SOUTH AFRICA

On Safari

The name of this site is meant to be ironic, though a few on Twitter still take it literally and remind us that Africa is not a country. Similarly, the title of this annual post is meant to be tongue in cheek. It marks our annual month long publishing break that we take every August.


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GHANA

Christianity and new queer African imaginations

Ghana is currently causing global headlines for a new anti-gay bill that proposes “up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights.” Dubbed “the worst anti-LGBTQ bill ever,” the bill has been claimed to potentially “destroy lives,” which may not be an exaggeration given the incidents that have occurred in other countries, such as Uganda and Nigeria, that have previously passed similar legislation. 


Pan African, LGBTQ

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SOUTH AFRICA

No two elephants are alike

Debates about the July 2021 unrest in South Africa reminded me of the parable of the blind men and the elephant.

There are elites and there are masses. The unrest was orchestrated by elites assembled around former president Jacob Zuma, or the masses spontaneously seized the initiative and gave it progressive potential. It was an insurrection or a food riot, a criminal plot or a popular revolt, an assault on constitutional democracy or possibly a democratizing drive.


Pan African, Latino

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NIGERIA

Sound Sultan’s political music

Sound Sultan—the stage name for the legendary Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi of Naija Ninja (how his brand and label was known)—has saturated social media since July 11th when he succumbed to death at the age of 44. He was vastly talented and his passion for arts encompassed other mediums such as acting, comedy, songwriting and playing guitar, among others. He had performed widely and won awards for his songs that enriched people’s minds and created a space for them to ponder critically on societal happenings and events, especially in Nigeria.


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SOUTH AFRICA

It’s never just about the music

In South Africa, it’s never just about the music. And doubly so where South African jazz is concerned. There is also meaning, context, history, and politics to contend with, and here South Africa’s jazz is a synecdoche, out of which tumbles the broad swathe of a history of turbulence, trouble, defiance, and hope.


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SOUTH AFRICA

The exilic geographies of the South

Dugmore Boetie was part of a wave of South African writers who fled Apartheid. His exile and future literary notoriety, however, took a different path to some of the more classic refugee peregrinations.



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KENYA

Wolf in shepherd’s clothing

Kenya’s elites, including the church, use ponzi schemes for predatory accumulation and Kenyans will continue to see their dreams deferred if the law doesn't change.


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SOUTH AFRICA

Freedom and the struggle for dignity in South Africa

Within a context of spiraling poverty and inequality in South Africa, the lessons of uprisings in the 1980s are well worth revisiting. For millions of people, their socioeconomic demands remain unfulfilled.


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SOUTH AFRICA

A terrifying vision of South Africa’s future

If South Africa’s Left can’t find a way to channel popular discontentment into the building of mass progressive movements, it will instead morph into anarchy, nativism and, inevitably, authoritarianism.


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SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa’s fatigued and narcissistic nation-building discourse

Springbok rugby projects itself as progress, but preserves the way things are in the popular consciousness of South Africans.


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PALESTINE

Appeasing disgruntled critics

Israel’s success in getting observer status at the African Union is also a sign of the growing lack of interest among African leaders in the Palestinian issue altogether.


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MALAWI

Who will start another fire?

An interview with Kate Gondwe, Founder and President of Dedza Films, on a groundbreaking distribution initiative committed to supporting the next wave of emerging filmmakers and communities.


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KENYA

Nighttime in Nairobi

As a child, one of my favorite Soukous songs was “Nairobi Night” by the Soukous Stars. I knew little about nightlife, only from parties my parents threw in their basement, but seeing the title, perhaps I imagined what a Nairobi night might feel like thousands of miles away. So it is in the spirit of that imagining that I present the next episode of Africa Is a Country Radio, where we continue our look at club culture across the African continent, and take a visit to Nairobi.


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NIGERIA

Postfeminism is only for wealthy Nigerian women

Simidele Dosekun’s new book, Fashioning Postfeminism: Spectacular Femininity and Transnational Culture, is about young, class-privileged women in Lagos who wear—to a spectacular degree and in spectacular combination—weaves and wigs, false eyelashes and false nails, heavy and flawless makeup, and the highest of heels. This “spectacularly feminine style,” as she calls it, has been growing in visibility and popularity in Nigeria.


Pan African, Women

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LIBYA

What is whiteness in North Africa?

What happens when we take the study of whiteness from settler colonial contexts into the postcolony?


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SOUTH AFRICA

What is Black Conservatism in South Africa

The last time South Africans had serious intellectual discussions about black conservatism was in the late


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The longest shadow

We tell our stories when we are ready. This story is about the child sexual abuse I experienced at the hands of Anglican priests in South Africa.


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On failed states and the pitfalls of Western commentary

Why did a fairly obvious observation by two white American scholars about Nigeria being a failed state cause controversy? It is because their conclusion departs from a familiar arc of Western commentaries on Nigeria and Africa, which tend to favor platitudinous waffling over candor and critique, and because it aligns with the much-critiqued dominant Western narrative of African dysfunction.


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