Tuesday, September 9, 2014

dynamicafrica:

In honor of International Literacy Day, I compiled a list of some of my favourite books written by African authors (with the exception of the book about Fela). There are many books I could’ve added to this post but these were the first that came to mind.

There’s no order to this list and each comes highly recommended as they, in some way, changed me for the better. If I had to pick a favourite it would undoubtedly be Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions simply because it was the first book I read in which I related so deeply to several of the characters - and still do. From Nyasha’s struggle with depression and being caught between two cultures she feels alienated by, to Tambu’s hunger for a world beyond her circumstances. Ugandan author Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol comes in a close second, it’s just about as cheeky and blunt as I am in some parts and, perhaps a little out of narcissism, is why I enjoyed it.

Between these 18 books you’ll find everything from the personal to the political, and everything in-between. There’s love, there’s romance, there’s struggle, there’s strife, there’s beauty and there’s ugly too. No story is as simple as their titles may suggest, just read Camara Laye’s L’enfant Noir (The African Child) that explores the author’s early childhood in Guinea under French colonisation, or South African writer Sol Plaatjie’s historical novel Mhudi written in 1919 that placed a woman at the center of a story that deals with survival, displacement and early European colonisation in South Africa.

For anyone interested in reading these books, I found some of them available online (not all are complete):

Monday, September 8, 2014
Happy International Literacy Day! Come over to the ZODML blog to find out which titles our staff and volunteers are reading to celebrate, from Wole Soyinka plays to Sefi Atta novels.

Happy International Literacy Day! Come over to the ZODML blog to find out which titles our staff and volunteers are reading to celebrate, from Wole Soyinka plays to Sefi Atta novels.

Happy International Literacy Day! Today we celebrate reading, books, and the positive impact a literate society can have on sustainable development. Check out photographs of ZODML staff and library patrons sharing why they read on our Facebook page.

Happy International Literacy Day! Today we celebrate reading, books, and the positive impact a literate society can have on sustainable development. Check out photographs of ZODML staff and library patrons sharing why they read on our Facebook page.

Thursday, September 4, 2014
The wisdom of Chinua Achebe remains always with us. Read more here.

The wisdom of Chinua Achebe remains always with us. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
With music you have a direct sensory input, the sound of the notes. And with the visual arts or dance or architecture you have a direct visual apprehension of the thing that you’re looking at. With books the sensory information you’re getting is very limited. You can become aware, while you’re reading, of the white page and the black marks on it, but that’s presumably a neutral experience. You’re supposed to see beyond that veil. And I think it’s that extra step that people find anxiety-provoking. But that extra step is what makes reading reading. A great quote from book designer Peter Mendelsund. Read more here.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. Chimamanda Adichie
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014

dynamicafrica:

Nigerian Architect Kunlé Adeyemi’s “Floating School” Highlighted in Al Jazeera Documentary.

Two years ago, this pioneering floating school in Lagos’s ‘floating’ slum of Makoko was labelled as ‘illegal’ by authorities who then threatened to demolish it. This year, the brainchild of Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi has been nominated as Design of the Year by London’s Design Museum.

Adeyemi’s innovative design came about after he had had several discussions with Makoko residents about how to resolve the environmental issues that concerned the local community. His design also came about during a time where the Lagos government had been threatening to evict Makoko residents and demolish the slum.

“There are hundreds if not thousands of Makokos all over Africa,” Adeyemi says. “We cannot simply displace this population; it’s important to think about how to develop them, how to create enabling environments for them to thrive, to improve the sanitation conditions, to provide the infrastructure, schools and hospitals to make it a healthy place.

“My belief is that in developing Africa we need to find solutions that can be developed by the grassroots, through the grassroots, and achieve the same level of significance as we have on the high-end projects.”
Now, in a new documentary project by Al Jazeera that looks at unconventional pioneers in the architecture industry, Adeyemi’s floating school is brought to life in the episode Working On Water, directed by award-winning South African filmmaker Riaan Hendricks, as part of the network’s Rebel Architecture series. 
ETA: We’ll be uploaded the series after it airs on Al Jazeera so watch this space!
Friday, August 15, 2014 Thursday, August 14, 2014
A mark of a classic, to me, is that we cannot really imagine it ever did not exist. Aimee Bender, from her introduction to James and the Giant Peach (via classicpenguin)