On the Current Censorship Crisis in Kano, Nigeria

By Carmen McCain, Director, Hausa Home Video Resource Center, Bayero University; Nazir Ahmed Hausawa, Manager, Golden Goose Studio; and Ahmed Alkanawy, Director, Center for Hausa Cultural Studies

Nigeria’s northern city of Kano was until last year the home of a thriving film industry in the Hausa language. Hausa language “video-films” are similar to the larger “Nollywood” Nigerian film industry but are stylistically different from their southern cousins, with most films including song and dance sequences influenced by Indian films and hiphop music videos. In August 2007, a sex scandal involving a leaked cell phone video of a Hausa film actress Maryam “Hiyana” Usman having sex with her boyfriend Usman Bobo instigated a change in the leadership of the Kano State Censorship Board.

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African Contemporary Art

Negotiating the Terms of RecognitionAchille Mbembe in conversation with Vivian Paulissen

Africa Remix was an international success. The Johannesburg Art Fair is becoming a fixture in the international art circuit. Major academic interventions such as Sarah Nuttall’s Beautiful/Ugly are redefining the boundaries of African aesthetics. William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and countless  individual African artists are making a name of their own in the world market. A silent revolution in contemporary art is in the making.  Its ramifications extend to other domains such as literature, fashion, music, architecture and design. As jazz and cubism in the 20th century, it is to a large extent engineered by African forms.

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I am Khanga

Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (From the Dutch-language ZAM Africa Magazine): 

On May 8, 2006, the South African Judge Willem van der Merwe ruled that ANC leader Jacob Zuma was not guilty of the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, the daughter of his late friend Judson Kuzwayo, his fellow prisoner on Robben Island who died in exile in 1985. Zuma did not deny having sex with her, but claimed since the victim wore a khanga, a wraparound cloth, she had “asked for it.” Following the verdict, Kuzwayo, moved to Amsterdam prompted by persistent threats from Zuma’s supporters. There she gained political asylum, partly through assistance from the AIDS Fonds and people involved in the former anti-apartheid movement. On September 26 [2008] Kuzwayo performed, dressed in a khanga, the poem below at the opening of the exhibition “Identity, Power and Connection,” on the eve of the bi-annual Afrovibes Festival. In this way, she responded for the first time to the court’s verdict:

10 Questions For Mukoma Wa Ngugi

By Jennifer Bryant

A Beautiful Blonde is Dead. This image is the spark that ignites the international crime drama Nairobi Heat, the debut novel by acclaimed Kenyan writer Mukoma wa Ngugi. From the evocative title of the first chapter to the last line readers are  forced to grapple with the touchy subjects of race, class, and the sometimes relative concept of justice. I recently had the pleasure of dialoguing with Mukoma about his new novel, his thoughts on writing, and his plans for the future.

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Kenya’s democracy on trial

by Mukoma Wa Ngugi

On Thursday December 27th 2007, shortly after polling stations were closed, Kenya was hailed as having fulfilled an African dream – to have a free and fair closely contested democratic election. But less than 48 hours later it was clear that the dream of democracy could become a nightmare of ethnic violence. Most of the casualties so far have been the poor and the marginalized – and if things continue as they are, a bitter civil war fought along ethnic lines is certain. To say that what is at stake is the very future of Kenya is not an overstatement.
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Animal Planet

by Pius Adesanmi

It has become well nigh impossible to mention some strange specimen called “Africa” in North American academe these days without entering all sorts of caveats and precautionary notes. Time it was when the imperative of a coordinated response to the daunting challenges of Euromodernity provided the inflatus for the production of the transcendental, stabilized Africa we encountered in narratives such as pan-Africanism, nationalism, Négritude, and decolonization.
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Angola at Peace

by Didier Péclard

On April 4 2002, a cease fire signed between the Angolan government, controlled by the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) put an end to one of Africa’s longest-running civil wars ever (1975-2002).
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Pule Lechesa with Omoseye Bolaji

In the Free State, local black literature is thriving as never before, with many popular writers emerging from the grassroots with startling regularity. Although the process started about ten years ago over fifty poplar books penned by local authors have been published with thousands of copies distributed in the many libraries that throng the Free State . The process has been referred to as the “renaissance of FS Black Writing”. The most important and pivotal figure in this literature has been OMOSEYE BOLAJI who apart from publishing over fifteen popular books, has also helped to encourage, nurture, and discover other budding authors in the Province.

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Mr Fat, A Brother with Perfect Timing

This is how British journalist Patrick Neate describes his introduction to Mr Fat, one half of the nucleus of Brasse vannie Kaap in his book, the hip hop travelogue Where You’re At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip Hop Planet :

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Faut-Il Oublier Joe La Conscience?

par Patrice Nganang

Jamais les arts n’ont été aussi annonciateurs de l’avenir au Cameroun ; mais jamais aussi les artistes n’ont été aussi seuls ! Si à Douala, en ce février c’était avec le courage d’un peintre, Mboua Massock, que les feux de la colère se sont soudain saisis de la poudrière que notre réalité est, à Yaoundé, les menottes qui retiennent les poignets du musicien de reggae Joe la Conscience, à Kondengui, sont celles qui avec le changement de l’article 6.2. de la Constitution de notre pays, veulent enchainer notre futur.
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