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…

If even Michelle Obama can’t speak about race without being told to ‘quit whining’ then who can?

First lady Michelle Obama existed this week, so naturally the internet is very, very upset. Specifically, Obama had the gall to approach a microphone at Tuskegee University’s commencement ceremony and say, in the mildest possible terms, that racism is real, and that the eager, bright-eyed Tuskegee graduates should devote their lives to some combination of…

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…

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…