Ryland Fisher

Understanding Allan Boesak

I am no apologist for Allan Boesak, who hit the headlines again this week after he resigned from the Congress of the People. However, I have known the man for a long time and have tried to understand his mind through all the dramas in his life. These dramas, of course, include the Di Scott…

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We remain obsessed with racism

I have to admit that I did not read the report on which the Cape Times based its “Cape Town is a racist city — study” banner headline last Thursday (October 22 2009). I did try to get a copy of the report, commissioned by the Employment Equity Programme and conducted by Sabie Surtee and…

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A life ended too soon

When I was editor of the Cape Times and decided in 1998 to launch a project called “One City, Many Cultures”, I knew that I needed the best people to work on it. It was going to be an editorial project for which I was going to hire some of the best writers and photographers…

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Hamba kahle Winston Mankunku Ngozi

The news came unexpectedly in a text message this morning (Tuesday 13 October 2009): “Bro Winston Mankunku Ngozi has passed on. Our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends. May he find peace.” Just two Sundays ago, we were paying tribute to Mankunku and his music at the inappropriately named Swingers jazz club. At…

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Malema vs Terre’Blanche: A breeding ground for radicalism

It is with great interest that I have been following the careers of Eugene Terre’Blanche and Julius Malema. In some ways, both of them remind me of the bad things that we have tried to put behind us in this country. They both remind me of children who, in their frustration to get their points…

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In search of a South African identity

A while ago I was speaking to an African-American friend who was visiting South Africa. He told me that he found it strange that when he is in the United States, he is considered an African-American, but when he is in Africa, he is only an American. I thought about this comment last week when…

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Driven by race

I was fortunate last week to attend the Fourth World Summit on Arts and Culture at Museum Africa in Newtown last week. The theme of the summit was “Meeting of Cultures: Creating Meaning Through the Arts”. For three days, we talked about intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity and everyone was agreed, roughly, on the need…

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Happy birthday, Boeta Robbie

Robbie Jansen, legendary Cape Town jazz saxophonist, flautist and singer, turns 60 today (August 5 2009) … and I am fortunate to pay tribute to this musical great while he is still alive. These days it is quite sad to see Jansen perform with his ever-present oxygen tank. He still tries to hit the high…

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A different kind of festival

This week we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Cape Town Festival and I can’t believe that ten years have gone by so quickly. The festival was born out of the “One City, Many Cultures” project that I initiated while I was editor of the Cape Times. The project was a direct response to…

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Taking ownership of an American president

A talk show host on a Cape Town radio station was joking (Wednesday, November 5 2008) about how a coloured won the F1 title on Sunday and how another coloured won the US presidential election. I had never thought about it like this but I guess when somebody achieves something in life, everybody wants to…

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