Author Archive | Sean O'Toole

The Athletes

Len Taunyane and Jan Mashiani participated in the 1904 Olympic marathon in St. Louis. But their story is far bigger than that, and tainted by an unanswerable silence

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Worldly, young Nigeria

What is the best way to represent Lagos without actually showing it? Nigerian artist and designer Karo Akpokiere thinks it’s through drawing

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A man of promise

Storyteller and animation entrepreneur Roye Okupe has come up with a superhero for Africa’s new millennium

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Anatomy of a failure

Energy is not singularly the preserve of the empathetic state, but a profitable growth sector. Tshwane’s failed prepaid smart metering system offers a case study of what happens when technology and finance are applied to a pressing need

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That religion called design

In 2014 Cape Town was awash with yellow branding. Why, and was the euphoria worth it?

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The delicious monster

In 1975 an avant-garde shopping mall in Cape Town’s affluent southern suburbs opened and marketed itself as “the place for people”. Now derelict, the building’s failure and possible demolition is being fiercely debated

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Canny & Co.

Founded by Cameroonian entrepreneur Bonaventure Ndikung, SAVVY Contemporary is a Berlin exhibition space devoted to art, networking and eating

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Credibility is everything

In his first English-language interview, Togolese- Canadian novelist Edem Awumey talks about the many literatures that inform his exile-influenced writings

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The War Reporter

Journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuscinski has been praised as a conjuror extraordinaire of modern reportage, and also dismissed as a profound and dangerous racist. By Sean O’Toole  *This article originally appeared in issue 2 of Cityscapes Magazine.

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Twin Walk, Khartoum. By Emeka Okereke

Where Art Meets Journalism

In 2009 a group of Nigerian artists, most of them photographers, decided to set off on a road trip to Mali—with unexpected consequences.  Lagos is closer to Bamako than Barcelona is to Berlin. Extrapolating from this fact, if a journey between Johannesburg and Cape Town takes an uneventful 15 hours by car—roughly the motoring time […]

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