africaisdonesuffering:

The Best of Rise AfricaFrom September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.

We are still working tirelessly on our new platform, Ezibota.com, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system in preparation of our October 2nd launch, but we wanted to dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.
Keep your eye open for re-visits of our most popular posts including creative short stories, intelligent think pieces, and inspiring interviews with your favorite up and coming young Africans!
Join our mailing list for community updates, discounted membership plans, and sneak peeks of the services offered on our new platform. 
africaisdonesuffering:

The Best of Rise Africa: From September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.
We are still working tirelessly on our new platform, Ezibota.com, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system in preparation of our October 2nd launch, but we wanted to dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.


Keep your eye open for re-visits of our most popular posts including creative short stories, intelligent think pieces, and inspiring interviews with your favorite up and coming young Africans!

Join our mailing list for community updates, discounted membership plans, and sneak peeks of the services offered on our new platform. 
High-res

The Best of Rise AfricaFrom September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.

We’re still working tirelessly on our new platform, Ezibota.com, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system, but we dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.
Keep your eye open for re-visits of our most popular posts including creative short stories, intelligent think pieces, and inspiring interviews with your favorite up and coming young Africans.
Join our mailing list for community updates, discounted membership plans, and sneak peeks of the services offered on our new platform. 
The Best of Rise Africa: From September 15th – September 21st we will be celebrating the most popular and appreciated posts that Rise Africa produced.
We’re still working tirelessly on our new platform, Ezibota.com, and developing the many resources and benefits that will be made available to our community through our new membership system, but we dedicate this week to appreciating the great content and conversations we enjoyed through Rise Africa and our collective community.


Keep your eye open for re-visits of our most popular posts including creative short stories, intelligent think pieces, and inspiring interviews with your favorite up and coming young Africans.

Join our mailing list for community updates, discounted membership plans, and sneak peeks of the services offered on our new platform.  High-res
Hello Rise Africa community! We apologize for our brief period of absence and are excited about getting back in touch with all of you. For the past couple of weeks we have been perfecting a new and improved platform that we began conceptualizing over 5 months ago. This new platform will serve as a tangible manifestation of all that Rise Africa embodied. Rise Africa began as an emotional appeal from African youth around the world. We worked to rail against the common stereotypes of the African, and demanded that the world pay attention to our realities. Collectively, our voices built a space dedicated to honest discussion about the state of the African continent. Slowly our audience became hungry for more, and there emerged a genuine desire to connect; a desire to reach out across oceans and communicate with one another on a profound and authentic level. Grown from that hunger, our new platform, Ezibota, will change the way that young Africans interact with their identity, heritage, and one another. 
 
The word “Ezibota” is the marriage of two words. Ezinulo is the Igbo word for family. In the Igbo culture, family includes not only the nuclear family but also the vast extended family network. Libota is the Lingala word for family. This more intimate, blood related definition of family, is tied very closely to the idea of birth and creation, and also highlights the important role of women in the family. When the word ezinulo and libota are married together, they represent the marriage of not just two cultures, but symbolically all African cultures, therefore creating a new and compounded definition of family. Ezi, in Igbo means outside, and Bota, in Lingala, means birth. Literally, Ezibota means “Outside Birth.” As African identities continue to evolve, our new platform, Ezibota, gives birth to a community of those looking to further explore their identities as Africans and connect with other young Africans embarking on similar journeys. Ezibota captures the ongoing evolution of the African identity and the role that the diaspora as well as citizens of the continent play in marrying their individual and unique realities to one another in a collaborative effort to diversify the African narrative.
 
With our community in mind, our team has been diligently working behind the scenes to create a new platform that better suits the desires of our readers and community members. We have delicately created a new webspace, strategically formalized our membership system, extensively developed an elaborate business model, and will be enthusiastically offering new services and products to those who take advantage of the new membership plans that we will soon offer. 
 
Throughout the month of September we will be sharing more information about the changes that are soon to come. We urge you to stay tuned as we unveil all of the new opportunities that will be available with our new platform, products, and services. We hope you share in our excitement for all that’s in store.
_________________________________________________________________
 
Mission: To create and maintain an organic sense of home while promoting African culture and commerce
Vision: A connected and empowered global African community
Visit ezibota.com to send us  questions, comments, or any feedback you may have.
Introducing a new and improved platform



Hello Rise Africa community! We apologize for our brief period of absence and are excited about getting back in touch with all of you. For the past couple of weeks we have been perfecting a new and improved platform that we began conceptualizing over 5 months ago. This new platform will serve as a tangible manifestation of all that Rise Africa embodied. Rise Africa began as an emotional appeal from African youth around the world. We worked to rail against the common stereotypes of the African, and demanded that the world pay attention to our realities. Collectively, our voices built a space dedicated to honest discussion about the state of the African continent. Slowly our audience became hungry for more, and there emerged a genuine desire to connect; a desire to reach out across oceans and communicate with one another on a profound and authentic level. Grown from that hunger, our new platform, Ezibota, will change the way that young Africans interact with their identity, heritage, and one another. 
 
The word “Ezibota” is the marriage of two words. Ezinulo is the Igbo word for family. In the Igbo culture, family includes not only the nuclear family but also the vast extended family network. Libota is the Lingala word for family. This more intimate, blood related definition of family, is tied very closely to the idea of birth and creation, and also highlights the important role of women in the family. When the word ezinulo and libota are married together, they represent the marriage of not just two cultures, but symbolically all African cultures, therefore creating a new and compounded definition of family. Ezi, in Igbo means outside, and Bota, in Lingala, means birth. Literally, Ezibota means “Outside Birth.” As African identities continue to evolve, our new platform, Ezibota, gives birth to a community of those looking to further explore their identities as Africans and connect with other young Africans embarking on similar journeys. Ezibota captures the ongoing evolution of the African identity and the role that the diaspora as well as citizens of the continent play in marrying their individual and unique realities to one another in a collaborative effort to diversify the African narrative.
 
With our community in mind, our team has been diligently working behind the scenes to create a new platform that better suits the desires of our readers and community members. We have delicately created a new webspace, strategically formalized our membership system, extensively developed an elaborate business model, and will be enthusiastically offering new services and products to those who take advantage of the new membership plans that we will soon offer. 
 
Throughout the month of September we will be sharing more information about the changes that are soon to come. We urge you to stay tuned as we unveil all of the new opportunities that will be available with our new platform, products, and services. We hope you share in our excitement for all that’s in store.


_________________________________________________________________
 
Mission: To create and maintain an organic sense of home while promoting African culture and commerce
Vision: A connected and empowered global African community
Visit ezibota.com to send us  questions, comments, or any feedback you may have.

High-res

dynamicafrica:

Inside EXODUS GOODS.

There are some places you don’t have to set foot in to know are beautiful.

Nestled in New Orleans’ French Quarter, this concept boutique stocked with unique and colourful goods, and a charming interior that looks tactfully unfinished, is the brain child of designer sisters Lizzy and Darlene Okpo and fellow creative Armina Mussa.

Exodus Goods
518 Conti Street
New Orleans, LA 70130 

(via nayyirahwaheed)

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Women Bloggers You Should Know”

I spent most of my summer familiarizing myself with women bloggers and writers. As a woman of color who writes and blogs, i think it’s so important to support other black and brown women by visiting their websites and sharing words of encouragement.

Most of us are familiar with big blogger names like Yagazie Emezie and naturalbelle, but there are a few women bloggers you may not know that you should. Here are four of my favorites for all things hair, food, fashion and womanhood!

[Meet the bloggers]

africaisdonesuffering:

even when the war forces itself inside you

june 17th
sweat trickled down thin bodies. horror stricken eyes and muted cries for help. muffled sounds making their way up terrified throats can be heard from a distance. it is dark and hot. the air is humid. the kind that makes it hard to breathe and leaves your lungs feeling empty and wet.

june 18th
they will be disgusted with me.” her stomach turns at the thought. she was told of the horrors committed by the militias in neighboring villages but things like that only feel real when they’re happening to you or yours. the realization of what’s to come, what to expect from those who will find out (because they will, no doubt) is almost as bad.

june 21st
she shifts and turns in her bed. she’s been awake for almost twenty four hours now and despite how exhausted her body is she cannot bring herself to sleep. this thesis has taken more than she ever thought it would. she who believed there was no such thing as “seeing too much”, that all evil should be exposed for what it is, that all truths should be laid bare. she’d told herself she was a witness. her book was supposed to be her testimony. now she was another statistic. another victim.

continue reading

africaisdonesuffering:

even when the war forces itself inside you
june 17thsweat trickled down thin bodies. horror stricken eyes and muted cries for help. muffled sounds making their way up terrified throats can be heard from a distance. it is dark and hot. the air is humid. the kind that makes it hard to breathe and leaves your lungs feeling empty and wet.

june 18th“they will be disgusted with me.” her stomach turns at the thought. she was told of the horrors committed by the militias in neighboring villages but things like that only feel real when they’re happening to you or yours. the realization of what’s to come, what to expect from those who will find out (because they will, no doubt) is almost as bad.

june 21stshe shifts and turns in her bed. she’s been awake for almost twenty four hours now and despite how exhausted her body is she cannot bring herself to sleep. this thesis has taken more than she ever thought it would. she who believed there was no such thing as “seeing too much”, that all evil should be exposed for what it is, that all truths should be laid bare. she’d told herself she was a witness. her book was supposed to be her testimony. now she was another statistic. another victim.
continue reading High-res

even when the war forces itself inside you

june 17th
sweat trickled down thin bodies. horror stricken eyes and muted cries for help. muffled sounds making their way up terrified throats can be heard from a distance. it is dark and hot. the air is humid. the kind that makes it hard to breathe and leaves your lungs feeling empty and wet.

june 18th
they will be disgusted with me.” her stomach turns at the thought. she was told of the horrors committed by the militias in neighboring villages but things like that only feel real when they’re happening to you or yours. the realization of what’s to come, what to expect from those who will find out (because they will, no doubt) is almost as bad.

june 21st
she shifts and turns in her bed. she’s been awake for almost twenty four hours now and despite how exhausted her body is she cannot bring herself to sleep. this thesis has taken more than she ever thought it would. she who believed there was no such thing as “seeing too much”, that all evil should be exposed for what it is, that all truths should be laid bare. she’d told herself she was a witness. her book was supposed to be her testimony. now she was another statistic. another victim.

continue reading

even when the war forces itself inside you
june 17thsweat trickled down thin bodies. horror stricken eyes and muted cries for help. muffled sounds making their way up terrified throats can be heard from a distance. it is dark and hot. the air is humid. the kind that makes it hard to breathe and leaves your lungs feeling empty and wet.

june 18th“they will be disgusted with me.” her stomach turns at the thought. she was told of the horrors committed by the militias in neighboring villages but things like that only feel real when they’re happening to you or yours. the realization of what’s to come, what to expect from those who will find out (because they will, no doubt) is almost as bad.

june 21stshe shifts and turns in her bed. she’s been awake for almost twenty four hours now and despite how exhausted her body is she cannot bring herself to sleep. this thesis has taken more than she ever thought it would. she who believed there was no such thing as “seeing too much”, that all evil should be exposed for what it is, that all truths should be laid bare. she’d told herself she was a witness. her book was supposed to be her testimony. now she was another statistic. another victim.
continue reading High-res

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “nayyirah waheed nejma review”

i am writing this book.
ii am writing a daughter.

-nejma (nejii)

Writer, nayyirah waheed recently released her second collection of work, nejma. While I enjoy poetry, it is seldom I read books of poetry by one author in its entirety. Yet, I read nejma in whole and in hours.

Before even opening the book, I took some time to appreciate the title, cover art and thickness. To my understanding, nejma is an Arabic word meaning star. nejma (star) was illustrated through the art used as cover. The size and placement of the author’s name caught my attention. in small font it was placed on the right hand corner of the book. while I am not sure of the reasoning behind this placement, I interpreted it as nayyirah saying “pay less attention to my name and pay more attention to the words I am presenting you.” finally, nejma is not a light book. Just as her words are heavy and plenty, so are the pages of her book. nayyirah presents to readers 172 pages of poetry. 172 pages of stories, 172 pages of emotions.

nayyirah has always made it clear that she writes for people of color, so it was no surprise to open the book and find these words waiting for me:

to you.
my people of color.

you are an altar of stars.
remember this.
always.
do not ever forget this.

for those who are used to traditional styles of poetry, you may find nejma hard to swallow. It may scratch your throat a bit. As other women of color before her, nayyirah creates her own style and her rules when it comes to poetry. Whether it’s her sentence structures or the placement of her periods, her work is not pretty. There are poems you read and they are pretty and beautiful, then there are poems you read and they are salt. As the name of her first book, nayyirah waheed’s work is salt.

what I appreciate most about nejma is its ability to explore different topics but yet connect. You can pick a poem from the 3rd page and a poem from page 164 and somehow, they are a part of the same story. I look forward to more work from nayyirah waheed.

a poem can eat a person.
whole.
for years.

-Bilphena Yahwon

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “nayyirah waheed nejma review”
i am writing this book.ii am writing a daughter.
-nejma (nejii)
Writer, nayyirah waheed recently released her second collection of work, nejma. While I enjoy poetry, it is seldom I read books of poetry by one author in its entirety. Yet, I read nejma in whole and in hours.
Before even opening the book, I took some time to appreciate the title, cover art and thickness. To my understanding, nejma is an Arabic word meaning star. nejma (star) was illustrated through the art used as cover. The size and placement of the author’s name caught my attention. in small font it was placed on the right hand corner of the book. while I am not sure of the reasoning behind this placement, I interpreted it as nayyirah saying “pay less attention to my name and pay more attention to the words I am presenting you.” finally, nejma is not a light book. Just as her words are heavy and plenty, so are the pages of her book. nayyirah presents to readers 172 pages of poetry. 172 pages of stories, 172 pages of emotions.
nayyirah has always made it clear that she writes for people of color, so it was no surprise to open the book and find these words waiting for me:
to you.my people of color.
you are an altar of stars.remember this.always.do not ever forget this.
for those who are used to traditional styles of poetry, you may find nejma hard to swallow. It may scratch your throat a bit. As other women of color before her, nayyirah creates her own style and her rules when it comes to poetry. Whether it’s her sentence structures or the placement of her periods, her work is not pretty. There are poems you read and they are pretty and beautiful, then there are poems you read and they are salt. As the name of her first book, nayyirah waheed’s work is salt.
what I appreciate most about nejma is its ability to explore different topics but yet connect. You can pick a poem from the 3rd page and a poem from page 164 and somehow, they are a part of the same story. I look forward to more work from nayyirah waheed.
a poem can eat a person.whole.for years.
-Bilphena Yahwon High-res

"MBAA" (GIRLS)

Sex. A small yet loaded word. We all have our own theories, opinions and ideologies on the subject, and we use them to maneuver our way throughout the various sexual experiences in our lives. If you have had the chance to speak in an honest and open forum with people you are comfortable with about the subject, you’ll know that those ideas, theories, and opinions are varied and diverse, and often not what we would assume. As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey puts it, “The only universal in human sexuality is variability itself.” When it comes to the sexual ideologies of the African woman, the picture that is generally painted is a complex one. It is shrouded in mystery perhaps because people aren’t comfortable sharing their private matters, and as one of my aunts puts it simply “It’s just not the first issue people think to talk about of all the problems in Africa.” For those and other reasons, there just isn’t enough information to make conclusive take.  For example, I Googled the phrase “Sex of the African woman”, and below a few scandalous links, was a Wikipedia page on dry sex. The article stated that dry sex is “common sub-Saharan Africa” citing one study that was done in one province of South Africa with a “random sampling of men and women”. Clearly more research needs to be done and more conversations need to be had, (if we feel so inclined), before such assumptions and over arching generalizations are made.

Since we have the opportunity to share our stories here,  I profiled four Ladies about sex in context of a young African woman living in either Africa or abroad, and how the balance between our individual preconceived notions on sex, what we are thought by our parents, what we learn from school, or peers and the media. These young women are between the ages of 19-25, and lead varied lives in different corners of the world. Their names have been changed as a way to maintain their anonymity. (continue reading)

"MBAA" (GIRLS)
Sex. A small yet loaded word. We all have our own theories, opinions and ideologies on the subject, and we use them to maneuver our way throughout the various sexual experiences in our lives. If you have had the chance to speak in an honest and open forum with people you are comfortable with about the subject, you’ll know that those ideas, theories, and opinions are varied and diverse, and often not what we would assume. As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey puts it, “The only universal in human sexuality is variability itself.” When it comes to the sexual ideologies of the African woman, the picture that is generally painted is a complex one. It is shrouded in mystery perhaps because people aren’t comfortable sharing their private matters, and as one of my aunts puts it simply “It’s just not the first issue people think to talk about of all the problems in Africa.” For those and other reasons, there just isn’t enough information to make conclusive take.  For example, I Googled the phrase “Sex of the African woman”, and below a few scandalous links, was a Wikipedia page on dry sex. The article stated that dry sex is “common sub-Saharan Africa” citing one study that was done in one province of South Africa with a “random sampling of men and women”. Clearly more research needs to be done and more conversations need to be had, (if we feel so inclined), before such assumptions and over arching generalizations are made.
Since we have the opportunity to share our stories here,  I profiled four Ladies about sex in context of a young African woman living in either Africa or abroad, and how the balance between our individual preconceived notions on sex, what we are thought by our parents, what we learn from school, or peers and the media. These young women are between the ages of 19-25, and lead varied lives in different corners of the world. Their names have been changed as a way to maintain their anonymity. (continue reading) High-res

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Chi Chi of ZurikGirl”

Chinenye “ChiChi” Ezurike is a 23 year old graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a BA in Hospitality and Business Management. From coordinating fashion shows, to taking the stage as a pageant winner of Miss Nigeria USA 2011, Chinenye is not afraid to be challenged. Inspired by her love for creating and online shopping, Ezurike is the CEO of ZurikGirl, an online women’s clothing store. Rise Africa had the opportunity to chat with Chi-Chi, here’s what she had to say…

August 2014: “Let’s Talk About Sex”

After a couple gets married, children appear and we celebrate the blessing of new life, but did anyone tell the bride and groom about the birds and the bees? Did the groom get tips from his father on how to bring his wife pleasure? Did the wife seek out an Aunty to find out what really happens in the dark?

Sex is such a taboo on the African continent. We are aware it is happening, because people are having children, and people are getting diseases, but no one is talking about it in the open. We have creative artists making safe sex fun, and taste good too. Despite the youth’s demand for information, tips, tricks, and safety guides, sex is not a conversation to be had at the dinner table—or any table for that matter. We may talk about it with our friends,but can we have those conversations with our elders? As we tout improving infrastructure, growing international investments, we still struggle with social concerns like rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma against testing. How, without open conversations, can the continent have sex, without the side affects? Do we need toimplement sex education? What role does the religious nature of the region play in the sexual tension present in many African countries?

This month, Rise Africa will ask the questions: What do Africans know about sex? How do we pass on the knowledge we do have? If there is no formal sex education, is there informal education? If we don’t talk about sex directly, how do we address it? For instance, what role does sex play in the marriages? Speaking of relationships, does the image of the virile African man create an atmosphere accepting of cheating and deceit? How has the demand for sex changed women’s expectations of monogamy, respect, true love, and marital unity? How has the conversation around sex transformed the idea of family in African countries? Do we live in societies that care what women want or do we simply demand that women undergo painful rituals just to be considered chaste? Lastly, what does love have to do with any of it?

Don’t be shy; share your experiences with, and reflections on, this month’s theme with the Rise Africa community. We value your participation.  If you, or someone you know would be interested in participating in this series, we encourage you to contribute. Visit our “Submit a Guest post” page for more information on the guest contribution process and e-mail us at info@africaisdonesuffering.com if you have additional questions. Click here to access all articles under our August 2014 theme.

-Chinwe Ohanele

August 2014: “Let’s Talk About Sex”
After a couple gets married, children appear and we celebrate the blessing of new life, but did anyone tell the bride and groom about the birds and the bees? Did the groom get tips from his father on how to bring his wife pleasure? Did the wife seek out an Aunty to find out what really happens in the dark?
Sex is such a taboo on the African continent. We are aware it is happening, because people are having children, and people are getting diseases, but no one is talking about it in the open. We have creative artists making safe sex fun, and taste good too. Despite the youth’s demand for information, tips, tricks, and safety guides, sex is not a conversation to be had at the dinner table—or any table for that matter. We may talk about it with our friends,but can we have those conversations with our elders? As we tout improving infrastructure, growing international investments, we still struggle with social concerns like rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma against testing. How, without open conversations, can the continent have sex, without the side affects? Do we need toimplement sex education? What role does the religious nature of the region play in the sexual tension present in many African countries?
This month, Rise Africa will ask the questions: What do Africans know about sex? How do we pass on the knowledge we do have? If there is no formal sex education, is there informal education? If we don’t talk about sex directly, how do we address it? For instance, what role does sex play in the marriages? Speaking of relationships, does the image of the virile African man create an atmosphere accepting of cheating and deceit? How has the demand for sex changed women’s expectations of monogamy, respect, true love, and marital unity? How has the conversation around sex transformed the idea of family in African countries? Do we live in societies that care what women want or do we simply demand that women undergo painful rituals just to be considered chaste? Lastly, what does love have to do with any of it?
Don’t be shy; share your experiences with, and reflections on, this month’s theme with the Rise Africa community. We value your participation.  If you, or someone you know would be interested in participating in this series, we encourage you to contribute. Visit our “Submit a Guest post” page for more information on the guest contribution process and e-mail us at info@africaisdonesuffering.com if you have additional questions. Click here to access all articles under our August 2014 theme.
-Chinwe Ohanele High-res

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “The Woman Who Proposes”

For the past month or so, there have been many videos and pictures floating around the internet of women proposing to their significant others. With these videos, came lots of “A woman should never propose to a man” and “what happened to tradition?” comments. I saw comments of men questioning the masculinity of those men being proposed to. I saw comments of women claiming a woman who proposes is desperate. While I am not forcing any woman to propose to her significant other, I do want to examine 3 of the frequent arguments that I’ve seen. What I found is that these 3 arguments and all other arguments made are deeply rooted in patriarchy, gender roles and a society that tells women they are chosen rather than the choosers. (read more)

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “The Woman Who Proposes”
For the past month or so, there have been many videos and pictures floating around the internet of women proposing to their significant others. With these videos, came lots of “A woman should never propose to a man” and “what happened to tradition?” comments. I saw comments of men questioning the masculinity of those men being proposed to. I saw comments of women claiming a woman who proposes is desperate. While I am not forcing any woman to propose to her significant other, I do want to examine 3 of the frequent arguments that I’ve seen. What I found is that these 3 arguments and all other arguments made are deeply rooted in patriarchy, gender roles and a society that tells women they are chosen rather than the choosers. (read more) High-res

Heres the video to my poem “Bring Back Our Girls.” Bringing light to the issues going on in Nigeria, our voices are all we have now.

Twitter: @theresa_lola

Tumblr: http://creativeshot.tumblr.com