About Me

Joseph Mbele, the founder of Africonexion, offers cultural orientation to Americans going to Africa as students, volunteers, tourists, and more, as well as orientation to Africans living in the USA. Africonexion has the expertise to help people think about, prepare for, and deal with these cultural differences. Though it is easy to talk about celebrating cultural diversity, Africonexion goes much further, advocating understanding and context of those differences to build mutual respect.

​Joseph Mbele is a folklorist and author. He knows that folklore is the soul of a people. His writings in folklore, including Matengo Folktales, illuminate the underlying values that shape cultures. Mbele has also written Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, which is widely used by colleges and universities, churches, volunteer organizations, companies, embassies, and individuals.

Joseph Mbele enjoys leading tour trips to show Americans and other foreigners the fabulous attractions and cultures of East Africa. He is also a professor at St. Olaf College, and has been since 1990. He has done folklore fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, and the USA, and given lectures and conference papers on folklore in Canada, Finland, India, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and USA.

My Clients

Joseph Mbele works with many different people as a cultural consultant.

•  Colleges and Universities
•  Churches
•  Volunteer Organizations
•  Companies
•  Embassies
•  Tour Companies
•  Individuals

Africonexion promotes educational and cultural travel to Africa, working with East African tour companies to offer unforgettable experiences. Joseph Mbele has a long history and love of teaching and helping people learn. After earning a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and before coming to St. Olaf in 1990 to teach post-colonial and third-world literature, he taught in the Literature Department of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Over the years, he has taught courses such as Swahili Literature, Theory of Literature, African Literature, Sociology of Literature, Post-Colonial and Third World Literature, The Epic, African-American Literature, and a popular course he calls “The Hero and the Trickster.”

​Joseph Mbele offers both book talks and cultural consults for a variety of audiences. Do you or your organizations need help crossing cultural barriers? Curious to learn more? Check out his Publications or use the Contact page to send a message to Joseph.

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