Miriam Mannak

Remembering my grandfather

My grandfather was a remarkable man. Although his life was far from easy at times, he in every sense was the personification of humanity, dignity, strength, loyalty, generosity and honesty. He was always there to help someone out, even strangers. He was free of prejudice. He never judged a book by its cover. He travelled…

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Chopping off foreskins NOT the answer to HIV in our prisons

In an attempt to curb the spread of HIV in its overcrowded prisons the authorities of Kwa-Zulu Natal have come up with a Plan d’Excellence Supreme Edition. Instead of focusing on key problems that form the root of HIV pandemic in its prisons, the province put all their eggs in the ‘let’s treat the symptoms’…

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‘Ag, there are no roadblocks so I can drink’

There she was. A pretty blond mommy of two darling children, cruising to where ever she was going in her shiny red Ford Fiesta. Whilst she was busy smsing on her cellphone, she forgot to use her indicator. Instead of going straight ahead she turned left. Next to her, her daughter – a pretty little angle in a white dress with pink flowers – was sitting on her knees, leaning on the dashboard. She smiled, mommy smiled, baby brother smiled. A happy little family. Bliss. What is wrong with this picture? Well, as far as I know EVERYTHING!

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R54.5bn has gone AWOL: Why no outrage?

Please do me a favour and jump back in time – say 12 to 16 months back. You are driving home from work and the radio is on. All of a sudden the news presenter announces how the RXXXX billion for Cape Town’s / Joburg’s / Rustenburg’s / Durban’s stadium has vanished without a trace….

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Once upon a time there was a gay American soldier…

The United States of America is one helluva weird country. On the one hand, the land of the free and home of the brave claims to be the world’s biggest, bestest democracy. Indeed, it has a crispy clean Bill of Rights and on paper everyone is equal. In practice, however, things are a wee different….

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Hit me Doctor, one more time!

I love kids. I really do, and they seem to love me too. Therefore, one day, I hope to cough up some of my very own meenee-meehs. However, too much of one thing is never good for a person, and that definitely counts for mini humans. I therefore refuse to be a baby factory. I…

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Rwanda on my mind …

His smiling face popped up on a faded, scanned-in picture on one of the millions of Facebook groups. The class photograph was taken in front of the building of Ecole Privée Belge in Gisenyi, Rwanda. It was 1986, the sky was blue, the rain season had finally come to an end and Rwanda’s future looked…

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A harsh analogy of a crisis

Picture the scene of a woman being severly beaten up by her husband, in the very middle of the amphitheatre at the V&A Waterfront. She cries in terror, revulsion, and despair to all who can hear. She begs for help, and tries to alter her behavior and identity to calm down and please her man.The…

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Zim: a tad too late …

“You are hereby fired,” the Queen of England must have muttered, when stripping Mugabe of his honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Civil Division of The Most Honourable Order of Bath. “The elections are an outright sham!” squealed George Bush. “We will not recognise the outcome of the elections!” declared Europe as one, showing for…

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Confessions of a journalist

When I studied journalism, I was taught, among other things, that in order to call yourself a competent journalist you should have the ability to remain a fly on the wall at all times. “Your job is to observe, not to interfere, and to switch off your emotions in order to be as objective as…

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