Mandela Rhodes Scholars

Why Africa should join the fossil fuel divestment movement

By Alex Lenferna Concern for poverty in Africa is coming from the most unexpected places lately: the boardrooms of fossil fuels companies. Multimillionaire fossil fuel execs, like Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and Peabody’s Charles Meintjes, are painting themselves as Africa’s saviours, claiming that fossil fuels are the answer to Africa’s poverty and development problems. The often…

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South Africans are xenophobic

By Matthew Beetar Now is rightly a time for action — to protect lives and end violence, urgently. But there will come a time in the near future for discussion and serious reflection on the recent attacks against “foreign” nationals, and I wonder whether South Africans are willing to have this discussion with themselves. I…

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The academic transformation we seek is not obvious

By Unathi Beku I have been silently observing the debate surrounding the transformation that students in public higher education seek in South Africa. At the forefront of this debate has been the removal of colonial (European) edifices that serve as metaphors for institutional racism and Western knowledge production patterns. Students are calling for more representative…

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Xenophobia shatters the united Africa dream

By Unene Gregory Last Thursday morning, which was unseasonably sunny for a UK morning in early Spring, I switched on my work computer and began catching up on the latest SA news. I came across a YouTube news video about the current affairs of the state which made me increasingly anxious the longer I watched…

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My ideal township school

By Lehlohonolo Israel Mofokeng There is no doubt there is a hive of township schools that continue to show signs of holistic excellence. By holistic excellence, I mean developing conscious learners who are not detached from the realities of their lives — learners who will engage with hegemonic structures, learners who will understand that their…

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Confronting our white ignorance in a time when #RhodesMustFall

By Roné McFarlane As the #RhodesMustFall debate continues, there are aspects of white reactions that need to be talked about … by white people. There is, however, a danger in discussing whiteness in the time of the #RhodesMustFall protests. You could rightly argue that it would be detracting from black struggles that are receiving more…

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10 useless responses to #RhodesMustFall

By Ntokozo Qwabe As the Rhodes Must Fall movement at the University of Cape Town (UCT) approaches its third week, I thought it necessary to put down the 10 most useless responses people have made to it thus far, and jot down useful counter-responses to them. These counter-responses are collated and developed from real responses…

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Racism, sexism and homophobia: Which prejudice is worse?

By Matthew Beetar Racism is more of a problem than sexism. But sexism is more of a problem than xenophobia, which is less of a problem — occasionally — than homophobia. Transphobia we deal with sometimes, and ageism — what is that even? And dealing with ableism — let’s not take this “reconciliation” thing too…

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Of birth rights and gay rights

By Steven Hussey “Nobody is born gay” reads the headline of a billboard by a so-called “pro-ex-gay” non-profit in the United States. The ad shows identical twin brothers with the revelation, “One gay. One not.” Profound. Ironically, the openly gay South African model featured in the ad, who has no twin brother and whose image…

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South Africa, we can do and be better

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar It would seem that racism is a divisive topic. It seems to me that the rattling of that word bothers people. It brings out such defensive reactions. It is troubling to see how easy it is to become self-righteous, indignant and defensive. We must guard against this tendency. Let us not…

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