AfricaOracle is a marketing and media organisation aims to recapture the African narrative and amplify the image of Africa.
Africans have a great oral and storytelling tradition. Our lives, our relationships, our cultures are built by many stories yet society often over generalises Africa, its people and cultures with stories of what’s not working. Thus, figuratively speaking, African narratives glorify the hunter and not the lion. African achievements, innovations, creativity, entrepreneurship (i.e. lions) are often not heard.
“Until lions have their own storytellers, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter” ~African proverb
Until these lions start to write or are written about, we may be left with the impression that only the hunter is succeeding.
That’s why we created the medium.com publication. The publication is a community of writers who share and amplify stories about Africa. We publish articles that focus on giving our audience an insightful and accurate (holistic) picture of what’s going on by stories of people and their work, community, city or country facing real challenges with perseverance, ingenuity, compassion and grace. We will challenge our writers to produce interesting, uplighting, impactful and solutions-based, stories about what is working in Africa.
We prefer unpublished drafts:
The reason being that this ensures that stories are published to gain the most exposure possible. When drafts are published, they appear at the top of the timeline in the “Latest” section of our home page.
Whilst we do accept previously published pieces, they can only be featured on the home page through trending since they are added to the publication based on their original publishing date. For example, a story originally published on September 18, 2016 will show up in the timeline based on that date, not the date it is accepted into the publication.
By submitting a story for publication by AfricaOracle, you are agreeing to comply with all of the following requirements:
- Submissions must fit within our mission statement: To reshape the African narrative.
- Submissions must be made through Medium using the process described below. Please do not send us emails with links or attachments. They will be ignored.
- Submissions must be non-fiction. We do not publish fiction or poetry.
- Titles should be written in title case or sentence format. Titles written in all capital letters will be changed or rejected.
- All submissions must be of a family friendly nature. AfricaOracle editors have the right to review and edit all contributions prior to publishing. The editors also reserve the right to reject content we deem offensive or inappropriate for our wide audience.
- All submissions must include a featured image right above or right below the title. This image, and any other images included, must be something you have the right to use and must include a cited source as the image caption. We reserve the right to remove questionable images from submissions. For more information about Featured Image options, please read Medium’s help article. This list of resources may be helpful for finding stock photos.
- We reserve the right to add a byline, blurb, ad, or sponsor logo into your story. If any of this content is removed or changed once a story is published, your story will be removed and future stories will not be accepted.
- Once a story has been accepted and published by AfricaOracle on Medium we ask that it remain in our publication. We will cease to accept articles from people who habitually remove stories from our publication.
- We will publish a maximum of 1 story per day per writer.
- You may have no more than 5 articles in our submission queue at any given time. Please do not spam us with submissions.
- Submissions may be edited for grammar and formatting. Significant suggested formatting or content edits will be discussed via private notes to the author before any changes are made or the piece is published.
- By submitting a story for publication to AfricaOracle (which is part of the Medium Partner Program) you are agreeing to comply with the previous requirements and the following additional requirements:
- Submissions must follow all of AfricaOracle’s requirements and Medium’s content guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines will forfeit any potential earnings and void future submissions to AfricaOracle. Per Medium’s guidelines, any story that discusses Medium or it’s related programs cannot be submitted for consideration.
- Writers must provide their Paypal Email to be used for receiving payment. Articles from writers without a Paypal Email will not be published until one is provided.
- Any money earned on a story is set by Medium and is not controlled by AfricaOracle.
- Medium disburses payment to AfricaOracle on the final Wednesday of each month. Payments to writers, minus a 30% commission, will be paid via PayPal within ten (10) business days. Payments are only made when an author earns more than $1.00 in a single month.Writers who do not respond to payment requests or do not accept payment within 90-days of the request will forfeit pending payments.
Engaging Africa contributors are responsible for their own content. Any views or opinions represented in the Engaging Africa publication are personal and belong solely to the contributor, and does not necessarily reflect the views of AfricaOracle.
Writer Request Form:
Writers who have not been previously published by AfricaOracle will need to request to be a contributor using the embedded form below. By requesting to become a contributor, you agree to AfricaOracle’s Submission Requirements. New writers are added manually on Mondays. Notification will come from Medium confirming addition to AfricaOracle’s publication.
Due to a limitation on the number of writer slots available, writers who do not produce content within 90-days may be removed to provide space for new writers. Incorrectly typed usernames are ignored.
Request to be a writer using the embedded form below or clicking here.
Submit a Draft:
Once accepted as a writer for AfricaOracle, please follow Medium’s process for adding a draft to a publication.
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Celebrated Ghanaian writer and academic Ama Ata Aidoo has no time for “Afropolitans”. This is a notion popularized by the self-described “multi-local” author Taiye Selasi. Afropolitans are a current, cosmopolitan generation of “Africans of the world.” But Aidoo believes that Afropolitanism is “evidence of self-hatred,” Its proponents, she charges, use it as a “fancy moniker” that tries “to mask the terror associated with Africa.”
Her objections speak to widespread, global calls for the decolonization of institutionalized cultures. This is of particular interest to university communities at large right now. In South Africa, one crucial and complex aspect of this process is a call to “Africanize” university curricula. This is certainly necessary. But, as ongoing debates around African literature reveal, it must be done cautiously.
One element of this “Africanization” debate involves assessing the value of contemporary literature written by Africans who live in the diaspora. Its critics complain that current Afrodiasporic literature is not in tune with everyday life on the continent. They see its versions of Africa as sanitized and Westernized.
I disagree. These works take students beyond their national and personal borders. This is crucial in these times of global cultural flux.
Beyond national and personal borders
The notion that contemporary Afrodiasporic fiction is socially and culturally inapplicable is typically couched in racialized and nativist interpretations about what is or who isn’t African. This highlights the ideologically safe and unimaginative spaces that many still occupy. It also reveals something about how deeply ingrained colonizing structures are.
The question of who writes, and what is written, about Africa is both pre- and over-determined. The emphasis on ethnic and cultural distinctiveness risks reestablishing exclusionary inter- and intra-racial hierarchies.
Contemporary black African writers in the diaspora are contesting precisely this imposition of culturally representative literature. Some examples include Maaza Mengiste’s cynical article “What makes a ‘real African’?” and Binyavanga Wainaina’s sarcastic instructions on “How to write about Africa”. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, “Americanah,” is a fictive caution about an issue she first raised in her 2009 TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”.
As novels such as Selasi’s “Ghana Must Go” reveal, contemporary Afrodiasporic writing expresses less explicitly politicized, ambiguous versions and visions of Africa and the African diaspora. In doing so, it transgresses what Helon Habila describes as “pass-laws” that seek to restrict where “African literature can go.”
No need to reinvent the wheel
Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, recently organized a conference at which concerned scholars gathered to reexamine established ideas about African literature and philosophy.
We weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. This issue is not new, after all. The first African Writers’ Conference was held at Uganda’s Makerere University in 1962. There, scholars debated the significance and place of African literature written in English for nation states on the cusp of independence. More than five decades on, the conference offers valuable lessons to universities trying to critically reconceptualize educational curricula for post-colonial subjects.
But the wheel must be modified. It needs to reflect and engage South Africa’s own post-traumatic, post-apartheid landscape. In this respect, two recurring challenges emerge: first, what exactly is (black) Africa(n) in this fragile, shifting global village? Second, how does a university “Africanize” its curricula in the face of different ideologies and realities?
Global cultural flux
I teach contemporary Afrodiasporic literature to undergraduate students. In my experience, these works speak to their encounters with subjectivities beyond their national and personal borders. We exist in a time of profound global cultural flux. Against this backdrop, inflexible and insular readings of both Africa and Africans do not adequately interpret the diversity and complexity of their own subjective realities.
Contemporary Afrodiasporic literature’s worldly reinterpretation of Africa and Africans presents imaginatively inclusive visions. In its responsiveness to ever-shifting contexts and realities, it is committed to revealing what author Ben Okri calls the “strange corners of what it means to be human”.
Universities envisaging getting closer to what writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o called “decolonising the mind” could stand to take current Afrodiasporic literature seriously. These works can help in the push to realize genuinely transformed, revitalized and reflective, alternative narratives of Africa.The ConversationThe Conversation. Read the original article.