Why are Nigerian buildings so hot?

One of my recent observations has been how hot many Nigerian buildings tend to get without an air conditioner – and it seems perverse that with the sun being the one environmental factor we can take for granted on the continent and architecturally this wasn’t factored into modern building methods.  It prompted a conversation with …

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1. 100 Essential Non-Fiction Books: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa By Walter Rodney

Written by one of the most celebrated thinkers in the tumultuous decades following Africa’s independence struggles, this is a book to read both for its romance, as well as its insight. First published in 1979, Walter Rodney’s dissection of the west’s imperial domination and deliberate under-development of  Africa is a classic of anti-imperialist literature. Since … Continue reading 1. 100 Essential Non-Fiction Books: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa By Walter Rodney

How the Obamas expanded the language of American presidency – with dance

We’re all familiar with the language of American presidential campaigns, the symbolic rituals every candidate must make – kissing babies, high fives with joe average, and sympathetic listening to his wife. Even more familiar are we with the stump speech, and the 100 megawatt smile that communicate, pick me, I’m the best one to lead. … Continue reading How the Obamas expanded the language of American presidency – with dance

How Ghana Got Its Groove Back

  Ghana, first post-independence black republic, has always had a special place in the heart of Africans and Africanists the world over. Despite this, it’s never been quite cool.  It’s always been a popular destination for African-Americans, partly because of its historical associations with the upheavals of 17-19th century Africa more clearly marked in a place that has … Continue reading How Ghana Got Its Groove Back

The Nazification of Nigeria – Or reflections on the meaning of bad and repressive laws

 On 7th January, the president of Nigeria’s fourth republic signed into law, a bill banning marriages between two people of the same sex; a law, in effect, banning a practice that did not in any legal sense already exist. More chilling, the law also banned the existence of any association of people presumed, or in … Continue reading The Nazification of Nigeria – Or reflections on the meaning of bad and repressive laws

Performing Leadership: Jonathan needs a new royal language

So Goodluck Jonathan gave a presidential media chat on Sunday– judging from the response on twitter, his performance was largely judged unsatisfactory, though some commentators were ready to defend the president’s performance. Nigeria’s president is one of the most powerful of executive leaeder’s on the African continent, being head not only of civil, but also … Continue reading Performing Leadership: Jonathan needs a new royal language

“Ben Okri is wrong about European and African literature’s greatness (and its relationship to form and subject”)

There’s much to chew on, but little to agree with in Ben Okri’s recent essay on greatness (or lack there of) in African and Black writing – much of the problems already eloquently addressed by Sofia Samatar in her rebuttal, but I wanted to drop my two pence into the debate, so here goes. Okri … Continue reading “Ben Okri is wrong about European and African literature’s greatness (and its relationship to form and subject”)