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Thought

The Mbira | a story of appropriation and dilution

On the 37th anniversary of Zimbabwean independence, MR SIBUSISO MNYANDA charts the history of the colonial capture and appropriation of the Mbira, arguably the Shona nation’s most spiritual musical instrument.   Cultural performance, music and rhythm have always been vehicles that transport (even teleport) humanity through the highways of spiritual linkage. Whether it is travelling to the past, communicating…

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An open letter to Khoisan 6/Napoleon Webster

Marikana activist Mr Napoleon Webster, otherwise known as Khoisan 6, has been languishing in jail for a hundred days without bail. His sin, the state charges, is the mob killing of an allegedly corrupt official in the volatile North West town. There is evidence to suggest however, that Webster was not even in the vicinity of…

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The painful death of a giant

MR CIKO THOMAS came of age in Port Elizabeth in the 80s, under the heat of the struggle for South Africa’s liberation. The leaders of the African National Congress and other organisations he knew and supported then, were of a rare breed. As we wake up to protests against the current leader of a once glorious organisation, he…

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We need new standards in political leadership

“South Africa is at a crossroads,” has become a quip many among us have pulled out of our disgruntlement backpacks in the two decades President Jacob Zuma has ridden roughshod over due process, our feelings and our shiny, resilient constitution. This phrase has once again resurfaced after Nxamalala from Nkandla set the cat among the pigeons with…

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Rape | Women are under siege, not men

MS. ZUKISWA WANNER is a writer, mother, feminist and activist. Having contributed no less than nine books as a novelist, children’s author, non-fiction writer and book editor, she is as prolific as she is funny and incisive. She is also frank, evidenced this letter, speaking directly to men who feel that they are under siege, in the wake of…

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Reclaiming Nongqawuse | of prophesy and colonial deceit

More than a century and-a-half after one of the most devastating events in South Africa’s colonial history, the story of the mass Xhosa Cattle Killing –  by the young prophetess Nongqawuse’s vision – is still mired in wanton mythology. MR SIBUSISO MNYANDA argues that a proper reading of information in the public domain exposes the events leading up to…

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Ungovernable | Zengeziwe B. Msimang

She is self-affirmed, walking to nobody’s tune but her own. She rejects conformity and seeks only her own truth. She is ungovernable, and just the kind of woman we love. In the latest in our series profiling women whose paths and minds we admire, we speak to Ms. Zengeziwe B. Msimang – Chief Director of Strategic…

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The myth of the SS Mendi and the sacrifice of black life

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi. Hundreds of black Africans perished with it and over the years, the narrative of colonialists – and subsequently the post-94 South African government – has been dominated by tales of the deceased’s bravery. But, as historian MR SIBUSISO MNYANDA argues that this event should be located in…

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Dating While Feminist: an extreme sport

dating

Imbawula is a monthly storytelling initiative which brings together four storytellers from different walks of life to share their experiences – whether inspiring, humorous, touching or thought provoking – with a view to exposing a shared human experience. In this story, Ms. Pontsho Pilane navigates the all too common pitfalls of dating while feminist. There…

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A deconstructed consciousness

consciousness

Black Consciousness (BC) – as a theory, philosophy and way of life – has been the site of much contestation in contemporary South Africa. In a week when we remember the murder of Mr Steve Biko – one of its most astute proponents – and witnessed Dr Angela Davis paying tribute to him, the following ten…

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