The Latest: 30.3 | West Africa

Henry Brefo laments that we were once friends; Hafeez Burhan Khan thrills with tales of book smugglers in Timbuktu; Hang Zhou sees potential in the African Yuan; Tam Hussein on his encounter with Jihadis; Samia Rahman learns about giants of an Islamic past; poems by Victoria Adukwei Bulley; and the Last Word on my generation by Oluwagbemileke Joy Jegede.

The very name, Timbuktu, evokes a mystique that has existed for centuries. A name fired through the European psyche. Conjuring up an impenetrable exotic city in the middle of ‘nowhere’, harbouring vast treasures of gold and promising a daring sense of adventure.

Tomorrow may not be promised. But one thing is for certain: the glorious future that we have all been waiting for is at the frontiers of the African continent. The next generations are readying themselves for shaping a new and innovative Africa that would become a model for the world.

Asante Nkramo, Asante Nkramo. When I first heard the words, they rapidly sizzled and disintegrated in the ether like unintelligible jargon.

Admittedly, meeting Salafi-Jihadis fighting in Syria do have their peculiarities.

China’s presence in West Africa is shrouded in myth, misconception, and often comical misinformation, invoking simplistic tendencies to present each region as a monolithic entity.

Cristo Redentor know / finally / that it is not the statue / that overwhelms. the soapstone exterior / is not so noteworthy / the iron core is not noteworthy / nor the head / downcast & leftwards just-so / with L’Oreal hair. it is not / the roman nose or the hands / hole-punched… Read more »

Raising awareness of Islam’s dynamic beginnings is a challenge Robinson evidently takes seriously. He presents us with thirty eclectic profiles to establish the idea of the individualism of Islam and Muslims.