Saturday, August 30, 2014

South Africans & Race - It's the Norm Here

Siphumelele Zondi

Recently I spoke to a mate who studied in China and then the UK when I was also at university there. We’ve both been back for the same amount of time and it seems as much as we love our home country, we realise that there’s that big struggle of race. The mate I am mentioning here is a white woman. She said to me, “In South Africa politics is in your face, race is in your face, inequalities that are a result of race are in your face.”

I am a black man and I realised in UK middle class societies that I found myself in, my race didn’t matter to a lot of people. I was once in a casual conversation with two women who were convinced I was British, they never mentioned my race but were trying to find ways to prove that I am in fact British and South African. These were white women. Their race is important because I am writing this in South Africa where race seems is the “thing” that people judge you on before they realise that you are South African, a good television producer, Zulu and are a generally nice guy. Yep you are black first in South Africa and as a result you have to predominantly interact with other black people and there will be certain perceptions made about you when people meet you for the first time, before you open your mouth.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why are SA Women told to Compromise for Marriage?

Lindiwe Maphumulo

Women are shrinked everyday of their lives. As women, we’re made to think that marriage is the most important goal we should aspire to. Men, on the other hand, are told to have other dreams and ambitions like heading up organisations, becoming presidents and making millions. When will we, as women, live a good life without settling for less and limiting ourselves?

My friend and I were having a discussion about this the other day. She was saying that it would be fascinating if a woman was hit on by a guy and then declined, but not just with a simple no but gave a thorough list of reasons of her decision. One of the reasons she could give is that she would like to get a career going and make her own money. My friend and I were thinking that in the society we live in, this woman would be called a gold digger and other names just because of her goals.
We discussed this to a point where a man who had been eaves-dropping decided to join in and turned it to a huge debate. He mentioned that he would have a problem with a woman who can do things for herself, he would feel that he isn’t needed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We Probably Grew Up in Different South Africas

Siphumelele Zondi

Sitting in an airport in Hong Kong, I had a chat with an Afrikaans South African woman who is about the same age as I am. The woman and I are pretty similar on tastes in music and other interests. We both pretty much grew up in post-apartheid South Africa, but are vastly different on our knowledge of South African movies. One would think we live in two different South Africas when they analyse the movies we watch. I spoke about Jerusalema, iNumber Number and The Forgotten Kingdom. She told me about Grens Pos, Skoonheid and Leon Schuster movies.

We also differed on our views of employment equity laws as she told me she was changing jobs so she could work for an organisation that is opposed to Black Economic Empowerment as she feels her white skin never gave her any privileges. She told me about how she grew up poor in Bloemfontein and she and her brother had to get student loans and bursaries to get through university. I asked her how many white school children in her school or university were going through what she had gone through and that’s when she admitted to me that she realised her views could be biased to her situation at home, but still didn’t think that capable black South Africans should get preference over white South Africans.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Share a positive Migrant or Refugee Story

Refugees are migrants who have been forces to flee their homes. They are like you and me who want a safe place to live, to be able to support their families, have access to education and to be healthy.   South Africa hosts some 65,000 refugees and 250,000 asylum seekers. Many of them fled their countries with no idea where they are going, leaving their entire life behind. Many lost everything including loved ones and livelihoods and have had to start all over again in a new place.  Each year, on the 20th of June, the world celebrates the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Born in the 1990s With No Memory of Apartheid

Khothatso Madisa

It saddens me at times when I hear stories of how wonderful it was when people cast their votes for the first time in 1994 when all I can remember is being 3 years-old and playing with sand.

The saddest thing is that I cannot even remember people, not even my parents, coming back home in joyous celebrations  from voting stations. All I remember is that I loved plastic toy cars and I probably spend the whole day imitating the likes of Michael Schumacher.

Maybe its just jealousy speaking since I would have given everything to be in those long queues with the excited masses eager to cast their very first vote. Everything my generation, the generation of 1990s, know about when South Africa found democracy relies solely on what we've seen on the television or heard on radio.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Been 20 Years, But The Racist Mind Still Has Much Work To Do

Siphumelele Zondi

My first memory of apartheid in South Africa was the murder of Chris Hani in 1993, I even barely remember that. At the time my age was in the single digits. I remember my parents watching all news reports about it. I remember his daughters and wife Limpho crying on television. I also remember TV news anchor Noxolo Grootboom crying on television as she was an eye witness who had seen what had happened from her house which was next door to Hani's. I don't remember much else from that day and I didn't really know who Hani was until the day he was brutally murdered. I also remember his massive funeral that made me think that's how big all funerals are supposed to be.As I grew older I obviously learnt who he was and how his murder could have changed South Africa's road to democracy.

A year later I had a conversation with my father. It was the evening of the 26th of April in 1994. My father was preparing to vote for the very first time the following day. I asked him who he would want to win the election. His response was, "Anyone, just not the National Party."  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ngxokolo's MaXhosa Range Impresses Joburg Fashion Week

By Tshepo Tshabalala

Heavy knitted, patterned, warm, pure mohair and Merino rich, wooly garments from skirts, cardigans and dresses in traditional Xhosa designs and colours defined what could be the most outstanding collection at this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre.

South Africa is a country with 11 official languages and a few more others. It's cultures differ from region to region and city to city. That's probably why it is often difficult to really describe what is truly an authentically South African design or collection. Maybe it's also as equally difficult to say what is authentically African. Many are likely to say it is something they can relate to, garments which perhaps remind them of their childhood, or what their elders wore in the 1970s, 80s and maybe the 90s. Another group of South Africans would take some of their styles from Europeans.

Friday, January 17, 2014

When You're Gay in Nigeria

Martin Chinagorom

With the passing of Nigeria's anti-gay bill into law, Martin Chinagorom was inspired to write this piece and in his words: “My writing is not gay activism. I write so that people may know that life is hard for these guys already. The best we can do for them is a little tolerance. With the bill and all that has happened thereafter there’s close to an anarchy in this community and as a nation we have enough demons already that we do not wish to add this the list.”
Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

When you’re gay in Nigeria,your whole life is one collosal creationary displacement. You should have been born in Europe or some place in America, not here. Maybe He’d tossed you in Africa hoping you’d land in South Africa but you look in the sky and it is a green-white-green.You go to the mirror and a square-in-a-round-hole stares back at you. You’re an anomaly, your very existence is an abomination.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where’s the Youth to Facilitate Change Like 70s Youngsters did?

By Cyril Skosana
The youth of South Africa played a colossal role in the course of the struggle, scrapping face to face against the apartheid regime that kept the black race and its youth subdued for an extensive and utmost regrettable period. As documented in historical books, music, documentaries and films; it is unmistakable to say that the youth deserve extended credit for a democratic country we inhabit.

The role played by those who took the forefront in fighting against a system that sought to oppress the black race is of much significance. We could use it today, don’t you think? Here’s the pickle, there’s always a consequential pressure that naturally emanates from winning a battle. If you win, you need to keep your guards up to hold on to your throne. As you would expect, a loser will not by any chance rest after suffering loss. A good way to celebrate victory –according to my insignificant opinion, is protecting your position in any undertakings you may face. That being said, I have no doubt whatsoever for believing that our heroes stand weeping as they gaze at us from the heavens –if they do exist.

Insta-ville: the home of the fabulous
Mpho Raborife

So I recently visited the photo-sharing site known as Instagram to check out a few pics posted by a friend. For those who do not keep up with changing trends, Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that allows its users to take photos, images and videos, then apply digital filters to them and share them on this application and other social networking sites.

While I was visiting Instagram, I saw handles of some other people I knew, so I decided to see what they were sharing too.

At the end of my Insta-browsing (because Insta is now a prefix right?) I was left depressed and felt like I had shrunk to a the size of a cube of sugar. These people live such glamorous lives! Well that's what their profiles tells me. The lighting and photo-shopping extras help too.