Monday, May 9, 2011

"Let the lion speak"

I know, it's been a long time since I said I'd be back soon.... But here I am, with lots of ideas and more posts in the works.

First, I just have to tell you about Maya Wegerif. I learned about her poetry thanks to an article by Chambi Chachage on “The Dar es Salaam Renaissance” in Pambazuka News (see my Nov. 21 post for an overview of Pambazuka News). Chachage writes about the cultural movement taking place in Dar that’s giving rise to a new social consciousness, and Wegerif is one of the artists profiled.

Maya the Poet is from South Africa, and has lived in Tanzania and the United States. Her poetry is amazing – clever and profound. She writes about political, social, feminist, technological and personal issues. You can find her poems and spoken word performances at her website (and the earlier and on YouTube.

I couldn’t resist posting her TEDxDar performance of “Who Tells Our Stories.” It gets right at the heart of one of this blog’s themes -- understanding how we choose to perceive “Africa” and “Africans” and why we need to think critically about who writes and tells Africa’s stories. And, borrowing from Maya the Poet's much more convincing words -- hear the lion speak.

(You can find the words to the poem at

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