I came upon this fabulous website , Badilisha Poetry Radio via Facebook this morning. I've managed to lose an hour listening to poetry by African poets both here and abroad. I got captured by Karin Schmike's poem Shamshack about the two-faced, false concern of politicians. Powerful.
When writing about why the founders saw the need to establish Badilisha Poetry Radio and The African Centre they say this:
For a range of historical, political and economic reasons, many of the important collections and productions of African art today are located or performed outside of Africa. As a result, Africans living on the continent have limited access to their own artistic heritage and the work of contemporary practitioners. Based in South Africa, the Africa Centre was conceived as both a physical entity and an ongoing philosophical journey that aims to redress these imbalances.
I've been thinking a lot about this very thing lately. After my recent interview about the books I read last year, I realised I've hardly read any books from other African countries except for South Africa. It is easier for me to buy a book from America or the UK than is is for me to buy a book from another African country. The books are just not available. There is something wrong with that. It appears this is the same for many areas of the arts. There is something seriously wrong with this and I'm glad at least Badilisha is trying to change things.