Charlene Smith

Every 26 seconds a woman gets raped, it was my turn last Thursday night

Every 26 seconds in South Africa a woman gets raped, it was my turn last Thursday night. Before I began writing this I took AZT, 3TC and Crixivan — they are anti-retroviral drugs, they will hopefully help lessen the potential of me getting Aids from the rapist, assuming of course, that he is HIV positive….

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Ignoring the math: Political folly from the US to SA

Whether in Kabul, London, Washington or Pretoria global leaders appear to believe that big mouth is more important than sound math. In South Africa only a small percentage of the populace pay tax, electricity bills or television licences, they are also the best educated and most productive part of the population and those most likely…

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Sex, Semenya, steel balls and femininity

What makes a 100% woman? Pierre Weiss of the International Association of Athletics Federations has said “it is clear that (Caster Semenya) is a woman, but maybe not 100%”. What is a woman? We know that genetically all women carry a certain level of male chromosomes and all men carry a percentage of female chromosomes….

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The absent president, again, and arrogance of dominance

Jacob Zuma has been president for three months but where is he? We get the odd pic of him at the G8 uncomfortably returning a strong hand put out by US President Barack Obama but as yet he has shown no leadership. He worked so hard and waited so long for this job, surely he…

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BS baffles brains — why using jargon makes you look like an idiot

Ask the average business executive or key government official precisely what their company or department does and their brains fall out of their head and jargon springs to their lips. Frothy meaningless terms might be fine when you fall in love or during strong economic growth but they impede growth during economic downturns. And what…

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If SA can’t create 500 000 jobs, then your job is on the line

President Jacob Zuma says we have to create 500 000 jobs by year-end. As a nation of dedicated whingers, we look at that stat, sit back and say, “We can’t do it”. Actually if we can’t do it then we need to figure out how much financial pain, we the employed, are able to bear in…

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Mother Nature and Father Greed

Mother Nature and Father Greed have both reached crisis at the same time, environmentalist Monica Graaff told an Institute of Directors breakfast in Cape Town last week. One businessperson at the breakfast challenged: “Why should business change when what is going to happen is going to happen regardless?” Two days later the Cape of Good…

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Is anyone listening? Getting value for radio adspend

Ad revenues are plummeting, which should see a rise in shorter, pithier, more imaginative advertising — but we’re not and it’s because the money-people at companies have stopped listening to the creatives. The financial crisis is seeing everyone trying to market better, but companies have also become more demanding and are more likely to use…

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The man who made miracles

Convention is the way in which ingenuity is corralled. Doing what others expect is too often not doing what we need to do to succeed. We conform, we try to be good people, we’re nice and wonder why our spirit battles to breathe. It’s only when we do what we need to do and bugger…

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Obama’s US is the new rainbow nation: Africa needs to learn

Change may have been a long time coming, but when it did – wow! Sometimes revolutions come with pain, sometimes with joy. From today this is a new world and we all have to change the way we think and what we do. The first decade or two of any millennium is a time of…

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