General

What the trees and their friends try to tell us…

The sound of leaves in a wind is my earliest memory. When I was strolled in a pram, the branches above, bursting with leaves, were my first gift: consciousness. I emerged from this moment, long before recognising my mother or sister’s touch or my father’s voice. The moment was electric, a drawn-out hiss as gunpowder…

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This is why I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore

Unemployment is at its highest in SA at the moment, and even worse for the youth. Graduate unemployment is at an alarming rate. For those who are fortunate enough to be employed, there are times when you reach a point and have to say “deuces” to your employer. This could be brought on by a…

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Angola’s saga of repression

With its totalitarian government and a president in power since 1979, Angola stands out as one of the most repressive countries in the southern African region. Dubbed a “psychological prison” in the words of one activist, Angola’s constrained civil society environment has recently gotten worse. Last month, several concerned citizens were rounded up by Angolan…

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Charlize Theron, Caitlyn Jenner, and the Eternal Recurrence of the Same

I am not a thought leader. I am not qualified to lead anyone, or for that matter to have anyone follow me, in thought. To be honest, I don’t know of too many people qualified for that job. I certainly don’t think this guy is one of them. Is this … irony? If it is,…

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Public health in SA: Crying out for help, but who is listening?

By Louise Carmody I was one of over a hundred people who gathered last week in the University of the Free State auditorium, as communities shared their experiences with an independent panel of three commissioners. Treatment Action Campaign and Section 27 convened the panel to investigate the real situation of public health care services in…

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Time for a truce between Art and the Public

Is a truce needed between art and the public? Art is often criticised for being elitist, a “luxury” enjoyed by collectors, art aficionados and the bourgeoisie. Art is perceived to have some quality, some distinction that prevents it from pleasing mass palates. There is some truth to this view when one thinks of commercial art…

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Circumcision SA style – the unkindest cut of all

It demands a certain je ne sais quoi for someone of apparently sound mind to allow a man clad in animal skins to slice off their foreskin with a rusty assegai. And that in an isolated bush camp in the dead of winter, nogal. Especially since this rite of passage to manhood comes parcelled with…

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Charlize Theron, Caitlyn Jenner – is ugly the new beautiful?

Is it possible to have one’s fill of beautiful women? They gaze at us from glossy magazines, billboards, social media channels and OMG, even in real life. Oh, their huge eyes, rounded bottoms and slowly parting lips. If their visual allure could be turned into sound, what noise would they make? The hum of hovering…

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There is a plague in my hood and to the enemy it smells good

By Lindokuhle Shandu There is a plague in my hood where even the unborn struggles to make it out of the womb. Those who do, these fragile babies, turn into kids who are confused and before they reach adulthood carry knives and porn magazines instead of pencils and drawing pads to primary schools. In our…

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Redressing Rhodes’ legacy

When Rhodes fell in South Africa it reverberated globally. His statue, gazing over a changed country, is a metaphor for modern-day South Africa. Even though the country’s transition was relatively bloodless, its change mostly peaceful, and its black majority theoretically free; the Rainbow Nation’s democratic achievements are fiercely contested. The inherited systemic inequality, made worse…

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