November 16, 2019

"Couldn't there be more intercultural exchange OUR way?"

November 13, 2019

Who talks about refugees in Tanzania, and what do they say?

November 10, 2019

#SudanUprising in Copenhagen

June 23, 2019

On 26 June I moderate talks & debate on #SudanUprising in #Copenhagen.

The Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih joins via Skype.

Kindly read Khalid's article a...

Update: Everyday Poetics: Instagramming Life in East Africa in Belgrade

April 26, 2019


April 12, 2019

Owl in Tanzanian Parliament - bad omen for freedom of speech and assembly.

January 30, 2019

On 29 January, when the Tanzanian Parliament (Bunge) was assembled in Dodoma, an owl flew in and watched the assembly. The owl is seen in Tanzanian (e...

''We've died''

January 22, 2019

Bikozulu tells the stories of the people making it through last week's terror attack in Nairobi.

See the Instagram post here

If you ask me, and someti...

FILM: Wakamba Forever

January 21, 2019

Colonianism revisited:

..''a hilarious take on Masaku and McMillan’s first encounter set in the 21st century. From a dramatic re-telling of the Kamba o...

Chuchu: ''We are not the audience. We are the story''.

January 20, 2019

Two important tweet threads (see below) which take point of departure in the New York Times coverage of the Riverside terror attack on 15 January 2019...

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A real, decent piece of African wax creates a 3-dimensional vision

Wednesday, April 1, 2015



A real, serious piece of kitenge* can create a 3-dimensional impression, making you think of African rivers, mountains, territory, jungle or starlit nightskies... 


A good piece of kitenge takes you deeper. Inside. Fofofo.


Take two steps back, let the vision blur a bit, and you'll see.


Due to the traditional printing techniques (if the different colours are printed in separate layers, using wax for the designs and separation of colours, it can create an effect of shade and perspective), but also due to the specific design. It also means that no pieces are the same. Hence, you're guaranteed unique style when you take it to your tailor. This is one of the reasons this kind of (decent) kitenge became so popular in Africa - read more here.


Don't settle for the cheaper pieces, which often come in thin polyester, and where the design may resemble the more expensive and demanding printing technique. Often it even tries to imitate the wax effect and the 'mistakes'. Often produced in Asia, but Africa has picked up the cheap version too. 


*'Kitenge' is swahili for printed cotton fabric sold in Africa (pl. vitenge). In West Africa it is called 'ankara'. Vitenge comes i different qualities depending on the type of print and type of fabric. It is almost rocket science.


More photos here.

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PhD Student, MA in African Studies, journalist and former development worker. Heart tilted towards the Balkans & East Africa: Refugees, Peripheries, Imaginaries & Humanitarianism