Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Cultural Production in the Neoliberal Periphery

Posted in Culture, Ghana, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 18, 2013

hiplifeMy review of Jesse Weaver Shipley’s Living the Hiplife. Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music was published by Blätter des iz3w in its June edition. It is a wonderful book which gives an in-depth account of current trends in cultural production and cosmopolitanism in Africa. Read an English translation of the text here. (more…)

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Nneka: Effusing a Message From Warri, Niger Delta, to the World

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on October 11, 2009

nneka<UK Independent> It’s been four years since Nneka Egbuna emerged from Germany as the gung-ho Nigerian rapper/singer/songwriter with a socio-political bone to pick, and yet she’s still indifferent to fame. “I’m just happy that more than one person listens to me,” shrugs the 27-year-old when asked if she has the desire to break the US now that she’s been recognised by the Mobos as the Best African Act, and Channel O, the premier African music network based in South Africa. “It’s not about being popular. It’s about the love of doing the music. It’s about giving people hope; it’s not about me, it’s not about Nneka herself, it’s about having a voice and it’s about having a message behind the voice.” Full text here. Promo video for Nneka’s latest release here.

About the Incorporation of Identity, the Commodification of Culture

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on September 28, 2009

ethnicityincEthnicity, Inc., the latest publication by John L. and Jean Comaroff, presents comprehensive empirical evidence for one of the latest trends in the Brave New World of neo-liberalism: the commodification of cultural difference and the incorporation of ethnic or national identities. In course of a racy and stirring travel from the Bafokeng in South Africa to the casino capitalism of the Seminole in Florida to Britain, PLC, the anthropologists offer rich material in order to develop their theoretical insights into the working of modern ethno-business and its relationships to global shifts in governance. Read my review of the book in the coming issue of iz3w.

Discussing the Occult, Witchcraft and Religion in Africa

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on September 13, 2009

An exciting debate is currently under way about the study of beliefs in an invisible world that are widespread in African societies. Terence Ranger started this dispute with a literature review in Africa journal two years ago where he pointed to the affinity between academic works on ‘the occult’ and popular Western ideas about Africa as a backward and superstitious continent. At the Aegis conference in Leipzig, scholars such as Filip de Boeck, Peter Geschiere, Stephen Ellis and Isak Niehaus discussed the matter. The August 09 issue of Africa presents a rejoinder to Ranger by Gerrie ter Haar and Ellis as well as a contribution on that subject by Birgit Meyer.

Nobodi Must Hold di Other One Like Slave or Make Am Boi Boi

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on July 7, 2009

Preparing my return to Naija, I browsed the web for a Nigerian Krio dictionary or phrase book. Then, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Pidgin English (as the UN called it) version crossed my way. It still makes good reading 60 years after its adoption, although the practice lags a bit behind. (more…)