The Africanists

Insights. Comments. Thoughts. Analysis. Africa.


Richard Dowden

I first went to Africa in 1971 as a volunteer teacher in Uganda and spent nearly two years there. It was the first two years of Idi Amin’s rule. My next trip to Africa was to South Africa in 1979. In 1980 I joined The Times Foreign Desk and then moved to The Independent as Africa Editor when it was founded in 1986. I joined the Economist as Africa Editor in 1995 and became Director of the Royal African Society in 2003. Throughout this time I travelled to Africa continuously and have now visited and written about almost every country on the continent. I made three television documentary films for the BBC and Channel 4 and continue to write and commentate on Africa for various media including The Times, The Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera and Sky TV. My book: Africa – Altered States, Ordinary Miracles was published by Portobello Books in 2008.

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Ilona Eveleens

I have been since 1993 in Africa, first in South Africa and since 1996 based in Kenya. My work as an Africa correspondent for amongst others the Dutch daily Trouw, the German newspaper TAZ, several radio stations and magazines has brought me from the east to the west and from the south to the north of the continent. All aspects of Africa, be it politics, economics, culture or ecology has my interest. I have written a book on Kenya, which is a guide to get to know the country. Currently I also work as a trainer of mainly young African colleagues who want to do the best job in the world.

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Robert Ochola

Robert Ochola, born and raised in Nairobi the Capital City of Kenya. I am an upwardly mobile Journalist with a bias towards the truth and real issues that affect the real people and a willingness and professional capacity to effectively investigate and report problems and successes on the African continent and beyond.

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Kopano is Professor in the Institute for Social & Health Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and co-director of the Medical Research Council-Unisa Safety and Peace Promotion Research Unit. Best known for his work on African men and masculinity – specifically in relation to violence, sexualities, identities, culture and tradition – he has published a number of books, scholarly papers, and popular pieces on a range of psychological, cultural and social topics. His latest book is There was this goat, co-authored with Nosisi Mpolweni and Antjie Krog. He is editor-in-chief of African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention.

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Liesbeth Tjon A Meeuw

As a member of a Surinamese family of immigrants, I grew up in the Netherlands. My last name reveals my Chinese roots and I make effort to complete my world-citizenship by integrating my African identity into my work. I write and I make radio. Those are the forms in which I express myself the best. The content is about the African Diaspora in the widest sense of the term. In my stories I try to give meaning to the things that I see in society. I do that with curiosity, passion and with respect for the journalistic codes of ethics. My work takes me to many different places. The result can be a report, an essay, an audiobook or even a fairy tale. If you are interested in my stories, you can visit my blog and find a modest selection of them.

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Aernout Zevenbergen

Born in Zambia, raised in The Netherlands, I have lived and worked in Africa since 1997. I was trained as a Political Scientist, for "to ask questions can be learned", as the Dutch nestor of journalism, Jan Blokker, advised me, whereas "writing is something you can or can't." In August 1997 I moved to Nairobi for one of the Dutch dailies, and I have roamed the continent since. In 2009, my book "Spots of a leopard - on being a man" was published. That year also saw me leave newspapers behind me to venture into new areas: photography, design, presentations and a combination of "storytelling and the quest for new masculinities".

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