Lifestyle

Putting our fiction on the map

South Africa has long had a fine international reputation for literary fiction. Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee have both won the Nobel Prize for literature. Coetzee has won the Booker Prize twice. Andre Brink has won a slew of international awards. And those are just the names that come immediately to mind. What we have…

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Don’t touch me on my Facebook!

It seems the revolution comes in many packages, as seen on Facebook in the form of scantily clad sexy babes who sell radical black revolutionary speak, along with perfectly trimmed stomachs, silicone breasts, voluptuous derrieres and overtly sexual profile pictures. Now I know anything to do with black radicalism is dangerous territory for a whitie…

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Are paper books the horse and carriage of the 21st century?

There has been a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching in the book world about the challenges posed by e-books. There is also the separate, but related, matter of the massive, loss-leader discounting that book-store chains practise routinely. Cheap books and e-books are apparently threatening civilisation as we know it. They are certainly causing the demise…

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The white man’s dog

I was invited to be a Thought Leader blogger in the same half hour that I gave our vet the go-ahead to euthanase our big German Shepard, Chow mix – Sphinx. He was an epileptic and had experienced multiple chronic seizures the previous morning. While my heart contorted with pain and tears streamed down my…

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Size matters in Africa

By Afua Hirsch You didn’t have to have tickets to Ghana fashion and design week (GFDW) to get a sense that something was afoot at Accra’s most showy venue, the Mövenpick hotel. In the lobby on the morning the event was meant to start (Ghana being Ghana, the 11am launch happened closer to 3pm), I…

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An incorrigible perversion

This is a story about breast cancer. It is not about a woman who has succumbed to it, nor about a woman who has triumphed over it. It is instead a story about a cold-hearted business decision to make and market a “natural product” which it is claimed contains “nutrients and plant extracts that help…

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Mental health: Can one person make a difference?

How much difference can one person make? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Today is World Mental Health Day, and I’d like to pay tribute to one woman who has made a difference to hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of people who need help, and whose efforts have saved many lives. I…

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Black dolls, it’s a black pride thing

By Afua Hirsch We’ve come a long way since the golliwog, right? These days there are black dolls in every toy shop. Tesco might be known for selling black dolls for the wrong reason – pricing black versions £1 cheaper than almost identical white dolls – but the fact that they sell black dolls is…

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Behind the scenes at the Rand Club

This month, the Rand Club turns 125 years old. Tomorrow, October 6, it hosts an open day from 12 noon until 5pm. If you live in Joburg, and you’ve always wondered what goes on behind that grand facade, this is the perfect opportunity to step through those doors into a different world. Until July this…

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Homosexuality is African

By Eusebius McKaiser As a gay African, with a background in analytic philosophy, the most annoying opposition to my sexual orientation is the claim that my lifestyle is un-African. It is annoying because historic and anthropological claims about the origins of behaviour seldom offer principled reasons why a lifestyle should never be allowed. Colonialists are…

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