Category Archives: Africa

Sexing down

Here’s an extraordinary thing: a documented cover-up by a US administration—not one imagined by conspiracy theorists: There's new evidence, obtained by ABC, that the Obama administration did deliberately purge references to "terrorism" from accounts of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission, which killed four people including the US ambassador to Libya. Conservatives have long […]

Chuka Umunna on slavery

Chuka Umunna in The Voice on the question of a UK government apology for slave trade: African slavery and colonialism are not simply remnants of the past – they helped lay the foundations for the successful modern Britain of today. The effects of slavery are still felt in our communities – many cite the matriarchal […]

People Of Colour

I love tie-and-dye, and used to carry books around in tie-and-dye bags that my mum made for me. It was some time before I became aware (to my discomfort) that people in the west associated it with hippies. Here’s a BBC slideshow about makers of tie-and-dye fabrics in Mali.

Always To The Swift

This is a neat little article that sketches out why your skin colour doesn’t determine your chance of growing up to become an elite sprinter; but your genetic make-up might: There are no sprinters of note from Asia, even with more than 50 percent of the world’s population, a Confucian and Tao tradition of discipline, […]

Not English

Just back from lunch watching the first half of Villa versus Newcastle at my local. (Joey Barton is a dirty…) I live dahn Sarf now so there were about five people apart from me interested in the Midlands against the North-East dotted around the fairly large TV room. In walks a big black Senegalese bloke […]

Rumble In The Jungle On The Savannah

This YouTube video of charismatic megafauna fighting by a waterhole starts slowly, but develops into a riveting drama. It’s got all the ingredients for a Disney animated feature except songs by Elton John.

Citizen Ghale

My dad has long been associated, as a member and officer, with the largest UK teaching union, the NAS/UWT. Indeed, in classic working-class northerner style, he first had a heart attack as he arrived at a union conference. Equally typically, after it was initially misdiagnosed by a junior doctor as a digestive problem, he just […]

Snapshots From My Glamorous Life

Last week, I noticed a registered Brighton & Hove taxi parked outside the Muslim community centre. Prominent on the dashboard was a hardback copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. A couple of days later I saw the car (and the book) again. This time the vehicle was being attended to by two of B&H’s […]

Say It Loud: I’m Chippy And Proud

“Chippy!” is the cry of a winner in the lottery of birth losing an argument. There’s a scene near the beginning of Casino Royale in which Vesper Lynd practises some amateur psychology on 007 as they sit opposite each other on the Eurostar. She says something like: You’re Oxford, but not from money, hence that […]

A PooterGeek Appeal

I’ve been staying at my parents’ this weekend—thanks, folks—while I’ve been attending the National Wedding Show [of which more soon at the Wedding Photography Blog]. The show was on at the National Exhibition Centre, round the corner from their place. As a boy I never imagined that I’d grow up to spend working Saturdays, for […]

Dust-Up At The Coffee Bar

I used to tithe a proportion of my earnings to Oxfam. At least three friends of mine have worked for them. One of them wrote the organisation’s first official monograph on the genocide in Rwanda. I stopped giving Oxfam my money when they sent me junk mail inviting me to invest in a so-called ethical […]

The Age Of Beige

Thanks to my dad for telling me about this article in yesterday’s Observer sports section about mixed race sportsmen. There’s lots of pointless hand-wringing about the phrase “half-caste”, but it’s interesting otherwise. During the rise of Tiger Woods and around the time this hit the headlines I used to joke with a colleague who was […]

The Motherland

Brian Micklethwait has a post up about Sierra Leone. It’s opposite of the sort of thing many of journalists would write about the place, being politically incorrect, interesting to the casual reader, and crude but accurate—as opposed to sensitive but misleading. It’s the sort of summary of the place you might get from a mate […]

Another Career Change

Do you think it’s too late for me to hang out in an African children’s home in the hope of being adopted by a superstar? Despite his best efforts Derek was unable to get all of Damian’s hair in frame. For some reason I am reminded to tell you that Our House gallery in Brighton […]

…Talking Of Cellphone Accessories…

This lovely image began in a Samsung D600.

Photos Of “Day For Darfur”, London

One of the drawbacks of taking photos for a living is that the family / personal /pro bono jobs you do tend to slide down your to-do list. Today I’ve been squinting at scans and negs on-and-off since about 10am. I bundled up a bunch of print orders just before the lab closed at 6pm, […]

Two-Faced

In its purest forms, capitalism can be ugly, like Mogadishu, or beautiful, like easyPizza. (Read more about The Stelios Way here.)

Backatchya

Slashdot links to a tale of how a systems administrator scammed a 419 scammer, helped indigenous craftspeople, and obtained two rather nice wooden sculptures. The Age writes: “When he found a willing victim, his anti-scam unfolded in much the same way as a typical 419 scam, promising payment only after a substantial investment had been […]

La Nausée

A service station just off the Fifth Circle of Hell, very early in the morning, somewhere around the peak hour for suicide attempts: My journey time has been tripled by the closure of relevant sections of the M11 and the M25. The woman who lives in my sat nav has been asked to re-calculate the […]

How To Make A Guardian Reader’s Head Explode

Be coloured. Approach a bearded white man who’s standing outside Waitrose supermarket brandishing a “BOYCOTT ISRAELI APARTHEID” poster. As he is handing out leaflets, tell him in a hurt voice with a posh-African accent*, “You people have no idea of what apartheid was like!” Brush fragments of his skull off your T-shirt. [Before I told […]

Break Out The Bucks Fizz

On the subject of christenings, someone at the Motley Fool has noticed that the name of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s new child, “Shiloh Pitt”, is a world-class spoonerism waiting to happen.

A Sierra Leonean Education

Here is the BBC’s recent picture gallery about education in Sierra Leone. The Benevolent Kumrabai Rogbanah School was once a train station. The children have never seen a train—the railway closed in 1974. It is a reminder of how prosperous Sierra Leone once was. The conditions are cramped with some children forced to sit on […]

Beyond The Pale

Boing Boing has an item about how “frighteningly easy” it is to use FedEx to send stuff to Afghanistan. Apparently it’s also “frighteningly easy” to send things to Rwanda and Bhutan. Since my mum was on the phone to me earlier this week wondering how she could send some prints of my photos of Maisie […]

Beige Christmas

Further to Tim and Eric’s comments, some boring personal information. My mum is from Freetown, Sierra Leone; my dad is from Preston, Lancs. I was born in Nigeria. I left Africa when I was two and have never returned as an adult—even to visit. Since my cousins have all left, and my grandmother there is […]

Stander Delivers

I was asked at a recent party of ‘Bloggers why I don’t write more about Africa and in an email this week by a South African correspondent if I would write something about apartheid. In both cases I pleaded the deadly combination of ignorance and emotion. I just couldn’t write well about a continent I […]

I’m Condi. Fly Me.

Hi! Welcome to the CIA Airlines check-in desk. Could I ask you to itemize your hand luggage as you place it on the belt, sir? Er, one holdall of shoes, running gear, and toiletries; one suitcase of casual clothes; one suit carrier containing three identical black suits and ties with matching Ray-Bans; one attaché case […]

Top Ten Discontinued Dulux Paint Colours

Burnt Hummer Institutional Magnolia Sambo Warm Placenta Haliborange Coldplay Yellow Kilroy Autumn Phlegm Coelacanth Brown Conrad Black [Despite / because of my being born into a country in the midst of the Biafran War, a conflict in which one weapon was starvation, it was normal in the house I grew up in for us to […]

Perhaps A Subscription-Only Service?

You think the stuff I put up here is crap? Behind the login page of PooterGeek there are now about one hundred and thirty unpublished posts. Some of them are funny. Many of them are cruel or in bad taste. Some of them aren’t cruel enough. I mean, what kind of satire could I create […]

War, Pestilence, Famine, Death, and Tiffany

As Claire put it when emailing me this link, “Has The Onion started writing everyone’s headlines?”: “Sudan situation ‘totally bad’“

Could Be Worse

My Auntie Clarina in Sierra Leone is worried that, living in Cambridge and visiting London as I do from time to time, I might be in danger.