From Colorlines: “When Mindy Budgor was 27 years old, she apparently tried to find meaning in her life by temporarily ditching her wealth in Santa Barbara and jetting over to hang with the poor people of Kenya.” Read the full story, and my less than tempered response to yet another instance of western saviorism. (Gawd.)
Welcome to my new series, African Women in Tech, and the first interview w/ Nigerian tech entrepreneur, Abaka Adenle, lead developer of the SpeakYoruba app.
Let’s get something straight. There are lots of Africans who don’t speak their native languages, for a variety of reasons, but they want to learn. But given that the pool of resources for learning indigenous African languages isn’t as large as say, for Spanish, wouldn’t it be more productive to frame our conversations about the diminishing fluency of Nigerian languages around solutions (i.e. what we can do to increase interest in AND access to greater learning resources) vs. the polarity of judging one’s Africanness based on which languages they speak? Just a thought.
If my detest for words and definitions stems from anything at all it’s the “allies” I’ve experienced in both my personal life and my work as an activist. I’ve met hundreds of “white allies,” for instance, many of who profess their “consciousness” via some digital channel (e.g. an overly serious twitter bio or utopia-inspired vision statement) or, in person, via some self-congratulatory speech masquerading as a relevant anecdote… especially when surrounded by women of color.
One of my favorite African women artists, Shishani, has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to crowdfund her debut album, featuring her most popular singles, “Minority” and “Raining Words”. I rarely post about media that isn’t in the form of a review, but I’ve heard many of the tracks on the album after seeing her perform live in Namibia last year, I strongly recommend you give her music a listen.