Lifestyle

Do you give to beggars at robots?

Johannesburg is full of three things: • Cars. (The city is obsessed with them.) • Traffic lights (or, as we like to call them, robots). • And beggars. At red robots, all three come together. And every Joburg motorist therefore needs to have a view on beggars. A strategy, if you like. Do you give?…

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A dangerous game of darts in the dark

By Daniel Berman and Gregory Hussey South Africa claims with pride its status as a middle-income country and economic powerhouse but when it comes to saving the lives of children through routine immunisations, we are far behind neighbouring countries. By 2010, South Africa was already spending R1.2 billion on vaccine procurement every year but child vaccination…

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The only responsibility of a young adult author is to tell a good story

Teenagers are easy to influence. Their plastic minds are wide open to suggestion from just about any source, except for their parents or other authority figures. Popular culture seems to play a particularly large role in shaping their behaviour. In the literary world, this has led to a great deal of introspection on the part…

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Is crime fiction ready for black villains?

Crime fiction has come a long way. A 100 years ago, if a character in a crime novel had dark skin, a hooked nose, differently-shaped eyes, or even just an accent, it was a known signifier of villainy. These tropes were recognised and accepted by readers and writers alike. It must have made writers’ lives…

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Enough with the skin whitening

By Afua Hirsch It is a familiar formula for persuading women to buy a new beauty product: plaster billboards of a beautiful model in the capital city, accompanied by a catchy slogan written in the language of the ordinary woman. But when new adverts for skin cream Khess Petch – a skin-lightening cream whose name…

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Why is 50 Shades selling?

Like Prof Ron Nicolson, writing last week in ‘Maritzburg’s daily The Witness, I’m hesitant to criticise a book I’ve never (and have no urge to) read. But why has EL James’s 50 Shades of Grey caused pandemonium? Why is it selling so much, asks Nicolson and many others? Forty million copies later, the book’s stirred…

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Policing women’s erotic choices

Sex sells. This is not breaking news. From medieval monks doodling erotic drawings in the margins of their illuminated manuscripts to naughty Victorians printing salacious postcards, the urge to celebrate sex in art and literature is nothing new. It is also not new for women to want a slice of the erotic market for themselves….

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Driven by necessity? You be the judge

It was interesting to note that at last month’s Judicial Service Commission interviews for the post of KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president, Judge President Chiman Patel chose to grill Judge Isaac Madondo over the fact that he was the only judge in the division to enjoy the services of a dedicated driver. Judge Madondo responded that…

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Why I’ve retired from men

So it’s that time of the year again: the anniversary of my divorce (or divorsary as a friend has termed it). It’s coming up for three years now – if this were a wedding anniversary, the appropriate gift would, apparently, be something to do with leather. I’ve been told on several occasions that it takes…

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Who’s who in the film zoo?

Discop Africa, a Pan-African film and television market for African and international sellers and buyers of content, took place at the Sandton Convention Centre over three days last week. The organisers plan to keep the Sandton Convention Centre as their permanent venue, which is all very good news for the South African film industry. If…

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