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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Must Read Books by African Authors

In case your wonder where have I been lately, I’ve been reading great books by African authors and I’ve now collected a great list. Here’s my top picks, enjoy!

 1

Diaries of a Dead African – Chuma Nwokolo 

This book, told through two generations, tells the story of how rumors, envy and caring about what others said influenced the way the Jumais lived their lives.               

                                                     

2

Arrow of Godd – Chinua Achebe 

This book is set in the 1920’s, before secularism became dominant. I enjoyed reading this book because I felt it did a great outlook about the conflict between generation, old and new traditions, and the impact of colonialism on African tribal communities.

3

Is it Coz I’m Black? – Ndumiso Ngcobo  

This book draws no border line when it comes to color and what it means to be apartheid. This is a must read for anyone who is inspired to know more about South Africa.

4

Happiness is a Four-Letter Word – Cynthia Jele    

I enjoyed reading this book and it reminded me of an African version of sex and the city. Jele covers the challenges of friendships and relationships of four ladies who are in search of happiness.

5

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin

This is my favorite book so far and completely blew my mind when I read it. This book is about a polygamous family that is not aware they will be imploded. The fourth wife, Bolanle, has not conceived a child in two years of marriage, thus setting in motion the unraveling of the lives of everyone in the house.  I don’t want to reveal too much but the wives in this novel are so unpredictable.

 Other great books I plan to read by African authors:

The Stone Virgins – Yvonne Vera
When Rain Clouds Gather – Bessie Head
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born – Ayi Kwei Armah
Black Diamond/Ways of Dying – Zakes Mda
Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner
Who Fears Death – Nnedi Okorafor
On Black Sisters’ Street – Chika Unigwe
Underground People – Lewis Nkosi
Waiting for the Rain – Charles Mungoshi
A Simple Lust – Dennis Brutus
The Setting Sun and the Rolling World – Charles Mungoshi
Walking with Shadows – Jude Dibia
Wife of the Gods – Kwei Quartey

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Top 5 African Women Leaders

Some view Africa as a developing continent offering rich investment opportunities for the rest of the world, I see a Africa that is developing the next generation of world leaders. Today I want to focus on African women leaders. If I had to make a list of  my top-pick of leaders who I see as game-changers and trailblazers, these women would be on my list:

Joyce Banda, Malawi, President of Malawi

As fourth President and first female President, Joyce Banda is the definition of a true leader. I had the honor to interview President Banda for AllAfrica.com as she shared highlights of her life and what it means to be a leader. During our discussion she spoke about her experiences and her future plans for her country. As the first women President, Banda’s leadership style has been majorly influenced by her life experiences and hardships. When I think of inspirational African women letters that set great examples of what it means to have a fortitude attitude while uplifting and encouraging others without showing fear, I think of President Banda.

Biola Alabi, Nigeria, Managing Director, MNET Africa  

As Managing Director for multi-national cable and satellite content company, MNET Africa, Alabi is one of the most powerful women in African media. In 2012 the World Economic Forum named Alabi Young Global Leader, she has been at the forefront of the expansion of the AfricaMagic channels brand across the continent. Before becoming managing director Alabi served as director for international strategy at Sesame Street where her first project was working the Nigerian Sesame Street.

Isha Sesay, Sierra Leone, News Anchor & Journalist, CNN 

Sesay files reports for “African Voices” and “ Inside Africa“, CNN International’s award-winning, weekly program that covers political, economic, cultural and social trends in Africa. Sesay is also an anchor on CNN International and a contributor to CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and HLN’s nightly news show “Evening Express.”

Leila Lopes, Angola, 2012 Miss Universe

On September 12, 2011, Lopes was crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Angolan woman to win the position, the fourth African to win the title (Miss South Africa took the title in 1978, Miss Namibia won in 1992, Miss Botswana won in 1999) and the second Black African woman to win following Mpule Kwelagobe from Botswana in 1999. As the reigning Miss Universe, Lopes used the platform for advocacy for HIV and AIDS patients worldwide.

Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, Peace and Women’s Rights Activist

The peace activist was one of three female recipients who were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Gbowee helped organize and lead the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, an alliance of Christian and Muslim women, in public protest during Liberia’s tumultuous times. Now, through her organization Women Peace and Security Network Africa, Gbowee trains and empowers women in Africa to bring peace to their own countries. Gbowee is a recipient of multiple awards including the Blue Ribbon Peace Award from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School, Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the Medal for Justice from New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Women’s eNews Leaders For the 21st Century Award. 

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation).” – Ghana


Time to dance, motivate, and donate!

I love when I run into awesome organizations that are doing inspirational and motivating things, especially when it’s regarding music and Africa.

Music for Life Center Program

Music for Life Center Program is about bringing children together through music and dance as a symbol of celebrating to life no matter what stuggles they face. These children are full of joy and energy despite the different circumstances they came from.

To bring a similar experience to children outside the Choir program, Music for Life partners with community schools in Uganda and Kenya to establish Music for Life Centers.

There are currently Music for Life Centers in Uganda and Kenya. Each center has approximately 50 children attending each week. Each Music for Life Center provides a meal or snack as well. For many of the children, this is the only meal they will eat that day. If you want to learn more or feel like donating check out Music for Life Center.