Media

Everyone has a story…so write a book

Not too long ago I attended the first Jozi Book Fair held at MuseuMAfrica in Newtown. It was the initiative of Khanya College to create a space for small independent publishing houses to display their books, newspapers, highlight opportunities, share resources, reconnect and, hopefully, create an information-exchange forum and networking platform. I was impressed by…

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In captivity, in life and approaching death, we stalk Mandela

In a previous incarnation (what seems like a lifetime ago in a distant land) I worked as a journalist; as a reporter, a news photographer, a sub-editor and then as a political correspondent. The brief period that I worked as a news photographer coincided, loosely, with some of the darkest days of the late apartheid…

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I know why Mbeki won’t endorse black radio

I know why former president Thabo Mbeki was evasive when asked to endorse Power FM recently. The Renaissance man was, rightly, concerned about the role of black radio (sic) in not only speaking truth to power but disseminating enlightening information and knowledge that builds self-confidence and a spirit of self-determination among the previously disadvantaged. When…

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Sarah Palin has her once-in-a-million-year Hamlet moment

One always knew, as with the averred statistical likelihood of a million chimpanzees with a million keyboards in a million years eventually producing the equivalent of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, that it had to happen. Now after a lifetime of effort, former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has at last said something intelligent. Palin, who has…

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Cyber warfare

In The Information Bomb (Verso, 2005, p. 62), Paul Virilio says the following: “ ‘He who knows everything fears nothing,’ claimed Joseph Paul Goebbels not so long ago. From now on, with the putting into orbit of a new kind of panoptical control, he who sees everything – or almost everything – will have nothing…

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When fact imitates fiction: The Snowden case

In the history of (especially moral) philosophy, a recurrent theme involves the tension between the affirmation of so-called “free will” on the part of humans, and its denial, or what is called (a variety of) “determinism”. Without going into too much detail, it seems to me safe to say that most philosophers have favoured free…

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When I was a spy – part two

As instructed, I kept my alter ego secret — in fact, few people today have any idea I was once a secret agent. Let alone what a bad spy I was. Six weeks after the hurly-burly of starting a new life in a new world, I was contacted at Jan Smuts House and two colleagues…

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White writers writing black characters – a form of literary blackface?

White South African writers who create black characters are often challenged about the authenticity of their writing. If their main protagonist is black, this challenge intensifies, and if they write in the first person, it intensifies further. There is something particularly intimate about first-person narrative. It gets under the skin of the character in a…

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The fading beat of Drum magazine

Drum was the only magazine when the winds of change were blowing through the African continent in 1957. It celebrated its 60th birthday recently. The best talent available in the urban South African community was, like moth to light, attracted to the charismatic power of its visionary and prophetic founder, a Mr Jim Bailey. It…

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I’ve got Bieber fever!

Radio Jacaranda has been running a competition which entitles the winner to four tickets to the Justin Bieber show. All the wenners have to do is SMS their phone numbers to the station and if they call you back you have to answer by saying “I have Bieber fever”. Then, if you’re a man, you…

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