African photographers, writers and artists find their voice in blogs

As more Africans come to realize the power of blogging as a tool for expression on a global scale, the number of bloggers has increased and so has the themes in focus.

In that number of growing blogs, a lot of African artists have also joined in with a huge increase noted in poetry blogs as well as emerging photography and visual arts blogs.

We review some of them.

Poéfrika is a weblog of creative, Africa-inspired writing. The blog features poetry by various African poets, interviews with poets, writers as well news and information on world renowned poets and writers alike.

The blog also has a lot of resource material for would be poet as it lists links to various poetry publishing magazines, writers who have been featured in the blog and other links of interest to writers including their potrait photos.

Poéfrika is run by Rethabile Masilo a Lesotho citizen but currently based in France. He also runs Canopic Jar and Basotho which also feature written and visual art.

Fikira Zangu (Swahili for My Thoughts) is a Kenyan blog ran by Bonyo Buogha Anthony who is based in Nairobi, Kenya. The slogan for his blog is

“Intense thoughts like active beings, come and go Haunt us then flee, leaving ajar the door.”

This is what he says about himself

….I my words forgot, and thoughts my wrote; I'm weeping laughter, Humming thoughts and writing beats, Walking thoughts and thinking walks….

I would say that is a poetic piece right there.

Hi poetry is short and precise with most not exceeding 10 lines. The themes range from love to politics to his challenges as a poet.
An excerpt from his poem – Will you still be mine

Will you still be mine in the morning
After the evening passion fades
After all the pleasures of last night
have all been swept away

Will you still be mine
After the bitter arguments and fighting
After harsh words have been exchanged
will you open your arms and let me back in

Marten’s Blog is a purely photography blog run by Marten Schoonman who is based in Nairobi Kenya but one who travels a lot through the East African region and beyond.
The blog is an online diary captured in image form featuring a lot of breathtaking sceneries and immaculately taken photos of different people and items.
He also features some photos and photo sites that have fascinated him.

Africa Rock - Photo courtesy of Marten Schoonman

Africa Rock – Photo courtesy of Marten Schoonman

Merlin is a Campus student born in 87. He describes himself on his blog, iceboxmerlin.

got a swag to walk the talk, talk the walk sometimes, but always a down to earth and sensational individual to be around!’

You can tell from the image header that he is a great fan of animations. He labels his blog, ‘The Phanton Thought……..’
His disclaimer,

“Here are my thoughts on the world, life and the unraveling of the universe. The symptom of an involved mind with the features of life, is the intelligence and later a harnessed genius. It is the achieved Phantom thought of thick air!

His blog features a lot of poetry and prose in which he explores different issues and themes.

An excerpt of his poem, ‘The air is thick!

Where the air is thick!
I have gone to a place,
like what a journey would be…
and had sweet thick mango juice,
A Kayamba playing in the back ground,
like that group of men call themselves Kayamba Africa
there was a man though,
a Rasta Man chewing at Muguka
green gobbler and something he's mumbling
between stuffing his mouth.
and puffing a cigarette,
the air here is unmistakably thick
so he says with a thick baritone voice,
“young man!”,
“write us some of that scribble you call poetry…”
“am in a mood for anything”
and a thick air came about me,
to put some sense into him!

Boyd Oyier is a 4th year student at a university in Kenya. He is also a self taught artist who loves to experiment and is currently working with charcoal and pastels.

A potrait of Malcom X as drawn by Boyd Oyier

A potrait of Malcom X as drawn by Boyd Oyier

His depictions of influential world faces on are superbly done with emotions that one can almost touch.

His blog is not more than a month old, something he started after attending a workshop on blogging and social networks in Nairobi.

He is currently putting together his first ever official collection that is titled “Politics in Black and White”

This is what he states as the purpose of art:

“The main function of art should be to connect to people. Each of us appreciates art in one form or another, but we are turned off by the ‘elite’ who decided to complicate art by using labels such as ‘surreal’, ‘new age’ and ‘contemporary’. The best art is the art that you love!”

We look forward to seeing the collection online.

Tafsiri Hii is a Kenyan poet blogger who runs afropoem, a blog about a Black Woman’s Poem.

This is how she describes herself:

”Black; from the curl of my hair to the toe on my foot…. African; it's in the blood flowing in my veins, the music in my voice, the dance in my walk…. Lover of words; written, drawn, sketched, scratched… Appreciative of the power of said words; be they written, spoken, hidden or displayed”.

Her blog which is barely one year old confronts issues of trafficking of African Women for prostitution, love, culture and celebration of African Men among other themes,

These blogs are proof that there is more to Africa than politics as has been depicted by many African bloggers. We can be sure of seeing more such blogs.


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