African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

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With “The Walking Dead” back on TV screens for its fifth season, it’s great to see Danai Gurira’s beauty, style and talent highlighted in stunning editorials.

via Byrdie

"Academic Diaspora" by Nicole Nomsa Moyo.

When Africans began going to Europe, America and other foreign countries to further their tertiary education, many were sent in the hopes that they’d come back and use those skills to contribute to the upliftment of their communities. Whilst some returned, others remained abroad for one reason or another - some because it made practical sense to do so, and others simply because the pull of their new home yielded more than the places they had left had ever offered them. Now, more than ever, as may African countries face critical brain drains, those who form part of the latter are often criticized for this decision. Zimbabwean-born architect Nicole Moyo, who studied abroad in Canada details her experiences as an adventure-hungry globetrotter and someone who is part of the African Academic Diaspora.

What if we never moved? And we all stayed in our own niches, remaining indigenous in the purist form? I wonder how many terms we would go our whole lives never having heard: “inter”, “multi”, “dimensional” – these words, to name a few, rely on an “other” or “outer” relationship to give them a purpose. These simple words describe myself, and yourself in the borderless world we live in today.

I never really understood Africa until I left it. I say ‘Africa’ because as I crossed the boarders towards the Western shores, my immigrant identity was greater in numbers. I, like countless young individuals, had left home and was on the pursuit of seeking my fortunes abroad. Well, my family has always been on the move – by the age of 19 I was fortunate enough to have visited 23 countries. I wanted more, I was curious to know what exactly was on the other side of the pond, what was this first-world business?

Now, I cannot speak for others, but to be honest I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Other than incredible, unpredictable and gratifying – ‘reverse cultural shock’ would be one way to describe my experience.

There are many advantages to academic Diaspora. This of course all depends on how motivated and dedicated you are to your own personal development. I have continuously learnt the limits are boundless. Individuals you meet from around the world I describe to be the most valuable asset to the development of your perspective on life as a whole. With an international degree you open yourself up to more opportunities, which I believe is needed in a world of unpredictable economies. South Africa for example, like many other counties is being built on an international working class. “If things don’t really work out here I can always go back home” – this is the option my parents have awarded me, however every person that leaves home has the responsibility to reward themselves. Freedom is a utopic expression, the liberation to do whatever you want, whenever you want to may seem ideal until you see people around you using it as a weapon against themselves.

The disadvantages are that you really are on your own. The networks of community and support you have back home are something you always long for. You are an immigrant in an environment where you have to integrate yourself into not forgetting that you have to work far harder than the nationals for who the jobs were created. As an international, my university fees were very expensive. Architecture was a degree that I could have also obtained at home for a tenth of the price so why leave? And why do so many people never return and share their abilities and the knowledge that, if leveraged correctly, becomes a priceless commodity and significant to the development of their home countries? Well I cannot answer that because each case is different. As for myself “When are you coming home?” is a question I hear far too often and an answer that becomes further diluted as I wonder how I will re-engage myself, how will I make a great and meaningful impact? The truth is really I don’t know.

At times I feel confused and guilty, but for no good reason. I am a citizen of the world, a woman on a mission. There is no fault in my journey and if anything I get butterflies in my stomach that feel like love because I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing: Loving myself so that I can purposefully love others. Limitations are not always easy and present themselves as challenges of faith. As women, we are constantly being reminded of what we cannot do, how we should look but not how we should think and do best. It is our responsibility to absorb and then have a voice to teach others about the “inter”, “multi”, and “dimensional” world we all belong to. I am no longer just a woman, or just an African. Through my education, international experience and multiculturalism as an individual, I am continuously advancing my value to become a useful and purpose-driven globalized citizen.

Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.
NoViolet Bulawayo, "We Need New Names".

CHAN2014 Semi-Finals: Ghana and Libya advance to the finals.

Both Libya and Ghana headed into penalties to secure their position in the CHAN2014 finals. Libya beat first-time finals hopefuls Zimbabwe a narrow 5-4 and after Nigeria missed two penalties, Ghana took their place alongside Libya with a 4-1 win. 

(images via CAF FB)

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All Africa, All the Time.

#CHAN2014 Updates: who’s through to the semi-finals?

After being down 0-3 againnst the Lions of the Atlas Mountains, Nigeria beat Morocco 4-3, scoring 3 goals in the second half and their winning goal in extra time, to make it through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Zimbabwe made history for qualifying for the semi-finals round for the first time ever in the team’s history after beating Mali 2-1.

The heated match between Libya and Gabon saw the former team qualified by beating Gabon 4-2 in penalties.

Ghana’s 1-0 win, with a goal that came about as a result of a penalty kick, was regarded with a lot of controversy by many DR Congo fans on twitter who claim the ref did not handle the game fairly.

Upcoming matches: Semi-Finals (Weds. 25th Jan)

  • Libya vs Zimbabwe - 5pm CAT
  • Nigeria vs Ghana - 8:30 CAT

(all images via CAF)

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All Africa, All the time.

Zimbabwe and Morocco join Nigeria and Mali as both teams progressed to next stage of CAF / Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Burkina Faso and Uganda respectively. 

Nigeria beat hosts South Africa 3-1 on Sunday whilst Mali ousted Mozambique with a 2-1 defeat on the same day.

These four teams will meet each other at the quarter finals.

Flowers that grow
out of upside down skulls
‘Dead things coming to life’
Things that time hides
Hope quietly blooming into
Fear not rebirth.
Your new crown will be
more glorious

dead things coming to life - Tapiwa Mugabe, tapiwamugabe.tumblr.com

(via tapiwamugabe)

Tell them what I did to you…
both judge and jury
Petals of your innocence
a witness to the floor.
Tiles on that fall of Spring in leaves-
pages of life rewritten
in the absence of the presence-
a blossom, au naturel like the
naked features of your face…

Doors closed in open spaces.
Take off your shoes,
tonight we set footprints
in seconds too short to remember-yet experienced
so long and lasting…
taste but do not savor instructions-
that good kind of bad, amber October.

Cracking and hissing firewood, a melting pot
of passion pulsing on her wrist-
Tired pleasure, hanging on that last moment
the promise of a tattoo.
Warm laughs like the oven of sunset…
let me Watch the coals in your eyes,
that lava-manna from the heaven below the 7th
A poem by a young Zimbabwean writer who goes by the pen name Adonis Young.

The first Zimbabwean to be featured on the Man Booker prize shortlist, the BBC’s Alan Kasujja speaks to NoViolet Bulawayo about the inspiration behind her coming-of-age novel We Need New Names, the writing culture and publishing industry in Zimbabwe, and the sociopolitical consciousness burden that often comes with being an African writer.

Zimbabwean model Nyasha Matonhodze in a spread titled “New Urban Army” for South China Morning Post Style Magazine September 2013 

WOMEN’S MONTH ESSENTIAL VIEWING: Zimbabwean filmmaker Tapiwa Chipfupa has been living in exile in neighbouring South Africa since 2006, far away from her family and her birthplace. Born three years before Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, from early on in her life Chipfupa has had to deal with the grief of being separated from those she loves most. As time progressed and as the redistribution of land in the country became a polarizing source of antagonism in the country, bringing on social and political turmoil in Zimbabwe, Chipfupa’s family as she knew it slowly began to disintegrate. Since the early 2000s, with the members of her family spread out across the globe, the harsh realities of immigration laws have kept, and continue to keep, her and her family apart from each other for over a decade, reinforcing the burden of pain her family is forced to carry from the past into the present.

Making her return to Zimbabwe after seven years away, this autobiographical film, The Bag on My Back, traces the personal pain and suffering of a woman whose life was turned upside down by the rippling political policies of a leader and a government who once promised reform and prosperity to many, tied mostly to the question of land reform in the country, that is yet to be realized in the lives of families like Chipfupa’s.

Tapiwa’s Chipfupa’s story mirrors the lives of many African immigrants and migrant workers around the world who, for reasons usually related to political, social and economic turmoil in their home countries, have been forced to relocate to other parts of the world in search of greener pastures - a struggle that, for many, carries with it a constant sense of grief, loss and longing.

"My family’s gradual decline and disintegration mirrored that of our country. My family left not because they wanted to or just because they could, but because the circumstances left them with no other choice." - Tapiwa Chipfupa

AUGUST: Highlighting African Women

And these days it is worse, with the poverty of blackness on one side and the weight of womanhood on the other. Aiwa! What will help you, my child, is to learn to carry your burdens with strength.

Intersectionality and womanism in Tsitsi Dangarembga's novel Nervous Conditions.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

…condemning Nyasha to whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness, just as I had felt victimised at home in the days when Nhamo went to school and I grew my maize. The victimisation, I saw, was universal. It didn’t depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn’t depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on. Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru did it. And that was the problem…all conflicts came back to the question of femaleness. Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.

A quote from Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga's debut novel Nervous Conditions, book I love more and more every time it’s brought up in conversation.

So many of the words in this book, and both Nyasha and Tambu’s lives, resonate so deeply with my experiences.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

Our daughters are prepared
to run where your sons
are taught to never go.
for men raised by women -Tapiwa Mugabe, tapiwamugabe.tumblr.com (via tapiwamugabe)

(via caliphorniaqueen)

On July 24th this year, the world unexpectedly lost a wonderful artist and fierce advocate, Zimbabwean singer and mbira queen Chiwoniso ‘Chi’ Maraire.

Whilst awaiting a lung biopsy, Maraire unexpectedly passed away at the age of 37, ten days after being admitted to hospital.

In this video, long-time friend and fellow Zimbabwean musician Rina Mushonga shares some fond and intimate memories of her late friend, and performs a heart-wrenching song in her memory and honor.

Thank you to Serginho Roosblaad of Radio Netherlands Worldwide for bringing this to my attention and letting me share it with the readers of this blog.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women