The December great trek

By Janet Lopes As the December holiday approaches every year South Africans across the country begin to prepare for the new great trek. The pack-up and leave-home drive is almost primeval in its urgency — a ritual of pilgrimage embedded in our subconscious since we were children. In South Africa, the first and probably the…

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Economy of luxury: We’re like rabbits caught in the headlights

Many readers will be familiar with Watership Down, Richard Adams’ wonderful, albeit sometimes terrifying, allegorical tale of a band of rabbits fleeing from a doomed warren (at the instigation of Fiver, a clairvoyant rabbit, who “saw” the imminent destruction of the warren by humans to make way for a building construction development). In the novel…

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Let’s enjoy freedom from electricity

By Kyle Allan In light (apologies for the ironic use of the word in this context) of the current Eskom shortage, and due to the great impact this is having on our national trauma levels, I have humbly submitted the following succinct guide to surviving, making it through, and even thriving under the current load…

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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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Ray-Ban, Sea Point, you didn’t make nice, man

By Charlotte Johnson I work in public art. I take public art personally. I also believe in its relevance and importance in shaping our cities. And so, I cannot muffle the offence that Perceived Freedom has caused me. And many others, for a number of different reasons. Firstly, public art costs money. A fair amount…

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South Africa’s three words everybody loves to hate

As someone who, in the grand old liberal tradition (I’m not sure if there is anything grand or old in the liberal tradition, but, if I had to choose a tradition, that’s probably the one I’d chose in spite of it being utterly impractical and unfashionable) generally considers the rights of the individual as more…

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I am not my hair

By Phumzile Twala I hate being called names. I grew up in Soweto, where people come up with interesting and new terms just about as often as taxi drivers cut off other motorists on the road every day. I’ve been called all sorts of names over the years. But none have baffled me as much…

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Who do you think you are?  

Who do you think you are? You who drive in the emergency lane, you who turn right from the far left, you who crawl at 60km/h in the fast lane. Who do you think you are? You who speed through orange and red, you who ignore solid white lines, you who stop anywhere you like….

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Beyoncé, ‘Girls': The new prophets of self-obsession

I don’t like Lena Dunham, but I have my reasons. Dunham is the writer and creator of Girls, one of those “edgy”, sometimes-women-are-naked shows on HBO. Girls follows the lives of four young (and almost permanently and perhaps proudly unemployed) New Yorkers as they navigate the melodrama of their loveless love lives and self-induced trauma….

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A choreographed dance through time

“To everything turn, turn, turn; there is a season.” You may be familiar with this verse, adapted from Ecclesiastes for song by the musician Peter Seeger in the late 1950s and later sung by The Byrds in 1965. An excerpt from the original: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every…

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