Ryland Fisher

Through the haze of that race cloud

My biggest fear in entering the debate about Jimmy Manyi’s comments on coloured people is that I will be seen as a coloured person speaking about coloured issues. My fear is that, because of this, my views will not be taken seriously. Unfortunately, our post-apartheid society has become so racialised that we no longer look…

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Johnny Issel: What he meant to me

The first thing I did when I heard last Sunday that Johnny Issel had passed away was to listen to my vinyl of Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier. I thought it appropriate because this was the theme song of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the early 1980s and Issel was a founder member. As I…

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A birthday with strangers

I have just spent my 50th birthday with a group of strangers in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Well, most of them were strangers until two days ago, but by the time of my birthday on Saturday/Sunday (depending on which time zone you followed), most of them had become close friends. The occasion was an “International Dialogue for…

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Wanted: MPs on Facebook

One of the big stories of the week, which did not get much coverage, was one that would have been funny if it was not so very sad. It had to do with the fact that 85% of parliamentarians are not computer literate. This means that only 15% of our elected leaders know how to…

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Freedom still a distant dream

Now that the dust has settled on Freedom Day — April 27, the 16th anniversary of the first time all South Africans voted in a democratic election — it is worth reflecting on what it means to be free, what we still need to do to achieve more freedom and what we need to do…

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What’s in a proper noun?

Amid all the political and other chaos in South Africa last week, we missed a potentially very important story: and that involved the planned changes to Scrabble. The producers of this popular board game announced that they intend to introduce a rule that would allow the use of proper nouns, something that has never happened…

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Please don’t turn the Terre’Blanche murder into a race issue

It is understandable that when one of South Africa’s best-known racist is murdered on his farm, that there are some people who will read racism into his murder. It even suits the political agenda of some people who campaign against the murder of white farmers by black people. But no matter how racist AWB leader…

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Why has Cape Town restricted anti-apartheid heroes to township streets?

Twenty years after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and with all the doom and gloom going around, there is one issue that has upset me for a while. It’s not HIV/Aids, or crime, or violence against women, or unemployment, or the lack of proper housing for poor people, or drug abuse on the…

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I’m ashamed to be part of the media

There have been times when I have been ashamed to be part of the media industry: this week was one of those. The role that the media played in the virtual destruction of a poor family’s life in the Western Cape this week cannot be overlooked. Before he became the focus of media attention in…

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Lessons from India

Before I went to India, I was warned that it could potentially have a life-changing impact on me. And it did. Days after I returned from Mount Abu, via Ahmadabad, Mumbai, Doha, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg, I am still struggling to get to grips with what I had experienced and how it has changed…

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