Athambile Masola

In solidarity with women who speak out

This morning I woke up and like most people logged onto Facebook — out of habit. I saw a friend’s status about a reference list. I naively thought she was referring to her PhD reference list. I made a glib comment with an emoji and scrolled down for more news. The next status I saw…

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Rape, the South African nightmare

By the time I was in matric three of my friends had told me they had been raped. Not by strangers in some dark alley the way I imagined rape happened. They were raped by people who were in their inner circle: friends, acquaintances. When I was in Grade 11 someone I knew was gang…

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Making local knowledge matter in the classroom

Recently my grade 10 pupils had to present orals using quotes from African writers. While listening to their orals I was struck by the lacklustre nature of their speeches. When I introduced the assessment to the girls there was an understanding that the speeches should be interesting and that the opportunity to research African writers…

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Racism, a distraction that keeps us explaining our existence

“The function, the very serious function of racism, is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language, so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly, so you have scientists…

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The fragmented bodies of consumerism

The advertising industry seemed to be working really hard to get the consumer’s attention this festive season. A few ads caught my eye — for the wrong reasons. While browsing at Stuttafords I was confronted with an image of a woman’s legs while the rest of her body formed the shape of a Christmas tree…

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The problem with the Rémy Martin man

Mayihlome Tshwete is the face of Rémy Martin. The billboard is plastered arrogantly in Rosebank (you can’t miss it if you’re driving down Bolton Road). The kind of masculinity advertised by the campaign — “You only get one life. Live them” — features young men such as Tshwete as the “product” of the slash generation….

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Dear Mr President, I was hoping to see you at the Union Buildings

The podium was ready and your police officers were there ready to protect you. I was told you would address us at 12 noon. Some of us were naïve enough to think that you would really come. We are always full of hope. Some of us stood by the fence doing a countdown for your…

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On assimilation and double consciousness

“In common with many Bombay-raised middle-class children of my generation, I grew up with an intimate knowledge of, and even sense of friendship with, a certain kind of England: a dream England composed of Test Matches at Lord’s presided over by the voice of John Arlott, at which Freddie Trueman bowled unceasingly and without success…

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It is too soon to forget about apartheid

I recently watched the movie Woman in Gold. It is based on a true story about Maria Altmann’s journey in getting the Austrian government to return to her a Klimt painting that was stolen from her family during the Nazi occupation of Austria during World War II. This women’s journey towards justice is a long…

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#Luister: Black skin a burden in Stellenbosch

How does it feel to be a problem? — WEB Du Bois Stellenbosch University’s exclusionary language policy has once again made it into the news. It’s an open secret that the university has been hostile towards students who question the policy and more importantly, the town is hostile to black people who live in the…

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