African Cities Reader

On Sunday October 9, Ory Okolloh (Google’s Policy Manager for Africa) posted a series of tweets with links to various articles.  This one caught my attention:

Turns out the Teju Cole excerpt is included in African Cities Reader II: Mobilities & Fixtures.  Here is more info on the reader:

The African Cities Reader is a biennial publication that brings together contributors from across Africa and the world to challenge the prevailing depiction of urban life on the continent and redefine cityness, Africa-style. It is a joint creation of Chimurenga Magazine and the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town.

The second installment of the Reader is centered on the theme ‘Mobilities and Fixtures’. In this issue Sean O’Toole interviews architect David Adjaye about African cityscapes, snapshot photography and failed utopias; Victor Lavalle uncovers the making of mercenaries in Uganda; Martin Kimani follows the African visa-seeker in the tragi-comedy that is the post 9/11 airport; Sherif El-Azma explores Cairo by foot; MADEYOULOOK and Santu Mofokeng imagine the didactic possibilities of trains; Manu Herbstein documents the ‘car-doctors’ of Accra; Chris Abani discovers the African city of Las Vegas; and Michael Watts examines oil cities.

Other contributors include Jonny Steinberg, Brian Chikwava, Dominique Malaquais, Mowoso Collective, Doreen Baingana, Teju Cole, Ed Kashi, Sean Christie, Khulile Nxumalo, Nicole Turner, Iain Chambers, Tim Cresswell and many more.

The African Cities Reader is edited by Ntone Edjabe and Edgar Pieterse.

It looks really interesting.  Do check the site out.  You can download both Reader II and the Launch Issue at not cost :).



  1. This book has an interesting collection. Another thing is, do you know Teju Cole’s Open City isn’t his debut? I read it in an article. His first book (debut) is the novella ‘Everyday is for the Thief’


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