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A new issue of Chimurenga’s Chronic – out now. imagi-nation nwar – […]

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Diego Maradona is the man who exploded the shame of the entire world in June 1986, in an historic dribble during a match between Argentina and England.

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“The Oppressor Remains What He Is”

Why does it seem that the genocide deniers have perked up? What […]

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Your Own Hand Sold You: Voluntary servitude in the Francafrique

In the CFA franc, the French colonial mission in West Africa found a way to ensure a paternalist and pernicious stranglehold on the economies of a vast region of the continent.

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Chimurenganyana: Becoming Kwame Ture by Amandla Thomas-Johnson (Oct 2020)

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) was viewed by many during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s as the dashing and eloquent heir to Malcolm X. His call for Black Power and his fiery speeches led to his ascension as the foremost symbol of black militancy. But the threat posed to white America by the triumvirate of Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X would be suppressed as the decade declined to a close. Indeed, X and King would meet death at the escort of gunmen, in ‘65 and ‘68, respectively, and in ‘69, Carmichael would board a plane bound for Guinea, never to return on a permanent basis.

But Kwame Ture lived on for another 30 years and he was as politically active as he had been in the ‘60s. At the time of his death, Ture had become perhaps the foremost Pan-Africanist of his day. He co-founded (with Kwame Nkrumah) and led the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, arguably the most significant Pan-African political party in its heyday, and he established himself as the leading black advocate for Palestinian rights. Why do we know so little about the last 30 years of his life?

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FESTAC 77 BOOK (Oct 2019)

Early in 1977, thousands of artists, writers, musicians, activists and scholars from Africa and the black diaspora assembled in Lagos for FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. With a radically ambitious agenda underwritten by Nigeria’s newfound oil wealth, FESTAC ’77 would unfold as a complex, glorious and excessive culmination of a half-century of transatlantic and pan-Africanist cultural-political gatherings.

As told by Chimurenga, this is the first publication to address the planetary scale of FESTAC alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible. Featuring extensive unseen photographic and archival materials, interviews and new commissions, the book relays the stories, words and works of the festival’s extraordinary cast of characters.

With: Wole Soyinka, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Archie Shepp, Miriam Makeba, Allioune Diop, Jeff Donaldson, Louis Farrakhan, Stevie Wonder, Abdias do Nascimento, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Mario de Andrade, Ted Joans, Nadi Qamar,Carlos Moore, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo, Johnny Dyani, Werewere Liking, Marilyn Nance, Barkley Hendricks, Mildred Thompson, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Jayne Cortez, Atukwei OkaiJonas Gwangwa, Theo Vincent, Lindsay Barrett, Gilberto de la Nuez, Sun Ra and many others.

And featuring new writing from: Akin Adesokan, Moses Serubiri, Harmony Holiday, Semeneh Ayalew, Hassan Musa, Emmanuel Iduma, Michael McMillan, Dominique Malaquais and Cedric Vincent, Molefe Pheto, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Hermano Penna, Alice Aterianus.

Published by Chimurenga and Afterall Books, in association with Asia Art Archive, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and RAW Material Company, 2019.

The FESTAC 77 publication is available for purchase through our online shop.

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The Chronic: Who Killed Kabila II

On January 16, 2001, in the middle of the day, shots are heard in the Palais de Marbre,the residence of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila. The road bordering the presidential residence, usually closed from 6pm by a simple guarded barrier is blocked by tanks.

At the Ngaliema hospital in Kinshasa, a helicopter lands and a body wrapped in a bloody sheet is off loaded. Non-essential medical personnel and patients are evacuated and the hospital clinic is surrounded by elite troops. No one enters or leaves. RFI (Radio France Internationale) reports on a serious incident at the presidential palace in Kinshasa.

Rumor, the main source of information in the Congolese capital, is set in motion…  

18 years after the assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, rumours still proliferate. Suspects include: the Rwandan government; the French; Lebanese diamond dealers; the CIA; Robert Mugabe; Angolan security forces; the apartheid-era Defence Force; political rivals and rebel groups; Kabila’s own kadogos (child soldiers); family members and even musicians.

The geopolitics of those implicated tells its own story; the event came in the middle of the so-called African World War, a conflict that involved multiple regional players, including, most prominently, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

So, who killed Kabila? The new issue of the Chronic presents this query as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination by writers from the Congo and other countries involved in the conflict.

The issue is the result of a three-year research project that included a 5-day intervention and installation at La Colonie (Paris), from December 13 – 17, 2017, which featured a live radio station and a research library, a conceptual inventory of the archive of this murder – all documented in a research catalogue.

As this research revealed, who killed Kabila is no mystery. It is not A or B or C. But rather A and B and C. All options are both true and necessary – it’s the coming together of all these individuals, groups and circumstances, on one day, within the proliferating course of the history, that does it.

Telling this story then, isn’t merely a matter of presenting multiple perspectives but rather of finding a medium able to capture the radical singularity of the event in its totality, including each singular, sometimes fantastical, historical fact, rumour or suspicion. We’ve heard plenty about the danger of the single story – in this issue we explore its power. We take inspiration from the Congolese musical imagination, its capacity for innovation and its potential to allow us to think “with the bodily senses, to write with the musicality of one’s own flesh.”

However, this editorial project doesn’t merely put music in context, it proposes music as the context, the paradigm for the writing. The single story we write borrows from the sebene – the upbeat, mostly instrumental part of Congolese rumba famously established by Franco (Luambo Makiadi), which consists in the lead guitarist playing short looping phrases with variations, supported or guided by the shouts of the atalaku (animateur) and driving, snare-based drumming.

The Invention of Africa by Franco & T.P.OK Jazz – Ntone Edjabe on the Pan African Space Station.

“Franco, c’est l’inventeur du sebene. Parce que… et à coté il y avait Nico Kasanda, le docteur Nico, qui lui avait plus de technique de guitare mais qui jouait très mélodique, et Luambo c’était le mec qui est vraiment le mec du quartier avec sa connaissance intuitive de la guitare il a inventé cet manière de faire des sorte de boucle rythmique. Sa manière de jouer c’est un boucle rythmique. Le même phrase rythmique qui revient tout le temps. Et c’est ça le sebene congolais. Et jusqu’à aujourd’hui nous fonctionnons par sebene. Même moi même.“

Interview on France Inter : « Le labo de Ray Lema du 16 mars 2014 »

Ray Lema shares more stories and sounds from his life in music with Bintou Simporé onboard the Pan African Space Station.
Recorded for PASS in Paris at the Fondation Cartier exhibition Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko. For more visit

Similarly, to follow Ousmane Sembene’s method of using multi-location and polyphony as decolonial narrative tools, we invited writers from the countries directly involved and implicated in the events surrounding Kabila’s death (DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, and a de-territorialised entity called AFDL) to write one story: the assassination of Kabila.

Working fluidly between fact and fiction, and featuring multiple forms of writing, the contributors – Yvonne Owuor, Antoine Vumilia Muhindo, Parselelo Kantai, Jihan El-Tahri, Daniel K. Kalinaki,  Kivu Ruhorahoza, Percy Zvomuya and Sinzo Aanza – use the event-scene of the shooting is their starting point to collectively tell the single story with its multiplication of plots and subplots that challenge history as a linear march, and tell not the sum but the derangement of its parts.

The issue thus performs an imaginative remapping that better accounts for the complex spatial, temporal, political, economic and cultural relations at play, as well the internal and external actors, organized into networks and nuclei – not only human actors but objects; music; images; texts, ghosts etc – and how these actors come together in time, space, relationships.

This edition of the Chimurenga Chronic is conceived as a sebene of the Congolese rumba – enjoy the dance!

The Chronic is a quarterly pan African gazette, published by Chimurenga.

This edition is part of a larger research project of the Chimurenga Library. It is produced with support from Heinrich Boll Foundation (Cape Town), and in collaboration with La Colonie (Paris), Cosmopolis Bienial/ Centre Pompidou (Paris), Marabouparken Konsthall (Stockholm) and Kalmar Konstmuseum.

For more information or to order your print or digital copy visit and/or contact Chimurenga on +27(0)21 4224168 or

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Rumble in the Nile

The Nimeiri era remains one of the most beguiling and contradictory in the country’s history. It defined so much of what was to come.

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Who Killed Kabila I

From December 13 – 17, 2017, Chimurenga installed a library of books, films, and visual material mapping extensive research that ask “Who Killed Kabila“, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination. This book catalogues all the research material produced and collected for this installation.

The equation is simple: the length of a Congolese president’s reign is proportional to his/her willingness to honour the principle that the resources of the Congo belong to others. Mzee Kabila failed.

Who killed Kabila is no mystery either. It is not A or B or C. But rather A and B and C. All options are both true and necessary – it’s the coming together of all these individuals, groups and circumstances, on one day, within the proliferating course of the history, that does it.

So telling this story isn’t merely be a matter of presenting multiple perspectives but rather of finding a medium able to capture the radical singularity of the event in its totality, including each singular, sometimes fantastical, historical fact, rumour or suspicion.

We’ve heard plenty about the danger of the single story – we want to explore its power. We take inspiration from the Congolese musical imagination, its capacity for innovation and its potential to allow us to think “with the bodily senses, to write with the musicality of one’s own flesh” (Mbembe).

The catalogue is now available for sale in the Chimurenga shop.

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Chimurenganyana: Rumblin’ by Dominique Malaquais (June 2012)

A text and image reflection on the “Rumble in the Jungle”, the Muhammad Ali / George Foreman boxing match held in Kinshasa in 1974. Norman Mailer started The Fight, Dominique Malaquais punched back. Artwork by Kakudji.

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Chimurenganyana: In Search of Yambo Ouologuem by Christopher Wise (June 2012)

Yambo Ouologuem, the Malian author of Le devoir de violence and other literary works, has been shrouded in mystery since he disappeared from the West, effectively turning his back on literature. Christopher Wise goes in search.

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Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) was viewed by many during the civil rights […]

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Chimurenganyana: The Making of Mannenberg by John Edwin Mason (June 2012)

On a winter’s day in 1974, a group of musicians led by Abdullah Ibrahim entered a recording studio in the heart of Cape Town, and emerged, hours later, having changed South African music, forever. John Edwin Mason pens notes on the making of the icon and the anthem.

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A Day in the Life of Idi Amin

The hot dry breeze is lazy. It glides languorously collecting odd bits of paper, they tease the ground, threaten to take flight, tease the ground.

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South Africa thinks that India owes it one for putting Gandhi through revolution school; India thinks South Africa owes it for sending him over to show the natives how it’s done.

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The 12th Annual Abdullah Ibrahim Festival

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Chimurenganyana: In Defence of the Films We Have Made by Odia Ofeimun (2009)

Odia Ofeimun is one of Nigeria’s foremost poets and political activists, and the author of the acclaimed collection The Poet Lied. Ofeimun was at one time the personal secretary of the Nigerian politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was also a member of the radical collective of The News, a weekly newspaper, which contributed to the downfall of Nigeria’s last dictatorship.

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Chimurenganyana: Variations of the Beautiful in the World of Congolese Sounds by Achille Mbembe (2009)

Achille Mbembe is a research professor in history and politics at the University of the Witwatersrand and a senior researcher at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research). He is the winner of the 2006 Bill Venter/Altron Award for his book On the Postcolony (University of California Press, 2001).

Lenwo Jean Abou Bakar Depara, known as Depara (1928-1997), was one of the leading documentarirts of Kinshasa’s post-independence social scene, and the official photographer to the Zairian singer Franco.

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Chimurenganyana: Thinking of Brenda by Njabulo Ndebele (2009)

Njabulo Ndebele is a writer and an academic. He is the author of The Cry of Winnie Mandela, Fools and Other Stories and Rediscovery of the Ordinary, a collection of essays.

Steve Gordon is a photographer and music producer based in Cape Town. He is the co-founder of Making Music Productions.

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Islam between Françafrique and Afrabia

Needless to say, Françafrique was not the only constellation of capital and culture on offer at the time of African political independence.

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Chimurenganyana: Blood Money – A Douala Chronicle by Dominique Malaquais (2009)

Dominique Malaquais is a historian of contemporary African art and culture & the author of Architecture, Pouvior et Dissidence au Cameroon.

Malam is a sculptor, painter and installation artist. He lives and works in Douala.

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Where Terror Lies

The rhetoric of ‘radical’ and ‘fundamentalist’ Islam, of ‘global jihad’ and ‘terror’ is, ironically, historical and recoverable from the irrational.

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Chimurenganyana: A Silent Way: Routes of South African Jazz, 1946-1978 by Julian Jonker (June 2009)

“Where to begin? There are, firstly, names:

Mankunku, McGregor, Brand.

Moeketsi, Moholo, Dyani.

Pukwana, Gwangwa, Coetzee.

Nkanuka, Ngcukana,

Mongezi Feza.

Just a few, to give you a taste. Don’t fret because you haven’t heard their records before. Say the names slowly, as you would recite a poem. Let the consonants roll languidly off your tongue and stretch your lips to pronounce each vowel, and you will already hear distant strains of music.

There are also photographs. Photographs by Basil Breaky, who documented the scene in Johannesburg and Cape Town just before its hottest players made their ways to Europe, leaving the cities to grow dark and silent. One picture: Abdullah Ibrahim, head bent over the keyboard of his piano, his arm stretched over into its gut, plucking its strings. Arched over, listening to some deeper music from the piano’s heart.”

Julian Jonker is a writer and cultural producer living in Cape Town. He is also a member of the Fong Kong Bantu Sound System, a DJ collective, and performs appropriationist sound as liberation chabalala. Basil Breakey is a photographer based in Cape Town. He is the author of the acclaimed Beyond The Blues – Township Jazz in the 60s and 70s.

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Live from 5pm
Friday 21 August 2020

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Abbey Lincoln’s Scream: Poetic Improvisation as a Way of Life

We are standing under a glaring spotlight screaming at the tops of our lungs, from the backs of our throats which we grind together to access black blues unwords, thymus against heart, blue in green meridian, that aquamarine plexus that water and sky correct and regulate in us.

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First published in 2007 Molotov Cocktail initially appeared to be a contradictory mix, on one side there was its incendiary title, cover art of a hand poised to throw a lit petrol bomb, and the provocative subtitle , Dismantling the Master’s House Brick by Brick. Then this in the first editorial: “Molotov Cocktai broadly backs the principles and policies of the African National Congress. We believe that discussing the ANC with insight and generosity will be more interesting and productive than condemning the party out of ignorance.” A revolutionary magazine aimed at defending “the powers that be” with word bombs?

Partially, yes. Edited by James Sanders (initially with the help of Ronald Suresh Roberts and later alone) Molotov Cocktail captures the ambiguities of contemporary post apartheid South Africa, where despite the change of political power the majority of the media is still owned by a small white minority. As the editorial in the second issue explains, “In South Africa, many newspapers and magazines adopt a pose of neutrality that is essentially oppositional. Some of this derives from the ‘anti-apartheid’ history of the mining press but it is really a cover for a political agenda that attempts to impose an illiberal narrative onto news and politics. The print media has not transformed quickly enough and we hope to speed it along.”

With that in mind Molotov Cocktail took a deliberately intellectual approach, defining itself as, “a platform where South African intellectuals will debate issues and engage in serious discussions about the direction that our country should take.” It has featured everything from archival documents including long-lost SACP biographies and back issues of the SADF’s Paratus, to new writing on cultural schizophrenia, oil, opposition, Zimbabwe, ‘apartheid’ in Israel, meeting a Nazi in SA, polo in Plett, Post-Polokwane: the new ANC, banking, crime and succession.

It also includes news, controversial profiles, satire, political gossip, book and film reviews, detailed media analysis and some literary critique. Graphics often take the form of illustrations, posters, political cartoons, power organograms and “how to” guides, including of course, “How to make a Molotov Cocktail“.

Significantly, the magazine silenced critics who saw it as Pro-Mbeki mouthpiece by maintaining its editorial stance despite Mbeki’s electoral defeat at the ANC conference in 2007.

To date the magazine has brought out 5 issues and established itself as a one of the few independent print voices, offering alternative news, views, critique and satire that challenge the mainstream media.


James Sanders, Ronald Suresh Roberts, Adam Rumball, Zanele Mashinini, Yasmin Sooka, Sindiso Mnisi, Izzy Grove, Eeben Barlow, Lancelot du Preez, Richard Gott, Peter Hallward, Piers Pigou, Eusebius McKaiser, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Lester Sands, Adam Rumball, Nicholas Tee, Dan Mare, Jonathan Bloche, Phillip Dexter and Thato Mofokeng.


  • Nose Week 1993
  • The Media magazine


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The Meaning of Being Numerous

The man who sets up the bomb is long gone before it goes off.

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In the 1990s the self-declared “bedeaste and high priest of painting mystico-African religio-secret,” Mfumu’Eto (Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula) established a one-man guerrilla publishing empire on the streets of Kinshasa. His arsenal of little comic books, written in Lingala, Thiluba and French, made on low-quality paper, self-produced using stencils and photocopying machines and distributed informally in the market place, quickly gained notoriety for their virulent attacks against the political powers-that-be. Along with other low-cost and locally distributed magazines such as Fula Ngenge, Mfumu’Eto’s comics inaugurated the era of author as producer DRC’s literary world. Like other comics produced in Kinshasa at the time they were heavily influenced by urban culture, and smeared with local indiscretions known as “kinoiseries”. Mfumu’Eto however also drew inspiration from local traditions, combining black magic and religion, pulp fiction and politics, irony and attitude in a wild display of interdisciplinary bravado that directly contested dominant colonial systems of knowledge.

His most famous series includes the politically propulsive A Nguma Meli Muasi Ya Na Kati Kinshasa, first published in 1990 and finally banned by the authorities and his devilish Satan Mobutu series which re-imaged former dictator Mobutu as a contemporary Beelzebub. Mfumu’Eto work was recently exhibited in Europe and the US, following the international success of popular painters such as Cheri Samba and the growing interest in African comics.

traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Dans les années 1990, Mfumut’Eto (Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula), qui s’est déclaré être le bedeau et le grand prêtre de la peinture du secret mystique- religion africaine, à établi dans les rues de Kinshasa un empire de l’édition géré par un seul guérillero. Son arsenal de petits livres comiques, écrits en Lingala, Thiluba et Français, édités avec un papier de pauvre qualité, manufacturés de ses propres moyens en utilisant des stylos et des photocopieurs et distribués sans cérémonie sur la place du marché, ont rapidement gagné de la notoriét pour leurs attaques virulentes contre les pouvoirs politiques. En parallèle avec les autres magazines distribués localement à prix bas tel que Fula Ngenge, les comiques de Mfumu’Eto inauguraient l’ère de l’auteur en tant que producteur du monde littéraire de la RDC. Comme d’autres comiques produits à Kinshasa à cette époque, ils étaient influencés de manière importante par la culture urbaine et portaient atteinte aux indiscrétions locales surnommées “kinoiseries”. Cependant Mfumu’Eto tira également son inspiration des traditions locales, mélangeant la magie noire et religion, fiction à sensations et politique, ironie et une attitude de déploiement dépassée de bravade interdisciplinaire qui contestait directement les systèmes coloniaux dominants de la connaissance.

Ses séries les plus célèbres incluent le propulseur politiquement A Nguma Meli Muasi Ya Na Kati Kinshasa, publié la première fois en 1990 et interdit par les autorités et ses séries maudites Satan Mobutu qui remettait en images l’ancien dictateur Mobutu comme un Beelzebub contemporain. Le travail de Mfumu’Eto a été récemment exposé en Europe et dans les états américains, à la suite du succès international des peintres populaires tel que Cheri Samba et l’intérêt croissant dans les comiques africains.

“Household troubles and national grief, whether rooted in sorcery invasions, sexual rivalries, or human animosities, combine with wondrous flashes of celebrity and power. Through all of it the self-proclaimed Emperor and Majesty chronicles life in Kinshasa: past, present and future. “



Mfumu’Eto Nkou-Ntoula


  • Antilope (1959)
  • Jeunes pour jeunes (1968) which became Kake (1971)
  • Bede Afrique, Magazine panafricaine de la BD (1985)
  • Afro BD (1990)
  • Fula ngenge
  • Africanissimo
  • Bleu-Blanc
  • Yaya
  • Disco-magazine
  • Bilenge


  • Mfumu’eto on Wikipedia
  • French wikipedia.
  • Africa e Mediterraneo.
  • The Africa Comics project.
  • “L’artiste solitaire des rues de Kinshasa”, Africinfo.
  • Lumbala, Hilaire Mbiye. “An inventory of the comic strip in Africa,” Africultures.
  • Hunt, Nancy Rose. “Tintin and the Interruptions of Congolese Comics”, Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, Paul Stuart Landau, Deborah D. Kaspin (eds), University of California Press, 2002. p p90.
  • Mfumu’eto. “Nguma ameliu Musai na Kati ya Kinshasa.” Menseul de Bandes dessinees 1, no.1 (April 1990) Kinshasa Editions Mpangala Original and Offest MGS.
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FESTAC ’77, a mixtape by Chimurenga

In this mix, we decompose, an-arrange and reproduce the sound-world of FESTAC ’77 to address the planetary scale of event, alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible.

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Published in Morocco in 1966, Lamalif took its title from two Arabic letters that form the word “la”, meaning “no”. This sly wordplay encapsulated the magazine’s objective. Launched after the defeat of the Moroccan opposition (Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires) by the monarchy, Lamalif was a form of challenge. “The goal in this tragic situation was not to lose hope, to build an alternative,” explained the founders, Zakia Daoud and Mohamed Loghlam.

Throughout its 22 years existence, Lamalif was characterised by its intellectual rigour and radical political stance. Covering social, cultural and economical issues, all from a political perspective it established itself as “a space for reflection and a force of significant challenge.” Its ideological debates amongst journalists, economists, academics, politicians and revolutionaries became global intellectual references and proved seminal in the development of many of Mocrocco’s best thinkers and writers. Its focus on arts and culture was equally influential. Lamalif‘s covers frequently featured work by artists and its writings on film contributed to the rise of Moroccan cinema in the 1970s.

Lamalif was however never exclusionary and it soon established a wide and diverse readership. Ironically it was this success that led to the publications ultimate demise. Its popularity and outspoken stance soon attracted the ire of the authorities and it didn’t take long before Daoud was “regarded as Public Enemy.” After years of threats, censorship and seizures, Lamalif was finally forced to shut down in 1988.

traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

Publi au Maroc en 1966, Lamalif a pris son nom des deux lettres de l’alphabet arabe qui forment le mot “la”, signifiant “non”. Ce jeu de mots malin résumait l’objectif du magazine. Lancé après la défaite de l’opposition marocaine (Union socialiste des Forces Populaires) par la monarchie, Lamalif était une forme de défit. “Le but dans cette tragique situation n’était pas de perdre espoir, de construire une alternative,” expliquaient les fondateurs, Zakia Daoud et Mohamed Loghlam.

Pendant ces 22 ans d’existence, Lamalif était caractérisé par sa rigueur intellectuelle et sa position politique radicale. Reportant sur les problèmes sociaux, culturels et économiques, d’un point de vue politique, il s’est affermi comme “un espace pour la réflexion et une force de défit considérable.”

Ses débats idéologiques parmi les journalistes, économistes, académiciens, politiciens et révolutionnaires devinrent des références intellectuelles mondiales et ont prouvé être fructueux dans le développement de nombreux écrivains et meilleurs penseurs marocains. Son intérêt sur les arts et la culture était également influents. Les reportages de Lamalif mettaient fréquemment en vedette le travail fait par des artistes et ses articles sur les films ont contribué à l’essor du cinéma marocain dans les années 1970.

Lamalif n’a néanmoins jamais été exclusif et s’est vite établi une place parmi un grand nombre de lecteurs différents. Ironiquement, ce fut ce succès qui mena les publications à leur ultime fin. Sa popularité et sa position de franc-parler attira la colère des autorités et il n’a pas fallu attendre longtemps avant que Daoud soit “considéré comme l’Ennemi Publique.” Après des années de menaces, de censures et saisies, Lamalif fut forcé de fermer définitivement en 1988.


Jean Gourmelin, Abdellah Laraoui, Paul Pascon, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Abdallah Laroui, Fathallah Oualalou Oualalou, Abdelaali Benamour, Habib El Malki, Khalid Alioua, Bruno Etienne, Mohammed Jibril, Mohammed Tozy, Aboubakr Jamai, Salim Jay, Najib Boudraa


  • Almaghrib(1937)
  • Jeune Afrique (1960)
  • Al Mouharrir(1962)
  • Addoustour(1963)
  • Souffles (1966)
  • Anoual
  • TelQuel (2001), which founder Ahmed Reda Benchemsi initially wanted to call Lamalifin tribute.


  • Lamalif on Wikipedia
  • Zakya Daoud, Les Années Lamalif, Tarik Editions, 2007
  • Laila Lalami, “The Lamalif Years”, February 15, 2007
  • Abdeslam Kadiri, “Portrait. Les mille vies de Zakya Daoud”, TelQuel, 2005.
  • “An interview with Zakia Daoud”, APN, March 9, 2007
  • “Rétrospectivee : Il était une fois la presse”, TelQuel
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Yellow Fever, Nko?

Skin bleaching is often described as a manifestation of ‘colo-mentality’. However, argues Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, mimesis here is both an affirmation and a contestation of power.

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Exile demands contemplation because it is unavoidably real for those who experience […]

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Reproducing Festac ’77: A secret among a family of millions

Kwanele Sosibo speaks with Ntone Edjabe about the creation of, and thinking behind, the FESTAC ’77 publication.

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“This magazine is just to say we’re out there and we don’t buy your shit. It’s freedom of expression and the means by which a long-suffering artist becomes an entrepreneur, taking destiny into his own hands and out of the devious honkies who so love control,” wrote self-proclaimed culture terrorist Elliot Josephs aka Zebulon Dread in the editorial of the first issue of Hei Voetsek! (loosely translated: Hey! Get lost!). A diatribe-of-a-publication, the magazine burst upon the Cape Town writing and peddling scenes in 1997, at a time when the South African cultural journals happily basked under the rainbow. Written, designed, drawn, photoshopped and photocopied by Dread himself, Hei Voetsek! dissected South African politics, culture, society and sex. No one was safe from Dread’s virulent political tirades. Using Cape Flats taal, a street-smart mixture of English, Afrikaans and slang, Dread railed against everyone from corrupt politicians and conservative Afrikaaners and “darkies with a chip on their shoulders”.

After the publishing establishment, scared off by his politically incorrect satire, refused Hei Voetsek!, Dread turned to small independent black printers. Next he took to the streets, becoming his own walking and ranting marketing and distribution machine, hard-selling the magazine to oft unwilling victims at book fairs, street corners and arts festivals countrywide.

Dread went on to add two new magazines to his empire: Poes! and Piel!, which parodied the sexist magazine industry. He also published numerous satirical books. Finally in 2002, disillusioned with the lack of transformation in South Africa, Dread committed ritual suicide. As Elliot Josephs explained: “I am going to give up the ghost of my alter-ego, Zebulon Dread, and depart for India in order to find the happiness that the liberation struggle failed to deliver.” On dark stormy Cape Town nights, the dreadlocked visage of the “Last of the Great, Great Hotnots” can still be found haunting the city’s Green Market Square with the cry: “Sies! Vark! Voetsek!” (Sis! Pig! Get lost!)

“I lived in two worlds. I read. I read profusely. I was reading Dostoyevsky, I was reading Sartre. I read Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf in 1977 and it had such a big impact on me, I had to go and see the school psychiatrist after that – because I could understand that Steppenwolf, that outsider, was me. I was the madman living inside the insanity of humanity.”

Achal Prabhala

“We took our collective birth in South Africa where, under the aegis of being black, we suffered at the hands of so-called white people. Which means that many souls, together, took their birth to endure karmic punishment – which they’ve not understood.”

THE BLACK GURUGael Reagon meets the spirit formerly known as Zebulon Dread.

traduction française par Scarlett Antonio

“Ce magazine est juste pour dire que nous sommes là et nous n’avalons pas votre merde. C’est la liberté d’expression et les moyens par lesquels un artiste qui souffre depuis longtemps devient un entrepreneur, prenant sa destinée entre ses propres mains et hors des tortueuses oies qui aiment tant contrôler,” a écrit celui qui se proclame le terroriste culturel, Elliot Joseph saka Zebulon Dread dans l’éditorial de la première édition d’Hei Voetsek! (traduit vaguement par: eh! Fiche-moi le camp!). Une diatribe de la publication, le magazine s’éclate sur les scènes écrites et colportées du Cap en 1997, à l’époque où les journaux culturels Sud-Africains se dorent joyeusement sous l’arc-en-ciel. Ecrit, planifié, dessiné, photographié et photocopié par Dread lui-même, Hei Voetsek! dissèque la politique, la culture, la société et le sexe sud-africains. Personne n’était épargné sous les tirades politiques et virulentes de Dread. Utilisant le langage du ‘Cape Flats'(*), un mélange d’anglais, d’afrikaans et d’argot, Dread se répand en injures contre tout le monde, des politiciens corrompus et des afrikanders conservateurs aux “noirs qui sont aigris”.

Une fois que la maison d’édition refusa Hei Voetsek!, apeuré par ses satires politiquement incorrectes, Dread se tourna vers les petits imprimeurs noirs indépendants. Ensuite, il se mit dans les rues, faisant lui-même sa propre commercialisation ambulante et oratoire et devenant lui-même sa propre machine de distribution, faisant une promotion de vente agressive du magazine aux victimes souvent contre leurs grés aux ventes de livres, dans les coins de rues et les festivals d’arts dans tout le pays.

Dread alla ajouter deux nouvelles revues à son empire: Poels! et Piels!, qui parodiaient l’industrie sexiste des magazines. Il publia également de nombreux livres satiriques. Finalement en 2002, désillusionné par le manque de transformation en Afrique du Sud, Dread commis un suicide rituel. Ainsi que l’expliquait Elliot Josephs: “Je vais abandonner le fantôme de mon pseudonyme, Zebulon Dread, et partir en Inde afin de trouver le bonheur que la lutte pour la liberté n’a pas apporté.” Dans les nuits noires et orageuses du Cap, le visage redouté et enfermé du “Dernier des Grands, Grands Hotnots” peut encore être trouvé entrain d’hanter la Place du Marché Vert de la ville criant: “Sies! Vark! Voetsek!” (Aïe! Cochon! Fiche-moi le camp!). (*) nom d’une banlieue/ quartier au Cap.


Elliot Josephs aka Zebulon Dread


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Calling all printmakers and paper-peoples! In collaboration with our comrades at Keleketla! […]

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Founded by African filmmakers in Burkina Faso in 1992, during a period of intense worldwide interest and commentary on African T.V. and film, the bilingual journal Ecrans d’Afrique: Revue Internationale de Cinema Television et Video (also known as African Screen) explored all aspects of African film production. It, along with its many contemporaries, sought to ameliorate an intellectual climate which suffered from a dearth of commentary on African film. A corollary of the journal’s efforts was to improve worldwide exposure and access to African films – it was linked to the Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the continent’s leading film festival, from its inception. Ecrans d’Afrique has also been lauded for its wide gaze covering the whole of the African diaspora and for its excellent coverage of Caribbean film developments.

GRANDMA’S GRAMMER a film by Jean Pierre Bekolo

traduction française par Scarlett Antoniou

Fondé par des producteurs de films africains à Bukina Faso en 1992, pendant une période d’intense intérêt et commentaire mondial sur la TV et le film africains, le journal bilingue Ecrans d’Afrique: Revue Internationale de Cinéma Télévision et Vidéo (Cinema Television and Video International review) (aussi connu sous le nom d’African Screen) a exploré tous les aspects de la production du film africain. En parallèle avec ses nombreux contemporains, il a recherché à améliorer un climat intellectuel qui a souffert de la pauvreté du commentaire sur le film africain. Un corollaire des efforts du journal a été d’améliorer l’exposition internationale et l’accès aux films africains  il a été lié au Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), le principal festival du film du continent, depuis son commencement. Ecrans d’Afrique a aussi été louangé pour son grand regard couvrant toute la Diaspora africaine et pour son excellent reportage du développement du film antillais. 


Clement Tapsoba, Alessandra Speciale, Francoise Pfaff, Mbye B. Cham, Baba Diop, William Tanifeani, Therese-Marie Deffontaines, Jean Servais Bakyono, Frank Ukadike, Beti Ellerson


  • La Feuille (1990)
  • Le Film africain (1991)
  • Regard (1992)
  • Black Film Bulletin (1993)


  • Ecrans d’Afrique on Wikipedia
  • FESPACO (Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou)
  • “Nous sommes tous responsables,” Abdoulaye Dao
  • Research in African Literatures special issue on African film, Fall 1995, 26.3.
  • Iris special issue on African film, Spring 1995,18.
  • Films d’Afrique, edited by Michel Larouche.
  • Sub- Saharan African Films and Filmmakers: An Annotated Bibliography (London: Hans Zell Publishers, 1988)
  • Sub-Saharan African Films and Filmmakers 1987-1992: An Annotated Bibliography(London: Hans Zell Publishers, 1994)
  • “The Challenges of African Film Bibliography: Content and Audience,” African Research and Documentation, 72 (1996), 1-8.
  • Cinemas of the Black Diaspora, Michael T. Martin
  • African Cinema: Politics and Culture, Manthia Diawara
  • Black and Third Cinema: Film and Television Bibliography, Vieler-Porter
  • Critical Perspectives on Black Independent Cinema, Cham and Andrade-Watkins
  • Schmidt, Nancy J. “Special Issues of Periodicals on African Film.” African Studies Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, (Apr., 1997), pp. 113-119
  • “Documents: Ecrans d’Afrique”
  • “Ecrans d’Afrique / African Screen Conversations with Keyan Tomaselli- Ecrans d’Afrique”
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Published by Drum in Nigeria and later also Kenya and Ghana in the early 60s, African Film was just one of the many photo comics or “look books” that flooded English-speaking West Africa in the early post colonial era. Catering to the new urban youth, the series featured the mythical persona of Lance Spearman, a.k.a. “The Spear,” a black James Bond-like crime fighter as the central character.

In contrast to the racist stereotype of the uncivilised, uneducated, spear-carrying cannibal, or the eroticised “noble savage” that characterised the depictions of Africans in most Western comic books from the time, Spearman was sharp, stylish and sophisticated. Combining re-appropriated Western references with a distinctly African cultural identity, he reflected a newly defined black Atlantic modernity. Here was a comic book hero that presented a potential critique of colonialism, as well as a significant variation in how the genre classically figured normality and otherness.

While the series was criticised for its sometimes stereotyped portrayals of blackness and masculinity, it none the less had a lasting influence in fostering postcolonial pride and identity. Its combination of extreme (often cartoon-like) violence, with pastiches of early Hollywood melodramas, dashes of romance and glamour – via the street and touches of black nationalism preceded the Blaxploitation explosion in American cinemas in the 70s and its use of inventive DIY tactics to overcome budget constraints (Spearman’s trademark Corvette Stingray was often a picture of a dinky-toy) had a lasting influence on the Nollywood industry.

Into this culturally colonized milieu came a new comic published by Drum Publications called African Film featuring Lance Spearman, a raffish and nattily-dressed black super cop with an ever-present Panama hat. And we all instantly fell deeply in love with him. No one forced Spearman on us. For the first time, we had a comic hero who was actually black like us. 

Black Like Us by Tunde Giwa 

Spearman… Lance Spearman – the name synonymous with the intrepid hero of the photo-comic staple, African Film, started by the publisher of South Africa’s Drum Magazine, produced by fledgling writers and read voraciously by 1970s Nigerian schoolboys, including Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, who dreamed of wars and victories other than those around them.


Traduction Française Par Scarlett Antoniou

Edité par Drum au Nigéria et également plus tard au Kenya et Ghana dans les années 60, African Film était juste une des nombreuses bandes dessinées photo ou “livres à regarder” qui a envahi l’ouest de l’Afrique anglophone durant le début de la période postcoloniale. S’adressant à la nouvelle jeunesse urbaine, les séries avaient pour vedette le personnage mythique de Lance Spearman, a.k.a. “The Spear” (La Lance), un lutteur noir contre les crimes ressemblant à James Bond, comme caractère principal.

En contraste avec le stéréotype raciste du cannibale porteur de lance barbare et non instruit, ou le “noble sauvage” érotiques qui caractérisaient les représentations des africains dans la plupart des livres comiques occidentaux du temps, Spearman était tranchant, élégant et sophistiqué. Allié aux références occidentales de nouveau appropriées avec l’identité culturelle distinctement africaine, il reflétait une modernité atlantique noire nouvellement définie. C’était là un héro de livre comique qui présentait une critique potentielle du colonialisme ainsi qu’une variation considérable dans la manière avec laquelle le tableau de genre illustrait classiquement la normalité et l’ensemble des autres.

Tandis que les séries étaient critiquées pour ses portraits parfois stéréotypes de la couleur noire et de la masculinité, il a eu cependant une influence de longue durée dans la manière d’encourager l’identité et la fierté postcoloniales. Son mélange d’extrême violence (souvent comme des dessins animés), avec des pastiches d’anciens mélodrames Hollywoodiens, des moments de romance et de séductions à travers la rue et les touches de nationalisme noir, précédait l’explosion du ‘Blaxploitation’ (exploitation des noirs) dans les cinémas américains des années 70 et son utilisation de tactiques inventives faites maison pour surmonter les contraintes de budget (la marque déposée de Spearman Corvette Stingray était souvent l’image d’un jouet mignon) ont eu une influence de longue durée sur l’industrie Nollywood.


  • Boom featuring Fearless Fang
  • The Stranger
  • Sadness & Joy


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Call for an Archive of AfroSonics

The collective improvisations of black America – and their profound impact on poetry and sound – are near impossible to find in the annals of US academe. In fact, their absence is as stark as the control of archiving is white, writes Harmony Holiday.

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Is Biko’s legacy being besmirched?

In October 2002, 25 years since Stephen Bantu Biko‘s death, poet James Matthews penned […]

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San Pedro V: The Hope I Hope

Identity, politics, rock ‘n roll, soap operas and sentimental songs; humor, hysteria and […]

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The Life and Death of Media

There are thousands of people who are paid to invent and publicise […]

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The Death of Jacob Dlamini

Political analyst, Jacob Dlamini, argues that the death of another so named […]

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The Test

  Read the following text carefully: “Know thyself, thus says the quotation […]

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Chicken Core: The Rise of Kings

SporeDust is a young animation studio, still a rare species in the […]

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The Adventures of Dr Evil in Dakar

  President Abdoulaye Wade recently claimed intellectual property rights of the “African […]

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The Warm Up

The xenophobic violence sweeping many communities in the past weeks is not […]

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Black Like Us

Tunde Giwa recalls the comics of 1970s Nigeria with a nod to […]

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Sortir de la grande nuit. Essai sur l’Afrique décolonisée

Norbert N. Ouendji interviews Achille Mbembe before Afropolitanism (circa 2010) « Sortir de […]

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Calabash Afrobeat Poems

by Dike Okoro Ikwunga Wonodi is not a new face among Afrobeat […]

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