Groundnuts and Bananas: A Conversation with Chimamanda Ngozi Adi

by A. Naomi Jackson

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a formidable member of the newest generation of Nigerian writers. Her debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is currently at work on her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, set in Nigeria during the Biafran War. In the conversation that follows, Adichie shares her views on religion in Nigeria, the seduction of Lagos, the legacy of Biafra and its place in her work, and what it means for her to be Nigerian.
Continue Reading this Entry

As Mulheres Do Meu Pai

by Jose Agualusa and Karen Boswall

(notas de uma viagem através da África Austral)
Continue Reading this Entry

Meeting Fidel

By Olu Oguibe.

Fidel Castro Ruz, the world’s longest-serving leader, officially turns 80 today. Fidel will not be celebrating as he has for as long as the world can remember, having suffered what I believe to be a stroke on July 26, the 53rd anniversary of the attack that he and hislittle brother Raul led on Moncada Barracks in the Oriente province of Cuba in 1953. I believe that Fidel must have suffered a stroke and enough paralysis not to be able to stand or even speak, contrary to the information that was given to the world by his ministers. I believe so because it is impossible for Fidel to have the energy and ability to speak and not do so. Speech is as essential to him as breath itself. Speaking is his life.
Continue Reading this Entry

Fencing Riviera

by Henri-Michel Yéré

My first fascination, my first loyalty goes to this neighbourhood. Twenty years ago when we came back from New York on a rainy day, my brother and I stared at the silent, three-story building imagining first that the whole thing belonged to us. Ten buildings of that kind, we realised, made the neighbourhood. The small grass pound outside ours we took to be our own green pool of pleasures. Quickly enough, I discovered quite astonished that women lay their clothes on the grass in order to dry them under the sun. I remember the round light bulbs at night in the parking lots, as we enjoyed the sight of the cars. The local supermarket had appeared empty and dry to me; the cashiers were not very friendly either – that I do remember. Hence my eagerness to see the place again the day I arrived back to Abidjan after a five year absence.
Continue Reading this Entry

Gag on This

by Andrea Meeson

So there I am restless on a Friday night catching up on the political looney toons of the past week in the local press, when down the SMS pipeline comes the invite for a date with Live 8.
Continue Reading this Entry

Re-dreaming Kaapstad

by Edgar Pieterse

Life as the reworking of a destiny by a freedom. She senses that freedom not at all, and knows all too well the pull, the sluggish gravity, of the first.
And yet, through dreams—by way of art, of illusion, of fiction—we do, or can reinvent ourselves.
Continue Reading this Entry

Ransom Note ?

by Adam Haupt

Over two years have passed since conscious hip-hop MC and community activist Mr Devious (aka Marion van Rooy) was murdered in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. His murder trial has yet to be concluded and his widow, Natalie van Rooy, still seems no closer to releasing a compilation of his music. This is because Mighty Music Africa’s Bruce Williams has 10 Devious tracks and won’t hand it over until van Rooy, a mother of three, pays him R28,124.80.
Continue Reading this Entry

Conversation with Thomas Sayers Ellis

by Penny Dickerson

Poet, essayist, and editor, Thomas Sayers Ellis is a literary threat. Harvard educated and a Brown University graduated, noted writer Elizabeth Alexander described him as, “one of our geniuses.” Despite accolades and three published poetry collections—The Good Junk (Graywolf Press, 1996), The Genuine Negro Hero (Kent State Press, 2001), and The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press, 2005)—Ellis lacks any pretense Ivy League environments may grant one.
Continue Reading this Entry

3rd World at The Oscars

by Andrea Meeson

It’s Oscar time again and I’ve booked the sofa, stocked up on tissues and popcorn and trawled the movie sites on the Web so I can be up on all the fluff and flora before the big night.
Continue Reading this Entry

Naming Names

 Sean Jacobs speaks with Grant Farred about his latest book on black vernacular intellectuals

In What’s My Name? Black Vernacular Intellectuals (University of Minnesota Press), Grant Farred extends the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci’s notion of the organic intellectual to include cultural icons Muhammad Ali and Bob Marley and cultural studies giants Stuart Hall and CLR James. In the conversation that follows, Farred, associate professor of literature at Duke University, explores the black vernacular intellectual tradition from Bob Marley to Kanye West. 
Continue Reading this Entry