How to write about Africa: a response

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Africa Without Borders

It has been a dramatic weekend for me. By my calculation and the careful planning of the Chimurenga team l should right now be in Durban at the Ugu festival of Maskanda. Thus when l arrived in Lagos Thursday morning l did not bother unpacking, l simply sent my passport to the SA embassy in Lagos for a visa. Anyone who knows the first thing about getting a South African visa must wonder what sort of road side drugs l …  ( continue reading

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Unhappy families

What, or who, are the men of the big footballing powers of Europe playing for when they take the field? What does it mean to be Italian or French or English in the summer of 2010? That little bit of heart and inspiration that wins teams games: where will it come from? read more  ( continue reading

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First impressions: Lamu’s Big Sister

Hargeisa should be called the City of Light. The sun…off bright yellow sand is blinding. A stiff wind blows the women’s black abayas. I too wear a long skirt, headscarf and a demure expression. If Lamu had wide streets crowded with four-wheel-drives and fruit stands…with mini-mountains of watermelon, it would be Hargeisa’s little sister. I have never eaten [goat] meat as succulent… I can’t wait for the camel meat.  ( continue reading

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Ghetto Radio: Meltdowns ya Rooney na Anelka

Mwafrika, Rapcha and Qoachez of Kenya’s Ghetto Radio turn their attention to the behavior of Wayne Rooney and Nicolas Anelka as well as last week’s matches involving Ghana and Cameroon.  ( continue reading

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I’m afraid I don’t speak Vuvuzela

I see yellow M’s swimming through the irises of the game sated.

Marketing gurus and tax consultants are applying rational statistical analysis to measure irrational concepts like national unity and optimism. They say that 30 days of national euphoria can change a country forever. They speak about rebranding the country as a spinoff – in the absence of any tangible benefits.
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Doreen Baingana’s pilgrimage featured in Somaliland Press

Pilgrimages has received coverage from Somaliland’s main newspaper, the Somaliland Press. Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland is the destination of Doreen Baingana who arrived this week. According to the newspaper’s web site Doreen will visit “Somaliland writers, poets, playwrights and artists. She will also hold question and answer sessions with student and reader clubs and tour heritage sites.” Read more  ( continue reading

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Every day I’m hustling

Our first morning in Kampala, we’re woken up by the sound of someone hammering at the walls of the hotel. It’s clearly people, rather than a machine, because the rhythm’s too erratic. Starts hard and fast and quickly weakens, wavers. Some guys with sledgehammers, working on a piece of the parking lot maybe, or tearing down a wall. We can’t figure out where it’s coming from, but it’s impossible to ignore. Because we can’t find the workers it seems like …  ( continue reading

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Pilgrimages video: One book or thirteen?

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Cape Town keeps it clean

We are supposed to feel lucky to be hosting this world cup, to be spending millions on stadiums that will stand empty and unloved once the cup flow is over. Few South Africans can afford tickets to the games and the swarms of tourists and the money they’ll pump into our communities, have simply not materialised. What has happened is that our city centre has been “cleaned”. For weeks now the poor, homeless, the street hustling whores and begging street …  ( continue reading

Category: Commentaries, Pilgrimages Blog, Video | 5 Comments