Citizen.Speak.Amplify

We asked an expert to bust the myths associated with condoms in South Africa

We’ve had a giggle at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s condom presentation in the National Assembly this week. But even after proposing a national commission of enquiry on the fact that there is no apple flavoured Max Condom, there’s a bigger point here: government intervention in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. It was recently revealed that despite government  interventions,  young people at different tertiary institutions in South Africa still believe myths about condom usage.  And it’s not just South Africa. Research shows…

PE high school is the latest hit by accusations of racism

It was just yesterday that an investigation was launched at a girls school following allegations of racism and prejudice by the school and its staff against pupils. http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/panyaza-lesufi-education-mec-probe-high-school-following-girls-outcry/ It emerged on Tuesday that grade 12 pupil, Unathi Gongxeka, from Lawson Brown High School in Port Elizabeth was told by teachers that she would not be permitted to write her trial exams unless she changed her hair. Gongxeka has since accused the school of racism…

Education MEC to probe high school following girls’ outcry

Pretoria High School for Girls will be investigated by Gauteng Department of Education authorities following allegations of racism against the institution. “You have my support, I will protect you,” said Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi to emotional pupils during his address at the school on Monday morning. Lesufi, together with officials from the national and provincial education department and Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, visited the school after allegations of racism surfaced against the institution and pupils…

Who is Caster Semenya and why does she matter?

Caster Semenya’s attitude to continue serving black excellence despite the ridiculous amounts of bull she’s had to go through is the reason she’s our Woman Crush Everyday. Born in 1991 in rural Ga-Masehlong, Polokwane to Dorcus and Jacob Semenya, Mokgadi Caster Semenya has always been a winner. She was raised by her grandmother in the Fairlien village. She began her running career with the Moletjie Athletics Club in Limpopo - according to the club’s secretary, Kaizer Mokaba, the club discovered her in her home village and…

NMMU students join the call for free education

On Tuesday morning, students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus blocked various entrances to the university in an attempt to shut down the campus. Meanwhile at NMMU pic.twitter.com/uUnn9Nzn6f— Best (@Lungani_MrBest) August 23, 2016 SRC president Yusuf Cassim told The Daily Vox that the protest was led by the South African Students Congress (Sasco) and should not be confused for a Fees Must Fall protest. “It’s just SASCO people that are part of the protest, some of them are not students at NMMU.…

How the world reacted to Caster Semenya’s victory

We didn’t for a second doubt that Mokgadi Caster Semenya would bring home that gold in the 800m, despite the brutal scrutiny by fellow competitors, sports officials, journalists and viewers. And the world sat up and noticed. The Daily Nation “Controversial South African runner Caster Semenya produced a devastating sprint finish to claim the Olympic 800m crown, four years after being denied gold by Russian dope cheat Mariya Savinova. The 25-year-old 2012 silver medallist turned on the gas with 150m to go, crossing the line…

Being a woman in science has become easier, but you still have to go the extra mile

Professor AMEENA GOGA, chief specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Council and pediatrician by training, spoke to The Daily Vox about the importance of having women in research and science, and how surviving breast cancer changed her life. As a researcher, the working world is predominantly male-dominated and it’s structured around male responsibilities. Finding a balance between being a woman and having maternal responsibilities while excelling in the workplace is tricky. I think we pay less attention…

This year’s Ruth First lecture explores violence and rage in our politics

Fellows Nolwazi Tusini and Lwandile Fikeni of the Ruth First Fellowship will present their papers on rage and violence today at the annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture on Wednesday night. Tusini will present her research which explored the narratives and experiences of black people born in the 1980s who were the first in their families to enter traditionally white spaces, like desegregated schools. “My paper is exploring the experiences of 80s kids in traditionally white spaces, in particular the desegregated schooling…

The cost of sanitary pads should be a public health emergency

This week fact-checking ninjas, Africa Check revealed that it’s not actually seven million girls who miss school every month because of the inaccessibility of feminine hygiene products. And while the actual number of girls who miss school because the price of pads and tampons is fewer than 7 million, the price of pads and tampons should still be treated as a public health emergency. As we’ve said before here, if you happen to own a uterus or have ever been shopping for someone who does, then you’ve no doubt noticed how…

The Public Protector interviews are a whole new level of lit

How awks would it be to have your job interview broadcasted live on national television? And then, have your files pulled out of the archives even Black Twitter hasn't found yet. And then getting grilled for skeletons you forgot were hidden in the closet? The interviews of candidates hoping to take over from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela are under way in the National Assembly with only half of the candidates interviewed in the past nine hours. It's going to be a long day in the office for some of the honourable members.  …

It’s back to school in Vuwani – in shared classrooms and under trees

Four classrooms at a school in Vuwani, Limpopo, were torched ahead of the reopening of schools in the district following school closures in May. The Mugoidwa Secondary School is the latest of the more than 20 schools that have been burnt down and vandalised by Vuwani residents in protests against a Municipal Demarcation Board decision to merge municipalities. The latest arson attack does not appear however to have affected the planned resumption of classes. Learners were back in class this morning, with some pupils having to…

Hundreds urge Indian government not to stop generic medicine production

On Thursday, about 150 local and international activists marched to the Indian consulate in Durban to deliver a message to the Indian consul-general to take to his government. “We call on the Indian government to reverse course on a series of actions that threaten to undermine the global AIDS response,” said the activists in a statement. For many years, multinational companies have been trying to close down the Indian generic industry due to competition; India offers an alternative supply of generic medicines compared to…

What it’s like to be a transwoman fighting for sex workers’ rights at #AIDS2016

Over 15, 000 delegates from all over the world are at the International AIDS Conference, each one different in their own right. Advocate for health and human rights of sex workers, LEIGH DAVIDS, told the Daily Vox about her identity and her experience at the conference. We were told that everyone working at the International AIDS Conference was sensitised about issues of gender and sexuality – which is not the truth. I had to spend a decent amount of time with security explaining that because as a transwoman, my preferred…

Millions of people around the world are still without HIV treatment

More than 18,000 people opened the International AIDS conference in Durban on Monday, hailing progress against the disease but warning against complacency. Yet millions of people around the world still don’t have access to treatment. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) together with SECTION27 and US-based Health Gap led a march through the streets of Durban on Monday to highlight the need to make antiretroviral treatment accessible to people with HIV across the globe. According to the organisers, 20 million of the 37 million…

We must redouble our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS among young people

While there has been remarkable global progress in tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic around the world, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) says further interventions are needed to protect children and adolescents from infection, sickness and death from HIV/AIDS related causes. “After all of the saved and improved lives thanks to prevention, treatment and care; after all of the battles won against prejudice and ignorance about this disease; after all of the wonderful milestones achieved, AIDS is still the number two…

Small steps in technology are big leaps in preventing HIV in babies

Matola-Gare is one of the most densely populated areas of Maputo. A score of mothers with their babies clinging onto them queue in and outside the general clinic situated on the busiest road in the industrial area. The clinic is also used as a maternity care ward and caters to an estimated 500 patients a day. After standing in the long queue, a mother releases her infant baby from the cloth wrapped around her. The baby, with a face as small as a human fist, is laid on a hospital bed amid the bustle of the clinic. Soon, the…

How SMSes are helping to prevent HIV in Mozambique

What better way to reach young people in a tech-heavy world than through their cellphones? The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has partnered with a line of government ministries in Mozambique to launch a youth-led SMS service that offers counselling on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention for adolescents. “I would wake up wet and I didn’t know why that happened. I thought I was sick and had a disease of some sort,” said 20-year-old Soares Mutambe. He is one of the many young people in sub-Saharan Africa…

More and more adolescents are dying from AIDS-related diseases

The number of adolescent deaths related to AIDS has tripled since 2000, with the majority of these cases reported in sub-Saharan Africa. And it is in places like Mozambique where chronic underdevelopment further challenges the public health system. In Chibuto, Mozambique, the streets are lined with women running small businesses and buzzing with 14-seater taxis and the back of bakkies loaded with people moving from one district to another. A 20-minute drive into the district replaces potholed tar-roads and rundown colonial…

Five things people often get wrong about introverts

Crowded parties or meetings often might feel like a holding cell to an introverted person, even as they sportingly up their end of the chatter. “Walk in and say hi. Interact with people and be open,” are just some of the things uttered to introverts, as if you can snap out of it. The walk-into-a-room-and-find-a-corner type of personality is frequently misinterpreted as having a social phobia, shyness or even avoidant personality disorder. The Daily Vox busts five myths about introverts. 1. Introverts don’t like to go out in…

Often a condom is not enough to protect sex workers from AIDS

First things first, suspend your judgement.  In conditions of dreadful poverty, the possible contraction of AIDS-related illness may seem less important than the immediate need for money, leading some people to be sex workers under unsafe circumstances. But also, choice. Adult women - and men - are free to do what they want their bodies. It's work after all. It is however, risky work. A recent survey of South African sex workers found that about one in five women had been sexually assaulted in the last year. Sex workers are…