Mandela Rhodes Scholars

Two ways to curb South Africa’s jobs crisis

By Zukiswa Mqolomba South Africa is currently facing a job crisis of epic proportions. The change in unemployment numbers masks even sharper deterioration in the labour market. Firstly, it masks the increase in the number of “discouraged work seekers” as individuals have given up hope of finding work. Secondly it masks the exponential increase in…

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Are activist youth our agents of real social change?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba Today’s youth are no longer the “lost generation” apathetic about the societies surrounding them. They are acutely conscious of their marginal structural position. Now, they no longer trust the state’s willingness and ability to find solutions to their problems. In their shared marginalisation, young people have developed a sense of common identity…

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Are Africa-China relations really a win-win situation?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba China’s Africa interface has received much public spotlight over the years. Public debate has been critical of whether China’s engagement translates into win-win benefits for Africa. South Africa’s left movement has gone as far as cautioning against “a new form of colonialism or imperialism”. As the world commemorates the 50th anniversary of…

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Human (in)security: Can the AU accelerate intra-Africa trade?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba According to the latest Human Development Report, sub-Saharan Africa countries, even those classified as middle-income countries, have disappointingly low human development indices (HDIs). HDIs are worse in Africa’s conflict zones. A reading of the literature suggests three things in order to boost intra-Africa trade: Firstly, a key tenant lies with navigating the…

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What is ‘post’ in post-apartheid? Reflecting on my experiences

By Iris Nxumalo In a very engaging, robust class discussion about post-colonial societies, my lecturer challenged us by asking, “What is so post about post-colonial societies?” I paused. Upon reflection, I started to unpack our categorisations of people’s lived experiences into neat, temporal frameworks that organise our histories. I started to interrogate the places and…

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‘Don’t you want to be white?’

By Lorato Palesa Modongo “Coming to a new country always forces you to confront things about yourself that you never considered before.” — Staceyann Chin, poet. I am from Botswana. Literally next door. I came to South Africa in 2013 to take up postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University. I had three reasons. Firstly, psychology is…

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Being a dominee in SA today – A letter to my Dutch Reformed ancestors

By Nadia Marais Dear ancestors, I write to you because I hope you might help us following the uproar last week after the Dutch Reformed Church’s General Synod decided to recognise same-sex relationships. On the one hand it is strange that there is such an uproar at all, not only because one of the core…

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Why your grade 11 results are important

By Lehlohonolo Mofokeng When I was in high school I seldom thought about the significance of my grade 11 results for life after school. Many students think grade 12 is the most important but nothing could be further from the truth. These days you stand little chance of landing a good job or starting a…

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Luister, you can keep your Oxford scholarship

By Mark John Burke Three years ago, I sat around a dinner table as one of 10 national finalists for five very prestigious scholarships to Oxford. Across from me sat a professor who insisted: “We need to do away with Afrikaans completely. It is the language of the oppressor. We need to start with universities.”…

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A commemoration of Nelson Mandela

By Zuki Mqolomba ”Bring back Nelson Mandela/Bring him back home to Soweto/I want to see him walking down the streets of South Africa tomorrow/Nelson Mandela” [Hugh Masekela, Bring back Nelson Mandela] ”The year 1963/The People’s President/Was taken away by security men/All dressed in a uniform/The brutality, brutality/Oh no, my black president/Him and his comrades/Were sentenced…

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