Letter from the Editor: Homeland

Welcome to OF AFRICA!

Here, we plan to uplift and acknowledge the people OF AFRICA by showcasing, documenting and celebrating, their experiences, histories and works. With the spirit and intention to invite and encourage readers to re-imagine and re-encounter what OF AFRICA means. The UN General Assembly has declared 2015 – 2024 the International Decade for People of African Descent and we would like to go one further by giving voice to women of African descent.

In our very first season, we shall explore the theme of ‘Homeland’ in all three sections of the magazine; Visual and Performing ArtsPolitical and Social, and Health and Wellness. We at OF AFRICA will challenge you to conjure and reflect on new, existing or unexpected meanings and experiences of Homeland. From January 2017 to March 2017, each week we will post new content that will explore Homeland from a myriad of perspectives. Personally, the theme of Homeland has been constant in my life. My experience of being born in Zimbabwe, raised in The Netherlands and matured in Canada resulted in feelings that are best captured by the sentiments expressed by a Ruth Behar quote that my friend Ivana Barisic paraphrases: “the anger and the sorrow of someone without a home and at the same time, the anger and the sorrow of someone with too many homes”.

I want to thank everyone who has helped make OF AFRICA a reality; my friends and my family, people following and supporting us on our social media platforms, the people we’ve featured, our editors, writers, illustrators, photographers, and all contributors, who participated in this passion project knowing full well we currently have zero guarantee of funding and yet saw fit to give their priceless gifts so that we would not have to wait to share stories and works of those who are touched by and come from the continent OF AFRICA. I particularly want to thank Naliaka Odera, our Managing Editor for investing her time, energy and resources into this collaboration. I created a skeleton, Naliaka put meat on the bones and the all female team OF AFRICA breathed life into it. In the process, we have learnt so much and have already began to confront our own miseducation and we hope you will have the same encounter with Homeland.

We want to continue to provide a platform for nuanced and complex conversations so if you have any ideas for themes or content and/or you would like to contribute please contact us at hello@ofafricamag.com. We also invite you to share your experiences and reflections on Homeland here and on social media using #Homeland and #OfAfricaMag.

Join Us.

Julia Chanda Zvobgo

Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Of Africa