have this discussion with themselves. I…

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Xenophobia shatters the united Africa dream

By Unene Gregory Last Thursday morning, which was unseasonably sunny for a UK morning in early Spring, I switched on my work computer and began catching up on the latest SA news. I came across a YouTube news video about the current affairs of the state which made me increasingly anxious the longer I watched…

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