[By: Kagiso Mnisi]
The Pan African Space Station has proven to be a cut above the rest in the last three years as a free form medium for content curation. It is fundamentally a music platform that creates dialogue among musicians in the African diaspora and the rest of other pockets (space and time willing) http://panafricanspacestation.org.za/. PASS achieves this by merging well recorgnised radio formats and the grand narrative of Chimurenga publication. Founded by Ntone Edjabe in 2002, Chimurenga captures the connection between African (sub) cultures and politics on the continent and beyond. Since its inception, it has dared to challenge the world’s perception on people from the diaspora, especially the blinkered view that they are averse to any kind of advancement and critical thought. As with PASS another of the publications’ blessings is The Chronic.
This latest from Chimu people is this newspaper-majick with a gutsy approach to subjects. It has the likeness of a graph that perpetually curves from joyous to contentious and then beguiling. The front page dons alluring headlines such as Welcome To Zamrock, Land For Citizens & Homeland For Tribes, The Rise Of Pagad and the north-south international relation spar, No easy truce between Africa’s most powerful brothership : a piece written by Tolu Ogunlesi about the shaky relationship between South Africa and Nigeria.
Only Chimurenga’s Chronic can conjure newsworthy romanticism in the lateness of a Jazz musician, which they did with The night Moses Molelekwa died. The ability to evoke a close-to-heart sensibility without overlooking a story’s ‘b-side’ has always been the publications arrow head. This depth in its long form story telling even left CNN’s African Voices presenter, Nkepile Mabuse, asking Edjabe whether the publication ‘can be likened to The New Yorker’ in an interview.
Not a publication that prostrates over at the hands of a mechanised newsroom, The Chronic does not even have one. It is put together by a collective known as Chimurenga people who have insight on what is seismically changing the world as much as they do of a home brewed moonshine serving hangout in Nairobi or Gugulethu. This collective comprises of Dominique Malaquis, Stacy Hardy and other glory oozing contributors such as Sean Jacobs and Unathi Sondiyazi. These are the kind of folks that can school you on anything from Jomo Kenyatta’s declarations to how MF DOOM’s quotations of Charles Bukowski made him a mythical wonder in Hip Hop circles.
Simply put, The Chronic is a thriving example of how content can be made not to bore. It challenges the status quo of newspaper and magazine publishing. An important lesson to the industry that life is not only about the Gupta- prefix cropping up in more than five pages of a Sunday newspaper. Ultimately with The Chronic ‘who no know go know’. As they deservedly should.
The Chronic is available at outlets such as Xarra book store, Constitutional Hill and some local spazas near you.
For more http://www.chimurengachronic.co.za/