SA Journal 4: The Foreignness Is Not Equal

This is something I complain about often: I knew who Hitler was, way before I knew what Hitler really did. It’s the power of heavily-circulated rhetoric. Even before you’re conscious of it, you’ve digested that if you have any sense in the world, you should hate him. I am still deeply disturbed that I didn’t… Continue reading SA Journal 4: The Foreignness Is Not Equal

SA Journal 3: Reflections on African Tourism

One of my professors here said, in the very first lecture—and I paraphrase only slightly—when white people landed on the shores of Africa, they did not see people. They saw resources, they saw nature, they saw land, all free for the taking. They chose not to recognize that real, legitimate human beings already inhabited this… Continue reading SA Journal 3: Reflections on African Tourism

SA Journal 2: Overviews from a Mountaintop

I visited Johannesburg for a couple of weeks in 2014, so this is not my first time in the “Rainbow Nation.” It is, however, my first time in Cape Town, which feels like a significantly different place. My memory might not be serving me to excellently, but Joburg felt to me like an African city… Continue reading SA Journal 2: Overviews from a Mountaintop

Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 4 of 4: Vakpo, Family Business, & the Return)

[Here are Parts ɖeka, eve & etɔ.] Right after our sanctuary tour, my grandfather drew my attention once again to the sheer number of languages and dialects spoken in the Volta Region. He’d done it before, while we were still on the road, after he spoke with people from the car window. He did it… Continue reading Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 4 of 4: Vakpo, Family Business, & the Return)

Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 3 of 4: Tafi Atome, Sacred Ewe Monkeys, & Our Government’s Apparent Indifference)

[Links to Part 1 and Part 2, even though you don't have to have read them before this.] After Agortime-Kpetoe, we made our way to Tafi Atome to frolic with some protected monkeys. It doesn’t appear to be common knowledge, but there is a Monkey Sanctuary in Tafi Atome. Seven different monkey clans live and… Continue reading Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 3 of 4: Tafi Atome, Sacred Ewe Monkeys, & Our Government’s Apparent Indifference)

Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 2 of 4: Agortime-Kpetoe & Ewe Kente Origin Lore)

[Here's the link to Part 1, although you don't need to have read that before this.] After our visit to this small kente shop, we went running around Agortime-Kpetoe, which is basically Weavers’ Central. Weavers work either individually – whether outside or in their homes – or in large, communal spaces furnished with looms and… Continue reading Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 2 of 4: Agortime-Kpetoe & Ewe Kente Origin Lore)

Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 1 of 4: Departure & Right to Dream)

First of all, I’m Ewe. [Cue the exclamations of, “What?! I didn’t know!” Well, now you know. But if you’ve known kyɛɛ that I have a brother called Delali and have never connected the dots, that’s your own wahala.] I suppose part of the problem is that all the parts of my lineage that aren’t… Continue reading Akotz’ Volta Trip Jan ’18 (Part 1 of 4: Departure & Right to Dream)