Author: Bala Musa (Ed)
Publ: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 253, 2019. (eBook ISBN 978-3-030-30663-2)
Reviewer: Shehina Fazal
In 2017, according to UNESCO, Nigeria had become a ‘cultural powerhouse’ with Nollywood as the second-largest film industry in the world by volume. The origins of Nollywood (post-colonial Nigerian cinema) as a cultural force can be traced back to the film Living in Bondage (Dir: Chris Obi Rapu, 1992). Nearly thirty years later, Bala Musa has edited and contributed to a comprehensive collection of chapters on the film industry in Nigeria. Nollywood is robust, popular and it looks like the film industry in Nigeria will continue to thrive for many years to come.
Author: Mark Gevisser
Publ: Profile Book
Reviewer: Laura Miles
In The Pink Line South African journalist and filmmaker Mark Gevisser presents a perceptive and comprehensive picture of the international fight for LGBT+ rights in the twenty first century. Gevisser meticulously and sympathetically charts the harsh realities of life for many LGBT+ people as he follows their struggles with families, police and public hostility. His research took him to 21 countries, striking up relationships over a number of years with a range of activists. Chapters alternate between the stories of particular LGBT+ people, their struggles, crises, friends, lovers and families, interspersed with commentaries on what Gevisser refers to as the current culture wars over sexuality and gender in a context of growing authoritarianism in many parts of the world.
Author: Willy Mutunga
Publ: Strathmore University Press (second edition)
Credit: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’ (CODESRIA)
Reviewer: Godwin Murunga
Awaaz Voices: Book Review
Book: One Who Dreams is Called a Prophet
Author: Sultan F. Somjee
Publisher: Amazon, 2020
Reviewer: Kimberly Baker
One Who Dreams is Called a Prophet (2020) portrays the diversity of Kenya's Indigenous peace heritages in the author's fictionalized memoir. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o launched the 614-page book on November 25th, remarking "prophets are very conscious and connected to the land and environment." The story takes the form of a walk of a pastoralist seeking one of humankind's most sought-after ideals, the search for peace, especially relevant now during the times of internal and external conflicts. The protagonist, Alama, (Somjee’s alter ego) sets out to explore Utu, an African humanist philosophy. Utu comes from the Swahili word meaning 'being mtu' or simply 'being human.' It stands for a set of traditional African values that connect the spiritual realm, the community, ancestors and nature in reciprocal relationships of respect. In South Africa, Ubuntu can be translated into many African languages bringing the meaning home. At the launch, the Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ, spoke about the concept of Ūmūndū in his mother tongue, Gĩkũyũ. Somjee intricately weaves together African peace metaphors and even satirical messages through the storytelling of Indigenous voices.