Haughty Americans and the joke that was the Essence Festival

Steve Harvey speaks at a press conference at the Essence festival held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on November 10, 2016. PHOTO | SUSAN MUUMBI

What you need to know:

  • While it was lovely to be with many literati I respect  from the continent, the way they were treated was shabby. That people got their tickets only three days in advance was bad enough, but it got worse upon arrival.
  • And then there was the joke that was the panels. American musicians  Beyonce and Solange’s mother, Tina Knowles, and her husband of three years had been flown in. The couple were on a panel with Hollywood star Steve Harvey to discuss and tell Durbanites how to keep a marriage.
  • The way my people were bowing down at the altar of Americanness was ridiculous. Conferred with this false sense of importance, I saw how some of this got to some of my American brothers and sisters’ heads.

Two months ago, I received an invite to Durban, South Africa for Articulate Africa, which was part of the Essence Festival.

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