Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ngugi Wa Thiongo's Son Lauds Relaunch Of Pan African Website

Mukoma wa Ngugi, a Kenyan novelist, poet, and literary scholar and son of famed award winning author Ngugi Wa Thiongo has added his voice to This Is Africa, a Pan African website that is considered an opinion leader.

“This is Africa’s new site reflects the constant reinvention that is needed to capture the ever growing complexity of Africa today. Given some of the borderline madness some African leaders are exhibiting, like Museveni and Goodluck passing retrogressive anti-gay laws, the WTF section is especially appropriate,” Mukoma said in a release.

This Is Africa has launched its new website to fulfil its potential as an African media company that chronicles, analyses and discusses the changing relationship of Africans and Africa with the world, campaigns for the full ownership of Africa by Africans, and identifies and supports the phenomenon of Africans determining the future of the continent.

Since its initial launch in 2010, This Is Africa has grown significantly in content volume, authority, and the quality and number of writers.

To retain its position and distinctiveness as the blog that most closely reflects African points of view, This Is Africa has updated the technical features and responsiveness of the site, and, most importantly, is offering more up-to-date content.

The re-launch gives prominence to highly regarded new writers and signals a greater focus on African identity and African perspectives on global issues. The new corporate design and logo that places Africa at the centre of the world reflects this focus.

Critical voices in “Opinion” offers space for critical, analytical commentary on world issues of importance to Africans and the continent, and has been one of This Is Africa’s strongest pillars from the beginning.

Of particular note within the improved category is African Identity, a subject that is now the core focus of This Is Africa. Identity and self-image affect the way Africans (at home and abroad) engage with the rest of the world and determine their own future.

Esteemed new writers in “Opinion” who will join Mukoma wa Ngugi are Okey Ndibe (Nigeria/USA), Brian Bwesigye (Uganda), Mike van Graan (South Africa), Sandile Memela (South Africa), Cosmic Yoruba (Nigeria), Nana Darkoa (Ghana), Levi Kabwato (Malawi) and Takura Zhanghaza (Zimbabwe).

This Is Africa introduces a new magazine under “Lifestyle”, showcasing the continent’s contributions to global culture in the areas of Music, Fashion, Sports, and Travel.

Bite-sized news: “Trending” offers short daily updates on what’s buzzing on the continent, while “WTF?!” offers videos and photographs of astounding incidents. Also on offer are interviews with thought leaders.

Upcoming (within 6 months) will be a daily video update, to stream live from South Africa with current news, current affairs and entertainment from across the continent.

This Is Africa supports initiatives to remove the last traces of colonial legacy. To support this process it introduces “Reclaiming Africa”, a feature that invites Africans to reclaim and rename geographical places and colonial symbols.

Among the new contributors offering fortnightly opinion pieces on This Is Africa are the following lead writers also gave their thoughts on the new look website.

Okey Ndibe (Nigeria/USA), an acclaimed Nigerian writer, essayist and political columnist. “In my first novel, Arrows of Rain, a rather wise elderly woman tells her grandson, a journalist, “A story that must be told never forgives silence.”

Africa teems with multitudes of stories, waiting, demanding to be told. This website takes on the extraordinary task of telling Africa’s compelling, multi-layered stories, and telling them with passion, insight and eloquence. Africa is in the throes of dramatic change and profound transitions, in some ways far more so than any other continent in the world. This is Africa is a veritable forum, which tries to limn the nature, scope and implications of Africa’s convulsions. It is a triumph of reportage and analysis, an indispensable cyber address that ought to be visited by those who wish to put their fingers on the very pulse of a vibrant, dynamic, energetic and frequently confounding continent.”

Sandile Memela (South Africa), a multi-award winning journalist, writer and cultural critic added, “The site is destined to be one of the most authentic, insightful and uncompromising, healing and prophetic voices on developments and trends in Africa and the Diaspora today. It is a compelling blend of philosophy, politics, religion, art and perspective that articulates an uncompromising moral vision through sharp intellects with a clear vision for Africa and humanity. Anyone who ignores what is written here will do so at their own peril.”

Takura Zhangazha (Zimbabwe), a renowned blogger, social, economic and human rights activist said, “The new look TIA website is definitely more engaging and the issues it covers are much more interactive with minds that are interested in Africa's progress.”