16 November 2021

South Africa/Literature: Nokuthula Mazibuko Msimang, a writer, filmmaker and lecturer, has interviewed Zakes Mda about his latest novel “Wayfarers’ Hymns”. Centred on famo music, a genre of music in Lesotho, very popular there, it uses their hymns to talk about gang wars – the gangs led by musicians. So the novel talks about toxic masculinity. But also about strong women. About the latter, Zakes Mda says: “In many instances, they’re the people who drive life in those environments. And therefore, they drive my story.”

South Africa: The continent’s most murderous city is home to about 130 gangs. “For the people living along the margins of Cape Town, joining a gang offsets a lack of development and governance, and helps members access opportunities for self-protection, dignity and income.” While it is often thought that, once in a gang, you cannot get out, the article’s author has – after five years of ethnographic research – written a book based on the life stories of 24 former gang members who did manage to get out. It is dangerous – and it is difficult: it needs a total change in cultural capital.

Sudan: El Musalmi El Kabbashi, Al Jazeera TV network's bureau chief, one of hundreds arrested after the recent military takeover in Khartoum, has been released.
BBC Africa Live 16 November 2021. 6:25

If you invite people into your parlour, they will want to come into your bedroom
BBC Africa Live 16 November 2021. 4:45 African proverb of the day. A Krio proverb sent by Ghazi Bahsoon in Sierra Leone.

Uganda: The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) aka the Central Africa Province of the Islamic State are thought to be behind today’s two suicide attacks in central Kampala – one near parliament, the other close to police headquarters.. This was their biggest attack yet. 6 killed, amongst them three suicide bombers, and dozens injured.
BBC Africa Live 16 November 2021. 14:18

Nigeria: The Lekki killings report, leaked on yesterday/Monday night, seems to corroborate protesters’ accounts. After the “massacre”, the authorities tried to cover it all up.
BBC Africa Live 16 November 2021. 14:59

15 November 2021

The cautious approach of a lion does not denote cowardice
BBC Africa Live 15 November 2021. 4:33 Our African proverb of the day. An Igbo proverb sent by Collins Nwosu in Nigeria.

Egypt: About 4,500 years ago, the pharaohs built six sun temples, intended “to enshrine them as living gods”. Only two had been unearthed so far, now a third has been discovered south of Cairo – “the biggest find for 50 years”.

Covid: With huge inequity gaps between rich and poor countries (e.g. 155.67 vaccinations per 100 people in Canada – 1,63 in Tanzania), nobody will be safe from the virus. That’s about it for the content of this article.

Somalia: Working directly with citizens and customary leaders works for the provision of public goods where the state is absent or fragile. The author’s research in Gedo (southern Somalia, “where the state taxation system is extremely weak” and provision of water, education and other essential services is thus difficult) shows that “most households step in to fund public services through community-based informal taxes” – paying an average of 9.5% of annual household income. However, women and minorities tend to be excluded. Also, the tax burden tends to be heavier on the poor than on the better-off.

Libya: Military prosecutor Mohamed Gharouda has told the electoral body to suspend processing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s and Khalifa Haftar’s registration for the presidential elections. Both have criminal cases pending.
BBC Africa Live 15 November 2021. 11:13