Gcobani Qambela

‘On a knife-edge': Anti-blackness and economic violence at Rhodes University

All around South Africa, this is a time where predominantly young people flock campuses, straight out of high school to begin the next chapter of their lives. At the university currently known as “Rhodes”, this was no different. All one could spot were groups of enthusiastic young people parading through campus attending various activities orientating…

18 Comments Continue Reading →

Beyond 2015: Setting an inclusive and pro-LGBTIQA development agenda

I recently read an interesting article titled “Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up” by Hannah Stoddart. Stoddart, concerned with the very high rise in state-sanctioned homophobia in Africa, shows how homosexuality in some African countries is often accompanied by a life sentence or up to 20…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Voices of the Drylands?

An academic colleague and I recently took our third-year anthropology students to go see the Voices of the Drylands photographic exhibition by Attie Gerber currently showing at the North West University Gallery in Potchefstroom. The students are taking a course on research methods with my colleague and one on theory and representation in anthropology with…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Winnie Mandela and the misrecognition of black women

Mail & Guardian columnist Verashni Pillay in “Five times Winnie Mandela has let us down” writes that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s quest to reclaim the Mandela Qunu home “is another embarrassing incident to add to her growing list of failures”. Pillay says there’s “historical revisionism happening in some quarters of our nation these days that brands Nelson…

22 Comments Continue Reading →

Blackface, Khaya Dlanga and why we can’t disentangle sexism from racism

Speaking recently at Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism in Cape Town, iconic political activist and scholar Angela Davis in her talk “Anti-Racism: Transnational Solidarities” remarked that “black unity” is often a term that never fits the lived reality of many black people. She made an example of how in the “black power” movements in…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

David Saks and the naturalness of white contempt

In Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (edited by Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla), Ama Biney notes in the chapter “The Historical Discourse on Humanism: Interrogating the Paradoxes” that Aimé Cesaire notably made the case that Hitler’s crime was mainly that “he applied to Europe colonialist procedures, which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs…

29 Comments Continue Reading →

What does a ‘non-racial’ SA look like?

The University of California Humanities Research Institute’s Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory in conjunction with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research’s (Wiser) Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism kicked off yesterday at the University of the Witwatersrand. The theme is “Archives of the Non-Racial“. It began with a conversation between Ahmed Kathrada and…

12 Comments Continue Reading →

The problem with ’emasculating men’

“Gender activist” Mbuyiselo Botha and University of South Africa professor Kopano Ratele recently wrote an article published in the Sunday Independent titled “Capitalism has emasculated black men”. They argue that “the struggle of the mineworkers is part of the long war waged by the black working class and poor men to regain their self-worth”. And…

19 Comments Continue Reading →

Maya Angelou: A phenomenal life for a phenomenal woman

“There was no need to discuss racial prejudice. Hadn’t we all, black and white, just snatched the remaining Jews from the hell of concentration camps? Race prejudice was dead. A mistake made by a young country. Something to be forgiven as an unpleasant act committed by an intoxicated friend” writes Dr Maya Angelou in her…

2 Comments Continue Reading →

How DA rhetoric propels black pathology stereotypes

“There is a kind of arrogance and racism that assumes if you are black, then you are a member of the ANC” uttered Mamphela Ramphele (paraphrased) at the Dispatch Dialogues hosted by the Daily Dispatch in conjunction with the University of Fort Hare in East London two weeks ago. These remarks were made at an…

5 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 112