An iterview with Sokari Ekine by Zara Majidpour
“I have passed through many places, created many spaces, loved many people, made many wrongs but in all my life I do not know what I have done. This is me and with whom I must live with on the most intimate of terms- but I know with the certainty that night follows day that I am not alone in this.” Quote from Sokari’s blog.
I interviewed her recently and I ask these questions:
The articles in your blog focus on African issues from all over the continent. Some people say that you are the best female African blogger. why has your blog become such a strong voice from within Africa?
Sokari Ekine: I am not sure about being the "best African blogger" as I am not sure what "the best' means - there are so many contexts. I am probably one of the oldest bloggers as I started in June 2004 when there were very few Africans blogging. Most of those who started around the same time have stopped, some completely some have switched their online activity to Twitter and Facebook.
However there are hundreds of new bloggers and some of them are extremely informative and well written. What I do find though is people writing about issues that I raised four five six years ago. Sometimes I think I should go back to the beginning and start to repost material from 2004/5 because they would still be relevant today. I guess I also have a history of writing about less popular issues such as Queer stories and also my range of coverage is quite extensive.
Your mother is British, father a Nigerian and you lived in the UK, U.S.A and currently in Spain. Why you are interested in African issues and Why have you become a social justice on the continent?
There is a great deal of inaccuracies lingering on the internet and for some reason though I left at the end of 2006, the Spanish part of my journey lingers on and on. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Nigeria [though I had a brief term time sojourn at an English boarding school] with my parents and siblings.
What kind of problems are human rights and social justice activists facing in Africa?
We need to address problems from a global, Pan African and local level.
There will always be people who commit acts of violence no matter what country. But being able to do so with impunity and the knowledge that it is not altogether socially unacceptable is a different level and I think to some degree that is the case in SA.
It is easier if you are anonymous of course but since I am not and as I said earlier, I continue to visit Nigeria regularly, this hasn't as yet stopped me from speaking out not that I believe I have said anything that is especially dangerous.
This interview was translated into Persian (Farsi) and published in Shahrzadnews website