There is nothing ambiguous about a name like “MsAfropolitan”. And one thing that writer and essayist Minna Salami is not, is ambiguous. Based in London, this feminist blogger and commentator on the African diaspora experience has been writing for her site since 2010. Her voice is confident and powerful, and with posts with headlines like, “Too Afrocentric for you?”, it is no wonder. She has since built a following, and you can also find her work in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and ARISE among other publications.  And if you are still confused about what  MsAfropolitan is about, read this interview with our next AfriPOP! Socialite:
Real Name: Minna Salami
Web Name: MsAfropolitan
Why did you choose that particular webname: The “Ms.”  title is one that a woman can use when she doesn’t want to refer to her marital status in describing her identity. An Afropolitan, simply put, is a cosmopolitan African. A person who vests a part of their identity in the African continent as well as in hybrid spaces of diaspora, migration, locality, globalism, multilingualism and so on. However, Afropolitanism is an evolving movement and a tricky idea to define conceptually. This probably has to do with scales, how much one sees Africa and how much one sees cosmopolitan in the term. Either way, the combination of the two terms reflect the MsAfropolitan ethos.
Best known for: I really don’t know! Hopefully for writing entertaining and thought-provoking articles about wider social issues.
Where are you from/live? I’m ethnically from Nigeria and Finland. I live in London.
When and how did you enter the social media game? MsAfropolitan launched in April 2010 and consequently I focused intentions and set up a twitter account, a tumblr and FB page. Before then I’d been blogging on My Space and blogspot. I also worked with creative industry agencies where the buzz around social media was big. As for the how, it was a relatively organic process to set things off. I am big on both finding and sharing content and so I stay up to date on how social media can be used to do that.
What do you mostly tend to use it for? Apart from content distribution, I use social media to stay on top of what is happening in the areas that are of interest to me. It has also been a significant tool for networking with likeminded people and building community or tribes as Seth Godin would call it.
How has it helped you grow your brand? It has been key. Without Social Media, I’d be having a monologue.
What is your message? MsAfropolitan is a personal blog about empowerment; personal and political. It’s about Africa, race, identity, Afropolitanism, feminism, fashion, culture, history and humanity. It’s about revolution. It’s about love. Most of all, it’s about creating dialogue around these topics.
If you could have one person follow you on twitter who would it be?  Hhhmm. @MsLaurynHill perhaps. Especially as I’d be the only person she follows!
If you could have one person join twitter who would it be?  I am always happy to connect with African feminists on twitter because the information we exchange is valuable. I can’t choose one but the more like @awdf01, @sheroxlox, @zawadin, @nas009, @nautyinaccra, @kinnareads, @ArriannaMarie, @iamnicholeblack, @blacklooks, @hannahpool the better!
What is the role of social media in the “Africa” conversation? Social Media is an additional tool to a conversation that we’ve been having for a long time. It’s social media that’s new, and not the conversation. With Social Media we can more easily link dialogues accross countries, continents and issues and create archives which in return have an influence on future narratives.
Who is benefiting most from the rise of Africans on social media sites? In terms of benefits that specifically apply to Africans, I believe African businesses, activists, etc can be benefactors of Social Media. All change requires communication and never before have we been able to communicate this rapidly and easily.
If you could invent a social networking tool for the future, what would it be? An interactive social media platform that links all the others (FB, twitter, LinkedIn, flickr etc) together in a simple way based on your interests and contacts. Does that exist already? Maybe google should buy them all!
Follow MsAfropolitan on twitter
AfriPOP! socialite is a weekly  feature that introduces you to the internet’s socially prominent Africans. Not backed by a brand or organization, these are individuals who have used the internet to connect with fellow Africans to spread and discuss fresh ideas and thoughts on all this Africa. There words are their message, their personality is their brand — the AfriPOP! socialite

 

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