10 June 2022

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: As Kenya celebrated the 59th anniversary of its independence, a 45-year-old play was staged. “Ngaahika Ndeenda” (I Will Marry When I Want) was Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s first play in Gikuyu – before that, he had only written in English. And it promptly got him into prison (without trial) in 1977 from which he was only released after the then-president’s death. And shortly after, he was forced into exile. He only set foot in Kenya decades later – he was enthusiastically welcomed – but also “brutally attacked and his wife raped” in their hotel. In 2014, he was hosted by the president: “(Jomo) Kenyatta put me in a maximum security prison. Moi drove me into exile. Uhuru (Kenyatta) received me at the State House”. The shows of his 45-year-old play, which is about social inequities and justice, were sold out.

Sudan: If the US embassy in Khartoum is to be believed, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), after refusing perseveringly to talk to the military rulers since the October 2021 putsch, have “begun informal talks with the military mediated by the United States and Saudi Arabia” to explore possible solutions for the Sudanese crisis.
BBC Africa Live 10 June 2022. 6:34

09 June 2022

South Africa: Robert Sobukwe “remains an unsung hero in the epic moral fight against the evil that was apartheid”. In disagreement with the moderates in the ANC who favoured an integrationist and gradualist approach; Sobukwe formed the Pan Africanist Congress in 1959. But in the long run, the ANC proved victorious – and so it was the ANC that wrote the history of resistance against apartheid. When he was finally released from Robben Island, he was successfully “severed from family, friends, medical care and economic opportunities” and died of lung cancer in 1978. Despite his banishment and isolation, 5,000 came to his funeral.

South Africa: Comair lawyers have requested for the airline to be liquidated, having been unable to find funding to keep it operating. Comair was the operator of about 40% of flights inside South Africa including low-budget airline Kulula.
BBC Africa Live 09 June 2022. 13:01

Nigeria: With violence and conflicts on the increase, a study run by the article’s author with humanitarian agency Mercy Corps found that training local leaders (traditional chiefs, religious leaders, women, youth) in mediation skills improved local conflict resolution and reduced violence. The approach used by Mercy Corps (not only in Nigeria) is “interest-based negotiation” which “encourages parties to find mutually acceptable outcomes by meeting all parties’ interests.” The advantage: such training is relatively low-cost, certainly much lower-cost than intervening militarily.