No politics as usual

Here’s a question for you. When was the last time you heard a political hip-hop track done by a South African artist? I can’t speak for other genres here — try as I might, I cannot bring myself to listen to the entire ouevre of Locnville — but when it comes to hip-hop, I can…

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Kusile protest: Greenpeace disputes Eskom claims

I was one of the Greenpeace climbers who scaled the crane inside Eskom’s Kusile construction plant on Monday morning. In climbing the crane and dropping the two banners, our goal was to highlight the true cost of coal-fired electricity in South Africa. We wanted to put Kusile back on the agenda after months of dialogue,…

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Things I am curious about in this city

Joburg skyline in lipstick Sacks that look like dead animals lying in the road until you get closer. Why diners in restaurants and coffee shops started asking waiters for “the machine”. Whether, if I take Jan Smuts Avenue to get to my appointment, I would have got there faster than if I’d used the highway….

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You eat lamb, duck and chicken. So why not horse?

It was a great piece of television. These don’t occur often. Generally, we adopt a lazy posture and zombify in groups while ill-qualified thieves called executive producers steal our IQs, point by point. This was different. The item pressed my button, and asked me down a rabbit hole. There was a woman with a long…

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Holding American imperialism at bay

Diatribes against American cultural imperialism would be more convincing if the victims tried, just a little, to resist it. Instead they swoon before it, much like the heroines in Mills & Boon romances used to melt with feigned reluctance before the forceful attentions of the dark and handsome stranger. Take October 31, a date that…

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Qiniso Dialogues: Will you join us?

By Shaka Sisulu “Where do I begin?” This was my first thought when I sat down to pen this reflection on my involvement and experience with the Qiniso Dialogues. It’s a common enough question and so I had an answer at the ready “from the beginning”. So what is Qiniso? Well, for starters it’s the…

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Should arts writers be entitled to freebies?

By Rob Boffard It’s a pretty fundamental part of journalism not to accept gifts. The second you take that bottle of whiskey from the spokesperson, accept the invitation to that swanky junket in Thailand or even do something as innocuous as let a PR person buy you a drink after an interview, you’re done. You’re…

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Everybody loves Nonhle

Dear Nonhle I started writing this letter to you when I was in Germany last week, before I saw this Dear Nonhle letter and by then it was too late. So maybe we’ll just have to start a Dear Nonhle meme. Lots of people can compose Dear Nonhle missives and it can become a rite…

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Why feminists (and all men and women) should care about paternity leave

When two people decide to have a child, is it fair that one of those people gets more paid time away from work to bond with that child? Is it also fair that this situates parental responsibility firmly in the hands of the parent with more leave? In South Africa, women are given up to…

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The jewel of Poole Street

By Alex Searle At first glance, Poole Street is nothing special. It’s a slightly better area than some of the other dreary avenues in Ysterplaat, but not by much. There are no lampposts so walking around at night is not easy. Only the ugly power cables hang in the air alongside the pavements like giant…

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