Tag Archives: Colonialism

High schools must transform and alumni have an important role to play

Sometime this week I saw some profound words that former Model C schools prepare learners for a world that no longer exists. I couldn’t agree more. I follow my alma mater on Facebook: Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth. I need to state from the onset that I am incredibly proud of this…

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Ubuntu and eco-feminism as an antidote to neoliberalism

How many people have noticed that neoliberal capitalism undermines the values of ubuntu (“I am because others are”) as a traditional African practice? And how many know that ubuntu and ecofeminism share some fundamental principles and values? I know of at least one such person, and her work in this regard is extremely significant. In…

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Enough of aid – let’s talk reparations

Colonialism is one of those things you’re not supposed to discuss in polite company — at least not north of the Mediterranean. Most people feel uncomfortable about it, and would rather pretend it didn’t happen. In fact, that appears to be the official position. In the mainstream narrative of international development peddled by institutions like…

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You say I’m not African – but that’s where I’m from?

… And my parents were also born and raised in South Africa? Those were the questions running through my mind during an encounter with a senior member of the English Department, Julia*, at a university here in Auckland where I was studying in 2014. We were pleasantly discussing possible PhD courses I could look at…

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Stealing black people’s pain

By Gcobani Qambela and Simamkele Dlakavu The results of the last South African census revealed a South Africa deeply divided along racial lines, with the black majority “still at the bottom of the rung” according to President Jacob Zuma. In terms of average annual income, a white household earns about R365 000 while a black household…

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Time to rethink justice in Africa

I recently attended a public lecture by acclaimed author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, titled The Language of Justice in Africa. The lecture was on how the English language has assumed its powerful status in Anglophone Africa and how the justice systems in these countries, premised on English codes, may actually be miscarrying justice by virtue of…

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Africa, time to get back to basics

As a point of departure, it is important to acknowledge that we know a lot about the challenges confronting the African continent today. Equally, we know more about the world today. It is in this context that a call for rethinking Africa’s political economy is made. Such a rethink is timely because the world economy…

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Ten tips on how to be a colonial

1. Constantly compare your country, its people, its practices, its food, drink, scenery and products to the overseas version and always find the local version wanting. 2. Ignore the cynicism and spiritual poverty of nations who have seen better days. 3. Have no faith in home-grown solutions. Always look for international or European or US…

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Dear Africa

I love you. Not the kind of love that Cardies sells on Valentine’s Day, but in that fraught and knotted way that grips my gut and won’t let go, that tangled mess of love and fear, guilt and longing that characterises all those relationships that mark us most deeply, the ones that truly shape who…

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Scramble for Africa 2.0

By Marc van Olst An auspicious meeting took place at the Berlin residence of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck about 130 years ago. Foreign ministers of 14 European powers and the United States established ground rules for the future exploitation of the “dark continent”. It must have been a lively and tense meeting as the superpowers…

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