Demere Kitunga

Individual African feminists

I am a feminist activist, publisher and writer. I identify as a feminist because my world view is framed from the perspective of women’s rights to equality and human dignity. My life, my work and my relationships are fashioned in a way that allows me to constantly challenge any hindrance to those ideals, including analysing, […]

I am a feminist activist, publisher and writer. I identify as a feminist because my world view is framed from the perspective of women’s rights to equality and human dignity. My life, my work and my relationships are fashioned in a way that allows me to constantly challenge any hindrance to those ideals, including analysing, organising and recruiting allies to this cause.

My passion is to promote readership as a way of empowering women, men, girls and boys to interrogate conventional knowledge, seek their own version of the truth and enjoy the world of letters as leisure, culture and a mode of learning. I currently head a firm called E&D Readership and Development Agency- Soma, a non-profit which works with a sister organization named E&D Vision publishing. The whole enterprise is founded on feminist principles which are visible in the books we produce, services we provide, and how we organise space and relationships. Soma (meaning “read” in Kiswahili) runs a book café, publishes a literary magazine and hosts a myriad of literary, social and cultural forums including reading, literary and debate clubs, book exhibitions, inter gender/inter generational dialogues, author profiling and talent shows. We also do research and advocacy on the need to create a social environment that stimulates reading and creative writing, mentoring young writers and women interested in publishing and working in other fields in the knowledge industry. Soma Book Café is the hub for these interventions. I am also a founder of four activist organizations. Of all of them, it is in the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), of which I am a founding member, that I am continuously renewed as a feminist and feminist organiser.

I am motivated by the pursuit of knowledge, organising for change and creative expression. My greatest passion is being a part of a journey that leads a woman to reach the feminist ”aha!” moment, when her eyes open to see the power dynamics in her personal life and relationships. As feminists the road ahead of us is steep as we remain entangled in patriarchal relationships informed by the neoliberal world order and related militarism, loss of sovereignty, heightening tensions between classes of people due to the plunder, expatriation of resources and grand corruption. We are witnessing growing fundamentalisms alongside the state’s abdication from social provisioning. Although the poor in general are affected, women bear the greatest burden. In this era of “no alternatives”, I see feminist ideology and politics to be the only viable alternative paradigm


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The 'African Feminist Ancestors Project' seeks to document the rich history of American women's struggles for autonomy and change. Click on the button below if you would like to contribute details of an African Feminist Ancestor to this project.

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