FO° Needs You to Shine the Spotlight on Africa

Fair Observer invites African voices to enrich global dialogue. Share your unique stories and perspectives. Join us in amplifying diverse narratives.

February 07, 2024 06:03 EDT
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Dear FO° Readers and Authors,

As a university student, I was passionate about history and philosophy, and as a side gig, I summarized news from Africa for a local magazine, Africa e Mediterraneo, where we presented our work on radio with a group of friends. We still had to pick up colored paper, pink, blue, and yellow, that press agency fax machines (that in those days were as big as a refrigerator) spat out every now and then.

We covered the Eritrean Independence referendum in 1993, the assassination of Chris Hani in South Africa, and the events in Rwanda from April to June 1994. The stories captivated me. I chose to write my thesis on what journals and newspapers were saying about what was actually happening with the methods of the Histoire du temps présent. The complexity was beyond imagination, but I didn’t fully realize it until a couple of years later when I traveled to Rwanda.

View of Kigali, Rwanda

There are 54 countries in Africa and thousands of languages, groups, cultures, communities, and ecosystems, which means many voices. One has to narrow their gaze, pay attention, and learn the art of patiently listening to long stories. 

I remember walking to the train station from my tiny sublet room in Bruxelles to get to the airport on a freezing early morning in January. What was I doing? I was boarding a plane owned by the late Sabena, and ten hours later I landed in Kigali. It was just about dusk, and while leaving the plane, I was overwhelmed with emotion. The smell of the air, the humidity, the light; I was surprised that it felt like a very warm summer, but by 7 pm, the sun had set. I was losing my bearings in this new place. Eventually, I met my host and guide, Eric. I stayed with his family for the whole month in Kigali. Eric is now the founder and director of the Kwetu Film Institute in Kigali. 

When we finally sat in the family’s dining room, all began speaking in local languages. I had taken classes in the Kinyarwanda language, but no one had prepared me for the peculiar situation of people speaking multiple languages simultaneously. So much for the Swiss for speaking three or four languages, one at a time! In Rwanda, everyone speaks at least three local languages plus French and now English. In any given sentence, there were words in Kinyarwanda, English, and Swahili; while the numbers were in French, some Lingala got thrown in to keep things interesting.

Africa is a complex, rich, and multifaceted continent with almost 1,5 billion inhabitants. My initial fascination while reading faxed press agency copies about Africa has been largely surpassed by the reality I encountered. And that was in Kigali, a small town compared to the much larger cities. We need actual voices from Africa to help us make sense of it. 

We are eager to hear more voices and writers from Africa. Would you like to write? Can you help us find more authors? We are looking for students, researchers, community leaders, school teachers, and anyone with valuable insights on politics, culture, and environment. Are you or can you interview a storyteller from your community? Anyone who wants to tell a story can help us make sense of the world. 

If you are passionate about sharing your unique perspective with the world and have stories, insights, and opinions that deserve a global audience, we invite you to join us on a journey of expression and connection. 

At Fair Observer, we are dedicated to providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard. We believe that Africa is a continent rich in untold narratives, and we want to support you and bring those stories to light. Whether you’re a seasoned author or a budding writer, we welcome you to contribute your voice to our growing community.

Why Should You Write for Us?

Editing Excellence

We understand the importance of quality writing. Our team of experienced editors is committed to refining your work while preserving your unique voice. Our editors will ensure that your message shines through clearly and effectively. To do so, we hold ongoing workshops with young volunteering editors from all over the world (literally from San Francisco to New York, to Lille in France, to Istambul in Turkiye to Mumbai in India to… yes, all the way to Guam!) 

We Apply Merciless Fact-Checking

In an era of misinformation, accuracy is paramount. Rest assured, your work will undergo rigorous fact-checking to uphold the highest standards of integrity and credibility. Your readers can trust the information you provide, fostering trust and reliability in your writing.

Global Reach

Words have the power to transcend borders and cultures. By publishing on our platform, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with a diverse global audience eager to engage with diverse perspectives. Your insights could spark conversations, challenge assumptions, and inspire change on a global scale.

Freedom of Expression

We value the freedom of expression and believe in the importance of amplifying diverse voices. Whether sharing personal experiences, exploring cultural heritage, or addressing pressing societal issues, we encourage you to express yourself authentically and fearlessly.

How to Get Involved? 

Submit Your Work. Send us your articles, essays, opinion pieces, or creative writings via submissions@fairobserver.com. Be sure to include a brief bio introducing yourself and highlighting your areas of interest or expertise. 

Make sure you look at our Editorial Guidelines

You Can Collaborate with Us on Many Fronts

Do you have an idea for a series of articles, a collaboration, or a themed collection of articles? Perhaps a series of interviews with people from your corner of the world? We’re open to creative collaborations that showcase the richness and diversity of African voices. Let’s work together to create something extraordinary.

Spread the Word

Help us amplify our call for submissions by sharing this message with fellow writers, authors, and storytellers in your network. Together, we can create a vibrant community of voices united by a passion for storytelling and connection. Share this email, or call a friend or colleague and encourage them to take part in this global conversation. 

Your voice matters.

Your stories matter — your perspective matters. Join us at Fair Observer as we celebrate the power and beauty of African literature and storytelling.

Together, let’s ignite conversations, challenge perceptions, and inspire change. Together, let’s make our voices heard.

We look forward to hearing from you and embarking on this journey together.

Warm regards,

Roberta Campani
Communications & Outreach

We are an independent nonprofit organization. We do not have a paywall or ads. We believe news must be free for everyone from Detroit to Dakar. Yet servers, images, newsletters, web developers and editors cost money. So, please become a recurring donor to keep Fair Observer free, fair and independent.

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