Portraits of Fela’s Queens
“On 18 February 1978 he married the entire female entourage of his band in a ceremony conducted by a Yoruba priest. There are many sides to the group marriage, besides the sensational ones, but it would need an essay to explain them. The group marriage lasted until Fela’s release from prison in 1985. Stating that he no longer believed in marriage, he divorced the 12 wives that were still with him. Many, however, remained part of his entourage until his death.”
Photo’s by Bernard Matussière via restti
DIASPORA EVENT: Celebrating its 19th year, the annual New York African Film Festival is upon us once again. Screening a host of diverse African films from all over the continent and parts of the Diaspora, the event takes place between April 11th - 17th and will also include talks and workshops open to the general public.
Find out more about the films that will be screened at the event.
Another Female President for #Africa
Following the death of #Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday, former Vice-President Joyce Banda has now officially been sworn in as president of the Southern African nation. Banda is the first female president in Southern Africa and is the second female head of state in Africa, after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Chouchou Namegabe Dubuisson is a pioneering, fearless voice for justice and accountability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Born in Bukavu in the South Kivu Province, Chouchou developed a strong interest in radio broadcasting and journalism as a young student. She saw radio as way to reach the masses in Congo — the only medium of communication accessible to nearly everyone, everywhere.
Chouchou got her start in 1997 as a presenter at Radio Maendeleo, a popular local community radio station. As Eastern Congo was overcome by violence in the late 1990s, Chouchou turned her microphone into a potent weapon against the violations of women’s human rights she saw running rampant in her community. She earned a reputation as a fearless journalist with considerable expertise in women, health and human rights, and she was also known for courageously denouncing corruption and mismanagement at all levels of the ruling authority.
In 2003, Chouchou founded the South Kivu’s Women’s Media Association to support her activism and women’s advancement through available media outlets. Working to promote Congolese women and defend women’s rights through media, AFEM specializes in radio broadcasts to both urban and rural audiences by utilizing and training women-led radio clubs and local social activists.
Due to their ability to record testimonies of survivors and expose the perpetrators of violence, AFEM reporters face great danger when conducting their work and often receive threats against their lives.
With AFEM and through her radio broadcasts, Chouchou shines a spotlight on women’s issues, especially in rural areas. She lifted the plight of Congolese women to an international stage, traveling to The Hague in December 2007 to plead the case of Kivu’s women at the International Court of Justice. In 2009 she captured the attention of Vital Voices and actor/director Ben Affleck, who presented her with the Fern Holland Award at the Global Leadership Awards benefit at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Also in 2009, Chouchou accepted the Knight International Journalism Award for her impactful radio broadcasts despite such great obstacles.