11 blogs about contemporary Africa

Probably the biggest critique the Kony 2012 campaign received, was how the film makers portrayed ‘Africa’. More than 60 million people saw the pityfull, war torn, one dimensional images all over again. It seemed that the film makers learned the classic satire ‘How to write about Africa’ by Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina by heart and implemented all his tips quite ferociously (although they forgot the caring elephants and dignified gorilla’s).

So here are some more blogs – in no particular order – which give you a different perspective on ‘Africa’. These blogs offer perspectives and images of the continent that mainstream media, especially tv, often misses. If you know more or better ones, let me know.

1. This photo is taken by Ghanian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah. He photographed the carnaval in Accra. In his blog you find many more great images that make you look twice.

2. Africa is a country
‘The media blog that is not about famine, Bono, or Barack Obama.’ A very rich blog which covers Media, Music, Sports, Opinion and more. A bit snobbish at times but smart and with an eye for controversy. Initiated by Sean Jacobs, with many experts in the team AIAC posts 3 to 4 original articles a day.

3. BellaNaija
Bella Naija is a glamorous website. Or as they call it themselves: We aspire to be Africa’s Number 1 music, style, movie, tv and beauty website. So if you want to see a lot of ladies on high heels showing the latest Nigerian fashion, you check out this website, it for sure gives you a different perspective than child soldiers running around with AK47’s.

4. A bombastic element
Written by Bunmi Oloruntoba, based in Washington. Bunmi writes about art, politics, economics, culture, sports and plenty more. His blog is incredible indepth and original. He seems to love to debunk the many myths surrounding the African continent.

5. What’s up Africa
A weekly entertainment video blog on what’s hip, creative and making the news. Presented by Ikenna Azuike, based in Amsterdam and presented on Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Azuike focuses on Africa’s innovators and cultural creatives.

6. African Digital Art

African Digital Art is an online collective, a creative space, where digital artist, enthusiasts and professionals can seek inspiration, showcase their artistry and connect with emerging artists. Initiated by Kenyan Jepchumba

7. Timbuctu Chronicles
“A view of Africa and Africans with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, practical remedies and other self sustaining activities.” Written by Emeka Okafor

8. Bankelele
Bankelele is a banker in Nairobi who writes about Banking, Finance, Technology, and Investments.

9. White African
‘Where Africa and technology collide!’ is the pay of of the personal blog of Eric Hersman. Hersman the co-founder of Ushahidi and founder of the iHub in Nairobi. On his blog ‘White African’, he writes about high-tech mobile and web technology change in Africa.

10. Celebrating Progress on Africa
CP-Africa was born out of the notion that in concert, we can re-build the continent through optimism, creativity, and perseverance. For too long, the world has focused on the things that are wrong about Africa

11. Afrinnovator
Affrinovator claims to be about one thing – telling the stories of African startups, African innovation, African made technology, African tech entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. Our mission is to ‘Put Africa on the Map‘ by covering these kinds of stories from all over Africa. After all, if we don’t tell our own story, who will tell it for us?

Not really blogs, but most definately something to look out for are the magazines ZAM, Arise and Chimurenga. Arise is the magazine style and culture magazine about Africa, less intellectual than ZAM and Chimurenga. ZAM claims to bring you the best of (African) arts and journalism. They are about to launch their international edition. They have been a great podium for upcoming photographers in the last few years. Chimurenga is the price winning arty farty magazine from South Africa, edited by Nigerian Ntone Edjabe

Besides this, there are obviously many more initiatives and websites that intent to bring a more balanced view of the dark continent than our friends at Invisible Children (where 2,9 million people like them on FB already).

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