2006

Half of a Yellow Sun, a Novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

by Naomi Jackson

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, set before and during the Biafran War, does what a great novel is meant to do. It engages, capturing the reader’s attention so completely that while reading one asks not whether the stories we engage with are true, but what these truths—suspended in the world the author creates—have to say about our humanity, the lengths to which we will go for love or an ideal or revenge. Or as one of the characters in Half of a Yellow Sun asks, whether the Biafrans will be more or less humane when they have conquered Nigeria.
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Tsotsi

by Herman Wasserman

There is one scene in Tsotsi that sums the central logic of the film. It sets up the binary between individuals and the masses, state and citizens, and order and chaos. When the police find a car that the central character, Tsotsi (Chweneyagae) had hijacked, the camera first dwells on the how the car has been stripped of all removable parts that can be sold for scrap, then pans to show a wide expanse of shacks on the other side of an open field. The camera favours the vantage point of the police, standing helplessly outside the massive township.

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The Work of Mourning : Beyond Employment

Giuseppe Cocco and Antonio Negri for A Folha, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The French movement of March 2006 shows potential that reminds the entire world of May 68. It was the young protesters themselves who made this symbolic reference explicit at each of their marches and at each of their attacks on the barricades constructed by the police to impede the occupation of the Sorbonne. But it is not only this.
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Emerging from the Dark?

Mafika Gwala speaks to Andrea Meeson about not living in the shadows.

A press release from the Poetry Africa festival, which ended in Durban last night, touted the presence of Mafika Gwala as the “exciting re-emergence of the respected Black-consciousness era poet.”

“Crap,” says the published South African poet, essayist, writer of short stories and soon-to-be novelist. “I have been always where I am today. Why do they speak of me as if I am emerging from the dark?”

Eulogy for Black Caesar : James Brown, 1933–2006

by Greg Tate

Eeeeeeyow. Gud gaad. Aintit fonkeenah? James Brown knew how to freak the tribal speak and the tribal feet alike—the tribal neckbone and irrepressible tribal hambone too. Being a poet, a boxer, and a onetime Pentecostal supplicant, the Godfather knew a thing or two about being hit with the spirit and hit with the quickness; he also knew how to hit back, how to respond in kind in a New York minute. Bold, Black, and Beautiful things just happened faster in the world according to Brown.
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Sean Jacobs with Khalo Matabane

South African film director Khalo Matabane‘s debut “fiction” feature Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon (2005) defies genre. Sean Jacobs spoke to him about the latter film, a mix of documentary and fiction.

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TARZAN IS AN EXPATRIATE

Dance of the Infidels

by Rudolph Ogoo Okonkwo

“When the premise of an argument is wrong, the conclusion is also wrong.” – Peter Obi

I will introduce Peter Obi but first, I must confess a blunder. I was prompt at the exorcism. Too much introspection, I almost lost my indignation. Yet, it added no therapeutic value to my deranged mind.

East Africa is the New West Africa?

by Chika Unigwe

For an African writer at the very start of her writing career, getting notice that you have been short-listed for the Caine Prize is the most delightful thing that could happen to you on a Wednesday afternoon when the only thing on your mind is how to get through the week’s laundry, what to make for dinner, and how to compose the proposal for your doctoral defense in good enough Dutch. And the only way to react to such news, as I discovered, is to go out into your backyard and scream yourself hoarse.
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