Equality

Kingsolver’s narrative indictment of colonisation: The Poisonwood Bible

I have written about Barbara Kingsolver’s (and other figures’, such as Salman Rushdie’s) novelistic art here before and even referred to The Poisonwood Bible cursorily — but recently the effect of colonisation on the inhabitants of certain continents (in this case Africa) has occupied my attention afresh. Hence this post, specifically on Kingsolver’s masterpiece, The…

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Marx at 200: As relevant as ever

Today (5 May 2018) is the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth in the German city of Trier, and all over the world people are celebrating his contribution to our self-understanding through the political, economic and social theories he (sometimes with his friend and colleague, Friedrich Engels) penned during his lifetime. The anniversary celebrations are…

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Where’s my invite?

Like many people I have not been invited to Jacob Zuma’s forthcoming wedding. I also have not been invited to address the crowds gathering at Jacob Zuma’s court appearances. In general Jacob Zuma and I have been on the outs ever since he said, “We don’t want Winner Take All”. I could have forgiven him…

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The politics of mental health provision in a liberal democracy

By Sipho Dlamini The recent discussion between Eusebius McKaiser and Mazibuko K Jara on the place of liberalism in South Africa sparked an interesting question on mental health provision in a liberal democracy such as ours. In reading these discussions, I was reminded about a simple and yet incisive point about liberalism given by Professor…

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Julian Assange and injustice

Some time recently, someone sent me a WhatsApp message contrasting the political positions of Julian Assange of Wikileaks and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Underneath photographs of these two gentlemen, respectively, they read as follows: “Hi, I’m Julian Assange. I give private information on corporations & gov’t to you for free and the media calls me…

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Researching and re-imagining the “Fag Hag”

By Zipho Dolamo We’ve all heard the term “fag hag” – generally defined as a heterosexual woman who primarily associates and maintains friendships with gay men. Bruce Rodgers is one of the authors accredited for coining the concept in his 1972 book The Queen’s Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon. Rodgers(1972, p.78) defines a fag hag as:…

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Inxeba reveals the paradox of our own wounds

I have been gay for as long as memory serves me. I vividly remember  spending the bulk of my formative years vacillating between denial and self-hate; from a young age I somehow knew that acting on my romantic feelings would come at the unbelievably high cost of shaming my family, my friends, and my culture. It…

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The Place of Sara Baartman at UCT

The label “Hottentot Venus” continues to haunt our memory of Sara Baartman. This moniker, used in Jean Reaux’s posters to advertise the exhibit of Sara, may have been repudiated by renowned scholars such as Pumla Dineo Gqola, Zine Magubane, Yvette Abrahams, Patricia Hill Collins, Sander Gilman among others, but it has persisted as the lens…

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The craving for power

The hankering after power is as old as human beings; no, older – it is as old as the first unicellular being that emerged from the primeval morass of evolution. After all, like all organisms since then, it would have tried its primitive best to survive, to stave off death. And isn’t that already an…

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Women are patriarchal – and this needs to end

Dr Shahieda Jansen and Neziswa Titi Women are patriarchal. We know this from various sources and interpersonal engagements where we had been corrected by women to “remember our place” or understand that when a man violates a woman she should accept that is how men are. But what about women who work against other women’s…

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