Terri Barnes

Fear

My Zimbabwean PhD student won’t go with me to the demonstration outside Parliament tonight because he would have to go back to Bellville on the train and he’s heard stories of someone who’s in hospital now from having been beat up on the train. My Zimbabwean friends who work in town just got warned that…

21 Comments Continue Reading →

50 First Elections

It’s a terrible movie, but then it’s a terrible world. The one where Drew Barrymore has a head injury — she’s cute and sweet and she’s stuck in the same day over and over again. She doesn’t remember anything that happened the day before, so she wakes up bright and fresh and innocent and appealing…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe

Life expectancy for a woman in Zimbabwe is 34 years. So, if I were a Zimbabwean woman/statistic, I would have been dead for 16 years by now. I’d be a very faded memory, a big grin in a yellowing photo tucked into the dusty pages of a novel that no one had picked up for…

16 Comments Continue Reading →

An American Tuesday

Today is a big day in American presidential politics, as partisan voters in 21 states choose their preferred candidates for their party’s presidential nomination. The Republicans are running the reactionary tweedles against the Neanderthal tweedles. In the race for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, it has been infuriating watching Hillary Clinton speechify…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Just a ‘good ol’ boy’ from Nkandla

In December 2000, I stayed up every night watching CNN as the challenges to George Bush’s election never quite achieved tidal-wave proportions. They ebbed away when Al Gore finally quit. In South Africa people shook their heads: “Do the Americans understand what they have done?” Now the shoe is on the other foot. In December…

20 Comments Continue Reading →

Merre Christmas

Modderdam Road runs from the N2 highway into the centre of beautiful downtown Bellville, part of greater Cape Town. I’ve been driving the four or so kilometers of the road to the University of the Western Cape every day for 10 years. Modderdam is a microcosm of the world we live in: vistas of development…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

Wet in Plett

When my family went camping there were two cardinal rules: don’t squat to poop in a hornets’ nest (which I did once and was forever after ragged by my brothers) and always sweep out the tent before you fold it up. What to tell my eager, newly matriculated 17-year-old off to a flooded Plett with…

3 Comments Continue Reading →