AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Monday, July 14th, 2014

Another lazy South Africa ad

Africa is a Country has written plenty in the past on problematic advertising, particularly that which rides on racial and sexist stereotypes, and tropes about the African continent. Invariably, the common thread that runs through many of these ads—especially the ones that ostensibly promote a social cause, like SAB’s victim-blaming‘You Decide’ billboard or Woolworths’ black labourers-white

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...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

20 Years of Freedom: Seven Things To Tell Young Black South Africans

Last week, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation held an election debate in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, on intergenerational justice. It would have been great if some terms, like intergenerational justice, had been framed more...

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Bloomberg Africa evokes Reagan’s “welfare queen” stereotype for poor South Africans

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was in South Africa this month to launch the Bloomberg Media Initiative, a $10-million project to build capacity in business and financial journalism across the continent (starting first in Kenya, Nigeria...

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Did I ever tell you about that time a guy followed me in the NYC subway and offered me $40 to touch my leg?

Real talk: Who else is tired of gender/race swapping to make a point about racism/sexism? I know I am, especially about gender swapping. 

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The day South African news media ate crow

South Africa’s official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) wasn’t the only one left exposed and scrambling to save face when Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele decided to withdraw from a proposed deal that would have seen her pack...

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

That New York Times column about Cape Town

Let me be clear, because some responses suggest I was not in my recent column for the International New York Times: from just about every assessment, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape are consistently...

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...

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The “exceptional” kaffirs and the love of sunshine journalism on race

Last Friday, South Africa’s leading liberal newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, ran an article about the racist abuse hurled at black members of the rugby team at Ben Vorster High, a former Afrikaans-only school for whites in Tzaneen, Limpopo....

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Blackface: Fresh as the sea and funny, or tired, racist bull?

Imagine our feigned surprise at AIAC when blackface reared its head again, this time in a South African advertisement for the Cape Town Fish Market. The ad (below), posted on Youtube earlier this week, uses air quotes...

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Will Barack Obama get a frosty reception when he visits South Africa this weekend?

In a way, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s decision to award US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama the Freedom of the City (Cape Town’s highest honor), sort of makes sense, if you stretch...

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The unfounded fears of a Zulu hegemony

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

People in glass houses: South Africa’s news media and editorial independence

Late on Monday, the South African Mail & Guardian ran an online feature contrasting how local newspapers have been covering what’s become known as “Guptagate”, the unimaginative shorthand for the bi-national diplomatic and national security scandal unfolding...

Friday, March 1st, 2013

TIME and the media’s culture of confirmation bias

Within hours of Adam Lanza shooting dead 20 Sandy Hook Elementary first-graders and seven adults, including his own mother, and taking his own life, media channels everywhere were festooned with analysis and opinion on what drove the...

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Is Chester Missing blackface?

He performs to packed-out theatres and is a regular correspondent on a satirical television news show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola (LNN) on South African private TV channel, Etv. He’s at times raucously funny and almost...

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

For South African news media, to be ignored is a fate worse than censorship

Silence in a relationship speaks volumes and in the relationship between the governing African National Congress and the South African news media, the former’s stony silence about the Mail and Guardian’s recent spread into the finances of...