Sarah Britten

My journey from Sydney to Joburg

I’m asking for your patience in advance, because I’m going to be spending much of this week reflecting on my journey over the past four years. The exhibition of my Joburg cityscapes opens at Velo in Braamfontein this week, so this is an obvious opportunity to reflect on my tale of two cities. In many…

8 Comments Continue Reading →

So there is hope (and you can help)

“Do you get As?” I ask. The two girls – they must be around 11 – giggle and exchange looks. “Yes!” they say. “How many?” “Five!” “How many As will you get for matric?” “Six!” I’m at Home of Hope in Kensington. It houses 24 girls rescued from the Johannesburg inner city and as the…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

We need an app for the socially awkward

You know the feeling only too well. You arrive at a cocktail to be greeted by a terrifying knot of bodies and a hubbub reminiscent of a shed at Rainbow Chickens. You scan the scene frantically in search of a familiar face, imagining that everyone is laughing at you from behind their glasses of sauvignon…

10 Comments Continue Reading →

Could you handle losing your job?

Have you ever lost your job or worried about being retrenched? How did you handle it? How did you keep going? For some, the loss of a job is too much, as it was for the Cell C employee who committed suicide because he had heard he was about to lose his job. My heart…

12 Comments Continue Reading →

Dear Africa

I love you. Not the kind of love that Cardies sells on Valentine’s Day, but in that fraught and knotted way that grips my gut and won’t let go, that tangled mess of love and fear, guilt and longing that characterises all those relationships that mark us most deeply, the ones that truly shape who…

14 Comments Continue Reading →

When the defaced Spear is better than the original

So ja, I’ve given in. I’ve decided to talk about that painting. The one that’s transfixed the nation for more than a week now – even on Twitter, a platform known for nothing so much as institutionalised ADD. It is the PR gift that keeps on giving: apparently it’s reached 108 million people and delivered…

20 Comments Continue Reading →

Kind regards or best wishes?

It remains a sad fact of life as a social animal that every encounter with another human being presents an opportunity for being misunderstood. This is why social events are awkward, as are greetings of any kind, hugs in general, mouth kissing, questions over coffee vs drinks – and email sign-offs. Have you ever reached…

3 Comments Continue Reading →

How do we galvanise outrage over Mdluli?

What do the racist tweets, e-tolls, the POIB and rhino poaching have in common? Recently they have all been the focus of public outrage. Outrage is a useful thing. It was outrage that saw Jessica Leandra stripped of her endorsements and title, outrage that put a temporary halt to e-tolls, and outrage that has forced…

26 Comments Continue Reading →

Why I love e-tolls (and you should too)

CEOs are not the sort of people we usually pay much attention to. Unless you’re Steve Jobs, excitement about corporate reshuffling doesn’t extend much beyond the business community. Except when you’re CEO of the most hated organisation in South Africa right now. Then you become the top trending topic on Twitter and everybody is happy…

19 Comments Continue Reading →

Dear Tshidi: Thank you too

Dear Tshidi I don’t know you. Apparently you’re a model and actress but, like Jessica, I hadn’t heard of you until yesterday. And I must say I’m astonished that it took me so long to find you. Specifically, this gem of a tweet, which you judged an appropriate response to the Jessica Leandra debacle: It…

47 Comments Continue Reading →