Vital Signs, the critically acclaimed pandemic album by Zimbabwean jazz innovator Vee Mukarati, masterfully negotiates the lockdown dilemma of being relevant to your time while staying true to your art. Mukarati swings, meditates and sings on mortality, precarity and alienation on an album that is, at once, deeply personal, richly Zimbabwean and unmistakably global. The Switzerland-based artist discusses navigating the challenges of lockdown creativity in this exclusive interview with This Is Africa.
Lovecraft Country, a must watch landmark show is a story which grapples with America’s troubled past and present, a binary opposite defined relationship of us versus them is pitted throughout the narrative, be it law enforcement vis-à-vis policing and white American supremacy in the fray. It can be read as an allegory for the Black American horror reality.
Viewing Nigerian movies is seen as a trip down memory lane, a virtual journey back home and group therapy for Africans in the diaspora.
Over 60% of girls in Ethiopia are married by the age of 18. Many don’t have support in negotiating with their husbands and families to take control of their own fertility.
South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi is the new Miss Universe and the internet is rife with comments about her hair. While most black contestants opt for hair extensions or chemically straightened hair, the new Miss Universe wore her hair the way her Creator intended it to grow from her scalp.
Schools are still not using Nigerian languages to teach students.
Colourism is not peculiar to the African American community or other black communities in predominantly white spaces. It can also ironically be found firmly on the continent where the population is almost predominately black and brown. Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o weighed in on the issue and her experiences on colourism.
As an entry point for advocacy, litigation shapes public discourse. Importantly, it addresses violations and mitigates future violations. In Kenya, the High Court upheld the rights of a female Rastafari learner. She was expelled from school because of her dreadlocks. The court pronounced that “the rule that she cuts her hair is intrusive to her religion and not justifiable in a democratic country”.
South African parents want their children be taught in English despite the fact that research shows that academic progress is hindered if a child is taught in a language they aren’t proficient in.