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C7 Zeinab Badawi An African History of Africa

The Bath Festival 2024

The Guildhall

Award-winning broadcaster Zeinab Badawi introduces her ground-breaking and epic history of Africa, An African History of Africa told through the voices of the Africans themselves – and charting the history of the oldest inhabited continent on the planet.

The history of Africa is the story of the origins of human civilisation. Africa is the birthplace of humankind itself, yet little of its early and modern history is widely known. For too long, Africa’s history has been dominated by Western narratives of slavery and colonialism, or simply ignored. Now, broadcaster and SOAS President Zeinab Badawi will set the record straight.

This seminal book is the culmination of seven years of research by Zeinab, travelling through 30  African countries and interviewing countless historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and local storytellers. The result is a fascinating and epic history, told through the voices of the Africans themselves – from the origins of our species, through ancient civilisations and medieval empires with remarkable queens and kings, to the miseries of conquest and the elation of independence.

An African History of Africa unearths buried histories from across the continent and weaves them into an accessible and essential book, giving Africa its rightful place in our global story.

Zeinab Badawi is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and filmmaker. She is President of SOAS University of London and is an honorary fellow of her alma mater St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Born in Sudan, she has worked in the British media for decades. Her work has included co-presenting Channel 4 News alongside Jon Snow before joining BBC News, where she interviewed some of the world’s most notable personalities and politicians on the BBC’s Hardtalk and Global Questions. 

Zeinab is a recipient of the President’s Medal of the British Academy, a Patron of the United Nations Association UK, and is on the boards of the Arts, Humanities and Research Council, the Mandela Institute for Development Studies, the International Crisis Group and Afrobarometer. She was previously Chair of the Royal African Society. This is her first book.

Zeinab is on X @TheZeinabBadawi and Instagram @TheZeinabBadawi



C7 Zeinab Badawi An African History of Africa