Reviews dominate this year’s most-read stories on Bakwa magazine. When our readers aren’t reading reviews, they are reading about the Anglophone Problem in Cameroon. The recent protests in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon, resulting from a language crisis (which was highlighted in several stories submitted for our short story competition), show the politricks of bilingualism in Cameroon. The other most-read pieces focus on music, books and movies.
The fact that the most read piece this year is 5,750 words (which surpasses by far last year’s second most read piece which was 2000+ words) shows that our readers have no problem with longform journalism.
What is the Anglophone Problem, who is Anglophone in Cameroon? On the basis of history and the Constitution, Harry Acha reflects on what the Anglophone Problem is (and is not), and the way forward.
The reason why the highest level of Anglophonism includes people who may not speak English is that Anglophonism in Cameroon is not a just a linguistic identity, but a socio-political outlook on the history, management, and political becoming of Cameroon.
Why does Akua Naru accept Africa’s music and spirituality, and neglect its people’s voice in her poems?
Yoruba mythology comes back to the center when Akua Naru takes on the Hip Hop persona— a character that differs significantly from her work as the meditative and discursive spoken word poet. Here, the performance of Hip Hop seems to draw out Naru’s anger, expressed through a stylized narration of the black experience in America.
What are the moral decisions involved in the act of taking a photograph that captures extreme human anguish and moments of demeaning death (or even moments preceding it)?
Virtually everyone intimately associated with the Bang Bang Club was profoundly affected by their work. Marinovich was shot at least three times and has since abandoned combat photography. Ken Oosterbroek was killed during the course of duty. Joao Silva had his legs blown off while working and Kevin Carter committed suicide due partly to the exacting demands of conflict photography.
The politics of exile, which lies at the heart of Natives, shows how some immigrants reinvent themselves as the leave their homelands, getting rid of their identity cards for fear of being discovered and repatriated. They are forced to assume new personalities by pretending to be who they are not as well as claiming to be from countries they are not.
Because he lacked a home country, the authorities had nowhere to deport him to, and they simply set him free on the streets of Barcelona [p 130]
If it had been difficult to assume the identity of another man, it was even more difficult to usurp that man’s nationality. He had to make lots of things up. He had never been to Mali. On his journey he had passed through Senegal, but he had never entered the county of that legendary wise man, Amadou Hampate Ba, or of the soccer star, Salif Keita [p 138]
From I.K. Dairo’s refreshing contribution, to King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, the legendary ying-yang of Juju music, Dami Ajayi traces the evolution of a genre which spanned the oil boom of the 70s as well as the 90s, a draconian period of economic austerity occasioned by military rule in Nigeria.
As time would have it, the rise of juju music coincided with the oil boom of the 70s, so that praise-singing became a prominent aspect of the music. This ensured that KSA as well as Chief Commander, honey-tongued griots, became not only superstar musicians but millionaires.
Pulling from examples like Teju Cole and Albert Camus, Jeremy Klemin explores how some of the most memorable quotes from the giants of world literature were uttered by characters in their books, not the authors themselves.
Quotations become muddy, however, when we lose the context in which they’re written and become uniformly attributed to the author of the book that the quotation appears in. Stand-alone quotes not only lose their position within the arc of a story, they also completely ignore the very specific dynamic between the author’s voice and the rest of the novel.