Media

Am I a writer?

I’m an ink-stained notebook fiend, most of my pens get chewed like a rabid terrier, I write poems, post copious amounts of blog posts, churn out news reports, provide opinion pieces for several publications, proofread anything that crosses in front of my eyes, heck I even accuse non-readers of treachery against humans (spoiler: writers hate…

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Maimane and the Constitution

In the most direct test of Mmusi Maimane’s understanding of constitutionalism and liberty, the DA’s heir-presumptive has been found wanting. Maimane is widely reported to have stated that he would allow issues like the death penalty and gay rights to be determined by the vote. Understandably, this has caused much upset, among Maimane’s supporters particularly….

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How to write a film review (Part 2)

(Continued) In your review, you should also refer to the narrative, but DON’T give away any secrets that would spoil the fun for audiences (as some reviewers did for The Crying Game!), and DON’T “tell the whole story”, or even try. That is not your task as reviewer. Usually one would combine one’s discussion of…

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How to write a film review (Part 1)

There are good and bad film reviews. This could either pertain to “bad” as opposed to “good” writing (that is, an ungrammatical, sloppy, vocabulary-poor way of writing in contrast to a grammatical, fluent, clear, richly worded mode of expression), or to the structure of the reviews in question, or to both. Every person who wants…

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Richard Calland and the Maimane moment

Richard Calland’s latest article (“Maimane may engineer Zuma’s exit”) is a master class in fanciful political analysis. Even if published in the opinion section of the Mail & Guardian, its grasp on reality makes it more suited to fiction than a newspaper. His belief that the next leader of the DA would be able, or…

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Was Helen Zille done in by her race obsession?

Helen Zille’s shock resignation as leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) has triggered intense speculation as to who will replace her. Given the party’s federal congress is less than a month away, palace intrigue dominates all discussion. However, most suggest that Mmusi Maimane, the party’s parliamentary leader, is the hot favourite to win. Zille’s…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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Trevor Noah – what his success reveals about good leadership

By Tanya Charles Unless you were on another planet, you will have by now heard that Trevor Noah is going to replace John Stewart as host of The Daily Show later this year. No doubt, this is ground-breaking for many, many reasons, but for me, a bit peculiarly, this announcement has got me thinking about…

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No country for Chicken Littles

“The erosion of institutions” has become something of a buzzword. Add to this the “paralysis in crucial institutions”, and “institutional fabric being unwound”, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Mobutu’s Zaire. They’re usually adjectives attributed to the local commentariat: which interpret any event as a sign of the country’s imminent implosion/race war…

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Trevor Noah gets the perfect platform for his humour

March 30 2015. The day Trevor Noah was inducted into the league of American late-night talk show hosts. Diarise it. March 30 2015. Where were you on this day? What did you tweet when you heard the news? The news that he will be given the responsibility of presenting The Daily Show when Jon Stewart…

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