Category: research

on african institutions and class consciousness #rant

So as much as I am all for African Studies conferences having a base in Africa, I have to say the registration charges for the upcoming African Studies Conference by the African Studies Association in Africa (ASAA), make me question which Africa the conference – whose focus is on African and Africana knowledges – is aimed at. Tickets range from $45 for an Africa based student’s daily entry (which students…

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…

25 images of transition in brazil

I spent two and a half months working alongside various initiatives that were part of a larger Transition Brasilândia network while in São Paulo, Brazil. Brasilândia is located in the North East of the city, and a 2 hour and multiple bus ride away from the centre of São Paulo. It is also the only Transition Initative located in a low-income neighbourhood. These 25 images exemplify some of the amazing…

stories and histories – museums in cape town

I have a friend who loves museums (hi Betsy!). She says that it’s interesting to see what a city or nation chooses to remember and how they do it. Of all the places I have been to I would choose Cape Town as a city of museums. While I was there I visited the slave history museum, the Slave Lodge, one of more than 20 museums in that city. 20!…

decolonising in practice- post on brainstorm

This experiment to me represents knowledge revival in two senses. Reviving my grandmother’s knowledge: she herself couldn’t tell me how she processed maize in this way, being bodily gone from this world; but at least I know that she did. In a second sense, this is knowledge rebirth – using beneficial indigenous knowledge from a different place (Mexico) where I am (Kenya). This is the kind of knowledge rebirth or…

at the agricultural show: reflections on research to action

A few weeks back I went to the agricultural show in Kisii town in Western Kenya as part of an exhibit combining soapstone sculptures (something Kisii is famous for) and rock art. I had the chance to walk around to other exhibits, and this time I was more interested than in my younger days when we’d go to the show. The tea stand, I have always loved. If you didn’t…

design ingredients for sustainable waste management – ii

“So how should a city’s waste management options be designed? Labels such as those of UCT’s campus receptacles and Hoan Kiem Lake’s bins would communicate the importance of both recycling and reducing one’s waste. The placement of these ideal designed options would consider where disposer traffic was likely to be highest and what waste would be generated based on activities occurring. The ideal design would also be replicated through a…

climate change vignettes

Climate change, changes to long-standing weather patterns in response to changes in the atmosphere (forcings), is happening today, perhaps has always been happening. In our world today, the largest forcing is human produced greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and other byproducts of various human activities. Change can mean different things for different people depending on where one is. It could mean more rainfall, warmer dry spells, frequent intense storms,…

design ingredients for sustainable waste management – i

“Urban areas concentrate not only economic and social production, but also waste production. Waste that is often addressed at the end of a long chain of actors- manufacturers, retailers, consumers, disposers, municipal councils, collectors, recyclers. And thus waste’s final destination and the impacts of the same are made invisible. The problem of what to do with waste is externalised by actors along the chain of waste production, an externalisation aided…

the goldman prize and the just beginning fight against lead poisoning

In late April the 6 regional winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the ‘Green Nobel’, were announced. Phyllis Omido, a Kenyan single mother won the $175,000 prize in the Africa region for her 7 year effort to shut down a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling factory in the informal settlement of Owino-Uhuru in Mombasa, the largest coastal city in Kenya. Soon after the prize was announced,…