Category: learning

why we should study afrikan history

“Tracing African pasts through the interlinked lenses of agency, possibility and imagination allows us to counter narratives of Africa as a blank slate, to challenge the privileging of whiteness and Europeanness, and to debunk myths about Africans as people who are destructive or unchanging. It allows us to illuminate diverse possibilities of human living to build on, against the hegemony of a present moment that unsees and devalues us. For…

on searching to find the africa in african studies

When we wrote our open letter to the department of African Studies, hoping to document our collective grievances and open a conversation about how to change and improve the course for future students, we titled it “Searching for the ‘Africa’ in African Studies”. Getting through that course and being able to truly say that one had learnt somethings in African Studies, one had to search. Search beyond the shock of…

decolonising the african spirit

“After seven years of being on the journey I can say that I have arrived at several shores of knowing and understanding that I would like to share for anyone else who might be undertaking a similar exploration. Even more however, I have begun to wonder about the silence around African spirituality, and its persistent labelling as sorcery or devilish, an inheritance of missionary colonialism. As a researcher of the…

reimagining, reviving, storytelling: reclaiming

This is a post in which I gush about stories and storytelling. Reading my about page you know one of the things I am about is narratives so buckle up. What’s your favourite story, podcaster Lilly Bekele-Piper asked me in an interview a couple of days before the Reimagined Storytelling Festival. I went with a poem. One of my all time favourite poems, and one I like to perform: “Where…

on using the right structures in transformative work – simon mitambo

Are traditions simply a thing of old that are interesting but not relevant to the world we live in today? In my last blogpost for Transition Network I sat down with Simon Mitambo to hear more about how he is using traditional governance structures from his Tharaka community to revive cultural and biological biodiversity, and connecting with other communities doing similar work across Africa. With the organisation he set up,…

invitation to support me to go to gesa 2018

I am hosting a crowdfunding campaign to raise the fees for participation in the Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA) 2018, hosted by Global Diversity Foundation in Oxford, UK. GESA brings together 18-21 environmental professionals, students and activists from around the world “whom they believe have the capacity to become environmental leaders who impact academia, civil society, the private sector and government”. The 3 week programme involves discussions, networking, collaborative work,…

a proposal to retire the term ‘arab spring’

1. It’s a misnomer that excludes (further). First word, Arab: there are more ethnicities than Arab in North Africa. Hold up, I’ll say that again. North Africa is not made up of Arabs alone. Tuaregs, various Amazigh communities, Nubian communities and many others, all live in North Africa. Some were there before the Arabs. Saying “Arab Spring” manages to disappear all of these people from the record and perpetuate their…

life update

It’s been a while since I have done a life update post so here goes. I decided to take a sabbatical this year to focus on healing and skilling myself up in preparation for the work that I believe I am called to do. This to me is to heal and reconnect community relationships, and to heal and reconnect our relationship with the earth. Here’s some of what I’ve been…

ruuude! when worlds meet

What happens when worlds meet? When ways of viewing the world meet? When ways of organising the world collide? Is one way always right? Does one way ‘win’ and the other get subsumed under it. Does it matter where it happens? A few stories: Number 1: Once in college, my roommate (and friend of 3 years) and I were walking to the dining hall to get food. I intended to…