AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, January 30th, 2014

We send our Tokoloshe to battle with those trying to make us forget the atrocities of Marikana

The Tokoloshe emerges from its secret lair. Like a thief in the night, it creates a mirror image of ourselves in some of the most contrary of places and then instantly vanishes. These living pictures (below) take us deep into the contradictions of our society. They take us back to our bloody, violent and racist

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Marikana Memorial

This time last year, platinum workers (all black) at a mine in South Africa's North West Province, went on an illegal strike against workplace racism, bad conditions, low wages and their ineffective trade union. The standoff started...

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Book of Marikana

Guest Post by Christopher Webb The day after the police shot 34 miners at Marikana a small group gathered outside the gates of parliament in Cape Town. Barely 100 people, holding signs calling for answers and justice,...

Monday, January 28th, 2013

British TV news airs footage refuting South African police claims about murdered Marikana miners. Where was the South African media?

Five months after the Marikana Massacre in South Africa, footage of police action at the ‘killing koppie‘ has finally reached the public. This footage somewhat predictably wasn’t brought to our attention by the local media, who...

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Live from Grahamstown

Every winter, for 11 days in early July,  the sleepy South African college town of Grahamstown comes alive with art. Artists from all over the world swarm to the tiny town, and every nook and cranny is packed...

Friday, May 30th, 2014

“Miners Shot Down;” a haunting and emotional documentary

When Mzoxolo Magidiwana, a miner from Marikana in South Africa’s Northwest Province, traces his family lineage of miners at Lonmin Mines, he invokes in me memories of how I narrowly escaped becoming a miner, breaking the lineage...

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Don’t believe the media hype about striking mine workers in South Africa

The platinum strike led by new trade union Association of Mining and Construction Workers Union (AMCU), is now over four months long, making it the longest strike in the history of South Africa. The majority of the...

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Fumana isazisi sakho. Bhalisa. Vota.*

I came across this image taken by a press photographer in May 1990 after one of the first public meetings between the last white minority government and the liberation movement (led by the ANC), to negotiate a new...

Monday, May 5th, 2014

20 Years of Freedom in South Africa: Elections and captured politics

Recent public commentary has celebrated the virtues of a competitive electoral market in South Africa. The common argument is that the emergence of new political formations on the electoral landscape provides space for increased competition to have...

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Cancel Jeremy Clarkson, cancel Top Gear and cancel British jingoism

Like Musa Okwonga, I was not going to write about Jeremy Clarkson mumbling the n-word and feigning indignation at the slap on the wrist he received from the BBC over it. Much like the time he proudly announced...

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

20 Years of Freedom: Zackie Achmat on South Africa’s 5th democratic elections

Throughout the 2000s, Zackie Achmat led what was probably the most recognizable multi-class, mass social movement in South Africa, outside of the wide support enjoyed by the ANC or its trade union ally. Though the Treatment Action...

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

20 Years of Freedom: The post-1994 power brokers and black liberation

On May 7th South Africans go to the polls to vote for national and provincial representatives (the majority party gets to pick the President and the Cabinet). In the lead up to the election, we’ll carry a few...

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Story of Ill Skillz: Notes From The Native Yards

When they founded Ill Skillz in 2005, Uno July and Lukona Sitole couldn’t have anticipated that, just one year shy of a decade later, they would’ve experienced the departure of three crew members. Their deejay, Nick Knucklez,...

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Cape Town’s Pretend Partnership

There have been only a few instances in my life where my reflex response to a situation has been to throw up. One of these occasions was last Monday night − and the impulse lasted almost three...

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Debate: The future of the workers’ movement in South Africa

In May this year, South Africa will host its 5th general election since the advent of democracy in 1994. The ruling African National Congress have dominated these elections until now (62.6% of the vote in 1994, 66.3%...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New Photography Book Depicts the South African Social Landscape

Between 2012 and 2013, an exercise took place known as the France South Africa Season. This bilateral initiative was aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. In 2012 South Africa hosted France for a wide range...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

To Come Back from Qunu

I do not have a background in the struggle. Unlike the many people who over the past week shared their stories of their personal interactions with Nelson Mandela during the struggle, my only brief meeting with Mandela...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

The two mutually irreconcilable Nelson Mandelas

Nelson Mandela’s post-presidency saw the rise of a larger-than-life caricature of himself, one that somehow managed to be smaller than both the real accomplishments of the man as revolutionary and politician, and an apolitical, often commercial, valorization of the failures of...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Consuming Woolworths’ Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela presents a complex, complicated, even contradictory set of public images that have been cycled and recycled in ways that allow many stakeholders to appropriate and mobilise his legacy. Of course corporate entities do not have...

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

South Africa’s a Continent

South African president Jacob Zuma’s visit to Malawi in August appears to have renewed his appreciation for the quality of the roads network in Gauteng, South Africa’s smallest yet wealthiest province. Speaking at a listening session in...

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The political arrest of Bandile Mdlalose

“Normally it is seen that the poor are poor in mind and that everything needs to be thought for us. But poverty is not stupidity; it is a lack of money. And we always remind people that...

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 50

As the OG of #Musicbreaks I'm responsible for stuff like jazz, leaving the more energetic genres (hip hop, global base, kwaiti and Naija derivative pop) to the much younger AIAC co-conspirators. So here's 10 tunes/artists...

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The New York Times “debates” South Africa’s future

I have no idea why I was thrilled to see a debate on the chief maladies of post-apartheid South Africa on the New York Times’ website. I honestly should’ve known better, but I just get excited whenever the Times covers...

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Mandela Day

Some families vacation in Disney World or Cape Cod. Not mine. Our destinations of choice when I was growing up were marches on Washington, picket lines, or protests at City Hall. As a six-year old, I got...

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Julius Malema’s next move

As South Africa’s 2014 general elections approach and the ruling ANC continues to weaken under Jacob Zuma’s leadership, a host of new political parties and formations are beginning to enter the political scene — from Mamphela Ramphele’s Agang...

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Have some sympathy for the poor suffering bosses

Miners at multinational Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, speaking to (South African) Sunday Times reporter Lucky Biyase: ‘Whenever we ask for a wage increase, these companies plead poverty and threaten us with retrenchments....

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

After Mandela

I returned home to South Africa a few days before Nelson Mandela was readmitted to hospital. This is the fourth and longest period he has been under observation by doctors since last December, and many here are...

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

The flag-bearers of dub in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa, has been undergoing somewhat of an electronic music revival over the past five years. The initial boom happened in the early 2000s when, aided by the pioneering African Dope record label, artists such...

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The BBC’s standards of journalism when it comes to South Africa

Read it here. The main claims of the piece (and a documentary broadcast in the UK on Sunday night) are that the white poor number about 400,000 (that would be about 10% of the white population), that there...

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Popstars, Politicians and Personhood: A Conversation with Masello Motana

South African actress/singer/writer Masello Motana has had a career in the entertainment business that many would envy. She has played a leading role in a number of South African television shows as well as in a mainstream...

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