2012’s SMH (also known as “Africa is a Country”) Moments

There are times we shake our heads or roll our eyes. When we could not invent some of the things that we spot in the media. For some reason especially New York Times journalists can’t help themselves (though there are some exceptions like Lydia Polgreen reporting from Johannesburg). For example, former Times editor Bill Keller is currently in South Africa and even when meaning well, he misses the point. Then there’s Nicholas Kristof (who we swore we won’t blog about again) and Jeffrey Gettleman, who nominated himself for a journalism prize (more below). But the one person who will play a bigger role in shaping coverage of Africa (for people who don’t read news pages) is the force that is Suzy Menkes. If you don’t know her, she writes about “global” fashion and sort of cultural politics for the Times. She is singlehandedly keeping Bono and his wife Ali’s fashion business, Edin, in the news. Siddhartha Mitter storified her pronouncements and if you want to put yourself through her editorializing about “ethical fashion” and helping Africa (especially “Kin-yaa”) “through style and design,” just read her pieces in the Times. Bonus: she also thinks Africa is a country. Watch this video (with Bono and Ali again as well as with Renzo Diesel) where Menkes refers to “helping the African nation and people” (about 7:30 mark). Continue reading