It’s that time of the year… On Africa’s eleven top posts in 2011

The end of the year brings with it all sorts of compilations, lists and summaries of the good, the bad and the ugly of the year that’s coming to an end. And On Africa is no exception to this – see here the top-10 stories of 2009 (in English and in Spanish/español), and the ten photos that summarise 2010 (although without photos 😦 since the links broke when I transferred from Maneno to WordPress earlier this year and I have not fixed it yet…).

This year, I have compiled a list of the most viewed original posts written this year (according to WordPress). What this means is that the list excludes posts written in the past (the post most viewed this year is this one on Conguitos, a politically incorrect Spanish brand of sweets, written in march 2010). Also excluded are those posts that serve as self-promotion for pieces published for other media but to which I have made reference here.

So, whilst technically incorrect, the list makes this up in relevance, for these posts reflect better some of the most important news and stories in the African continent and beyond; with some exceptions – South Sudan independence, the war in Côte d’Ivoire (both these stories have op-ed pieces devoted to them and can be viewed on the “Other Work” section), as well as cultural notes. What is there includes: Zambia’s presidential election, Bin Laden’s death, Kenya’s invasion of Somalia and the “Arab spring” among others…

Enjoy these stories, leave below any comments you may have, and have a wonderful festive season and end of the year and beginning of 2012! Seguir leyendo

Hip-hop: soundtrack of the revolution

Kilifeu and Thiat, members of Senegalese hip-hop band "Keur Gui of Kaolack" (Source: Africanhiphop)

This is Lara Dotson-Renta in “Hip Hop & Diaspora: Connecting the Arab Spring” at the Arab Media & Society online journal (h/t Africa Is a Country):

From the outset, these [Arab protest] movements have been accompanied by a very strong musical component, from troubadours in Cairo’s Tahrir square to the adhans uniting in both faith and protest. Yet it has been hip-hop that has become the most iconic and widespread soundtrack of the Arab Spring and, interestingly, it is having the double effect of helping to mobilize activists in the countries directly impacted by the pro-democracy movements while also solidifying links between Arab diasporic communities in the West with those still residing in the ‘homeland.’

And in today’s news (from the BBC):

Prominent Senegalese rapper Omar Toure, who is a vocal critic of President Abdoulaye Wade, has been arrested. […]
The police did not give reasons for the arrest of Mr Toure, who is popularly known as Thiat.
He spoke at an opposition rally on Saturday to urge Mr Wade not to run for re-election next year.
Several opposition leaders joined his fans outside the main court in Dakar to demand his release, our reporter says.
They said the arrest was the latest sign of growing intimidation in Senegal in the build-up to elections.
Mr Toure is a member of the We’ve Had It band.
In January, he helped launch the Enough is Enough movement, which is galvanising youth to register for the elections.