The Queer Africa Network – An Archive of African Queer Resistance

Changing the narrative on Queer Africa

We welcome contributions from African Queers and Alies

from the beginning

Queering myself

I am a writer who is afraid of writing;
I am an speaker who is  afraid to speak to more than two people at a time;
I am an activist who is full of courage but always fearful;
I am a reader who reads and dreams at the same time;
I am an educator who is constantly learning;
I am real and fake and often cannot tell the difference at a given moment;
I love people but feel safer on my own;
I am always on the run but cannot hide;
my home is where my heart is which may or may not be where my home is;
I love to take photos but after 20 years still cannot get it right – but just occasionally very occasionally I get it right and that makes all the failures worthwhile;
I am full of confidence and drowning in self-doubt;
each day without fail I wake up with anxiety but I always manage to make it through the day;
I am visible and therefore vulnerable to shame;
I am invisible and therefore vulnerable to being silenced;
I am connected but full of disconnections to people, to situations, to experiences.
I have a longing yet my belly is full.  I am imperfect but yearn to be perfect.

I have passed through many places, created many spaces, loved many people,  made many wrongs but in all my life I do not know what I have done. This is me and with whom I must live with on the most intimate of terms  - but I know with the certainty that  night follows day that I am not alone in this.



Sokari Ekine

Personal Blog

Founder and editor of Black Looks, is a writer,  educationalist and digital activist.  She is editor of SMS Uprising: Mobile Phone Activism in Africa [2010]  co-editor of African Awakenings  [Firoze Manji, 2011] and the forthcoming Queer African Reader [Hakima Abbas. 2012].   Sokari is a weekly contributor to Pambazuka News and her writings have appeared in progressive media and academic journals in Africa, Europe and the US.  Sokari also blogs at Tumblr


Mia Nikasimo, Co-editor,

is a Nigerian writer and transgender activist based in London.


Emmanuel Iduma

Personal Blog

is co-founder and co-editor of Saraba Magazine - a Nigerian literary journal.  He is a writer and has just published his first novel Farad [Parresia Books, Nigeria].


Eccentric Yoruba

The African Flying Machine Rests 


Sherlina Nageer

is a Guyanese feminist, writer, activist and one of the founders of the Occupy Guyana [GT] movement.

Donald Molosi

Donald Molosi

is an international actor in film, stage and TV, writer and poet.  2009-2010 Florence Chandler Fellow for Acting 2008 Best Actor Award winner – Dialogue One Festival in MA, USA. 2003 Recipient of the Khama Brilliant Spirit Award.  Donald is  feminist man, a writer and poet.  He is from Botswana.

Robtel Neajai Pailey

was born in Monrovia, Liberia.  She  is currently pursuing a doctorate in Development Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation scholar. She is also an opinion fellow with New Narratives (www.newnarratives.org), a project supporting leading independent media in Africa.

Zanele Muholi

Personal blog
@zanelemuholi -

is an award winning South African queer lesbian photographer and visual activist.  She has worked as a community relations officer for the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), a black lesbian organisation based in Gauteng, and as a photographer and reporter for Behind the Mask, an online magazine on lesbian and gay issues in Africa. Her work represents the black female body in a frank yet intimate way that challenges the history of the portrayal of black women’s bodies in documentary photography. Her solo exhibition Only half the picture, which showed at Michael Stevenson in March 2006, travelled to the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and the Afrovibes Festival in Amsterdam. In 2008 she had a solo show at Le Case d’Arte, Milan, and in 2009 she exhibited alongside Lucy Azubuike at the CCA Lagos, Nigeria.  She was the recipient of the 2005 Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, the first BHP Billiton/Wits University Visual Arts Fellowship in 2006, and was the 2009 Ida Ely Rubin Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Rethabile Masilo

is a Lesotho blogger presently living in Paris. He blogs at Sotho and Poéfrika, a group blog for poets and writers – a creative venture for for creative people, Africans, non-Africans, black, white, colourful, writers about African issues. Or about life, simply.

Annie Quarcoopome

is from Ghana and is a graduate of Williams College in the US. She has spent 6 months studying French Caribbean Literature in Martinique and is presently working back home in Accra. Black Looks and Global Woman

Kameelah Rasheed

is a graduate student at Standford Univeristy. She spent 2007 as a Fulbright scholar attending Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kameelahwrites

Kym Platt

Personal Blog

is also based in the US and works in the media and advertising.

Chinwe Azubuike

is a contemporary African Poet regarded as a strong female contemporary voice from Africa, born in Nigeria. An indegene of Imo State, she is the daughter of the late Wisdom Azubuike who served in the Biafran War, and Mary Azubuike, her mother.

Chinwe’s humble beginnings were a far cry from the literary educated class of poets- born into a relatively poor family. Over the past decade she has gradually crafted her own powerful voice and found a unique style of no-nonsense writing that comes directly from her heart- seeing herself as a spokeswoman for Nigeria’s deprived underclass.
The bulk of her work, which is reflected in her poetry, focuses on female issues; of love, life and torture with specific references to ethnic family traditions in Nigeria and West Africa.

Her meteoric rise in African literary circles came about following a talk she was invited to give on female circumcision for the BBC World Service in 2004. Since then, she has given various readings and spoken candidly on various radio stations in the capital. Her work, which includes a worldwide campaign for women, against the victimization and deprivation of human rights of “the Widow” in Nigeria- an issue borne out of her own bitter experience when her father sadly passed away, has been published in various online publications and offline magazines in London and throughout the world.

Annwen Bates

is a South African cultural theorist who is living and working in an ivory tower amongst the aloes. She lives in Capetown.

Andile Mngxitama

is South African activist in the Landless Peoples’ Movement (LPM), a group he was instrumental in organizing. Andile has published extensively on the issue of land reform, and other pressing Pan-African issues. He is co-editor of Biko Lives -Conversations and Contestations with Gibson and Alexander, forthcoming this year.

Vuyo R Seripe

is a freelance writer and artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Apart from working on corporate writing projects, she contributes articles to a variety of publications and is a keen observer of South Africa’s emerging urban cultures.”

Del Hornbuckle

Personal Blog

is a librarian and member of the Progressive Librarians Association.



The New Banner

All the people pictured have touched my life in many different ways. Each of them has used their voices, words, music and actions to stand up for social justice and the struggle for humanity and rights.

From left to right:
Audrey Lorde – Black feminist, lesbian, mother, poet

Miriam Makeba - Mama Africa, singer and anti-apartheid activist

Busi Sigasa – Busi was a young South Africa lesbian – a rape survivor and living with HIV who dreamed of being a poet and writer. She died on 12th March 2007 in her home in Soweto.

Victor Mukasa - A Ugandan transgender person and human rights defender. Victor has been one of the most consistent and active human rights defenders for LGBTIQ rights and decriminalization in Uganda and across Africa.

Eudy Simelane – A young South African lesbian and soccer player who was raped and murdered on April 28th, 2008.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti - Nigerian feminist and activist who fought for suffrage and equal rights for her countrywomen and against colonialism, traditional and military dictatorship.



If you would like to contribute to Black Looks send us an email on info AT blacklooks DOT org

Below are some of the writers who have contributed regularly to Black Looks  over the past 5 years.



Black Looks is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You are welcome to republish original articles by Black Looks authors as long as it is attributed to Black Looks – www.blacklooks.or. For more information about reprinting rights, please see our Copyright Policy.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

27 Responses

  1. Ideas & actions
    Ideas & actions at ·

    Black Looks…

    Blog by an African woman with reports, opinion and commentary on issues of social justice and human rights with a main focus on Africa and the African Diaspora. …

  2. Ask This Black Woman
    Ask This Black Woman at ·

    BW’s Countdown…

    /images/32894-30746/ATBW1.png”>/images/32894-30746/_41222364_ellen2203bap.jpg”>1. Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson became Africa’s first female president.She assumed office January 16, 2006 and she and I share the same birthday: October 29th.http://

  3. bro_pema
    bro_pema at · Reply

    we need to meet to discuss joint interests
    peace with power

  4. http://bookaholicblog.blogspot.com/
    http://bookaholicblog.blogspot.com/ at · Reply

    Well done…this is a really nice blog!

  5. G20 Summit- Day After ReCap | The ONE Campaign

    [...] Sokari Ekine of the blog Black Looks on attending the 2009 London G20 [...]

  6. Lee Jasper
    Lee Jasper at · Reply

    Dear Sister

    I thought you would be interested in news from the UK.


    This speech was given to Unite Against Facism Conference in response to the all white fascist British National Party being elected as Members of the European Parliment. The first time this happened in UK political history. The conference took place in Manchester England on the 18th July 2009.

    Yours in struggle.

    You may wish to google my name for further background info on me.

    Lee Jasper

  7. anengiyefa
    anengiyefa at · Reply

    I’m kind of surprised that Mr Lee Jasper even considered the idea that people wouldn’t know who he is. lol

  8. Taz
    Taz at · Reply

    Hello. Visiting from the Pambazuka site. Interesting blog… have bookmarked it to visit later. Cheers.

  9. Tahir RBG
    Tahir RBG at · Reply

    My name is Tahir (dead prez producer). I have a music series called “The BlakkBerry Filez”. I have released 5 volumes from this series in 2009 and scheduling volume 6 release for the new year. The vibe is revolutionary and responsible hip hop. If possible, I would like my work to be reviewed on your site. For my songs, videos, and more info go to http://www.TahirRBG.ning.com. If you need anything sent to you (songs, pics, bio, etc.) just let me know. Thanks for your consideration, time, and (hopefully) response.

    Peace! – Tahir

  10. Charlotta Beavers
    Charlotta Beavers at · Reply

    I’ve unfortunately misplaced your card. Will you email me so that I can send you some info? It was wonderful meeting you today at IPS and talking with you. I look forward to your next visit.

  11. Mark B
    Mark B at · Reply

    I am interested in blog spaces I call “local blog communities” that involve African Diaspora writers that share local spaces, for example, New York or Nairobi or Berlin, and the dialogues and exchanges within those local spaces and between “remote local spaces” they create.

    A relevant question: in what local community are you mainly active?

  12. nilankur
    nilankur at · Reply

    Dear Team

    I was looking for images for our article “The Non Violent King” on internet, and a relevant one I have found on your site.

    I will like to inquire the usage of this picture and request your permission to use it in the blog. This blog and the site is non-commercial and I will truly appreciate your kindness. You can visit the blog at http://www.cultureunplugged.com/filmedia/truthSeekers.php

    We will credit you. If you have any question, please contact me.

    Thank you.

    Awaiting your reply,

    ‘frame voice. find vigor’

  13. jp
    jp at · Reply

    Sisters & Brothers-

    Here is an idea for Haiti

    Note that realizing this venture takes much doing; however, having the “idea vehicle” is necessary. Thoughts are welcomed, of course.


  14. jaymeson jiles
    jaymeson jiles at · Reply

    i'm happy i stumbled upon this site. i have heard of “black looks” and bell hooks but never delved into either. i have no shame in not knowing. what i do have shame in is being exposed and not continue to investigate, learn, and share…

    thank you for such a wonderful site to further explore the depths of my personal “think tank.”


  15. African Bloggers Cover G20 Summit | The Black Blogger Network

    [...] Check Out Sokari Ekine’s blog at http://www.blacklooks.org/about [...]

  16. Jen
    Jen at · Reply

    Now I think of it, I'm pretty sure this was the site I stumbled upon back in 04 or 05 when looking for info on Funmilayo Ransome Kuti (there's not much on the internet), having recently discovered her son Fela's music. In fact, I think it was here I found out about the biography 'For Women and the Nation'. Found this site again in 07 because it was linked from the blog I was contributing to, but I didn't make the connection, but I'm pretty sure it was here. Seeing Funmilayo Ransome Kuti up in your banner reminded me.

  17. Jen
    Jen at · Reply

    speaking of which, there's something up with the link to the info on Ms Ransome Kuti: it leads to WordPress addressing me as 'gnarly dude' and informing me there's nothing there.

  18. Sokari
    Sokari at · Reply

    Ahh – I had lost of lot of pages – I have fixed the link now so please do try again and thanks for passing by after all this time.

  19. StoryingShef (Storying Sheffield) at ·

    “I am a writer who is afraid of writing” Sokari, Black Looks http://www.blacklooks.org/about/

  20. Shady politics of GayMiddleEast | My Blog

    [...] Sokari Cross posted from Black [...]

  21. Anni
    Anni at · Reply

    Thanks for a nice blog. I would like to share a link to a nice dancing video. The purpose is to change the image of Sierra Leone to something more happy and positivt.
    Please check it out:

  22. Jared Purdy
    Jared Purdy at · Reply

    Great blog, very interesting, and lots of great writing, and lot of great links too.

  23. Kathleen Hubert
    Kathleen Hubert at · Reply


    I was wondering if you accept guest post for your blog. If you do, I would like to submit a few. I’m a recent college graduate, with an English major, looking to build out my portfolio. I can write on a wide variety of topics and am sure you would be happy with the quality. Please email me back if you are interested. Thank you for your time.

    - Kathleen Hubert

  24. David McDannald
    David McDannald at · Reply

    Hey, Sokari,

    I’ve just written a book with an activist in Central Africa. And we started a blog of photos we’ve taken over the years in Africa. Right now I’m in the middle of posting photos taken in the time that Charles Taylor ruled Liberia. As of today there are four.


    We also had a piece run yesterday in the Huffington Post:


    Hope to hear from you.

    Be well,

  25. Onesphor Kyara
    Onesphor Kyara at · Reply

    Please, check it out…..
    An African Student in Russia – Soviet Union
    On kindle – Amazon.com

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