Married But Available ventures into a theme about which people say as much as they withhold. It explores intersections between sex, money and power, challenging orthodoxies, revealing complexities and providing insights into the politics and economics of relationships. During six months of fieldwork in Mimboland, Lilly Loveless, a Muzungulander doctoral student in Social Geography, researches how sex shapes and is shaped by power and consumerism in Africa. The bulk of her research takes place on the outskirts of the University of Mimbo, an institution where nothing is what it seems. Through her astounding harvest of encounters, interviews, conversations and observations, the reader gets a captivating glimpse into the frailty and resilience of human beings and society. Lilly Loveless comes out of it all well and truly baptized. And so does the reader!
This book on rights, entitlements and citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa shows how the playing field has not been as levelled as presumed by some and how racism and its benefits persist. Through everyday interactions and experiences of university students and professors, it explores the question of race in a context still plagued by remnants of apartheid, inequality and perceptions of inferiority and inadequacy among the majority black population. In education, black voices and concerns go largely unheard, as circles of privilege are continually regenerated and added onto a layered and deep history of cultivation of black pain. These issues are examined against the backdrop of organised student protests sweeping through the countryís universities with a renewed clamour for transformation around a rallying cry of ëBlack Lives Matterí. The nuanced complexity of this insightful analysis of the Rhodes Must Fall movement elicits compelling questions about the attractions and dangers of exclusionary articulations of belonging. What could a grand imperialist like the stripling Uitlander or foreigner of yesteryear, Sir Cecil John Rhodes, possibly have in common with the present-day nimble-footed makwerekwere from Africa north of the Limpopo? The answer, Nyamnjoh suggests, is to be found in how human mobility relentlessly tests the boundaries of citizenship.
This book questions colonial and apartheid ideologies on being human and being African, ideologies that continue to shape how research is conceptualised, taught and practiced in universities across Africa. Africans immersed in popular traditions of meaning-making are denied the right, by those who police the borders of knowledge, to think and represent their realities in accordance with the civilisations and universes they know best. Often, the ways of life they cherish are labelled and dismissed too eagerly as traditional knowledge by some of the very African intellectual elite they look to for protection. The book makes a case for sidestepped traditions of knowledge. It draws attention to Africaís possibilities, prospects and emergent capacities for being and becoming in tune with its creativity and imagination. It speaks to the nimble-footed flexible-minded ìfrontier Africanî at the crossroads and junctions of encounters, facilitating creative conversations and challenging regressive logics of exclusionary identities. The book uses Amos Tutuolaís stories to question dualistic assumptions about reality and scholarship, and to call for conviviality, interconnections and interdependence between competing knowledge traditions in Africa.
Set in the fictional and reluctantly bilingual land of Mimbo in contemporary Africa, this story revolves around the tragedy of the haunting Prosp?re, a semi-literate Mimbolander who is searching for the finer things in life. The novel presents a graphic picture of the frustrations engendered by a society that values wealth over love.
Dieudonnes life is spun from the threads of one of Africa's grand moral dilemmas, in which personal responsibility is intertwined with the social catharsis occasioned by ambitions of dominance and ever diminishing circles. We encounter Dieudonne at the tail end of his service as 'houseboy' to the Toubaabys, a patronising expatriate couple. In the company of a lively assortment of characters and luring music at the Grand Canari Bar, Dieudonne recounts his life. As he peels layer after layer of his vicissitudes, he depicts the everyday resilience of the African on a continent caught in the web of predatory forces. Yet, this enchanting failure also celebrates the infinite capacity of the African to find happiness and challenge victimhood.
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