Kenya is the world’s top TikTok user. With such a powerful social media platform, it’s not surprising that the government - like others around the world - is considering restricting access to the site, citing its role in the spread of propaganda, fraud and sexual content. Like millions of around the world, Kenyans use the platform for entertainment, from sharing dance routines to comedy skits and much more. But it also has a more serious role. In his recent research Stephen Mutie found that it’s also become an important and useful space for challenging stereotypes and archiving old knowledge.

In Angola, it’s only in recent years that queer visibility has become more normal and activists and scholars have been piecing together the stories of the LGBTIQ+ community. Working with community organisations, academic Caio Simões de Araújo recounts the history gathered from one archiving project.

Museums play a pivotal role in keeping us informed about our history and the world around us. Ahead of World Museum Day tomorrow, we wanted to share some articles from our archives on these incredible spaces and the complex challenges they also present.

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George Omondi

Commissioning Editor, East Africa

TikTok in Kenya: the government wants to restrict it, but my study shows it can be useful and empowering

Stephen Mutie, Kenyatta University

TikTok has become an integral part of social media culture in Kenya, offering a space for creativity, entertainment and community interaction.

Angola’s untold history: archive project explores LGBTIQ+ lives and struggles

Caio Simões de Araújo, University of the Western Cape

LGBTIQ+ life in Angola can be traced to before colonialism, though it has not been well documented. A recent project brings these stories to life.

Chad hepatitis E outbreak: how the dangerous liver disease spreads and how it can be treated

Kolawole Oluseyi Akande, University of Ibadan

Hepatitis E is a global health problem with about 20 million cases occurring annually, three million symptomatic cases, and 60,000 deaths.

South Africa’s public service is dysfunctional – the 5 main reasons why

Marcel Nagar, University of Johannesburg

South Africa’s civil service has failed to implement policies to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment.

World Museum Day

Five exciting African museums to add to your travel wish list

Nompumelelo Maringa, University of the Witwatersrand

Museums allow us to delve deep into the past with eye-catching displays of artefacts, ancient textiles, high-quality images and short films that narrate how our ancestors lived.

Belgium’s AfricaMuseum has a dark colonial past – it’s making slow progress in confronting this history

Julien Bobineau, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

The restitution of looted objects from former colonies in Africa is an essential component of post-colonial reparation.

The making – and then breaking – of South Africa’s Robben Island Museum

Neo Lekgotla laga Ramoupi, University of the Witwatersrand; Andre Odendaal, University of the Western Cape

Robben Island Museum aspired to be part of the reconstruction and development of the national soul.

Repatriation: why Western museums should return African artefacts

Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, Curtin University

The power to select, name and decide the meaning of these items makes Europeans the authors of African history.

Nigerian museums must tell stories of slavery with more complexity and nuance

Faye Sayer, Manchester Metropolitan University

Nigerian museums continue to present colonised versions of history. This harms local communities.

Ghana’s National Museum: superb restoration but painful stories remain untold

Jon Olav Hove, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Ghana’s national museum has been reopened after being closed for seven years.

From our international editions


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