Azad Essa

I wasn’t born to scream Islamophobia

There are those sick of hearing that colonisation made Africa a cuckoo’s nest and every new African leader a dark shade of Jack Nicholson. There are those equally tired of hearing a non-white person cry wolf (racism) every time he/she is treated with disdain at work, at the mall or during sex. People treat each…

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Is she the man she’s waited for all her life?

Once upon a time, a child was born to happy parents in Masehlong, in the Limpopo province, northern South Africa. As a young child, Caster Semenya understood she was different from the other girls. While the other petite girls were relishing their new socks at preschool, Caster was already the high jump champion in the…

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Betting on jobs, girls and bandwidth at the casino

KwaZulu-Natal always leads the pack. With the economic recession, the province has the dubious distinction of playing host to not only the most job losses in the country, the most non-functioning traffic lights, the most street name changes and in a bid to not to be outdone, we also applied to play host to the…

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I am sick of my anti-terrorism kit

So I am standing behind all shapes, sizes, colours and obviously nationalities at Dubai International Mall, otherwise known as Dubai International Airport, waiting to surrender my boarding pass to get on this Emirates flight to Frankfurt. In front of me is a small family: an old woman flanked by her two sons. The woman wears…

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Slip on those heels and grow a penis

When my friend Sara joined a reputable graduate programme in Johannesburg, she was assured that even though the company kills people for a living (they manufacture a kind of poison); the organisational culture at work would be categorically awesome. She was promised personal development mixed with out-of-the-box thinking (necessary if you want people to buy…

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Zumaphobia vs Zumamania: The schism continues

As if the electorate could be any more bewildered by current South African politics, the decision to drop all corruption charges against Jacob Zuma has turned ordinary South Africans into believers, converted sceptics into philosophers and motored immigration turnstiles into action. Just a week before the “most important election” and the electorate couldn’t be more…

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Dalai Lama: Do I feel guilty?

While studying in Delhi some years back, the sociology department organised a “study trip” for our class to the north Indian hill station town Dharamsala, where his holiness, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile for the last five decades along with about 8 000 Tibetan refugees. Like most “study trips”, there was no studying as…

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Valkyrie: Can Hollywood save Germany?

George Bush, Walmart and the “World” Series are normally enough reason to dislike the United States. But if you’re a “rational” soul, and yet still unsure why the world simply cannot run out of reasons to malign the United States; go borrow yourself a couple of mates and run to your local cinema to check…

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Of course Motlanthe deserves his fat pension

In a democracy, today’s leadership is tomorrow’s electorate; power is never predestined and children are not heirs (except of course to hot off-the-cuff black economic empowerment deals). Today, our kings and queens are presidents and prime ministers voted in, not born or ordained by God. They are practical assimilations of royalty without the creed or…

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‘Can I have some more fries please?’

It doesn’t take much to figure out that starving to death is not quite the same as being shelled while sitting in bed reading a comic book, nor is it even remotely confusing as being randomly smashed with a sledgehammer while shopping at your local grocery. Clearly, starving to death could never be as wicked…

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