Featured

Deeper Than The Headlines: Nigerian English, Western Journalism in Kenya + More

Check out the latest news on Africa with in-depth African news featuring opinion pieces from global sources.


This week we continue to bring you the latest news on Africa with selections from different media outlets around the globe. Be sure to check back each Thursday for pieces that dig deeper than the headlines on the latest news on Africa!

1. Checking Out

By: Chimamanda Adichie

In case you missed it be sure to check out an excerpt from Chimamanda Adichie's new book Americanah set for a release this May. Featured in The New Yorker it begins, "In London, night came too soon. It hung in the morning air like a threat and then in the afternoon a blue-gray dusk descended, and the Victorian buildings all wore a mournful face. In those first weeks, the weightless menace of the cold startled Obinze, drying his nostrils, deepening his anxieties, making him urinate too often. He would walk fast, his hands swallowed up by the sleeves of the gray wool coat his cousin had lent him. Sometimes he would stop outside a tube station, often by a flower or a newspaper vender, and watch the people brushing past. They walked so quickly, as if they had an important destination, a purpose to their lives. His eyes would follow them, with a lost longing, and he would think, You can work, you are legal, you are visible, and you don’t even know how fortunate you are." And lucky for us the New Yorker also followed up with a Q&A with the visionary Nigerian author.

2. The Western Journalist in Africa

By: Mukoma Wa Ngugi

With the results of Kenya's elections declaring Uhuru Kenyatta as the victor, comes a thought provoking piece that necessarily questions Western coverage of African news. For Africa Is A Country Wa Ngugi writes, "In 1982, as the air force-led coup attempt in Kenya unfolded, we sat glued to our transistor radio listening to the BBC and Voice of America (VOA). In fact, the more the oppressive the Moi regime censored Kenyan media, the more Western media became the lifeline through which we learned what has happening in our own country. But in 2013, I and many other Kenyans saw the Western media coverage of the Kenya elections as a joke, a caricature. Western journalists have been left behind by an Africa moving forward: not in a straight line, but in fits and starts, elliptically, and still full of contradictions of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, but forward nevertheless." Keep reading for a critical analyses of Western representation, particularly the role of journalists in depicting single faceted truths.

3. Why Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution matter to Africa

By: Hakima Abbas

As we stated last week, the death of Hugo Chavez and his legacy have more implications for the continent than easily meets the eye. Abbas notes the significance of the fact that Chavez was the first president in Latin America to identify his African descent: "For many, this affirmation of cultural and racial pride was a restoration of dignity. It was a proclamation as important symbolically for Venezuela's historically marginalised population of African descendants and the entire region's Afro-American community, as Obama's ascendency to presidency was for African-Americans in the United States. The difference in their subsequent policies and impact on Africa has been stark."

4. How African Feminism Changed The World

By: Aili Mari Tripp

In reflection of International Women's Day, Aili Mari Tripp writes an optimistic piece highlighting the relationship between Africa, feminism, and development. Debunking the myth that feminist ideals only came to Africa through the West, Tripp signifies that "the more significant contributions that African women's movements have made globally often go unnoticed. Far from following a trajectory that seeks to 'catch up' with Western feminism, several African countries and social groups have forged their own conceptions of equality and provided models for the rest of the world to follow."

5. Top 50 Words Nigerians Commonly Mispronounce

By: Farooq Kperogi

We're not sure this qualifies as news, and despite Kperogi's intentions this piece can still read a bit condescending at times. However, placing all of that aside this article is certainly interesting as it attempts to work through how Nigerians pronounce English words, which I think most can agree is interesting to say the least. Kperogi explains why he isolates the Nigerian pronunciation of English: "Why isolate Nigerian English pronunciation for censure? Well, I guess it's because Nigerian English isn't a native variety and there are many important respects in which it radically departs from the two dominant varieties of the language. It would benefit people who are interested in international intelligibility in the English language to be aware of some of the major differences in the way common English words are pronounced, especially in comparison with the dominant dialects of the language."

Last week's Headlines>>>>

popular

Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 List

Celebrating African Women Laying the Groundwork for the Future

It would not be hyperbole to consider the individuals we're honoring for OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 list as architects of the future.

This is to say that these women are building infrastructure, both literally and metaphorically, for future generations in Africa and in the Diaspora. And they are doing so intentionally, reaching back, laterally, and forward to bridge gaps and make sure the steps they built—and not without hard work, mines of microaggressions, and challenges—are sturdy enough for the next ascent.

In short, the women on this year's list are laying the groundwork for other women to follow. It's what late author and American novelist Toni Morrison would call your "real job."

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

And that's what inspired us in the curation of this year's list. Our honorees use various mediums to get the job done—DJ's, fashion designers, historians, anthropologists, and even venture capitalists—but each with the mission to clear the road ahead for generations to come. Incredible African women like Eden Ghebreselassie, a marketing lead at ESPN who created a non-profit to fight energy poverty in Eritrea; or Baratang Miya, who is quite literally building technology clubs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa.

There are the builds that aren't physically tangible—movements that inspire women to show up confidently in their skin, like Enam Asiama's quest to normalize plus-sized bodies and Frédérique (Freddie) Harrel's push for Black and African women to embrace the kink and curl of their hair.

And then there are those who use their words to build power, to take control of the narrative, and to usher in true inclusion and equity. Journalists, (sisters Nikki and Lola Ogunnaike), a novelist (Oyinkan Braithwaite), a media maven (Yolisa Phahle), and a number of historians (Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Leïla Sy) to name a few.

In a time of uncertainty in the world, there's assuredness in the mission to bring up our people. We know this moment of global challenge won't last. It is why we are moving forward to share this labor of love with you, our trusted and loyal audience. We hope that this list serves as a beacon for you during this moment—insurance that future generations will be alright. And we have our honorees to thank for securing that future.

EXPERIENCE 100 WOMEN 2020

The annual OkayAfrica 100 Women List is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale. In the spirit of building infrastructure, this year's list will go beyond the month of March (Women's History Month in America) and close in September during Women's Month in South Africa.

100 women 2020

Audio
Burna Boy 'African Giant' money cover art by Sajjad.

The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs

We comb through the Nigerian star's hit-filled discography to select 20 essential songs from the African Giant.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2012 with his chart-topping single, "Like to Party," and the subsequent release of his debut album, L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for eternity, Burna Boy has continued to prove time and again that he is a force to be reckoned with.

The African Giant has, over the years, built a remarkable musical identity around the ardent blend of dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, R&B, and afropop to create a game-changing genre he calls afro-fusion. The result has been top tier singles, phenomenal collaborations, and global stardom—with several accolades under his belt which include a Grammy nomination and African Giant earning a spot on many publications' best albums of 2019.

We thought to delve into his hit-filled discography to bring you The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs.

This list is in no particular order.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Cover art of "Banjo".

Watch Cameroonian Drag Artist Bebe Zahara Benet's New Music Video for 'Banjo'

Video Premiere: Bebe Zahara Benet releases the colourful visuals for her latest single 'Banjo' ahead of her upcoming EP 'Broken English'.

Cameroonian drag artist Bebe Zahara Benet has just released the colourful visuals to her latest single 'Banjo'.

The single, which features on her upcoming Broken English EP, is the follow-up to several EPs she's released in the past including Face and Kisses & Feathers as well as a number of singles including "Fun Tonite", "Get Fierce (Lose Yourself)" and "Starting a Fire".

Keep reading... Show less
Audio

8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.