Ten Reasons South Africa Doesn’t Suck Right Now – May 2017 Edition

May came and went, and we are officially at the halfway point of 2017. We don't know how we got here: there is new evidence proving the extent of the Guptas’ state capture, and Cape Town is dealing with a serious drought - all while the weather is getting chillier by the day. South Africa is going through the most, but there are still reasons to smile. Here's the May edition of 10 reasons South Africa doesn't suck right now. 1. Kagiso Rabada is officially the top ODI bowler in the world We're big on #ProteaFire here at The…

Ramadan 2017 in South Africa: Here’s what you need to know

It's almost time for Ramadan 1438 (2017 in the Gregorian calendar) in South Africa. This means a month of fasting, reflection, patience, and acts of goodwill for Muslim people. The Daily Vox breaks down what it is, what it means, and how it is observed in South Africa. 1. When does it start and end? In South Africa, it should begin on the evening of Friday 26 May, and the first fast will be on Saturday 27 May. Islam goes by the lunar calendar, meaning that the birth of a new moon signals a new month in the Islamic calendar.…

On #Nakba69, the message remains clear: Return is possible

On 15 May 2017, Palestinians mark 69 years since the Nakba, the mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians from their homeland. Al-Nakba ('the catastrophe'), was a process of ethnic cleansing which invaded over 500 Palestinian towns and villages, and displaced over 750 000 Palestinian people to create the state of Israel. We cannot and will not forget because we continue to live it every day #Nakba69 #NakbaDay pic.twitter.com/MjWSE9oUmo — Tamsal (@Mawalablab) May 15, 2017 Our return is a matter of time.. #Nakba69#راجعين…

Ten Reasons South Africa Doesn’t Suck Right Now – April 2017 Edition

In the wake of a few tumultuous political happenings, April was a good month. The leaves started changing colour, and graduation season went into full-swing, both of which were beautiful to see. There are plenty of reasons to be proudly South African right now - here's your latest list why. 1. The student who obtained 24 distinctions in his degree B Pharm honours student Keaton Harris has performed amazingly, graduating summa cum laude from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The first in his family to attend…

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…

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,…