Equality

Killing in the name of God

No thinking person can escape being horrified by the actions carried out in the name of God by religious fanatics across the world today. Killings, rapes, executions, wholesale slaughter, genocide, torture, and sometimes just ordinary nastiness — a litany of horrors that deny humankind the right to claim ourselves to be a uniformly emotionally intelligent…

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Grieve, thy beloved country

By Judy Sikuza In 1994 a colossal death occurred in South Africa. The subject befallen by fate’s calling was none other than Accused Number 1948 – universally known as apartheid. The fall of this stupendous monster came with a promise of the new — a rainbow nation South Africa — where our differences would be…

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Exposing the great ‘poverty-reduction’ scandal

The received wisdom comes to us from every direction: poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated from the face of the earth. This narrative is delivered by the World Bank, the governments of rich countries, and – most importantly – the UN Millennium Development campaign. Relax, they tell us. The world…

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Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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Reflections on Gaza: How should my people be?

By Pedro Tabensky As the son of a Holocaust survivor and a refugee of mid-20th century turmoil, knowledge of the precariousness of existence has always been part of the fabric of my life, and has motivated me permanently to ask: How should I be in a way that pays respect to the suffering of my…

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African women, we’re not exotic, just hot

Last month I had the pleasure of attending an African Women’s Development Fund and Femrite creative non-fiction writing workshop for African women writers in Entebbe, Uganda. The women I met there were amazing for two main reasons. Their passion, intelligence and drive made me question mine (apparently watching Come Dine With Me is not a…

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Blackface, Khaya Dlanga and why we can’t disentangle sexism from racism

Speaking recently at Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism in Cape Town, iconic political activist and scholar Angela Davis in her talk “Anti-Racism: Transnational Solidarities” remarked that “black unity” is often a term that never fits the lived reality of many black people. She made an example of how in the “black power” movements in…

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Marikana widows shed tears in Women’s Month

This Women’s Month marks two years since the Marikana massacre. The widows of the workers killed by the South African Police Service in 2012 have since received their deceased husband’s provident fund dues, but still wait for justice while the media and public attention has long since transferred from their plight to the Farlam Commission….

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The very ordinary face of racism

Looking at the picture of the two young students from Tuks, one of the things I would like to know is: Does that paint not itch? Sweat and a thick coat of paint, they surely are strange bedfellows. Nevertheless, it seems that even the green Sunlight block of soap will not wash this paint away;…

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Black girl desire in a time of hopelessness

I remember very well the first “sex talk” I had with my mother. We were in the rural areas for the holidays when my cousin pulled me aside to tell me that there were red spots on my trousers. What was to follow was a confusing day where I felt my body had betrayed me…

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