Friday, December 13th, 2013

The ‘Fake Interpreter’

A few days ago, when the story of the “fake interpreter” broke in the South African media, the ANC denied any knowledge of who he was and how he got to be on the podium, signing while world leader after world leader gave inane speeches intended to tell the world that “Yes, I more than anyone, I...

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Tata Mandela

June 16 is a national holiday in South Africa – Youth Day, commemorating the June 16, 1976 Soweto student uprising and those who lost their lives in the violence that followed. This year, June 16 was also...

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Anthony Bourdain goes to South Africa

In a recent episode of his CNN "Parts Unknown," the American chef and writer Anthony Bourdain traveled to South Africa. In my mind at least, this episode was long overdue and in fact, I've even said so...

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Found Objects N°21

German singer-songwriter Joy Denalane (born to a South African father who’s a cousin of Hugh Masekela) recorded her song ‘Im Ghetto von Soweto’ twice. I prefer the original, less explanatory, German version (a tentative translation of which...

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Soweto Soul

What better way to start the week than with some a cappella soul courtesy of South African singers Buhlebendalo Mda, Luphindo Ngxanga and Ntsika Fana Ngxanga (better known as ‘The Soil’).

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Beginning Workout

Talking about running: some ad people can make any city look good.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Spinning in Gauteng

Journalist/photographer Chris Parkinson, who lives in Johannesburg, has shot this short film about car spinning in the city. Invited by a fellow photographer, who is also a spinner, he headed out to Nasrec, a racing track on...

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Music Break

The new music video for “Drip Dry” by the Johannesburg hipsters Dirty Paraffin. The video was shot and edited by the people known collectively as Cuss Monthly. H/T: Dylan Valley.

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Music Break

Oakland, California rap group The Hieroglyphics and Goapele singing about some kind of Soweto circa 2002. You can go to the jungle/Go to the city/Visit Soweto/Live in the Bay or/Somewhere in between/But you’ll never be unseen …...

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

“The creative street vibes of South Africa”

On Saturday,  26 March at the Swedish CinemAfrica Festival the film directors Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft of Stocktown TV will premiere their ode to new South African hipsters:”Stocktown South African Roadmovie,” a 28 minute film that...

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Photography: Yamandú Roos

Security Guard, World Cup, 2010, Soweto, South Africa.

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Postcard from Jo’burg

Like many others, US photographer Krisanne Johnson headed to South Africa earlier this month but, as The New Yorker points out, she didn’t go there for the football. Johnson has been to South Africa several times over...

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Not Julius Malema’s Youth League

I’ve blogged before (at my old blog address) about the Johannesburg fashion movement, The Smarteez. (More exclusive than the mass outlet Amakipkip.) Now Dazed Magazine have discovered them. For its June special “South Africa” issue (Africans still...

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Blue Balls

Last Saturday,  a rugby playoff match in South Africa was switched from the white suburbs of Pretoria to a stadium in Soweto. The move was required because the stadium in Pretoria was needed for the soccer World...

Friday, March 19th, 2010

“We want what’s our (land)”

“We Want What’s Ours,” a documentary film in progress on the complications of land reform in South Africa in Soweto–in this case competing claims between groups of black South Africans–by Chicago law professor Bernadette Atuahene and Sifuna...

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Soweto to Johannesburg

The New York Times does some real reporting for a change in a story (last week) about a new 16-mile long bus rapid transit service which offers fast, affordable, dignified travel on bus lanes cleared of other...

Friday, October 9th, 2009


Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The set of District 9 was a real Johannesburg slum

We’ll have to see the film first before judging it (its main focus is the angst of a white South African), but here’s what the people living in the slum where “District 9″ was filmed, are saying:...