Tag Archives: historical narratives

Poo-pooing the Rhodes historical narrative

In two years, Cape Town has experienced two rather rude awakenings in the form of “poo protests” in normally sanitised areas meant to represent the best of the Western Cape’s development. The first protest, organised by the disenfranchised Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, was meant to highlight the deplorable conditions of toilets in informal settlements and…

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The untold history lesson…

I have spent a good two hours writing this exam paper and am relieved to be finally constructing a good response, with just over an hour to go before “pens down”. No later than my relief came, the intercom rings, and with that my answer vanishes. “The school is requested to please stop writing, stand…

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Are we trapped in conversation?

With black consciousness thick in the air, old comrades smiling knowingly at each other, and images of the late Strini Moodley projected in front of us, those of us too young to be dynamic rebels against apartheid sensed a whiff of what it might have felt like to be at a secret activist meeting. The…

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How should we remember Zuma’s presidency?

History is a complex social construction but a few grand narratives tend to stick out. Among other stories we’ll remember Mandela as the reconciliatory president, asking us to throw our “pangas into the sea” and forgive. We’ll remember Mbeki’s poetic appeal to our African identity, an aloof renaissance man and, bitter-sweet, as the statesman who…

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