Sandile Memela

Access to white privilege equals freedom?

Since the mid-1980s, many black parents have sent their children to “white schools”. Much as they may have been criticised, they have not been bothered. In the first years of their schooling, these children would, unavoidably, be one of five children, at most, in a class. Some parents worried that this would make them lose…

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No Christmas box for my fellow countrymen

I was out doing my irregular early morning jog when I was stopped by a lean and hungry-looking man. My street-wise eyes screened him up and down as he walked in my opposite direction. The distance between us closed and in no time we were face to face. What I picked up was the shabby…

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Mandela no sell-out

Less than a year after his death, it would seem that international icon and the first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, is neither a saint nor a much-loved hero. There are an increasing number of voices and social-media posts, especially, that assert he was not a genuine hero and condemn him as…

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When a boy becomes a man

I am proud to have met and known a youth who has consciously chosen to become a man, a son who, in his own right, has become a father and a head of a family. I feel that becoming a man, a father, a husband and a head of the family at the age of…

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My captain, murdered for a cellphone…

It was long before dawn. I moved carefully so as not to disturb the woman who sleeps next to my heart every night I am home. But she awakened suddenly and saw that I was dressing up. “What is it,” she asked. “You’re not having a heart attack, are you?” I have an unusually high…

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If you think you’re white, liberate yourself now

In case you were not aware, the white nation is dead in South Africa. It does not exist, not anymore. In fact, there has not been a time in over three centuries when so-called white people have been so on the defensive and their superiority complex shattered. After all, the only thing that made most…

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Why Africans cannot tell their own stories

African writing and publishing has been systematised to be an extension of Western or European thinking and imagination about the continent and its people. An African writer is not encouraged to come up with a new variation or interpretation of what happens in Africa. Over-simplistic as it may seem, I will tell you what kind…

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Brett Bailey must choose – respect Africa or be damned!

There is a lot of consternation in some quarters following the cancellation of Brett Bailey’s visual arts show, Exhibit B, which purports to give insight into the dehumanisation and violent brutality of Africans by colonialism. Many of the supporters are aggrieved that the work of this over-rated and provocative white African artist has allegedly being…

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Don’t talk to me about race or blackness!

It was one of those easy and relaxed days over the weekend. I was in a group of family and friends enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. After all, we had been invited to hang out and just catch up. I was aware that this was an exclusive black group in a so-called former white-only…

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The beautiful ones are corrupted

If ever the struggle was to deliver the promise for justice, equality and a world with a “more human face”, it would have been brought about by those of us who were born during the interregnum, that is between 1960 and 1980. The former is the year of the banning of the liberation movement following…

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