Mandela Rhodes Scholars

African beauty is not in the hands of the beholder …

Submitted by Cynthia Ayeza There was a time that I believed that the idea behind the Nokia Face of Africa was brilliant as it inspired young girls to get into modelling careers. The show inevitably gave a limited variety of girls the opportunity to compete more on a physical level than on an intellectual level….

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Student media: SA’s ugly duckling

Submitted by Lionel Faull On National Press Freedom Day last October, Daily Dispatch deputy editor Andrew Trench gave a lecture at Rhodes University in which he mentioned the “juniorisation” of South African newsrooms. As deputy editors go, Andrew is pretty young himself. But his point was that there is a yawning gap in age, skills…

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Afropessimism or bust?

Submitted by Tristan Görgens Our Afropessimism has an indignant tone. South Africa has long been the home of exceptionalism. We did white, minority rule differently, we fought for liberation differently, we avoided civil war with a negotiated settlement, we taught the world about truth and reconciliation, we were the champions and purveyors of Nepad and…

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The day after Mugabe: What then? What now?

Submitted by Bryony Green “We hope the transition will be a peaceful one, relatively peaceful, and that Mr Mugabe will step down with dignity, gracefully.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu, in his uncompromised integrity, has continually called for peace and unity in Zimbabwe. His latest call, however, begs the questions of what exactly a…

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Meeting Mandela: The concept of legacy

Submitted by Zdena Mtetwa Many of us have attended those sessions where we are asked “What inspires you?” or “Who is your role model?” Sometimes we settle for the ones that are closer home, like “my mother”. Of course, some, if not most of us actually mean this. Our mothers are usually wonderful people, and…

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I (hope one day I can) wear what I like

Submitted by Rumbi Goredema “Ain’t I a woman?” — Sojourner Truth A few weeks ago, Ncumisa Ngcukana was sexually assaulted at the Noord Street taxi rank because she was wearing a miniskirt. That’s the official version, at least. In the days that have followed, a bitter fight has raged between women (not just feminists, or…

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The prize for achievement in African leadership: Juicy carrot or red herring?

Submitted by Olivier Jarda Joaquim Chissano was in the bush, mediating between a rebel group and a government in northern Uganda, when Kofi Annan announced to the world that Chissano would be the first winner of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. On the day of the announcement of the inaugural prize…

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Institutionalised segregation in SA

Submitted by Boitumelo Magolego Being called African and/or South African, in my estimation, is a politically correct euphemism or synonym for calling one black (black referring to a non-homogenous people originally called the Bantu). An euphemism, because depending on one’s so-called race, calling a person black may be construed as being pejorative. A synonym, because…

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Taxi life: What a ‘joy’-ride!

Submitted by Judy Sikuza Many constituents have labelled the Gautrain as “a train for the rich” and feel that the project is a waste of funds that could go to alternative transportation projects. I am sure numerous taxi drivers would agree with the latter component. After all, who needs a fast, high-tech transport system like…

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Superficially South African

Submitted by Matthew Beetar I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Provinces of South Africa, and to the Republic for which it stands … Then again, maybe not. I have run into a fair amount of criticism for not being completely patriotic and enthusiastic about the construction of a compulsory South African identity….

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