Africa Every Day (Paperback)

Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent (Ohio RIS Africa Series)

By Kemi Balogun (Editor), Lisa Gilman (Editor), Melissa Graboyes (Editor), Habib Iddrisu (Editor), Oluwakemi M. Balogun (Editor)

Ohio University Press, 9780896803244, 386pp.

Publication Date: November 12, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (11/12/2019)

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Africa Every Day presents an exuberant, thoughtful, and necessary counterpoint to the prevailing emphasis in introductory African studies classes on war, poverty, corruption, disease, and human rights violations on the continent. These challenges are real and deserve sustained attention, but this volume shows that adverse conditions do not prevent people from making music, falling in love, playing sports, participating in festivals, writing blogs, telling jokes, making videos, playing games, eating delicious food, and finding pleasure in their daily lives.

Across seven sections—Celebrations and Rites of Passage; Socializing and Friendship; Love, Sex, and Marriage; Sports and Recreation; Performance, Language, and Creativity; Technology and Media; and Labor and Livelihoods—the accessible, multidisciplinary essays in Africa Every Day address these creative and dynamic elements of daily life, without romanticizing them. Ultimately, the book shows that forms of leisure and popular culture in Africa are best discussed in terms of indigenization, adaptation, and appropriation rather than the static binary of European/foreign/global and African. Most of all, it invites readers to reflect on the crucial similarities, rather than the differences, between their lives and those of their African counterparts.

Contributors: Hadeer Aboelnagah, Issahaku Adam, Joseph Osuolale Ayodokun, Victoria Abiola Ayodokun, Omotoyosi Babalola, Martha Bannikov, Mokaya Bosire, Emily Callaci, Deborah Durham, Birgit Englert, Laura Fair, John Fenn, Lara Rosenoff Gauvin, Michael Gennaro, Lisa Gilman, Charlotte Grabli, Joshua Grace, Dorothy L. Hodgson, Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, Prince F. M. Lamba, Cheikh Tidiane Lo, Bill McCoy, Nginjai Paul Moreto, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué, James Nindi, Erin Nourse, Eric Debrah Otchere, Alex Perullo, Daniel Jordan Smith, Maya Smith, Steven Van Wolputte, and Scott M. Youngstedt.

About the Author

Oluwakemi M. Balogun studies gender, nation, and beauty in Nigeria. She teaches in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sociology at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Beauty Diplomacy: Embodying an Emerging Nation.

Lisa Gilman is a folklorist who studies gender, performance, heritage, and politics in Malawi and Zambia. She teaches at George Mason University. She is the author (with John Fenn) of Handbook for Folklore and Ethnomusicology Fieldwork; My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; and The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi.

Melissa Graboyes, a historian, examines topics related to global health, ethics, and biomedicine in East Africa. She is the author of The Experiment Must Continue: Medical Research and Ethics in East Africa, 1940–2014. She teaches in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.

Habib Iddrisu is a music and dance scholar and practitioner who writes about dance and cultural change in Ghana and its global context. He teaches at the University of Oregon.

Praise For Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent (Ohio RIS Africa Series)

“With its snapshots of a dazzling variety of everyday activities—sports, social media, music, moviegoing, sex and romance, and the use of public spaces are just a few—this bright and readable collection sets out to provide an antidote to the prevailing depiction of Africa as a scene of unmitigated deprivation, disorder, and despair. It will easily intrigue readers who are not African studies specialists, as well as Africanists in a wide range of disciplines (anthropology, politics, cultural studies, history, literature, development studies).”—Karin Barber, author of A History of African Popular Culture