News/Politics

Why Africa doesn’t need Bjorn Lomborg’s fossil fuel PR

“Revolutions are, as a rule, rare and momentous processes”, but across the African continent the potential for a clean energy revolution which upsets and leapfrogs the old fossil fuel order is ripe. Globally, clean energy technology has developed at such a rapid pace that a predominately clean energy future which brings energy access to all…

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Malema, curry and casual bigotry

Two weeks ago, a journalist sent me a list of questions about racism and parenting. “Do you often think about how to protect your child from racism?” was one of them. “Is it important in your parenting approach?” This is still a theoretical question for me right now, though in years to come I will…

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Enslaved by freedom

By Danai Nhando Bob Marley’s famous lyrics in Redemption Song have been a silent anthem in my head of late. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” The more I ponder on the state of my beloved continent, the more I realise how ironic it is that he sung this…

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Are activist youth our agents of real social change?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba Today’s youth are no longer the “lost generation” apathetic about the societies surrounding them. They are acutely conscious of their marginal structural position. Now, they no longer trust the state’s willingness and ability to find solutions to their problems. In their shared marginalisation, young people have developed a sense of common identity…

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Whites only Oscars and black sour grapes

The recent announcement of an exclusive all-white list of actors who are the finalists for this year’s Oscars has provoked a lot of negative black reaction. Big names in the movie industry like Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, among others, have criticised and condemned the list of nominees. Many other black people…

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They herded us into the aircraft like cattle

By Robtel Neajai Pailey I thought I’d become immune to the indignities of travelling with an African passport, but an encounter last month proved me wrong. After a series of meetings in Dakar, I travelled back to London via Madrid on a red-eye Iberia Airlines flight. Disembarking from the plane in Madrid in the early…

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Mbeki must leave the past in the past

It would seem one of the greatest leaders to emerge from the liberation struggle, Thabo Mbeki, can neither leave the past behind nor ignore his detractors. The former president wants everyone to like him. Much as he succeeded Nelson Mandela in 1999, Mbeki told the country and world that his shoes were too big and…

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Peace is not an event

Over the weekend I watched Particle Fever, a documentary that follows six of the 10 000 scientists who joined forces to build the Large Hadron Collider and find the so-called “god particle”. It was a long-term experiment initiated in the 1990s that was successfully completed in 2013, nearly 50 years after the existence of the particle…

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Are Africa-China relations really a win-win situation?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba China’s Africa interface has received much public spotlight over the years. Public debate has been critical of whether China’s engagement translates into win-win benefits for Africa. South Africa’s left movement has gone as far as cautioning against “a new form of colonialism or imperialism”. As the world commemorates the 50th anniversary of…

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The dark side of the global village

We are constantly being reminded that because of instant digital connectivity, we live in a global village. Along with another over-worked modern metaphor — that it takes a village to raise a child — this is a phrase generally used with approval or, at worst, resignation. The less salutary aspects of village life are rarely…

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