The Q1 2020 issue of eeeteecee — a quarterly journal of news, features, analysis, opinion, et cetera, for a world we’d like — is now available.

– Editorial: Pan-Africanism—Dead or alive?
Is queer Pan-Africanism possible?, by Jarred James Thompson
– Op-ed: Bridging the language divide in literature by Africans, by Zukiswa Wanner
– Op-ed: Not Yet Quite One, by Paula Akugizibwe
– Book review: Joe Khamisi’s ‘Looters and Grabbers: 54 Years of Corruption and Plunder by the Elite
– Playlist: Post-independence riffraff

Publishing this issue took time and effort on the part of authors and the editorial team. We’d like you to pay us what you believe the articles were worth to you or what you can afford. Details below.

Who is ‘us’?

Dreams of a united Africa and prosperous Africans on the continent and beyond, it would seem, have been deferred if not written off entirely.

The figureheads of Pan-Africanism, like Kwame Nkrumah and Thomas Sankara, are dead, and their would-be successors grey. Political formations founded explicitly on this ideology languish in the fringes of public imaginaries while opportunistic politicians use the term like dombolo, to sop up the few among the electorate for whom Pan-Africanism still has meaning, however vague.

Increasingly, ideas of what it means to be African oppress and brutalise everyone but wealthy heterosexual cisgender men, and the rise of narrow nationalism has seen countries take on policy positions that reinforce colonial borders. …

A younger generation of queer activists are grappling with their place in the Pan-Africanist movement. Jarred James Thompson spoke to some.

Colonial constructs of gender constrain how Africans understand their own bodies, genders and sexualities, and those of others, says Treyvonne Moo (Image: Supplied)

I meet Treyvone Moo, one of the figures behind Johannesburg’s queer ball culture (a South African-based re-boot of the 1920s New York City ball scene), at their home in Melville, a bohemian suburb north west of downtown Johannesburg. They welcome me with a glass of rosé and a seat at their kitchen table, where we begin to discuss the tensions between Pan-Africanism and being queer — a topic I have been thinking over for some time. …

I am now less interested in top-ten lists and more in the journey towards a unified African literary landscape, writes Zukiswa Wanner

'Water Birds on the Lakeshore' was published in English, French and kiSwahili. (Image: Goethe Institut)

Had you asked me, once upon a time, if I could compile the top-ten must-read books from Africa and its diaspora, I would have answered with an overconfident ‘hell yebo’. In fact, I once churned out such a list for some UK publication. After all, I had officially become a novelist with the publication of my first book. I also had read Ama Ata Aidoo and Fred Khumalo, E.Lynn Harris and Erica Kennedy, Jamaica Kincaid and Zadie Smith, and more.

Surely all of this meant I was an expert, right?

Twelve years later, I’m not so sure anymore. Not of…

Paula Akugizibwe was thrilled to receive her new East African Community passport, issued by the Rwandan government. Preparing to use it for the first time, however, brought on new anxieties.

Unified passports are gaining traction across the continent but cannot override deeper barriers to free movement (Image: Paula Akugizibwe)

Newly arrived, my passport is sleek; sky blue, with “East African Community” (EAC) emblazoned in gold on the cover — as will now be the case for all ordinary passports issued in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and my home country of Rwanda. The biodata page is made of stiff plastic and contains an electronic chip with identifying biological information: iris scans and fingerprints. Beneath the EAC lettering is the emblem of the specific country to which the passport holder belongs. Because, although we might be together, we are not yet quite one.

I am as thrilled to receive the passport as…

Despite being a gut-churning story, ‘Looters and Grabbers’ does have some heroes, writes Kelvin Mbithi.

Khamisi’s book was itself looted and grabbed, with pdf copies circulating on websites and messaging apps (Image: Jodey Books)

Published 55 years after Kenya’s hard-fought and bloody struggle for independence from not-so-great Britain, ‘Looters and Grabbers: 54 Years of Plunder by the Elite, 1963–2017’, a 752-page thickly researched treatise by Joe Khamisi, charts the proliferation of a culture of corruption and bribery in Kenyan society. Khamisi, a former journalist and politician, identifies the original sin as the scramble, partition and colonisation of Kenya. …

Mayuyuka Kaunda has compiled an epic 40-track playlist of songs by musicians of African descent that question ideas of spirituality, commerce and geopolitics.

A still from French-Nigerian singer-songwriter Asa's 'Fire on the Mountain', an anti-war anthem (Image: Screenshot)

Musical artists of today infuse Pan-Africanism into their work in differing ways; with some choosing to be overt while others opt for the deft and subliminal — from the exploration of the personal on Stogie T’s ‘Sins of Our Father’s’, anti-war commentary in Asa’s ‘Fire on the Mountain’ and King Lutendo’s heritage-celebrating ‘Fhedza Vhothe’. Whether in their personal views, lyrics, choice of instruments, production techniques or choice of collaborators, these artists continue the work of their predecessors; they continue to (re)imagining what ‘Africanness’ is.

Kick back and listen to the playlist on Spotify:

Full track listing:
1. King Lutendo — Fhedza…

Following the independence of Ghana in 1957, and other African countries through the 1960s and 70s, the Organisation of African Unity, a predecessor to the African Union (AU), legitimised the borders inherited from colonisation, writes Ntone Edjabe. But what does this form of independence and unity across colonial borders mean for African today, especially the continent's multitude youth?

First World Festival of Negro Arts (Marilyn Nance / Pan African Space Station)

Because I am an African, I am Ghanaian.
– Ama Ata Aidoo, public lecture, FESTAC ‘77

I criticise those who consider African matters with a saline consciousness — the belief that everything which is bounded by sea water on the continent is necessarily African, and that everything which is outside it is not African.
Wole Soyinka, public lecture, FESTAC ’77.

The scene is the closing performance of #FESTAC77, the Second World Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture (FESTAC) held in Lagos from 15 January to February 12, 1977. …

eeeteecee — a quarterly journal of news, features, analysis and opinion for a world we’d like — is accepting pitches for the Q1 2020 issue on Pan-Africanism.

Braamfontein, Johannesburg, north of the train lines that separate it from the delapitated CBD that the outgoing mayor claims is overrun by 'criminals' from other African countries. (TO Molefe / Collective Media)

Pitches are now open (and will remain so until 6 December, 10pm, South African Standard Time) for the Q1 2020 issue of eeeteecee, a quarterly journal of news, features, analysis and opinion for a world we’d like. Published by Collective Media, a cooperative of independent media workers, this issue of the journal is themed Pan-Africanism; is it still relevant to villages, towns and cities in a continent fractured by geographical, social and economic inequalities, and nationalist policies?

If so, how and why?

How are marginalised and excluded groups such as women, young people, queer and trans communities, and artists grappling…

Our flagship publication eeeteecee is now accepting pitches for original news articles, features, analysis and commentary in whatever medium — text, images or video — on South And southern Africa. We generally accept well-considered pitches on social justice (race, class, gender and sexuality), socioeconomic rights, lifestyle, and arts and culture, the state and the spaces between.

An ideal pitch covers:

  • what the story is
  • in what medium you wish to tell the story and why that is the best fit
  • why you are best equipped to tell it (i.e. why it matters to you)
  • how it might advance justice and…

Collective Media

– a cooperative of independent African media workers

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