Ntone Edjabe, journalist, respected DJ, founder and editor of Chimurenga Magazine

1. What does the idea of a manifesto mean to you?


2. What are some of the manifestos that you consider significant for
historical or personal reasons?

Four immediatly come to mind: Biko's "I write what I like"; Fanon's

"O my body, make of me always a man who questions!"; Sun Ra's "The

impossible attracts me because every thing possible has been done and

the world didn't change" and Bessie Head's "I am building a stairway

to the stars. I have the authority to take the whole of mankind with

me. That's why I write". All of them are very personal life-stances

with immense political power. They are also more than beautifully

worded declarations, they're summaries of these people's life-work.

3. Are there other forms of expression that could be interpreted as
manifestos, a song, a work of fiction, a movie?

I think every form of expression can be used to publicise personal or

collective aims. I think of Fela's song "No Agreement" or even Boom Shaka's

hit "Its About Time" which became the manifesto of what Thandiswa Mazwai

called the kwaito generation; or the Black Audio Film Collective's

"Handsworth Songs" or Abbas Kiarostami's film "10 on Ten". Again examples

such as these where words and deeds coincide only work retrospectively, as

these artists spent more time in action than declaration - or rather, they

became one. Lets not forget Biko actually wrote what he liked.

4. Do you think that manifestos still have relevance in a century where
identities are constantly fracturing and societies are in constant flux?

For as long as there are personal and collective struggles, people will

dedicate their life or work to fighting them. And sometime they'd let us

know about it (and in this era of facebook and myspace, we're sure to hear

about it).

5. Do you have a personal manifesto as a DJ, cultural critic, writer, editor, etc.?

Yes, am busy doing it.