Taiye Selasi Revisists Her Concept Afropolitan

Since Taiye Selasi wrote her short story in The Lip magazine “Bye-Bye Barbar” introducing to the world the concept of “Afropolitan” much water has run below the bridge. The concept has been much discussed, for instance by Binyavanga and Ms Minna Salami and at several international conferences. Selasie has also published her first novel Ghana Must Go and received much praise for it. Now she revisits her concept Afropolitan (“Did any Afropolitans actually live on the African continent?“) after having spent more time in West Africa.

About Accra, she writes:

perfect timing: The first international Salsa Congress has just gotten under way. If ever there were a snapshot of the Afropolitan spirit, it’d be this: West African and Latin American salseros side by side in sequins. Melissa Mensah, the organizer, a glamorous Ghanaian-American-Nicaraguan lawyer, explains that salsa classes are the city’s newest craze. With no more than a DJ scratch, the music goes from salsa to azonto (Ghanaian clubbing music), and the line dancing begins. Limping home an hour later, I’m joyous, dripping sweat, resolved: Accra will one day soon be one of my more permanent homes.”

Read Selasi’s whole essay here. Thanks to colleague Kobby Graham for pointing me to this text.

Loved this portrait of Selasi published in Elle.