Top 15 recently published books by writers and poets from Sub-Saharan Africa

by Samira Sawlani As the festive season begins, so does the enjoyable and/or stressful task of choosing Christmas presents for loved ones. Fret not; be it for the book and poetry lovers in your life or a reward for yourself after all that shopping, here is a list of recently published fiction and poetry by… Read More

Garissa University Attack 1 Year On: Not Just a Number, Not Just a Hashtag

by Samira Sawlani  2nd April 2015, Garissa University College, Kenya. It should have been a normal day, one of corridors brimming with individuals rushing to classes, lecture theatres filled with the noise of chatter and students preparing to wind down for Easter. However, 2nd April 2015 will never be looked upon as a normal day… Read More

The Theft of Innocence: Voluntourism and Child Sexual Abuse

by Samira Sawlani Trigger Warning: Article contains stories of rape and child sexual abuse On the 7th of March 2016, at an American district court in Oklahoma, twenty-year-old missionary Matthew Durham was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,863 in restitution after he was convicted of sexually abusing children at… Read More

Top 10 Books by Novelists of Colour Published in 2014

by Samira Sawlani  It has been a big year for novelists of colour, with both renowned names and up and coming writers releasing long awaited and highly anticipated books. 2014 was predicted to be a banner year for African literature and as expected books and writers coming out of the continent did not disappoint. Meanwhile… Read More

Tourism, White Privilege and Colonial Mentality in East Africa

Two weeks ago the media reported that the Kenyan Government have offered a free holiday to the family of a 15 year old American tourist who was ‘harassed by a police officer’ because he mistook her for terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite. If it was a Somali family holidaying in Kenya and their son had been mistaken for Abu Ubaidah the new leader of Al-Shabaab would the same courtesy have been offered? I highly doubt it.
The concept of white privilege is associated with predominantly white societies such as the United States of America and Great Britain Read More

Conversation with a Kenyan Sex Worker – Part 2

by Samira Sawlani “Working on the streets is becoming more and more of a risk, these men now they do not want to use condoms, I have lost count of how many of them just in this past month have forced themselves in me without protection, luckily I am now experienced enough to push them off,… Read More

Charity, Philanthropy and Media Stereotypes: Africa’s new colonialists?

by Samira Sawlani Starving children with swollen bellies and vacant gazes stare into the camera while a musical melody epitomising agony and inviting sympathy plays in the background. Sponsor a child, save a life, give clean water, cure HIV/AIDS, the list of how you can save the entity which is ‘Africa’ continues. What the gentle… Read More

‘Exotic’, ‘Tribal’, ‘Ethnic’ fashion?

by Samira Sawlani Walk into any store on the British high street and you are bound to see costume jewellery, artefacts and clothing which look as if they are made in Africa or branded as ‘ethnic’ or ‘tribal’ (the usage of both which are not only irritating but also problematic). Women will use these words… Read More

The End Of Western ‘Spheres Of Influence’ Death And Fall Of Africa’s Big Men

by Charles Onyango-Obbo ONE OF the biggest mistakes the world has made about Africa over the years, is to work from the position that it is politics is driven by ethnic rage and fear, a simple desire to grab public goodies for one’s family and clan, ignorance, superstition, and an anti-technology culture. I suspect African… Read More

Inter-minority prejudice in the UK and East Africa

by Samira Sawlani In my family we were told you “never marry a BMW, that’s Black, Muslim or White”, these are the words of UK born Hindu, 25 year old Daksha Parekh. Is this racism or simply an innocent foundation upon which certain communities are built? According to Daksha, the opinions of her family and a… Read More