Nnamdi Onyeuma
Nigeria | Investigation in Niger Delta reveals the businessmen behind the kidnappings. The recent kidnap of a group of Nigerian-Dutch visitors, on a mission to help a poor community in the Niger Delta, has brought the oil-rich region back into the international spotlight. And with a twist at that. The commonly held view of a region of downtrodden and disenfranchised people, exploited solely by foreign oil companies, is no longer the whole truth, reports ZAM correspondent Nnamdi Onyeuma. The main... Nigeria | Investigation in Niger Delta reveals the businessmen behind the kidnappings. The recent kidnap of a group of Nigerian-Dutch visitors, on a...
Christina Månsson
Interview | From activist to victim to consultant. Two months ago, on 4 May, Dutch resident and Nigerian anti-big oil activist, ‘Comrade’ Sunny Ofehe was kidnapped in the Niger Delta together with a fellow Nigerian-Dutch camera man and three Dutch supporters. They had visited the creeks of the Delta on the invitation of Sunny Ofehe’s friend, local businessman Berry Negerese, to observe the bad state of a local hospital and support a fundraising campaign to improve it. Whilst travelling the... Interview | From activist to victim to consultant. Two months ago, on 4 May, Dutch resident and Nigerian anti-big oil activist, ‘Comrade’ Sunny Ofehe was...
Sara Chitambo
The World Cup made South Africans realise that the government should impress its own people as well It is a narrow victory, but a victory nonetheless. Half of the people I ask if they would have the – first African – World Cup of 2010 all over again, give me a yes. It made them feel good, they say, it brought people together, white and black, rich and poor, and they would love having such a great experience again. About a third says no, however, and the rest is undecided. For those with doubts, it... The World Cup made South Africans realise that the government should impress its own people as well It is a narrow victory, but a victory nonetheless....
ZAM Reporter
Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposes what should be changed in Ghana. “Six persons died yesterday when a Mercedes Sprinter bus with registration number VR 5044-14 somersaulted several times at Sege on the Tema-Aflao road.” This is written on Anas’ Aremeyaw Anas’ Facebook page: not because he is a traffic news reporter, or because he even knew anybody on that bus, but because his latest crusade is directed at fraudulent driving licenses. After bread production, border control, the department of social welfare... Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposes what should be changed in Ghana. “Six persons died yesterday when a Mercedes Sprinter bus with registration number VR 5044-14...
Bart Luirink
Simon Njami's divine discovery. The African origins are unmistakable, the themes are universal and beauty reigns in Simon Njami's Divine Comedy , the exhibition currently on display in Frankfurt, Germany. Divine Comedy speaks volumes about current debates around what ‘Africa’, or ‘African’, is; about the protests against stereotyping the continent. Courtesy of Yinka Shonibare Here we go again , I think when I overhear two ladies leaving the stalls of the Amsterdam City Theatre, where we have just... Simon Njami's divine discovery. The African origins are unmistakable, the themes are universal and beauty reigns in Simon Njami's Divine Comedy , the...
ZAM
One can’t help feeling sorry for Shell, or other such multinationals, sometimes. There you are, trying to be a good Big Oil company, paying proper salaries and taxes and royalties (well, maybe not enough to the liking of some, but paying a lot nevertheless, especially if you include the bribes) and still they blame you for everything, from pollution to corruption and unemployment and lack of perspectives, not just for the Niger Delta region but for the entire country. Then they vandalise your... One can’t help feeling sorry for Shell, or other such multinationals, sometimes. There you are, trying to be a good Big Oil company, paying proper...
Ibro Ibrahim
The War on Terror in Kenya is fought against Somali citizens and refugees. The rumbling of boots, the forceful knocking on the metallic door and the loud voices of uniformed men woke me up from my sleep; my peaceful night suddenly turned into a battle of explanation. In a matter of seconds, I looked out of the window and noticed that this was a General Service Unit (GSU) operation. The thinking is that whoever detonates a grenade is a Somali terrorist The GSU strikes fear into the hearts of any... The War on Terror in Kenya is fought against Somali citizens and refugees. The rumbling of boots, the forceful knocking on the metallic door and the loud...
ZAM Reporters
Intersecting worlds of beauty, suffering and aspiration One mine worker has draped a Liverpool poster on his wall. Others live under cloth roofs inside a mountain that borders a magnificent lake. Sammy Baloji’s pictures of mining in Kolwezi, DRC, show an almost surreal universe where natural beauty surrounds hard and painful working lives. Baloji (35) was born in the DRC. Though he now lives in Belgium, he regularly travels back to his home country, particularly to the copper, cobalt and... Intersecting worlds of beauty, suffering and aspiration One mine worker has draped a Liverpool poster on his wall. Others live under cloth roofs inside a...
Ramata Soré
Ten years ago, African countries decided to run regular checks on each other’s governance. A small band of idealists now try to save this process from corruption and nepotism. Addis Ababa, 5h20 on 30 January 2014. There are only a few vehicles on the city’s central Bole road. On the sidewalk some girls in short skirts look like they are on their way home from clubbing. Security guards can already be seen in front of the shop windows with colourful jackets, dresses, jeans and skirts. The artificial... Ten years ago, African countries decided to run regular checks on each other’s governance. A small band of idealists now try to save this process from...
Chief Bisong Etahoben
Officially, Cameroon produces only 2004 kilograms of gold per year. Unofficially, it's 180 000. Sixty-something Beteki Andjoun, a miner from the gold-rich region of Kambele in Cameroon, complains bitterly about the Chinese company that ‘treats him like a slave.’ If he had the means, the equipment and the manpower, he would exploit the gold himself, he says. Instead, he rents his mining license out to the Chinese in exchange for fast cash and sells them the gold he digs. On the side of the Chinese... Officially, Cameroon produces only 2004 kilograms of gold per year. Unofficially, it's 180 000. Sixty-something Beteki Andjoun, a miner from the...
Selase Kove-Seyram
Six clients per night make up for what your parents can’t give you. Five years ago, a Ghanaian newspaper exposed a brothel that employed underage sex workers. The story, by famous investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, caused an international outcry, won prizes and prompted Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare to act. But not for long. The one hundred and sixty girls, taken into care by the Department, were put back on the streets a mere two days later. Today, they work on the side of the... Six clients per night make up for what your parents can’t give you. Five years ago, a Ghanaian newspaper exposed a brothel that employed underage sex...
Muno Mohamed Gedi
After the War on Terror against the fundamentalist Al-Shabab, a new war is being waged in Somalia. This time, it’s a war for the fertile lands on the side of the beautiful Shabelle river, which feed cattle and grow mangos, bananas and papayas. A disadvantaged community of families, called the Habargidir, has invaded these lands and challenged the traditional reign of the richer Biyamal landowners here. During November 2013, four bloody clashes left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, a settlement... After the War on Terror against the fundamentalist Al-Shabab, a new war is being waged in Somalia. This time, it’s a war for the fertile lands on the...
Cecilia Cachette
The ‘smiling coast’ of Gambia is led by an insane dictator who keeps getting propped up with donor money. The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa and a tourist destination since the 70’s known for its beautiful sunny beaches, used to be advertised with the slogan “the smiling coast of Africa.” Nowadays, however, it is above all known for (sex) tourism, rickety boats, increasing poverty, violation of human rights, anti-gay laws and ‘Great Leader’ rhetoric by its president Yahya Jammeh who also... The ‘smiling coast’ of Gambia is led by an insane dictator who keeps getting propped up with donor money. The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa and...
ZAM Reporter
Kenya | Four thousand people were detained for looking Somali Since the first of April, over four thousand ethnic Somali’s, many of them Kenyan citizens, have been taken out of their houses, arrested and held for days in large wire cages in a stadium. Several hundreds have been deported to notorious refugee camps on the border. For weeks now, three hundred people have been imprisoned in a police station that has only two toilets. Ethnic-Somali looking people –around five hundred thousand- in the... Kenya | Four thousand people were detained for looking Somali Since the first of April, over four thousand ethnic Somali’s, many of them Kenyan citizens,...
ZAM
Ever since Binyavanga Wainaina’s essay ‘How to write about Africa’ , progressives the world over have sneered at mentions of Africa’s savannahs and Africa’s friendly, hospitable, happy –even though hungry- people and Africa’s sunsets. And rightly so. Brazil, Japan and Italy are also beautiful, but their continents are not stereotyped as a natural paradise and their people not as child-like: all smiling and dancing and happy with so very little -whilst, of course, being exploited by ‘the West’ and... Ever since Binyavanga Wainaina’s essay ‘How to write about Africa’ , progressives the world over have sneered at mentions of Africa’s savannahs and...
Lara Bourdin
The artists' road trip from Lagos to Sarajevo A road trip: long hours crunched into the backseat of a moving vehicle; the hum of the engine, the slow changes in scenery; being at the mercy of a flat tire, a leaky tank or an obstinate border agent. But the discovery is what counts. Beginning on 2 June of this year, a group of ten African artists will be embarking on a four-month-long journey from Lagos, Nigeria, to Sarajevo, Bosnia. Travelling under the banner of the Invisible Borders Trans-African... The artists' road trip from Lagos to Sarajevo A road trip: long hours crunched into the backseat of a moving vehicle; the hum of the engine, the slow...
Bram Posthumus
How citizens once chased away as 'foreigners' came back with a vengeance It was 2012 and we were to visit the places where the skulls and the bones would be, the witnesses of a massacre by ‘invading hordes’. The victims? Locals. The perpetrators were ‘foreigners’, the locals say. But things are not this simple in Ivory Coast. ‘I will show you the fields of death.’ And then, without fail, the offer was withdrawn: the people who were going to take me there never materialised. ‘How about going by... How citizens once chased away as 'foreigners' came back with a vengeance It was 2012 and we were to visit the places where the skulls and the bones would...
Lara Bourdin
Wangechi Mutu's magical wonderland Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu attacks dominant Western narratives, questions migration, borders, home and exile, exposes the monstrousness of overconsumption and portrays the capitulation of capitalism. The figures in the magical wonderland she creates inspire awe - and so does she. A centaur-like female figure advances up a hill of grey felt, her silhouette distinct against a background of smoky blue sky. She could be the sole survivor of an apocalypse. A trio of... Wangechi Mutu's magical wonderland Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu attacks dominant Western narratives, questions migration, borders, home and exile, exposes...
Barbara Among
Relatives and friends of gays hope that this law will pass them by The father of a gay son in Makindye refuses to speak about him or the recently passed Anti- Homosexuality Bill. Another gay man’s mother is planning to send him out of the country ‘to keep the rest of the family safe.’ A landlord has felt forced to add a ‘homosexuals not encouraged’ clause to his rental contracts ‘just so that I have a way out’. And the straight partner of transgender Mercy* is in agony because Mercy may leave the... Relatives and friends of gays hope that this law will pass them by The father of a gay son in Makindye refuses to speak about him or the recently passed...
Evelyn Groenink
West-Africa | Behind the scenes of an undercover report “So there are signs to warn against human traffic all over on the side of the road from Lagos to Cotonou?” I ask colleague Idris Akinbajo. “This means that they know?” Akinbajo is here, in 2011, investigating networks of illegal migrants in Amsterdam and the conversation has turned to women being trafficked from Nigeria for sex work in Europe. I have asked the question because of the many newspaper reports, in the Netherlands and elsewhere in... West-Africa | Behind the scenes of an undercover report “So there are signs to warn against human traffic all over on the side of the road from Lagos to...
ZAM
ZAM Chronicle’s lead article The Ugandan Family on the Anti-Homosexuality Laws in Uganda expresses the hope that ‘it will pass’: that times will change again. It shows that many Ugandans may be homophobes, but they don’t necessarily legislate against, harass, evict, disown and beat up gay people. Until recently, the situation in Uganda was more or less comparable with any other traditional country -or with the UK in the 1950’s. The Anti-Homosexuality Act was created and pushed by President... ZAM Chronicle’s lead article The Ugandan Family on the Anti-Homosexuality Laws in Uganda expresses the hope that ‘it will pass’: that times will change...