#moneypowersex: the blog

the online interactive zone that provides a space for the free-flow of words, images, thoughts, discussions, and ideas around the OpenForum 2012 theme, 'money, power, sex: the paradox of unequal growth.'

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Money Power Sex Debate Series: Has Democracy Brought Blind Hope?

All over the world, democracy is pitched as the ultimate salvation of the state. It is the panacea for political problems; the benchmark for social progress; the pathway to economic success. In African countries, the notion of democracy rode the high-spirited coattails of independence. With national government structures freed from the heavy presence of colonial masters, democracy promised an era of state-sanctioned freedom: one in which citizens could claim their power to get what they need, from governments that they want – governments that were answerable to people, not the other way around.


But today, this hopefulness has been replaced by frustration with leadership that is anything but answerable. Seun Kuti, Nigerian musician and son of the late Fela Kuti, references this disenchantment when explaining the inspiration behind his latest album, ‘From Africa with Fury’ – a title he chose to convey the building frustration of young African people with a system that has failed them at all levels. Kuti says, “In Africa we do not have leaders, we have rulers. These rulers first serve the interest of multinational corporations and western powers before they consider the welfare of their people. People had forgotten this. Democracy brought some blind hope…”


The #moneypowersex radio debates will explore the questions: has democracy brought blind hope? How do the triumphs and failures of democracy manifest around the axes of money, power and sex? Do deeper problems with global economic dynamics get overshadowed by the hyped-up pursuit of national ‘democracies’?


The questions are not just public, but also profoundly personal. How does the idea of ‘democracy’ interact with more deeply-rooted prejudices, such as patriarchy or homophobia? What is the role of the individual in sustaining political systems, for better or worse?


Most importantly, if democracy has brought real hope, how can this be strengthened to redress inequalities? But if it has brought blind hope, where is the real hope to be found? These questions and more will be examined in light of current affairs in each of the countries where debates will be taking place, all of which are identified as leading democracies in the continent: Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.


The debates are being organised by ThisIsAfrica (www.thisisafrica.me) in collaboration with OSISA. Podcasts of the debates will also be available on the OpenForum and TIA websiteS within a week, as well as at the forum itself.



Monday 14 May

Bush Radio 89.5fm

3-4pm SAST/CAT



Hemel Besem – Hip-hop artist and activist

Ncebalaza Manzi – September National Imbizo coordinator
Rebecca Davis – Daily Maverick journalist
Marion Wanza – Occupy Cape Town organiser



Bassie Montewa



Tuesday 15 May

Vibe FM 91.9

11-12pm GMT

Rebroadcast Wednesday 16 May

XFM 95.1

11-12pm GMT


Bridget Babiee Dappah – News Anchor and social commentator 

Nana Oye Lithur – Director, Human Rights Advocacy Centre
Tic Tac – Hip-Life Musician and producer

Agyeman Badu Akosa – leading member, Convention People’s Party


Kojo Mensah

  1. Ihozo submitted this to openforum2012