The new queens of Afrobeat

It seemed inevitable that Nigerian-German singer Nneka would make a roots trip album. The 34-year-old accompanied Damian Marley and Nas on their 2010 Distant Relatives tour, a project that updated a well-trodden route of Caribbean to African awakening with a punchy, hip-hop-moulded attitude. This enthusiasm has been manifested within Nneka and so My Fairy Tales…

Kagiso Lesego Molope is at odds with Percy Fitzpatrick

Kagiso Lesego Molope has won the English Academy of Southern Africa’s Percy Fitzpatrick prize for youth literature for her novel This Book Betrays My Brother (Oxford University Press, 2012). Describe yourself in a sentence. Township post-apartheid author. Describe your ideal reader. Everyone. There’s always something to learn from books no matter what your background, and…

European Film Festival: The gender catch-22

Evocatively and provocatively themed “A Woman’s World”, this year’s European Film Festival explores this alternative vision by screening 12 internationally acclaimed films, each from a different European country, at Cinema Nouveaus countrywide from May 9 to 18. The theme has the potential to inspire, reawakening questions that feminist critics have posed for decades, such as…

Rights can’t wait for diplomacy

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström’s modus operandi has been regarded as something of a departure from the realpolitik style of diplomacy. The outspoken Social Democrat has, on the odd occasion, been compared to Olof Palme, Sweden’s charismatic yet divisive prime minister who succumbed to an assassin’s bullet in 1986. A recent Guardian editorial called her…

A fist and a hard place

Phumla Ndlovu’s* partner Xolile Silo* started drinking at nine that Monday morning. He then left their house in Roodepan township, near Kimberley in the Northern Cape, and headed for the local tavern. It was just weeks ago: March 23. “I was lying on the couch watching TV when he came back later that evening,” Ndlovu…