Ryland Fisher

When is a racist not a racist?

I was privileged to watch Abdullah Ibrahim’s trio perform in Artscape’s Opera House last Saturday. I have seen them perform several times and am always amazed at how talented all three musicians are. But to watch an Abdullah Ibrahim performance requires concentration, which is probably why South Africa’s best jazz pianist refuses to perform at…

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From socialists to socialites

It has been interesting to note the personal attacks from ANC alliance leaders to the potential breakaway party to be launched by Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa. Several ANC leaders, including spokesperson Jessie Duarte, Women’s League President Angie Motshekga, and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, have taken swipes at Lekota and Shilowa’s personalities and their…

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What if?

What if there had never been apartheid and colonialism in South Africa? Who and what would we have blamed for many of our problems today? What if Nelson Mandela had not spent 27 years in prison? Would he still have been as revered by the international community? Would he still have become our president? What…

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White people can be among the most racist

The response to my last blog on black racists proves what I have known for a long time: South Africans are still heavily divided along racial grounds and they find it difficult to have a discussion on the issue without losing their tempers. I have never had so many white people agreeing with what I…

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Black people can be among the most racist

I was not surprised when ANC leaders, angered by cartoonist Zapiro, resorted to calling him a racist. After all, there is a tradition in South Africa where black people, unable to come up with a strong enough argument against a white protagonist, almost out of desperation calls the white person a racist. This, of course,…

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Why Boesak appeals to disillusioned South Africans

I was asked by a reporter, after listening to Allan Boesak speaking at UWC last week, why people were attracted to his message. It’s not an easy question to answer because you have to consider all the water that has run under the bridge of Boesak’s life since his heyday in the 1980s. But after…

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The rehabilitation of Allan Boesak

If you closed your eyes or, even with open eyes, let your imagination travel a bit, it could have been a scene from a political rally in the 1980s. Dr Allan Boesak, former United Democratic Front patron, stood triumphantly in front of a crowd in excess of 2 000, holding his hands aloft à la Rocky…

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Is there a need for a coloured social movement?

The issue of coloured identity surfaces every now and then. It surfaced again last week with the news that a group of coloured leaders are considering starting a social movement to focus on issues concerning the coloured community. My immediate reaction was to dismiss this as the work of non-progressive forces who do not buy…

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Make Africa Day a public holiday

It is Monday 26 May 2008 in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and it is a public holiday. Yesterday was Africa Day, a day that still goes relatively unrecognised in South Africa, and because it was Sunday, the Monday becomes a holiday. The streets are noticeably less busy, the market is relatively quieter. Maybe that…

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Stuff the poor

I was reading the Sunday Times last week and noticed an article about a gathering in Zambia by some of South Africa’s top CEOs. They met for part of the time they were there, but they also partied quite hard, from all accounts. What was the point of this article, I thought? And why did…

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