10 reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now – March 2017 edition

March looked promising - and then nosedived pretty badly towards its end. First Helen Zille defended colonialism, and then the great Uncle Kathy passed. As a cherry on top, President Zuma also decided to reshuffle most of the entire cabinet on the eve of the last day of the month, which sent the rand - and all of our nerves - all over the place. But it wasn't all gloom and doom, we promise. Here's the March 2017 edition of ten reasons South Africa doesn't suck right now. 1. Graduation season The conclusion of the first…

Selling activism – 2017’s hottest commodity

It's no secret that marketing has always been a type of psychology, manipulating consumers into buying into the ideals around certain products along with the products themselves. When you buy a Mercedes-Benz, you're buying a certain lifestyle, and you’re doing the same thing when you're preparing your Sunday lunch of happy organic grass-fed hens. Trusted tools have been used to sell a lifestyle - sex appeal, humour, and other things that people can supposedly relate to. But there's a new hot tool of the trade that everyone…

Political parties bid ‘hamba kahle’ to Uncle Kathy

Political parties have paid their respects to Ahmed Kathrada, with statements remembering the South African hero's contributions to the nation, and conveyed their condolences to his friends and family. Kathrada’s political home, the African National Congress, said "Uwile umthi omkhulu, (A great tree has fallen)" and quoted the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, in verse that read, "be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing" (Surah…

Richard Pithouse unpacks discourses around violence on Eusebius’ show

Academic Richard Pithouse engaged in an enlightening conversation with Eusebius McKaiser on his show on Talk Radio 702 on Tuesday around semantics of the term "violence". "The term violence is increasingly being used and gained even greater popularity in discourse the world over in the two to three years," said McKaiser. "Has it become too broad? Too elastic? Or is it appropriate politically and morally that we expand what we mean by violence rather than restricting it to physical violence?" According to Pithouse, questions…

Documentary shows the real-life impact of Cape Town’s gentrification

In the lead-up to the judgment over Cape Town's Bromwell Street evictions, Daneel Knoetze of Reclaim the City has created Leaving Home, a four-part online documentary showcasing the human impact of gentrification in Cape Town. The development of areas such as Woodstock into trendy new accommodation spots and hipster haunts has been met with much criticism, because it is contingent on the displacement of the original inhabitants of the area and the destruction of their homes - often, the only homes they have ever known. "New…

The contradictions of an Israeli Wonder Woman

Comic book character Wonder Woman was appointed a UN honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls in October 2016. Two months later, she was stripped of the role after much backlash. More than 16 000 people signed a petition calling for her removal, stating, “It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when headline news is the objectification of women and girls,” and calling the choice “not culturally encompassing or sensitive”. But let’s…

Ten reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now – February edition

February saw a visit from a natural disaster named Dineo, a whole lot of rain in one part of the country and very dry conditions in another, and most of South Africa’s student population going back to campus. We also had SONA 2017, the budget speech, and xenophobic violence. 2017 has solidified its presence, and we’ve got the latest ten reasons why that doesn't mean anything too bad. 1. Naledi Pandor wins American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2016 Award for Science Diplomacy The inimitable Naledi Pandor…

Is ‘modest fashion’ really something we should be celebrating?

In the past couple of weeks, my social media feeds were dominated by chatter about and images of Halima Aden, a Muslim model who wore her headscarf on the runway in multiple fashion week shows - most notably Kanye West's Yeezy show - and London Modest Fashion Week. https://twitter.com/aceyobab/status/835355939779682304 I've always had a bit of a bone to pick with the idea of modest fashion, "hijab fashion", and the way that Muslim women's dressing not only become a source of fascination for many, but an entire industry…

Remembering Robert Sobukwe 39 years on, in his own words

February 27 marks 39 years since radical revolutionary, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, passed. He is most known for being a prominent South African political dissident, who founded the Pan Africanist Congress in opposition to South Africa under apartheid. 13. He soon began to criticise the ANC for allowing itself to be dominated by what he termed "liberal-left-multi-racialists".#SobukweDay — #SobukweDay (@Pasma_UP) February 27, 2017 He also inspired radical black thought. He was considered to be so dangerous by the apartheid…

The issues with the Nike ad that we aren’t talking about

Nike recently launched a video showcasing the many talents of female Arab athletes doing their thing, accompanied by the tagline “What will they say about you?”. It’s a great campaign no doubt, and definitely sends out a strong message about women’s empowerment, especially in contexts where they remain marginalised and they are constantly held back from partaking in a lot of things, and especially sport. I was so excited to share it, and for me - as a Muslim woman who loves both Nike and being active - it was great to see…

‘They think we are animals’: workers rally for #OutsourcingMustFall

Fikile Sibisi is a cleaner at a school, the only breadwinner for eight people, and the mother of an eight-month-old son. “I never had maternity leave. I worked my entire pregnancy, stayed home for three days after giving birth, and then went back to work. Because I missed those three days, I didn't get paid for the month.” Sibisi – who is 27 years old and earns between R1 000 and R2 000 a month – is one of many workers coming out under the banner of #OutsourcingMustFall to voice their frustrations at structures that keep…

University scholarship opportunities you should apply for NOW

There are scholarship opportunities floating around all the time - but finding one for which you fully meet the criteria and most suits your programme of study can sometimes be tricky. We will build on and keep updating this list - you never know when you may find something that suits where you are or where you want to be. You have nothing to lose. Get applying! 1. Fulbright Foreign Student Programme The Fulbright Programme is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is…

Ten poems by black women the world needs to read right now

The world is a scary and uncertain space right now, fraught with fragility, and sometimes it's just too much to cope with. We get it, and we’re all about trying to find some beauty in this big and messy world. And if there's one group of people who know how to articulate that loss, pain, and anger, it's black women - their lived experiences remain ones that speak volumes, and remind us how much they continue to endure, even though the world - and the odds - are stacked against them. Sit down, grab a cup of tea, and…

Ten reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now – January 2017 edition

2016 came to an eventual end - and we could not be happier. So far, the start of the year has been relatively smooth sailing - summer is in full swing, we made it through Januworry, and we got a bit of rain - and we hope that sets a precedent for what else is to come in the course of this year. And so, to kick us off, here is the very first 2017 edition of why South Africa doesn't suck right now. 1. Amla makes 100 in his 100th On 12 January 2017, Hashim Amla played his 100th Test match when the Proteas took Sri Lanka at The…

Muslim women’s narratives belong to no one but them

For a lot of Muslims, living in president Donald Trump’s world is a difficult reality to accept. We are constantly reassuring people of our humanity - something we actually most certainly do not need to do - and it's tiring. A major side-effect of this is something very dangerous: we lose control of our own narratives, as they get picked up and transferred and appropriated, and lose nuance. For Muslim women, it's even worse. Muslim women live in a world that is constantly telling us that we cannot win. The fact that we…

Health minister claims young doctors are fussy, while they urge him to see reality

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has slammed claims that there is a shortage of available posts for newly-qualified health professionals in South Africa - but doctors and pharmacists have come out saying that the minister is “out of touch with reality”. Doctors and pharmacists across the country have been left without posts in all three rounds that they need it - internship, community service, and job placement - due to both a lack of available posts and lack of funding for vacant posts. Without the completion of internship,…

Why are we surprised that the #MuslimBan is a thing?

An executive order from US president Donald Trump temporarily banning refugees as well as other travellers to the US, including green card holders, from seven Muslim-majority countries went into effect this weekend - and faced widespread condemnation, as protests grew at airports across the country. https://twitter.com/todbot/status/825843113465765888 The seven countries, which include two African countries, are banned from entry for 90 days. People travelling from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen were…

Celeste Khumalo talks acting, studying, girl power – and yellowbones

Celeste Khumalo was the last Miss SA Teen when the pageant ended in 2011. The 24-year-old model, actress, and businesswoman stars as Linda in Mzansi Magic’s The Queen, and runs Republic Nails, a nail bar in Pretoria, all the while studying towards an MBA. The Daily Vox caught up with her to talk about her busy life and her experiences in the entertainment industry. I always wanted to be able to both work in entertainment and run my business at the same time. I can’t always say I balance everything well - there are always…

Can the University of Pretoria compel students not to protest this year?

Students at the University of Pretoria who have criminal cases pending against them regarding the #FeesMustFall protests last year have been blocked from registering for the 2017 academic year, unless they write a letter of motivation and agree to “avoid similar incidents as in 2016”, which a constitutional law expert says is unconstitutional. The letter that was released on Wednesday, 18 January, is allegedly being sent to students who were suspended or arrested for contravening court interdicts, forbidding protesters from…

New series questions what it means to be a coloured person in SA

A hot new web series exploring coloured identity, Coloured Mentality, went live in January - and we’re already obsessed. It garnered tens of thousands of views within a day, and it’s not difficult to see why. The Daily Vox team rounds up. Identity politics in South Africa are always a contentious issue, and 20-something couple Kelly-Eve Koopman and Sarah Summers are on a journey to try and unpack what "coloured" identity is. The first episode of Coloured Mentality deals with the pair explaining their intentions, and asking a…