Kendrick Lamar is not just dusting his crown in “The Heart Part 5”. The customary album prelude is not so much about putting the culture on notice as it is about deconstructing the culture. Collective languages of black being fall apart, deepfake by deepfake, in the glare of Mr Lamar’s passion.
Zimbabwe is making gestures to loosen the government chokehold on airwaves inherited from Rhodesia and maintained in the 42 years of independence. But broadcasting licenses have been selectively awarded to Zanu PF politicians, oligarchs, state enterprises and the army. New television stations are merely the latest horsemen of Zimbabwe’s airpocalypse.
Zimbabwe has two infamous iconoclasts. Nelson Chamisa and Dambudzo Marechera. One is a Pentecostal dream-twister, and the other, an atheist prankster. Both are on record denouncing spirits of the dead, national symbols and indigenous religious beliefs. At face value, their irreverence is a sign of elitism and intolerance. On a deeper level, it is the crying out of the symbolically castrated. Marechera reminds us that no return to origins is innocent. Chamisa uses the Bible to settle scores with his political enemies, having been robbed of his former party’s spiritual capital and beaten to the commandeering of social memory by Zanu PF.
Long Read | In this second essay of a seven-part Shona series, “Is Dambudzo Marechera also among Medicinemen?” Onai Mushava revisits Marechera’s famous statement, “Shona was part of the ghetto daemon I was trying to escape.”
This Is Africa announces 2022 as the year of “Return to Marechera.” The great Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera (1952-1987), would have turned 70 this year.
As Zimbabwe’s election season heats up, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu-PF is playing up the chilling effect through violence, public incitement of followers, weaponisation of Covid-19 measures and disruption of opposition candidates’ rallies. Under the Mnangagwa administration, Zanu-PF has continued using its control of a precarious economy to endanger, patronise and intimidate citizens.
Mukwasha (son-in-law), proverbially known as the money tree, is a Zimbabwean species known for his endless male abilities, from knifing bulls and stoning cobras to writing off budget deficits for the whole family tree. This Is Africa goes back in time to assemble the ultimate mukwasha playlist.
African Crossroads held climate-themed fourth edition, “Ecoexistence: A Manifesto”, held on October 14 and 15, At the end of the two-day conference, African Crossroads unveiled its climate justice manifesto in eight principles. The principles emerged through contributions from the network members’ over the year’s edition.
African Crossroads’ climate-themed fourth edition, “Ecoexistence: A Manifesto”, held on October 14 and 15, was a testament of radical inclusion, featuring voices of change from townships, villages, universities, creative hubs and even the natural elements. From naming Air the guest of honour, to drawing on the sounds of nature in the open-source archive, Sound Atlas, and the culturally immersive game, Lotus of the Nile, the event was marked by organic maximalism and moved away from a human-centered environmental cosmology to emphasise the interconnectedness of life. This Is Africa revisits highlights of the two-day hybrid conference.