Archive | 2003

Big Leaders, Little Leaders and Forked-Tongues

Suren Pillay On a biting winter afternoon I encounter Mamadou. His broad, gregarious smile welcomes me in a familiar way. ‘Sade’ he says to me, ‘the latest CD. Take three for $20’. He has the works, spread out on the pavement, under the shadow of the colossal Time-Warner building in downtown Manhattan. We chat. An invisible thread links […]

Review of “It All Begins: Poems From Postliberation South Africa”

Desiree Lewis In the early seventies, Mongane Serote published a poem called “Ofay-Watcher Looks Back”. Its a powerful poem, forceful in the way that Bessie Head’s writing is when, superficially it seems to be dealing only with clear-cut social protest, predictable outrage, a quotidian world we already know. The opening lines read: (more…)

Mother of the Nation

Desiree Lewis As a black South African woman facing relationships that other me both as Black and as woman, I’ve never recognised Winnie Mandela as my “role model” or tried to locate her in my own struggles. She’s never offered the convenient signifier to fill the blank in my sentence: “As a …. I admire […]

La crise ivoirienne

Bernard B Dadié Enfin, une nation ?!… Enfin ! Mais la tragédie de l’émancipation des Nègres n’a-t-elle pas commencé à St Domingue, à la Révolution, lorsque Chavannes et Ogé, revenus de France, crurent que les droits acquis par les Français pouvaient être appliqués aux hommes de couleur ? Erreur qu’ils payèrent de leur vie. Vint […]

Au commencement était le rap

Babacar Gueye L’efflorescence du rap a été tellement rapide que la plupart n’ont pas senti le mouvement venir, jusqu’à ce que Dakar, aujourd’hui, devienne le troisième pôle mondial du hip-hop, après les Etats-Unis et la France. Le rap surgit au Sénégal dans un contexte particulièrement explosif. En effet, nous sommes en 88 lorsque les premiers […]

Home is where the music is

Hugh Masekela (talking to Mothobi Mutloatse) I remember we use to live on isinkwa. When we saw musicians eating fish and chips and being drunk in the streets of Johannesburg you could tell that something had been put on wax. (Laughs). We are laughing now but it’s a sad thing y’know. Gallo makes millions of […]

Revisiting the Colony

This is an extract from a conversation between writers and artists in Nairobi, about language and literature, and the state of the arts in Kenya and Africa….On Naipaul, Conrad, Theroux, Ryszard Kapuscinsky, and what they mean to this continent. The contributors have opted to remain anonymous, and so each will be identified with random initials. […]