Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Reflections on the Arab Spring

In Freedom, Revolt on September 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

By Anustup Basu, Mute Magazine

Twittering teens or absolutist ayatollahs, men we can do business with or loony autocrats? The media’s proliferation of polarities is a strategy to fragment the connectedness of events and disavow western Realpolitik. Here Anustup Basu reveals the transnational composition of a Spring that is now an Autumn Read the rest of this entry »


Wangari’s Daughters

In Women on September 29, 2011 at 8:34 am


Over the past few years, it has been my immense privilege to meet and come to know women I now think of as Wangari Maathai’s daughters: Sitawa Namwalie, Wambui Mwangi, Shailja Patel, Njeri Wangari, Muthoni Garland, Mshai Mwangola—there are many others. I mean daughters in a sense perhaps best expressed in the founding Gikuyu myth: women of consequence who have the power to move and shape nations. Women for whom nations will be named and re-named. Read the rest of this entry »

Environment Land rights Ugandan farmer: ‘My land gave me everything. Now I’m one of the poorest’

In Food, Land on September 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

John Vidal, The Guardian

Francis Longoli, a small farmer from Kiboga district of central Uganda, is tearful: “I remember my land, three acres of coffee, many trees – mangoes and avocados. I had five acres of bananas, 10 beehives, two beautiful permanent houses. My land gave me everything. People used to call me ‘omataka’ – someone who owns land. Now that is no more. I am one of the poorest now,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Senegal — A revolution led by rappers

In Music, rebellion on September 19, 2011 at 6:52 am
By , The New York Times


DAKAR, Senegal — A revolution led by rappers says something about a country’s politics or its music, or maybe both.

In Senegal, the political mainstream appears stagnant and the musicians anything but, which explains why laid-back musicians with stage names like Fou Malade (“Crazy Sick Guy”) and Thiat (“Junior”) are leading a vigorous demonstration movement against the country’s octogenarian president, who does not want to leave office. Read the rest of this entry »

Swaziland: ‘Build an unstoppable tsunami for freedom!’

In Freedom on September 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

by Mario Masuku, Pamabazuka

Over the past few days, the mass of the people of Swaziland: workers, students, women, rural and landless masses, churches and other faith-based organisations, social movements, NGOs and the rest of civil society networks have confronted the tinkhundla system on a scale unheard of before. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Africa rising or flailing?

In The Politics of Politics on September 18, 2011 at 8:51 am

by Toby Moorsom, Pambazuka

Firoze Manji has rightly argued that the desires for political change being expressed in North Africa and the Middle East are shared throughout the rest of the African continent. While the north has been in the spotlight in the international media, large demonstrations have seriously challenged governments in countries like Swaziland, Gabon, Cameroon, Djibouti, Senegal, Kenya, Burkina Faso and more. Read the rest of this entry »

South Africa’s Great Change

In Solidarity on September 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

S’bu Zikode’s talk at the 30th anniversary of the 1981 protests against the Springbok tour of New Zealand

I wish to thank Global Peace and Justice, in Auckland, for inviting me to New Zealand to speak on the progress of post-apartheid South Africa and the birth of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. I also wish to thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, the movement that I am part of, for trusting me with the responsibility of representing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Adrift from our democratic moorings

In In the Courts on September 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

by Mazibuko K. Jara, Mail & Guardian

South Africa’s Constitution requires the Constitutional Court and all others to interpret, protect and enforce the fundamental principles and rights it contains. So why is President Jacob Zuma and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) imposing Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as our chief justice when he is clearly unsuitable for the position? Read the rest of this entry »

What does Gaddafi’s fall mean for Africa?

In The Politics of Politics on September 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

by Mahmood Mamdani, Pambazuka

“Kampala ‘mute’ as Gaddafi falls,” is how the opposition paper summed up the mood of this capital the morning after. Whether they mourn or celebrate, an unmistakable sense of trauma marks the African response to the fall of Gaddafi. Read the rest of this entry »