Equality

The June 16s of tomorrow

Yesterday we honoured Youth Day in South Africa, a day when we remember the hundreds of young people who were massacred in 1976 by the apartheid regime for their peaceful protests against a state education system that sought to forever keep them as economic slaves. It took the courage of children to bring the apartheid…

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#RachelDolezal, I cannot escape being black

We live in a world where we are told we can be whatever we want — a doctor, lawyer, astronaut. And black? Recently the Washington branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People was “outed” as being white after posing as black for more than a decade. Black twitter was on…

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South Africa and other orphaning nations (Jani Allan Part II)

Even now, a quarter of a century later, here in Auckland, New Zealand, I have mentioned to other South Africans Jani Allan’s newly released memoir Jani Confidential and they respond, “so what was she doing with that idiot ET (Eugene Terre’Blanche)?” “For God’s sake,” I reply, “give the woman a break”. As Jani Allan says…

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What is a ‘rhizome’ in Deleuze and Guattari’s thinking?

People who do a lot of gardening probably know what a “rhizome” is in botanical terms. It is a kind of plant (including the prolific “wandering Jew”) that pops out of the ground over an expanding area, giving the impression that many separate plants are emerging in close proximity to one another, but in fact…

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In a world obsessed with passport tiers, citizenship is personal and political

By Robtel Neajai Pailey Late last week, I was informed that I would not be able to travel to Dubai for an important meeting scheduled months ago. Like other countries across the globe, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) halted travel for those with Guinean, Liberian, and Sierra Leonean passports during the height of the Ebola…

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What is ideology?

Those of us who were studying at the time of the great “cold war” tussle between the superpowers would remember that, at that time, one thought of ideology as a more or less coherent system of ideas that demanded a way of living, or certain actions in accordance with those ideas. So, for example, communism…

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My name is Siphumelele, not Sipho

By Siphumelele Zondi Last week President Jacob Zuma joked about people who cannot pronounce Nkandla but now constantly use the word Nkhandla in conversations. The way in which the two words have been written is to emphasise the difference in how a Zulu-speaking person will pronounce it. There have been many debates about whether he…

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Save Africa from your ‘humanity’

The world is a mess. From the Accra floods to Ebola. From the missing planes to #Ferguson. From terrorism to reverse terrorism (aka counter-terrorism). To the fact that none of us can trust Fifa anymore. Despite the fact that the world has its own problems the focus is always here. Granted we have more than…

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Statues will fall: A critique of four newspaper columns

The Sunday Tribune carried four articles on April 12, 2015 analysing the Rhodes Must Fall debate in the context of transformation in general. Thank goodness for Shose Kessi’s brilliant analysis that saved those pages from being completely out of touch with activist sentiment on the ground. I want to unpack the complexities that each writer…

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Please, mind your language

By Yolanda Mitchell Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. This is a core value on which the Constitution is founded. Who doesn’t want to live in a country founded on such a noble base? It sounds like the Promised Land after all — especially to as many…

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