Tag Archives: activism

Creating social capital for mental health: A case study of the Durban advocacy walk

By Suntosh R Pillay On October 15, the Durban community will meet at the North Beach amphitheatre and ‘Step up for Mental Health’. This will be a mass community initiative for Mental Health Awareness Month, organised by the KZN Mental Health Advocacy Group, of which PsySSA KZN is a partner. It is community and social…

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Raising hair, crowning glory: A poem to thank Pretoria Girls High

By Thirusha Naidu Raising Hair, Crowning Glory Thank you Pretoria Girls High You have introduced us To future heroes. Yesterday, asleep In the soft arms of their mothers Now roused. Coldly, by bleached fingers, from childhood sleep. Dragged by the hair, Protesting, into womanhood . Thank you Pretoria Girls High By your Amazing Grace Africa’s…

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Climate change activism DOES work, even against a colossus

Anyone who feels as strongly about some issues in the globalised world as I do, would feel buoyed by reading the article by Alex Altman, titled “The Thin Green Line”, in a recent edition of TIME magazine (February 15, 2016, p. 38-41). It is a tale of hard-won success on the part of tough environmental…

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The pointless hypocrisy of pretending to be homeless

The eThekwini Municipality recently offered “an opportunity of a lifetime” for residents to sleep on the streets – for a night. Along with I-Care, a non-profit helping homeless kids, the purpose was to give people a taste of the hardships experienced by being homeless. “Participants will spend one evening with homeless people of the city…

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Is there anybody there, beneath the trolling shit?

In 2014 I had a troll who wouldn’t leave me alone. He wrote hundreds of words about me without having ever met me. This troll painted a distorted picture of who I was, while hiding behind the safe anonymity of a non-descript picture and made-up name. He responded to my writing with outrage, and people…

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‘Start with the room you’re in, change that conversation’

By Suntosh R Pillay “We have too much faith in leadership. It lets us off the hook so we can say someone else messed up.” This was the warning of Rama Naidu, a panellist at the third annual Conversations for Change in Durban. An initiative of The Mandela Rhodes Community, it was held amid tense…

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Thuli and other 21st century ‘freedom fighters’ among Time 100

Although she occupies only a sliver of a column on p. 80 in the “leaders” section of Time magazine’s special edition on “The 100 Most Influential people” (May 5 2014), this should not mislead anyone as to the comparative importance of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s inclusion in this annual pantheon of (itself) one of the…

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I’ve had enough of Bullard. And so should you

In 2008, proud racist David Bullard was fired from the Sunday Times for a column wherein he denigrated black South Africans. In seems that, after the failure of his many legal matters against the Sunday Times and its owning company Avusa, Bullard found a new hobby. And that hobby is harassing and bullying rape survivors – and I get the special honour of being his target of choice.

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An activist’s manifesto for 2014: Ten social justice issues to champion

The fanfare at the beginning of a new year is usually celebratory and full of hope. This celebration is a way for people to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. But last year, 2013, was a particularly tumultuous year in South Africa when we were besieged by problems. In reality, these problems have been…

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Will the real celebrities please stand up?

I have heard people who watch too much TV and listen to the radio ask: What is a celebrity? What makes Pearl Thusi, Kuli Roberts, DJ Sbu, Khanyi Mbau, Kenny Kunene or Phat Joe, for example, a celebrity? I do not have answers to these questions but it would be helpful to look back to…

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