Sunday, November 25, 2012

Young White People Discuss Trust Funds - Young Black People Repay Student Loans

Siphumelele Zondi

Recently I was in a pub in Johannesburg’s leafy suburbs of Parkhurst. My friend and I were the only two black people there and everyone else inside this popular pub was white. I overheard a conversation taking place across from us where young white people were discussing how trust funds their parents had set up were helping them get started in life. Another also spoke of the property his parents had bought for him.

I later had a conversation with a white friend of mine who acknowledged that a lot of benefits white people have come as a result of apartheid and other policies that existed before apartheid was formalised which ensured that black people would be near-slaves for white people. My white friend mentioned that he has a grandfather who owns a fruit farm in the Eastern Cape and knows that those that work on the farm are uneducated black people, who are uneducated because policies of the past made sure of that. He mentioned that his grandfather would never find labour that cheap if he was in Europe as that kind of exploitation would never happen there.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Thought it was Writer's Block, Nah, Not Me!

Kgoshi Segagabi Nkgadima 

I have been going through journalism school thinking I can write anything that is thrown at me. After all I studied journalism because writing was always second nature, I never struggled with the craft as a kid. That was until recently as many of us have to produce good quality pieces in a short space of time in offices and newsrooms where we work as interns, junior reporters or junior public relations practitioners.

I realised how much of a writing novice I am when I was faced with a quagmire of a situation recently.  There I was facing a deadline and ideas just refused to come. I looked up at the ceiling, the computer, the ceiling, pieces of paper on my desk and then the computer again. The clock on the wall kept on tick-toking and tick-toking, reminding me that time was running out and I had to come up with something very quickly. I would scribble down what I would think is a brilliant idea, soon squash that piece of paper, I would start the process all over again. Soon I found myself drowning in a pool of paper on the floor. Time didn’t stop and hours passed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

40 Scholarships for Journalists to change the world

The next School of Authentic Journalism, April 17 to 27, 2013, in Mexico, will mark ten years since the first one in 2003. More than 300 journalists, independent media makers, community organizers and social movement leaders have passed through the doors since SAJ began. This will be the sixth session of the school but it also (or might not) be the last one for some time to come.

If you have ever thought about attending but never got around to actually applying: don't lose this opportunity. Completed applications are due November 18, 2012. For more info on #SAJ and how to get your hands on an application check out the Jobs, Internships and Fellowships page.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Huge Improvements for Women but Many Live in Poverty

Gift Ngobeni

Every year we are in August South Africans celebrate women as the month is dubbed women’s month with the 9th of August set aside as an extra special public holiday for these celebrations. Women have definitely come far and sitting at the helm of the African Union now is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is the first woman to head the body. She has served in South Africa’s government as a minister in the portfolios of health, foreign affairs and home affairs.
Another noticeable name would be that of our public protector Thuli Madonsela. Madonsela is also a Human Rights Lawyer and Equality Expert. She was also one of the eleven technical experts who helped the Constitutional Assembly draft the final constitution in 1994 and 1995. 

While a lot of strides have been made in South Africa and the above mentioned women have been an inspiration to many in our new democracy, there are many others there still continue to live the life of struggle. While I was listening to radio some time in August I hear a story done by senior specialist reporter, Mahlatse Gallens. The story was about 45-year-old Ruby Marais who, after 20 years in an abusive marriage, is now serving 25 year prison term for the murder of her abusive husband. The mother of one from Stillbaai in the Western Cape was convicted for paying hit men ten thousand Rand to kill her husband. She says it was her only way out of an abusive marriage.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TUT Students Not Returning to Lectures Until SRC Demands are Met

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students are being blocked from entering Soshanguve campuses despite receiving text messages from university management informing them that classes would resume on Thursday. The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has been leading a strike since last week.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TUT Students on Strike (Photo: Wilson Tladi)

Striking students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) blocking entrances with fire at the Soshanguve campuses. Staff at the campuses has been told to resume duties on Wednesday. The students name reforms in the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a lack of hot water in residences and the unavailability of free university transport as some of their grievances.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chikane Says the ANC Won't Survive Another 100

Sthembiso Sithole 

The African National Congress (ANC) celebrates 100 years as a political organisation this year but some former insiders are the biggest critics of the party’s current leadership. Expelled ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, has been on a campaign of telling South Africans that President Jacob Zuma isn’t fit to lead South Africa’s ruling party and thus the country. Malema was one of the men that campaigned heavily for President Jacob Zuma when former president Thabo Mbeki was asked to resign and was replaced by his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe. Malema has apologised to South Africans saying he misled them when he supported Jacob Zuma.

Rev. Frank Chikane who was Director General in the Presidency when Mbeki was recalled authored his version of those events in a book called, Eight Days in September. Chikane spoke at the Think! Fest in Grahamstown earlier this week as part of The National Arts Festival at Rhodes University. He says the organisation that fought for the end of apartheid and eventually led South Africa’s first democratically elected government will not survive another hundred years as the party is already divided. “If you put a list of factionalism you institutionalise it. The elected group became a faction rather than leaders of the organisation.”

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Foreign Nationals Mistreated By South African Health & Law Enforcement Authorities

Gift Ngobeni

In 2010, more asylum applications were lodged in South Africa than in any other country in the world. The trend continued in 2011, and the heavy demands on the asylum system have resulted in a backlog of more than 300,000 applications awaiting a decision. Even if they are granted legal stay in South Africa, many still get harassed by the police and are not granted adequate health care by South African nurses. Gift Ngobeni spoke to some foreign nationals about the hardships they face in South Africa and compiled this audio story. (VIDEO - AUDIO STORY)

Friday, June 22, 2012

UK Media News Must Turn Mirror on British Society

Siphumelele Zondi

For as long as I can remember British musician, Sade, has always played at home. I have memories of her and Kenny G. in my father’s car when we were going on long drives. That’s probably why Sade and her band are my favourite music group of all time. I also fell in love with British movies I was too young to watch such as Trainspotting and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. So it was probably the arts and their history that sold Britain to me as a place I wanted to study in and indeed I found a huge appreciation of poetry, cinema, theatre and music here. I have a Zimbabwean friend who was drawn to this country by football; he is a huge Manchester United fan. I would say that is what Britain has sold to its former colonies and those are the images we have bought.

When I watch British television I hardly see positive images of the developing world. They talk of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe sometimes, but that is to criticise him. Last year they had many stories on Libya, Gaddafi was just a bad North African dictator that had to be conquered to save his people. Now we see stories on Syria, a Middle Eastern country which has a horrible leader that kills people every single day. I have also seen stories on South Sudan and how hungry people are there with a currency that isn’t worth much. I have actually never seen a positive story on Africa or the Middle East on TV here. One would think their culture is perfect and needs no saving, but it takes no expert to realise that is not true. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

16 June 2010 – The Day Joy Turned Into Unimaginable Pain

Clyde Tlou

It’s been two years since the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and Clyde Tlou remembers a match that took place on youth day. This is his journey as he made his way through Pretoria to watch South Africa take on Uruguay on 16 June 2010.

The streets of Pretoria were all green and yellow as the World Cup euphoria grasped the South African capital city ahead of the Bafana Bafana game against Uruguay. All roads were leading to Loftus Stadium or fan parks around Tshwane and the country as a whole.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Name is a Huge Part of MY Identity - Learn it!

Siphumelele Zondi 

Last week while waiting for the bus just outside the University of Sussex campus a classmate from Newcastle in northern England said: “I am using Siphumelele’s voice for a documentary I am working on.” I smiled as she said this. No one knew the reason I was smiling, but it’s because she had said my name and pronounced it properly. This is a small gesture that told me that I have been accepted in her circle. I then paused a bit and thought about what had just happened and then realised that my friends from America, Zimbabwe, other parts of Europe and even China say my name with no problems here. This showed me that my friends in Europe think I matter and my identity and being also matter. The majority of white South Africans refuse to make this gesture which shows me that white people back home do not view me or my language as an equal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Media, Educators & Government Discuss the African Story

Sthembiso Sithole

Nqakula told panelists that positive government stories need to be published.
The media is most people’s only window to places outside South Africa and through television screens, radio and newspaper reports people can be transported to countries across the African continent. But this picture of Africa depends on how the journalist and the news organisation they work for cover the rest of the continent. From their angle, people sitting in their homes across South Africa would then formulate their own picture of other regions in Africa.

Many would remember how the North African countries of Libya, Egypt and Tunisia dominated the news in 2011 as people were revolting against their governments. Libya’s was the most difficult as that country’s president Muammar Ghaddafi was refusing to step down until the rebels started hunting him down and eventually killed him. Nato also declared the airspace over Libya a no-fly zone and then started shelling the country. That is the story of North Africa from 2011 many would remember. The dictators who led those countries are no longer in power and as there are fewer protests, no shelling of the region and a bit of calm, the stories from there have also stopped. There is also a huge possibility that many who watched those conflicts would not know a North Africa without conflict as they’ve never seen it through their window.

Monday, May 21, 2012

White South Africans Must Look at History to Understand Black People's Insult Over 'The Spear'

Siphumelele Zondi 

Ngoni people in Zambia continue with slaughering of bull with hands.
South Africa is going through a period of misunderstandings and it seems many black South Africans feel white South Africans refuse to understand their cultures, their way of life and how they, as Africans who have been oppressed, would think. 

These misunderstandings which are interpreted as insults by black people would often be seen when animal rights organisations protest should a prominent black person slaughter a cow in his home, which is part of many black people’s custom. Now they are seen in art as well. My dad used to say organisations like the SPCA need to understand that even meat found in a butchery comes from an animal that would have been slaughtered and buying a cow to do it yourself is far cheaper than buying the same quantity of meat in a butchery. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nurses Celebrate Their Day with Ngema-Zuma

Paseka Menyau

Nurses all over the world celebrated their profession on Saturday, 12 May, as that is the birthday of the founder of their profession Florence Nightingale who was born in 1820. In the township of Mabopane, near Pretoria, nurses celebrated the day at the private clinic, MediClinic Legae.

Spending time with the nurses was first lady, Bongi Ngema-Zuma, whose health foundation assists in the fight against diabetes. During her speech, Ngema-Zuma, praised iconic South African nurses - Lillian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu and Adelaide Tambo - who also helped in the fight against apartheid. While recognising those anti-apartheid icons, a regular nurse who has dedicates her life to saving lives at the clinic, Thandi Radebe, was awarded with the Nursing Excellence Award.

Township Students Getting Public to Pick up Rubbish

Paseka Menyau

They hope other township students will join their 'green' group.
A group of students from the Tshwane University of Technology have taken it upon themselves to clean the university’s two Soshanguve campuses and its residences. They’ve even stretched their campaign further and are now picking up rubbish around the township as well. They call their project the “Green Campus Campaign”.

Campaign coordinator, Tsediso Nthakhe, says “this campaign started small, but because of the hard work and dedication, we have managed to sustain the campaign and it’s still going strong.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

'A Long Illness' Killing Many Must Be Named To Protect The Living

Siphumelele Zondi 

Growing up in South Africa I had always known about “a long illness” that kills young people at their prime when they should be living their dreams. I remember that on many weekends my parents would go to funerals. The interesting thing is that when I was really young my mom and dad would go to ‘old people’ funerals. They would tell me it would be a certain person’s gran or grandfather, but as time went on it started to change and people being buried started to get younger.

On their return from these funerals my mother and her friends would often discuss the person and a line I remember often being said is, “Cha ubesegulile bandla”. Loosely translated to: “No, they had been sick a while.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This Is Maria. She Will End the War on Drugs.

Maria is a composite character based on many Mexican victims of the drug war – their words and actions – who together are organizing to end the war, including Javier Sicilia, Maria Herrera and Julian LeBaron.

This video was made by The School of Authentic Journalism.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Congratulations to SA Winners at the Africa Movie Academy Awards


 Journ’Tau would like to congratulate South African movies that picked up Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) at an event held in Lagos, Nigeria, over the weekend. The nine wins by South African movies show that the dedication of the many who work in the under-funded film industry in this country are succeeding in making good quality films that are appreciated all over the African continent.

How to Steal 2 Million which stars Menzi Ngubane, Terry Pheto and Rapulana Seiphemo was named the Best African movie at the ceremony. South African beauty, Pheto who stars in American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in How to Steal 2 Million while Charlie Vundla scooped the Best Director award for his work on the film. The movie was Vundla’s directorial debut. Film editor, Garreth Fradgely, received the Best Achievement in Editing award, making How to Steal 2 Million the biggest winner on the night with four trophies.

Nursing Students Crown King & Queen

Sthembiso Sithole 

Nursing students often go through tough training as they learn how to save lives and often nurses get little credit for the important that they do. Recently those training to get into this profession got a chance to let their hair down as South Africa’s largest hospital selected Mr and Miss Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital 2012.

Hospital project officer, Londiwe Ntuli, says this was to boost the youngsters’ confidence. “Today’s event, we want our students to feel confident with their bodies, especially ladies. We want our students to have fun as they work hard in their studies.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Man Accused of Multiple Rapes, Murders and Robbery Since Escape from Police Custody

 Zanele Ngwenyama

Douglas Mogakane is the man that has Acornhoek community members in Mpumalanga locking their doors at 18:00 and police just seem to be struggling to catch him. On Friday 23 March, Acornhoek Police Station was packed with fed-up residents of Acornhoek and surrounding areas in a bid to get the police to fast track their search for the alleged serial rapist, murderer and robber who is wanted for over 50 crimes.

Residents of the semi-rural area accuse the police of working with Mogakane and protecting him which results in their reluctance to arrest him. The community says, if arrested, he may expose the corruption that goes on in the police station station.

Malema Talks Press Freedom, Public Protector and Apologises Again

Expelled ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema says he supports a free media but wants a regulatory body that has teeth and bites.

Malema was speaking at the National Press Club in Johannesburg as South Africa News Maker of the Year. He says the ANC Youth League is not anti-media adding that they would fight for the protection and independence of the media without fear or favour but he feels that the self-regulation hasn’t worked.

Soweto Derby Brings Excitement to South Africans Even Days After the Final Whistle

Khuliso Nemarimela

A group celebrating in Soshanguve after the match.
While Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs matches often pack stadiums, many who can’t make it there often fill public viewing areas in townships, university television halls, houses with the biggest television sets in rural villages and many other places. Township streets are often empty during these matches as was the case in Soshanguve, just outside Pretoria, on Saturday 17 March 2010 when the two met for a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match. What was even more thrilling this time is that there were four goals scored during the match – a first when South Africa’s biggest clubs meet.

In Pretoria there is another team that would fill viewing rooms in a similar fashion and that is the local team, Sundowns. The matches between the two Soweto giants though are often boring as the two would be careful when they play against each other – but despite this they leave a lot of talking points. The latest however was thrilling!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Township Residents Need Introspection to Stop Xenophobic Acts

Lerutla Mochaki

I heard a story that recently, in Atteridgeville, a group of people were protesting for reasons unknown to me. During the protest march they ended up breaking into a shop owned by a Pakistani immigrant. They raided the man’s shop, stealing the food he sells and some of his profits. The Pakistani shop owner tried to stop them, but there wasn’t much he could do against the large group. The story I was told then proceeded to how the food was being sold for half price on the streets of the Pretoria township and locals were buying it too, without asking any questions.

As the narrative of the story was continuing in the township, it was clear that some were in total support of the act and were justifying it by saying the shop is owned by foreigners. It’s strange that black South Africans, some of whom lost their family members to apartheid, discriminate against others because they look and sound different. This is a country that saw a lot of bloodshed because of discrimination that made others lesser citizens because they looked different from the race considering itself more superior. Xenophobia is exactly that – it’s just that the race once considered inferior is claiming superiority over others. This time it’s not skin colour or skin tone being used, but nationality.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Holomisa, COPE: History Must be a Worrying Factor for Populist Malema

Gift Ngobeni

After much waiting on 29 February 2012 the African National Congress (ANC) finally announced in the evening that ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, has been expelled from South Africa’s ruling party. Malema has been found guilty of portraying the ANC government and its leadership, under President Jacob Zuma, in a negative light and for propagating racism. The youth leader called for the change of government in neighbouring Botswana despite President Ian Khama being elected through a democratic process. Malema has also been found guilty of propagating racism or political intolerance for his utterances, at an election rally in Gaeleshewe, Kimberley in May 2011 when he said white South Africans should be treated as criminals for stealing land from black people.

While many youths seem to think it’s unusual for the ANC to get rid of ill-disciplined popular members in this manner, some may remember that  on 30 September 1996, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, Bantu Holomisa was expelled from the ANC by unanimous decision of the ANC National Executive Committee. Holomisa had been an ANC member for a very brief period, joining the organisation in 1994. Yet, in that year, he had emerged from the December National Conference as one of the most popular leaders of the organisation. On 24 September 1996, The Star newspaper reported that Holomisa did not understand political debate and South Africa’s broader political realities and thus could not function within a “progressive” organisation such as South Africa’s ruling party.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Bit of Celebration in South Africa's Gay & Lesbian Community

Sibusiso Banda

Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe but Taurai Zhanje takes part in Mr Gay World.
The gay and lesbian community in South Africa has gone through a lot lately, but they can finally take a breather and celebrate a bit despite the many challenges facing the community in the country. Mr Gay World is coming to Johannesburg in April and there are four African countries participating, the largest number from the continent in the competition’s history. This is despite homosexuality being illegal in over 30 African countries. Another reason for celebration, although bitter-sweet, would be the recent sentencing of the murderers of Cape Town lesbian, Zoliswa Nkonyane.

Mr Gay Ethiopia, Robel Gizaw Hailu.
In the Mr Gay World competition, organisers say there will be participants from Ethiopia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Homosexuality is illegal in all those African countries even though the law is hardly enforced. Zimbabwean contestant, Taurai Zhanje, will struggle to convince authorities to accept his decision back home as the country is going through constitutional reforms with gay rights left out. The quotes President Robert Mugabe saying about gay people: “All of us at some point in our lives have raised dogs, and we know that in raising them you need a female and male to mate in order to have puppies. Now, if even dogs know that to procreate you need a male and a female, what of us humans? They want men to wed men! That’s what we reject.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stranded Students Find Shelter in Townhip Church

Ofentse Ramatsetse

A lack of information has led to many students from areas outside Pretoria to remain stranded as they applied late for university, leaving them without accommodation in the city while the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) processes their applications. After being approached by the university’s Students Representative Council (SRC), a local church has decided to house the estimated 265 applicants as they await a response from TUT. Some arrived in the capital with no food and the Apostolic Faith Mission in Soshanguve’s Block B has decided to take on the responsibility of feeding them too. SRC president, Khoisan Sonti, says he saw the need to approach various churches after realising many students would camp outside TUT’s Soshanguve campuses. Luckily they were willing to help. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Township School Received Important Gifts

Sthembiso Sithole

Pupils with their new and needed pots.
Many township schools often struggle to compete with former Model C schools and private schools as they are under resourced. Feladelfia High School which caters for pupils with disabilities in Soshanguve is one of these schools. Despite its struggles, it managed to receive a pass rate of over 70 percent in 2011. Even so that doesn’t mean its pupils, many of whom are from poor families, don’t need cooking equipment and other basic needs for children to eat.

To make things easier for the pupils of the school, recently a donation of several important needs were given to Feladelfia by Denel Land System at an event attended by government representatives. “We decided to finance the school. We told them to tell us what they need from us; from then we developed the partnership,” explains Denel’s Human Resources Manager, Thulani Mahlinza.

Zambia Has a Few Lessons for Bigger Football Nations

Khuliso Nemarimela

Many are now asking what Zambia’s secret is after they cruised to African victory at the recent Cup of Nations tournament. It is simple - they have a well-run football association, under the guidance of football legend Kalusha Bwalya. That is a rarity in African football as many leaders of associations often fight to enrich themselves. The president of the association being a former footballer himself means that he knows what his players needs are and therefore takes care of them. Imagine football legends like Lucas Radebe running SAFA, Sunday Oliseh or Jay Jay Okocha in Nigeria, Misheck Marimo or Peter Ndlovu in Zimbabwe and the list goes on.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Young Entrepreneur Needs Funds to Attend Bright Minds Conference

Robert Mabusela

Paseka Lesolang with the toilet he says can save a lot of water and lives.
Twenty-three-year old Paseka Lesolang from Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria, could be taking his invention of a hygienic toilet system to the United States of America to represent South Africa at the Third Annual Unreasonable Institute. His participation in the event depends on him raising R80 000.

Lesolang is one of 25 young entrepreneurs who have been accepted into the Institute after 306 applications from 55 countries were received. He believes his toilet could save 288 billion litres of water annually if installed in a million houses. His invention came after realising the system installed in his township wastes water. “The toilet system was a dual flush system. When you flush with the half flush for a given period of time you flushed the whole tank and when you flushed with the full you automatically flushed the whole tank. Therefore the objective was good but the implementation wasn’t so good,” explains Paseka.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Exclusively Breast Feeding But Community Doesn't Get It

Zanele Ngwenyama

On 23 August 2011 the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, issued a statement saying that government has decided to adopt breastfeeding as the only strategy to feed infants. He further said the distribution of breast milk substitutes through health facilities would be discontinued. Motsoaledi believes it’s essential to do this as South Africa is one of 12 countries in the world where the child mortality rate has been on the increase. The minister said this method is safe and would assist in reducing the death of babies in the country.

This grabbed my attention as I had just given birth at the time. I have been exclusively breast feeding my baby for six months now. This has meant my child who lives with me in the rural areas of Bushbuck Ridge has been fed no other forms of liquidised or solid food. It has also made things easy for me as we live in an area where shops and places for basic needs are far. As a young mother I decided to discuss the feeding plan with my mother and she understood, but I live in a close knit community and as a result everyone tends to be an expert on the subject of breast-feeding, as they are experts on other subjects too. When my baby turned one month old I constantly had to explain my reasons for not feeding him porridge to community members. They think he starves if I don't. Sometimes I couldn’t answer all their questions so when they ask now, I just tell them it’s my decision and the baby is healthy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

TUT Students Believe in University's Mentorship Programme

Sthembiso Sithole

Every first year in university deserves a mentor to assist them with their academic work and give them a start – especially at the beginning of the year. A lot of the time students have to stand in long queues while processing last minute paper work, they would get lost as they move from office to office and yet still have to get to lectures and might even get left behind in their work. That is where mentors come in to assist.

In South Africa a lot of schools also have an education system that doesn’t prepare most students for university. In high school students have teachers who spoon feed them the whole time whereas at university they will get lectures and lecturers, but they have to do a chunk of the work by themselves and lecturers just work as facilitators as it would be getting discussed in class after readings would or should have been done for homework. Many students aren’t used to this and as a result fail to do the readings properly or end up not doing them at all expecting the lecturer to spoon-feed like the high school teacher did.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

DASO Clearly Doesn't Understand Majority of Students

Gift Ngobeni

The campaign that caused much trouble.
The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) recently launched its recruiting campaign in a rather controversial, if not provoking, manner. A poster of a black woman and a white man, seemingly naked while embracing each other, has sparked some serious debate, ridicule and outcry in the media and the political sphere.  

As a student who is currently in his fourth year at university I find the poster rather confusing and unnecessary. DASO has argued that the picture aims to increase racial tolerance in the future of the country. But what confuses me is DASO’s reason to make the models naked. It would be rather vague to say DASO is promoting sex in schools like one Facebooker articulated. I think we have moved beyond the stage of thinking such campaigns are promoting sex, but what wasn’t clear to me is what this student organisation, which is barely seen campaigning at many universities, stands for exactly. The poster released earlier this week sure doesn’t explain it and DASO says it comes as the first in a series of them. I wonder what the rest will look like if the mother body hasn’t told the youngsters to chuck the rest in the dustbin. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SA and Nigeria Police Need to Fight Drugs Together

Gift Ngobeni

After several stories of South African women arrested overseas for trafficking drugs and the implication of some Nigerians in South Africa in drug manufacturing and the State security minister’s wife with a Nigerian counterpart found guilty after recruiting girls to work as drug mules maybe it’s time the South African and Nigerian police started working together to curb this crime. Nationals of both countries being implicated in the international trade of illegal drugs cannot be good for both nations and authorities from both countries working together will probably help improve how both countries are viewed. I will start with a long reminder of recent drug cases that have involved South Africans and others that have involved Nigerians in South Africa to show how important this is.

Thailand probably gets a lot of rich and beautiful young things taking advantage of cheap holidays there. The website estimates that over 600 thousand Britons visit Thailand each year. So authorities probably welcome people from new territories too and see it as a good sign of the treatment they give to visitors. They probably didn’t mind much when they saw a phly African princess carrying simple luggage with beautiful, big and long dreadlocks. Normally we praise such people because they would have had the patience many don’t have to maintain their hair properly and make sure it grows without breakage. But not this time as Nobabalo Nobanda’s dreadlocks were fake with something illegal hidden inside. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Impoverished School's New Method Increases Academic Performance

Sthembiso Sithole

Lindokuhle Cindi, with her father,  received the five distinctions she'd planned for.
Often when Matric results are released the focus would be on schools with a history of producing brilliant results. The pupils of these schools too would often be some of the best performing in the country. But as this happens, South Africans would neglect those which are disadvantaged and as a result have a history of poor performances. Phafogang Secondary School in Rockville, Soweto, is one of those schools. This year they increased their pass rate and the number of distinctions went up to eleven with one student obtaining five.
The principal, Tuska, Matlejoane, says he believes the increase is due to his changed approach to educating the predominantly financially disadvantaged pupils of the school. “I designed a new tool that will help indicate whether the progress is moving on.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Power Cuts & 5 Kilometre Walks for Water - Life in Bushbuck Ridge

Zanele Ngwenyama

Last year I moved to my mother’s house in the rural areas of Bushbuck Ridge in Mpumalanga. I had just graduated with a National Diploma in Journalism and was leaving an internship at e-TV in Johannesburg. E-TV had offered to renew the contract but due to certain reasons I had to decline the offer – but that story is for another day. 

When I moved to Bushbuck Ridge I realised that it is quite normal for this part of South Africa to go without electricity for long periods without anyone raising the alarm. I have just gone through another 24 hours of going back to rural basics such as making fire outside in order for us to make meals. It’s been raining and as a result I can’t cook today. I often hear people from other families saying they sleep on empty stomachs when there is no power. Because we are not in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town or Pretoria – this story will not be making national headlines on any newspaper or broadcaster.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greater Unity Needed to Provide Pupils with Varsity Info

Sthembiso Sithole

Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, considers centralising applications.

On Tuesday 10 January 2011 we heard and read about the death of a mother of one of the people who were queuing-up at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The woman died in a stampede as many late applicants were standing there with the hope that they would receive university entry despite applications at most universities having closed in 2011. Some students have raised concerns over this with one even posting a statement on Facebook that asks the university to enrol that 48-year-old woman’s child with no charge.

Late university applications seem to be a continuing trend in South Africa despite constant requests that students should do things early to avoid such scenarios. Some students view technical institutions like FET colleges as last options despite them providing skills that are crucial to the country.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bigger Pass Rate But Work Still Needed in Rural Schools

Sthembiso Sithole

The streets of Soweto were packed this morning with the 2011 Matric class as they wanted to see whether they passed and completed their high schooling. Some were disappointed and many were happy with the outcomes as Umalusi Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training has revealed that the pass rate has gone up from 2010 67,8% to 70,2% this time around.

Sowetan Nelisiwe Chopela from The Hill high school who passed with a University entry (A) encouraged those who didn’tpass to give it their best as they try again. “I know that is no easy but I hope that they will go and re-write their Matric. It is not the end of the world.”