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African Books Collective


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African Books Collective

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Being Available and Reachable Cover

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Being Available and Reachable

New Media and Cameroonian Transnational Sociality

The book investigates what have become of Cameroonian transnational family and friendship ties in the age of the mobile phone and the internet that make people readily available and reachable. Most theoretical literature states that these tools of sociality cement transnational social relationships through instantaneous interaction. To capture the different experiences and impressions on the significance of these media in easing communication for migrants and non-migrants, Tazanu draws on ethnographic accounts based on his fieldwork in Freiburg (Germany) and Buea (Cameroon). He argues that it is mainly the migrants who maintain or are expected to maintain ties with non-migrants back in Cameroon through calls and material support. The main finding of the study is that cell phones and the internet have facilitated discontents, grudges, insults, fights, avoidance, arguments and estrangement of relationships much more than they have contributed to binding friends or families through direct mediation. Underlying these aspects of distanciation are the high expectations and sometimes contradictory motives for instant virtual interaction. Non-migrantsí accounts suggest that direct availability and reachability should lead to uninterrupted transnational interaction and also that the cultural practices of remittances from migrants are easily requested and coordinated. Such motives are generally contrary to migrantsí wishes, willingness or ability to support friends and families in Cameroon. These unexpected outcomes arising from rapid speed of interaction questions the advantages that are often associated with instant sociality across space and time. The finding is a call for the cultural background and life-world experiences of media users to be taken into consideration when theorising the significance of information technology in the debate on media globalisation.

Betrayal of Too Trusting a People. The UN, the UK and the Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons Cover

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Betrayal of Too Trusting a People. The UN, the UK and the Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons

The UN, the UK and the Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons

There is a growing body of literature on what was originally envisioned as a free political association of the French and British Cameroons and its dramatic effects on the 'British Cameroons' community. Anyangwe's new book is an attempt to write the history of the Southern Cameroons from a legal perspective. This authoritative work describes in great detail the story of La Republique du Cameroun's alleged annexation and colonization of the Southern Cameroons following the achievement of its independence, while highlighting the seeming complicity of the United Nations and the British Trusteeship Authority. In the process, Anyangwe unravels a number of myths created by the main actors to justify this injustice and, in the end, makes useful suggestions to reverse the situation and to restore statehood to the Southern Cameroons. The book is rich in archival research and informed by a global perspective. It convincingly shows the uniqueness of the Southern Cameroons case.

The Betrayed Town and Other Poems Cover

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The Betrayed Town and Other Poems

In a world where the lurid and dramatic have become the standard fare in representations of Africa, it is refreshing to read poems such as Roselyn Jua’s which depict the continent as a land of ordinary people, living ordinary lives, partaking in the ordinary nostalgias and anxieties, the everyday joys and sorrows that beset ordinary people everywhere in the world.

Between the Rainbows and the Rain Cover

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Between the Rainbows and the Rain

Between the Rainbows and the Rain

ìRainbowsî dissects the South African ìmiracleî across a vast landscape from the shack settlements of Marikana to the highest levels of government and corporate behaviour in the South Africa mining industry. It sets out what we know about the Markana massacre against the background of hazardous work conditions in the mines two decades after ì liberationî. Going well beyond the Farlam Commission of Inquiry it also examines, for the first time, the nightmare world of labour broking-cum-human trafficking. It evaluates the prospects for improving life in the near-mine communities that magnetise the poor and jobless in a society ranked among the most unequal, in the world. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in a country of iconic proportions whose political and economic leadership is fast losing capacity to service basic human needs and disappointed popular aspirations. This includes readers in the mining sector, in ethical investment circles across the globe, labour activists, academics, opinion-makers, government and anyone else with an interest in human rights and social justice.

Beware the Drives Cover

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Beware the Drives

This collection of verse, which has mostly short poems, some of which are two-liners, is an outcome of several years of keen observation of the very nature of man. The observation brought this writer to the conclusion that man is dominated by fear and in his effort to conquer it, he resorts to unbridled aggression. Such aggression has been very instrumental in much of the success that humanity has been able to achieve, so far. But at the same time, the same aggression in man's nature has been responsible for the pleasure he takes in the ruthless destruction of his own kind, the environment in which he cushions himself, plants and animals.

Beyond Memory Cover

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Beyond Memory

Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music

South Africa possesses one of the richest popular music traditions in the world - from marabi to mbaqanga, from boeremusiek to bubblegum, from kwela to kwaito. Yet the risk that future generations of South Africans will not know their musical roots is very real. Of all the recordings made here since the 1930s, thousands have been lost for ever, for the powers-that-be never deemed them worthy of preservation. And if one peruses the books that exist on South African popular music, one still finds that their authors have on occasion jumped to conclusions that were not as foregone as they had assumed. Yet the fault lies not with them, rather in the fact that there has been precious little documentation in South Africa of who played what, or who recorded what, with whom, and when. This is true of all music-making in this country, though it is most striking in the musics of the black communities. Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music is an invaluable publication because it offers a first-hand account of the South African music scene of the past decades from the pen of a man, Max Thamagana Mojapelo, who was situated in the very thick of things, thanks to his job as a deejay at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. This book - astonishing for the breadth of its coverage - is based on his diaries, on interviews he conducted and on numerous other sources, and we find in it not only the well-known names of recent South African music but a countless host of others whose contribution must be recorded if we and future generations are to gain an accurate picture of South African music history of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Beyond Proprietorship. Murphreeís Laws on Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Southern Africa Cover

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Beyond Proprietorship. Murphreeís Laws on Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Southern Africa

Murphreeís Laws on Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Southern Africa

Dr. Marshall Murphree is a prominent scholar in the ˇelds of common property theory, rural development, and natural resource management. After graduating from the London School of Economics with a doctorate in social anthropology, he returned home to Zimbabwe to work as a missionary before joining the University of Zimbabwe, where he became director, and subsequently Professor Emeritus, of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences. Beyond Proprietorship presents a range of contributions to the May 2007 conference held to honour Murphreeís work, and it conveys his central concerns of equality and fairness. The focus is on marginalised people living in poor and remote regions of Zimbabwe, but also includes important discussions about the policy implications of regional tenure regimes, and the place of local resource management in global conservation politics. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the recent history and experience of remote area development, semi-arid agriculture, conservation, and wildlife utilisation in southern Africa.

Beyond the Delivery Room Cover

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Beyond the Delivery Room

A debut collection of poems from popular performance poet, Khadija Heeger. The collection is the first in a trilogy of poems that Heeger has worked on over many years. This collection is a combination of story-telling, resistance, re-naming, remembering. The language of the book is personal to the poet and reflects the wider community and society she is part of. She mixes languages, English and Afrikaans, and the language of the Cape called Kaaps.

Beyond the Enclave Cover

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Beyond the Enclave

Towards a Pro-Poor and Inclusive Development Strategy for Zimbabwe

Beyond the Enclave sets out to unravel the contradiction of a country, Zimbabwe, where a rich, diverse resource base co-exists with endemic poverty. One reason lies in the colonial economy, which was predicated on an ideology of white supremacy, creating an enclave formal economy employing one-fifth of the labour force. Yet over three decades after independence, the non-formal segment has become even more entrenched. This book assesses Zimbabweís economy through three main phases: 1980-90 when a strong social policy framework proved difficult to sustain due to erratic growth, and 1991-96, when ëstructural adjustmentí demanded a market-driven approach to development. The third phase is characterized by crisis-management leading to policy inconsistencies and reversals. Not surprisingly, such incoherence saw the economy descend into hyperinflation and paralysis in 2007-2008, leading to the signing of the Global Political Agreement in September 2008. In the absence of formal dollarization, economic recovery after the adoption of the multi-currency regime has remained fragile, leaving an estimated 70 per cent of the population outside the banking system. This has further entrenched uneven (enclave) growth as the economy remains locked in a low-income poverty trap. There is a need to facilitate transition towards formality to promote decent jobs. Furthermore, a strategic, developmental role for the state in the economy is now widely recognized as vital for development. Beyond the Enclave argues for a new approach to development in Zimbabwe based on pro-poor and inclusive strategies, which will contribute to the well-being of all of its citizens and wise stewardship of its resources. It offers suggestions on policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in all sectors, designed to promote inclusive growth and humane development.

Bi Tirga Cover

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Bi Tirga

Leonard Bi Tirga, son of a poor peasant, is a studious pupil. Due to shortage of finances, he has to leave school to make ends meet and pursue his studies. Leonard becomes a sweatshop labourer. As a young labourer, his life like that of his peers is hard. The pay rate is low and the work is hard. With his friends, they engage in trade union activism. A series of complicated and trying events reinforces their conviction to militate. Thus, Leonard and his friend Camille become Union leaders. Leonardís character trait and uprightness explains the book title, Bi Tirga. In the Moore language, this means a well educated, honest, hardworking, courageous and well-behaved youth.

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