Extracting from the Afrocentrism of Fela Kuti (and more than a hundred creative writers, photographers and illustrators from Africa and its diaspora), Cameroonian journalist Ntone Edjabe’s sensational media platform, Chimurenga, aims to enrich, nuance and stretch the portrayal of the African continent so “who no know go know”.
Meaning “revolutionary struggle” in Zimbabwe’s Shona language, Chimurenga takes various forms in order to present the complexities of African lives and their discourses. Its outputs include: a quarterly gazette called The Chronic; the Chimurenga Library – an independent collection of pan-African periodicals and personal books; the African Cities Reader – a biennial publication on an urban African lifestyle; the Pan African Space Station – an online radio station and pop-up studio; and the award winning publication of culture, art and politics – the Chimurenga Magazine.
Initially published in 2002, the Chimurenga magazine is an enthralling collection of essays, reports, fiction, photography, cartoons, poetry, manifestoes, and art that not only produce new knowledge but intentionally speaks to the intensities of the world.
“[Chimurenga is] an experience”, explained Edjabe. Historically, African life has had a single narrative, which has been deeply rooted in global consciousness. Africa as poor. Africa as the victim. Africa as dependent. “The moment you add a degree of complexity to it, it throws people off”. It is this divergence from the single African story that makes Chimurenga provocative and enticing. With hundreds of brilliant contributors, Chimurenga is able to produce content that is innovative in the creation of African narratives, which are in essence anti-colonial. The publications enlightening content has grabbed a global audience and earned the prestigious Prince Claus Award.
The website has some content but the magazine holds the true pan-African treasures. You can order a copy online and hard copies are distributed throughout Africa, Europe, the USA and India. The Cape-Town based offices are open to submissions from potential contributors that are willing to stimulate pan-African culture by imparting themselves and their experiences through intellect, freedom and diversity.