Continental Shift

A Journey Into Africa’s Changing Fortunes

Kevin Bloom,Richard Poplak

Published: 7 April 2016
Trade Paperback, Royal PB
153x234mm, 448 pages
ISBN: 9781846273742


AFRICA IS FAILING. AFRICA IS SUCCEEDING. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on earth. Africa is squandering its bountiful resources. Africa is a roadmap for global development. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.

All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year roadtrip through the paradoxical continent they call home. From pillaged mines in Zimbabwe to the creation of an economic marketplace in Ethiopia; from Namibia's middle class to the technological challenges facing Nollywood in the 21st Century; from China's investment in Botswana to the rush for resources in the Congo; and from the birth of Africa's newest country, South Sudan, to the worsening conflict in CAR, here are eight adventures on the trail of a new Africa.

Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental Shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.

About the author

Image of Kevin Bloom

Kevin Bloom is an award-winning author, editor and investigative journalist. He is the co-author of Continental Shift: A Journey into Africa's Changing Fortunes, published by Portobello in April 2016. His first book, Ways of Staying (Portobello, 2010), was named amongst the best overall titles of the year by South African broadsheets Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and The Witness, and was shortlisted for both the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and the Alan Paton Award, Africa's most prestigious non-fiction prize. It won the 2010 South African Literary Award for literary journalism. Kevin is an Honorary Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa, and a recipient of the WISER Writing Fellowship. His byline has appeared in Granta, The Guardian and The Daily Beast, amongst others, and he is a correspondent-at-large for South Africa's Daily Maverick. More about the author

Image of Richard Poplak

Richard Poplak trained as a filmmaker and fine artist at Montreal's Concordia University. He has produced and directed numerous short films, music videos and commercials, and has been nominated for five Much Music Video Awards. Richard has written for publications as diverse as The Walrus, Toronto Life, The Globe & Mail, Arts Online, Bicycling and Maverick. He works as an occasional roving pop-cultural commentator for CBC Radio's Q. He is the author of Ja, No, Man: Growing Up White in Apartheid-era South Africa and The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop-Culture in the Muslim World. Ja, No, Man was longlisted for the Alan Paton non-fiction prize, shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Literary Award and voted one of the Top-10 books of 2007 by numerous publications. Richard has won South Africa's Media-24 Best Feature Writing Award, and has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards in Canada. He is also the author of a graphic novel Kenk. More about the author


‘[Continental Shift] offers a colourful, sprawling and picaresque insight into "Africa's twenty-first century binaries". Part road trip, part serious analysis, the book presents interlocking stories about a continent in flux. [With] the odd delicious phrase [...] this book is more about the journey than the destination. And in those terms, it succeeds’ Phillip Dilling

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