Skip to content

January 6, 2009

3

Q’s AFRICA week: 2. How NOT to write about Africa

by quaesitor

I’ve joined up to (RED)Wire – Bono & Co’s weekly music ‘magazine’ which gives you great music in aid of HIV/AIDS work in Africa – and I THOROUGHLY recommend that you do too. Fantastic stuff.

In the 2nd edition (the one which included U2’s I Believe In Father Christmas), is found this brilliant short. That hugely compelling Beninois actor Djimon Hounsou reads excerpts from a brilliantly satirical article written by a Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina, for Granta Magazine. The background music is provided by another Kenyan Ayub Ogada, whom I’ve loved for ages. Some of his stuff was used for the film The Constant Gardener. 

All in all a powerful combination. So here it is:

Now read the original essay at Granta. It’s biting satire at its very best. Clichés are bad enough in literature – but when they simply re-enforce patronising stereotypes, they are dangerous. I find this acutely challenging and am all too conscious of falling foul of not a few clichés that he exposes.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 20 2009

    I would love a short list of books that really do capture the true Africa (in fiction or non) — any suggestions?

    Reply
  2. Jan 20 2009

    Well, Wendy, it is funny you should mention that, but it just so happens that I have done just that as an Amazon list. Check it out here:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/AFRICA-a-foreigner-s-addiction-in-no-particular-order/lm/RB40ACPG9N16F/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Looking and not seeing ‘Africa’ « Confessions of an Undercover Theologian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: