He tried to make a point about African masculinity, but in doing so Kenyan columnist Oyunga Pala often got portrayed as a male chauvinist. He decided to take a step back from Nairobi and returned to his village. Now he lives in the Netherlands with his wife, a decision some of his male fans might not understand. Listen to Oyunga’s journey.
Mirjam de Bruijn
September 30, 2020 (16:02)
Nice life story interview with an interesting focus of self and the relation to ideas about masculinity as formulated in urban environments in Africa. What was your strategy in the interview? he is not a difficult talker, seems to be very open. The interview makes curious to the articles he writes and has written. I will search for it.
Femke van Zeijl
October 1, 2020 (08:18)
My strategy – as always with personal interviews – was preparation and time. This is the result of an interview that lasted over two hours. Beforehand I found out as much as possible of Oyunga’s background (I knew a bit already because I used to read his Man Talk columns) and thought of how to connect with him.
I knew I wanted to address gender and masculinity, and I realised we were both fans of Fela Kuti’s. Obviously you don’t open an interview with a stranger asking about their love life. So I started by talking about Fela’s song ‘Lady’, the narrative of which covers (African) masculinity and femininity, and we took it from there. But yes, he was also a comfortable speaker, which greatly helps for a direct quote interview in audio.
He is an anthropologist and has now turned his gaze on the Netherlands, which makes for very interesting reads. You can find his articles here: https://www.theelephant.info/author/opala/