Equality

Can we please talk about the sexism on Matt Taylor’s shirt?

So there’s this scientist, right? And he and his team do something amazing. They land a satellite on a comet. How cool is that?! Possibly the coolest thing since Felix Baumgartner decided that skydiving is too mainstream. But that shirt. Eish, that shirt. The scientist, Matt Taylor, wore a shirt plastered with drawings of semi-naked…

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Climate change: We have passed the 11th hour

In 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio — one of the few so-called celebrities in the world who seems to care about matters ecological — produced a disturbing film on runaway climate change called The 11th Hour, directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners. Like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth before it, it was a wake-up call,…

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‘Africans are so simple,’ he said

By Rachel Nyaradzo Adams Not long ago I was in a lobby in a Ghana hotel and overheard a western-sounding white male utter the following assessment to a listener on his phone: “The people in Africa are so simple, I can do whatever I like here. They never challenge me” (paraphrased). Stunned but not surprised…

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The untold history lesson…

I have spent a good two hours writing this exam paper and am relieved to be finally constructing a good response, with just over an hour to go before “pens down”. No later than my relief came, the intercom rings, and with that my answer vanishes. “The school is requested to please stop writing, stand…

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The unfinished business of the TRC

Acting on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in 2003 the President’s Fund was set up to provide comprehensive reparations programmes for victims of apartheid crimes. It was intended to restore and repair the damaged lives of those who stood for justice against the apartheid regime. This was to be done through…

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On being mis-recognised: Julian Hewitt and the angry black woman

People think I’m an angry black woman. People who know me well, know that this is a misrecognition of me. I’m a nice person. I hate foot-in-mouth interactions: that awkward moment when someone says something they shouldn’t have said, and someone else has to salvage the situation or we all walk away. I save face….

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Gareth Cliff: Who do you think you are?

The funeral of slain soccer star Senzo Meyiwa was barely over when polemic radio jockey Gareth Cliff took to the Twitterverse to ask who was paying for the funeral. Another South African is lowered into the ground after an act of violence, another family mourns, and another story of our failed collective freedom is written…

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Get your clothing laws off my body

I recently read a piece on Buzzfeed about items of clothing women have been barred from wearing in 2014, and I was livid. Some of them include: * Women in Uganda being banned from wearing mini-skirts. Some were even publicly undressed for wearing them; * More than 250 girls being removed from a school in…

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Winnie Mandela and the misrecognition of black women

Mail & Guardian columnist Verashni Pillay in “Five times Winnie Mandela has let us down” writes that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s quest to reclaim the Mandela Qunu home “is another embarrassing incident to add to her growing list of failures”. Pillay says there’s “historical revisionism happening in some quarters of our nation these days that brands Nelson…

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Apartheid, torture and the potential for forgiveness

By Dylan Wray George* is a history teacher. He used to be very high up in the apartheid security police in the Eastern Cape. Zolile* has always been a history teacher. As a young man, he was arrested attempting to flee South Africa to take up arms with Umkhonto weSizwe. George more than likely oversaw…

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