Equality

High schools must transform and alumni have an important role to play

Sometime this week I saw some profound words that former Model C schools prepare learners for a world that no longer exists. I couldn’t agree more. I follow my alma mater on Facebook: Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth. I need to state from the onset that I am incredibly proud of this…

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In the ‘pitfalls’ of the national democratic revolution

Way back in 1998, American constitutional theorist Prof Karl Klare published a now famous article in which he set out to define South Africa’s post-apartheid constitutional project. He called this ‘transformative constitutionalism’ and defined it as follows: ‘a long-term project of constitutional enactment, interpretation, and enforcement committed (not in isolation, of course, but in a…

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A letter to a mother who raised black girls

Dear Mama I don’t know if you’ve seen the news: young girls at Pretoria Girls High School have been in the news because their school has racist hair rules. Apparently their some of their parents don’t agree with their protest. What has also been in the news is the story about 3000 girls in the…

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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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Children shouldn’t have to trade off their identity for a good education

It was 1998 and my nine-year old self was late for a phys-ed swimming class. I vividly remember walking into the swimming pool gates and being firmly reprimanded by the teacher who was furious at me. He then proceeded to call me a “kaffir” in front of the whole class. I had never heard the…

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Marikana: Moment of reckoning with whole extractive system

Marikana widows want BASF to admit its complicity as part of the platinum supply chain. The extractive sector in post-apartheid South Africa remains a hotbed of labour and environmental exploitation, with people still working underground in unsafe, unhealthy conditions.  Mining communities continue to be excluded from having a fair share of the wealth accumulated from…

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The Remember Khwezi protest has shone a spotlight on our society’s patriarchal nature

In the last chapter of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, author Mmatshilo Motsei starts her concluding remarks by quoting Sello wa Loate: [w]e need to re-evaluate our value system as a society. The highly competitive environment we have created and the resultant conflict and pressure on different sections of our society make post-apartheid black…

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It’s that time of the year: Women’s Month

The notion of being “a woman” vis-à-vis some other type of specimen has been in my mind lately. Blame the great advertising apparatus that kicks in every August. South Africa, unlike any other country I know, celebrates not just a Women’s Day, but a full Women’s Month. One would be forgiven for assuming that women…

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Rejecting postracialism: Whiteness, morality and decency

Beginning with the contention that most white people view racism conceptually as bad, evil or at least something that is undesirable to be associated with, it is disheartening to see so much support for reactionary #AllLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and similar postracial rhetoric from ostensibly decent people. White America must seek to understand our own existence and its relation to the…

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The cold white shoulder to shoulder

On Youth Day weekend, thirteen South Africans gathered at a retreat centre in the Underberg to experiment with Insight Dialogue as a way of dealing with the pain and anger caused by the racism and prejudice that is thick in our country. We were an Indian woman, 6 black people (all women), 6 white people (including two men),…

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