Description : Drive the streets of Nairobi, and you are sure to see many matatus—colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or extravagantly colored, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama. In this richly interdisciplinary book, Kenda Mutongi explores the history of the matatu from the 1960s to the present. As Mutongi shows, matatus offer a window onto the socioeconomic and political conditions of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs, they reflect multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life—including, for example, rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, and popular culture—at once embodying Kenya’s staggering social problems as well as the bright promises of its future. Offering a shining model of interdisciplinary analysis, Mutongi mixes historical, ethnographic, literary, linguistic, and economic approaches to tell the story of the matatu and explore the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world.
Description : Often labelled 'rituals' or 'customs', male circumcision and female excision are also irreversible amputations of human genitalia, with disastrous and at times life-long consequences for both males and females. However, scholars and activists alike have been diffident about making a case for symmetry between these two practices. Fearful Symmetries investigates the sociological, medical, legal, and religious justifications for male circumcision and female excision while it points to various symmetries and asymmetries in their discursive representation in cultural anthropology, law, medicine, and literature. Experts have been convened in the above fields - SAMI ALDEEB ABU-SAHLIEH, DOMINIQUE ARNAUD, LAURENCE COX, ROBERT DARBY, ANNE-MARIE DAUPHIN-TINTURIER, TOBE LEVIN, MICHAEL SINGLETON, J. STEVEN SVOBODA - along with first-person testimonies from J.K. BRAYTON, SAFAA FATHY, KOFFI KWAHULÉ, and ALEX WANJALA. The volume covers various genres such as sacred writings, literary and philosophical texts, websites, songs, experiential vignettes, cartoons, and film as well as a vast geographical spectrum - from Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Kenya, and Somalia to the then Congo and contemporary Northern Zambia; from Syria to Australia and the United States. In addressing many variants of excision and circumcision as well as other practices such as the elongation of the labia, and various forms of circumcision in Jewish, Islamic, and African contexts, Fearful Symmetries provides an unprecedented, panoptical view of both practices.
Description : This is an enhanced ebook with a read-along function. Kioko had been watching the matatus come and go for as long as he could remember. But today, for his fifth birthday, he climbs aboard one with his grandfather. As the matatu pulls away from the market, the village dogs chase after them. When Kioko asks his grandfather why the dogs always bark and chase after matatus, his grandfather tells him an entertaining tale about a dog, a goat and a sheep. Set in East Africa, The Matatu is a colorful story filled with many unexpected turns and twists along the way.
Description : Small and micro enterprises have been an important theme in development thinking since 1950s, yet for a variety of reasons East African governments and administrations have been sceptical about their role in their own countries' development. While many constraints have been lifted by the more liberal policies of the 1990s, many micro entrepreneurs and their labourers, primarily women, are still fighting for an enlarged social space. The papers in this book describe these strategies of negotiation between rural micro enterprises and the new liberalised rural economy.
Description : This publication is a collection of columns written over 20 years by journalist Shamlal Puri, a former East African resident, now living in London, under the pen names of Michael Matatu, Malimoto and Akili Mingi.
Description : Studies of the media in Africa, incorporating both African and international perspectives, are few. The thirty papers collected here were presented at a seminar organised and hosted by the Kenya-based Twaweza Communications and the International African Institute in Nairobi in 2004. They demonstrate how media outlets are used to perpetuate, question or modify the unequal power relations between the North and the South. Focusing on east Africa, the papers include discussions of the construction of old and new social entities, as defined by class, gender, ethnicity, political and economic differences, wealth, poverty, cultural behaviour, language and religion. The authors illustrate how there is increasing control by local people of traditional and modern forms of media. Globalization is being countered by local responses, within the context of social and cultural identities. Essentially, the book describes the tensions between the global and the local, tensions not often discussed in media studies, thus pioneering new debates.