African Women This Month

Literature, music and blog redesigns are three of the themes in the African women's blogosphere this month.

Molara Wood and Mama's Junkyard have both redesigned their blogs. Molara has chosen to stick with but takes on a new name, Wordsbody. Mama's Junkyard ungrades to WordPress with a new colour scheme and layout….

No more light on dark. mamajunkyard’s has been tangoed! Orange is the new strawberry, wider width is the way to go and lowercase is how I like it. Add a few plugins like Gravatar and ELA and the geek in me comes out to play.

The site is cool and refreshing. Check out her new photoblog with strawberries and waffles for breakfast.

Naija to the Core has a great Tribute to Fela – Felaversation

This is a tribute to the music, life and times of the Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti (Oct. 15, 1938 – Aug. 2, 1997)

Ironically, a talk is being held today at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos titled Felaversation which is designed to celebrate the fact that “Nigerian intellectuals have, at last, responded to the challenges posed by their counterparts from the West and Europe on the issue of articulating the epochal contribution of one of Africa's leading cultural icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti to world culture. “

It's taken them nearly 25 years to get there – could it be intellectual snobbery?

Keeping with the music theme, Nubian Soul pays homage to another of Nigeria's great muscians who she once had the pleasure of meeting.

His music has always appealled to me, possibly because of the use of the African talking drums and his dabbling in electronica.
The sound of those drums just make me want to get up and shake it. (which could be dangerous on soo many levels, cos I might scare the children lol).
It's a conversation, a movement, a rhythm, a language, spoken word, a heartbeat, a mouthpiece. It gives life to something inside you that just makes you want to move.

Growing up your parents were dancing to Sunny Ade and you were getting down with Fela – ahh the good old days of Lagos Life.

Molara Wood's new blog Wordsbody makes an excellent start with a piece on Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong'o at the book reading of his new book, Wizard of Crow in London.

Ngugi seemed to want to make the event a celebration of life and survival, bringing his family along to the event. Lucky for the audience, they got five Thiong'os for the price of one. Ngugi explained that his younger children had only been spared the attack because, as luck would have it, they had chosen to go and spend the night with a relative.

Cameroonian blogger, Rosemay Ekosso finds herself at odds with the Catholic church and organised religion of her childhood. Priests fathering children and women (nuns) while essential to the running of the church are marginalised and not recognised as equal to men. She goes on to discuss the Church's position on “regulising sexual”

The first point against this is that as they are themselves celibate, priests have no idea at all of what it means to be sexually active. If they have some idea, they shouldn’t. No one told them to stop having sex or children. They decided to do so themselves. All was well until the fourth century, when the madness started. In 306, the Council of Elvira, in Spain, decreed that a priest who sleeps with his wife the night before Mass will lose his job. It went downhill from there.

Ethiopian blog, CoffeeChilliSun
writes a moving piece on her hopes, dreams and disappointments she feels for Ethiopia.

The poverty, hunger, corruption, oppression and lack of infrastructure seemed like the growing pains of young and budding nation, symptoms of a worry child that will come good. I had hope, always had hope, even when I discovered that more beggars and homeless were out on the streets, that the gap between the rich and the poor was widening, I always had hope. How can a country so beautiful and rich in history, culture and resources ever fail to make it at some point?

Mshairi on Pale is Beautiful, discusses skin tones and the values placed on lighter skinned black women over darker skinned ones.

What then is the problem with the rest of us? Why do we feel the need to make ourselves pale (or white as this can only be the true underlying need)? Not just with our skins but also with our hair? Reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X, I always laugh wryly at the section where Malcolm wanting to make his hair straight, applies lye, which begins to burn his scalp forcing him to dunk his head in the toilet bowl when he realises there is no water coming from the taps to wash off the lye (this was just as the Police burst in to arrest him).

Annie of Palava Soup writes about a documentary called The Long Journey of Clement Zulu which

“follows three men immediately after their release from Robben Island: Clement Zulu, Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim and James Mange.”

As Annie writes, not everyone that left Robben Island became President and this documents the lives of some of the other prisoners who suffered long incarcerations at the hand of successive apartheid governments in South Africa.

Prison destroyed my life,” said Clement Zulu. Do not get it twisted, these men were proud to have done what they did for their country. But when you step off that boat from Robben Island where do you go? Home? Where is that? Ebrahim Ebrahim was reunited with his family and immediately became an active member of the ANC again. He soon assumed a top position. Yet his relationship with his young daughter suffered. His relationships with his whole family suffered. “Sometimes I fight depression.” And why wouldn’t he when he spent his adult life behind bars?

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