Gwen Ansell

A repository for jazz historians

In the face of dwindling writing about South African jazz, bassist and composer Carlo Mombelli’s new offering is a repository for future historians.

Parsing Kabila through rumba

‘Chimurenga Chronic: Who Killed Kabila II’ sees memories of the past battle the future

A requiem for African identity

It is a feat to have a Mass that draws from a rich but distorted past to create a new musical canon

The making of Bra Hugh

Listening through that half-century of disks, the nature and scope of the trumpeter’s achievement becomes clear. Masekela had two early horn heroes.

Beauty in struggle

Jazz and the fight for freedom were central to his life and poetry

What the lives of two SA music giants tell us about culture under apartheid

For those who love and listen – really listen – the legacy of both men will live on equally in the music they made

Fantasy fails to enchant

“A mage’s name is better hidden than a herring in the sea, better guarded than a dragon’s den.” — Ursula K le Guin: A Wizard of Earthsea

Step out of the grooves of those who robbed you

New and welcome is McKinley’s meticulous marshalling of evidence to prove the point.

​Steampunk unearths reality

This unflinching description of slavery reminds us that the ugly underbelly of the US is still alive.

Nnedi ​Okorafor: Writing oneself into existence

The award-winning author’s genre-bending ‘magic realism’ speaks to Nigerian lived experiences.

Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix is layers of fantasy rooted in reality

Power, revenge and metaphors fan the flames in Nnedi Okorafor’s superhuman novel

Nnedi Okorafor’s novel ‘The Book of Phoenix’ is a fantasy rooted in African reality

Power, revenge and metaphors fan the flames in Nnedi Okorafor’s superhuman novel.

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