Category Archives: Africa

Rediscovering “Africa”

Last year I started a blog called A Dare to Discover. It’s about African writers, scholars, commentators and innovators whose work I’ve come across.

A Dare to Discover came about for two reasons. First, it was my contribution to the Stephen Lewis Foundation‘s A Dare To Remember campaign, which supports Sub-Saharan African communities dealing with HIV and AIDS. A Dare To Remember is an innovative annual campaign that asks Canadians to dare to do something that challenges them. In 2010 I “dared” myself to create a blog and post on it every day for a month. (I made it through the month, and kept going.)

Second, I observed a disconnect between my experiences working in Africa with researchers and activists there, and the “doom and gloom” news about Africa that we in North America usually hear. We don’t learn about the creative initiatives, skills, personal or community stories that abound and that might change our perceptions about the continent and its prospects.

So I set up A Dare to Discover also to profile Africans whose perspectives challenge our preconceptions in some way. People like Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian academic who questions the notion of an entity called “Africa”; or Ory Okolloh, a Kenyan social media expert and corporate lawyer who co-founded Ushahidi, an online platform now used worldwide for information-sharing during crises; or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer who confronts stereotypes and warns us that having only a “single story” about a place or a person takes away that place or person’s dignity; or Gaston Kabore, a Burkinabe filmmaker whose films retell and reaffirm Africans’ histories and aspirations.

If you’re interested, you can find A Dare to Discover at


Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, stories