Miss Supermodel-that-happens-to-be-South-African 2017

So our country has a new Miss South Africa, but last night's beauty pageant came against some criticisms which have us questioning what standards of beauty the organisers subscribe to. The first (white) Miss South Africa was crowned in 1943 but we only got a black Miss SA in 1993. #ThankYouApartheid. It's time to meet your Top 12 South Africa. Welcome to the 59th annual Miss South Africa pageant. It's showtime... pic.twitter.com/mly4KYOCEx — Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) March 26, 2017 Some South Africans saw it a…

The next time you see a violent confrontation, don’t look away

Dear bystander, We live in a society that is problematic AF. We see people being harassed on a daily basis. But sometimes we witness an act so violent, it stays with us for weeks. These traumatic acts of violence are what define our society. It’s scary standing up to a two-metre-tall boorish man yelling racist slurs at the petite cashier. You keep telling yourself that you’ll speak up but that someone else has to start first. Or you don’t want to get involved because you might get hurt. You might look down at your feet and…

Why are our schools unsafe for LGBTQI+ children?

LGBTQI+ South Africans face discrimination on a daily basis, despite constitutional protections. Whether they are at school, out shopping for groceries or being denied entry into a restaurant, members of the LGBTQI+ community face discrimination because they don’t fit into accepted views about sexuality. At the beginning of March, the principal of Ulwazi High School in East London forced lesbian learners to come out to their parents. The principal, Nomampondomise Kosani sent 38 girls home with letters outing them to their…

This lecturer makes her students sing if they come late to class

We’re all so glad we’re not this “princess” who sauntered into her lecture 40 minutes late and got dressed down by her lecturer for her giving zero fucks. A video of the confrontation at a South African private university was shared widely on social media this week, sparking conversations about youth entitlement and questions about whether the lecturer overreacted. The Daily Vox breaks it down. When the student walked in late, topped up frappucino in hand, the lecturer asked her to sing a song. “You know I’m strict here. You…

Why immigrants succeed in the spaza space – it’s complicated

In February, immigrant shopkeepers were violently targeted by South Africans who claimed they were stealing jobs and bringing down the economy. On Tuesday, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) published a contentious research report on how immigrants are contributing to South Africa’s economy. The report found that immigrants dominate the spaza shop industry because they are resourceful and hardworking. Rian Malan, the author of the report, claimed that South Africans were falling behind because they aren’t working hard…

City of Cape Town redesigning Imizamo Yethu but residents know nothing about it

The City of Cape Town has begun redesigning parts of Imizamo Yethu, the informal settlement in Hout Bay that was devastated by fire at the weekend, in a process known as reblocking. But questions have been raised about whether it’s done enough to involve residents in the process. Three people died and 15 000 people have been displaced by blaze, which the City of Cape Town has described as “one of the worst informal settlement fires that we have experienced to date.” Reblocking is the rearrangement of shacks in informal…

Immigrants and South Africans stand together against xenophobia

“Look, right now what I would say is it’s very fearful to live in South Africa as an immigrant or refugee or a foreign national because first of all how do we cure this issue, how do we finish this xenophobia syndrome?” Prince Mpinda, 40, a Congolese resident is frustrated that the South African government is not taking the issue of xenophobia seriously. “ the president was on Special Assignment on SABC 3. It was very disturbed to see how the president is defending the Mamelodi Concerned to say it was a well-organised march…

#HandsOnSocialMedia: Five times African governments shut down the internet

When State Security Minister David Mahlobo announced that government is proposing to regulate social media, tweeps got #HandsOffSocialMedia trending. #HandsOffSocialMedia in a nutshell. pic.twitter.com/I4qwFUphGX — TweetGuru (@JustKholii_) March 6, 2017 Mahlobo made this statement at a press conference over the weekend, seemingly out of the blue. His reasons? Foreign forces have laid siege on South Africa and that they are somehow using the courts, civil society and the media to cause “instability”. Not cool. While state…

“If they cut this money I’m going to get sick while I’m still young”

The Department of Social Development (DSD) and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) have just a few weeks to resolve an impending crisis that could see 17 million South Africans go without social welfare assistance. But many of those who would be directly affected remain in the dark. The public debacle has highlighted the disarray in which the department of social development finds itself. Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini had a combative press conference on Sunday and was called to present herself to…

World Wildlife Day: Five animals you may not know are endangered

Back in 2013, the UN declared 3 March to be World Wildlife Day. The day is about celebrating wildlife and raising awareness about endangered species. We all know about the decline of the rhino population, but there are other species that are facing a very high risk of disappearing. They are three steps away from extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list is a comprehensive list of the conservation status of the world’s animals. Here is a list of some African animals that you may have not…

Green light on medical marijuana may not be that green

While some South Africans are celebrating the announcement that government is taking a step toward legalising cannabis for medical use, activists and users of cannabis-based medicines are wary. South Africans have been self-medicating with cannabis medicines - primarily in the form of oil - for a long time. It was only when the late IFP MP, Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, brought the benefits of cannabis to the attention of Parliament in 2014, that the potential medicinal value of cannabis was seriously considered by South…

#100ThingsIBelievedAsAChild – Spoiler alert: they lied

One of the most sobering things that could happen to you while growing up is that you were lied to. Using the hashtag #100ThingsIBelievedAsAChild, tweeps shared the lies and superstitions they were told when they were young. The fact that life as an adult would be easy. After you've finished Matric,It is compulsory too be rich. #100ThingsIBelievedAsAChild — Angel Mabena (@Angel_Mabena) March 2, 2017 #100ThingsIBelievedAsAChild All adults are successful, happy and satisfied. — ♛The Trillest King♛ (@TumediTreezy) March 2, 2017…

Fallist Bonginkosi Khanyile granted bail in landmark Concourt hearing

An unprecedented battle for student leader Bonginkosi Khanyile’s release on bail was taken to the Constitutional Court - the first bail application to be taken to the highest court in the land. #BonginkosiKhanyile #FeesMustFall student activist #MceboDlamini "we have been vindicated" @Slindelo_M pic.twitter.com/8VaWasJ8UI — Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) March 1, 2017 Khanyile was arrested with 28 other people on 4 February 2016, on various charges related to the #FeesMustFall protests. The next day he was granted bail, with…

Xenophobia: a symptom of South Africa’s disillusionment

Xenophobia: an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. That’s how the resurgence of violent attacks, directed at foreign nationals living in townships across Gauteng, is being termed. Residents perpetrating these attacks believe that they are merely getting rid of criminals in their communities who are getting their sons hooked on drugs and turning their daughters into prostitutes. This ‘movement’ was started by the residents of Rosettenville. They believe the main perpetrators are the…

From sewage to cup: reclaimed water may ease shortages

The water shortage crisis in South Africa has put the country’s future on very shaky and parched ground. The cause of this hydrological drought (a low availability of surface water) is attributed to the nefarious weather system, El Niño.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), this is the worst one to hit southern Africa in 50 years. In 2015, South Africa recorded the lowest rainfall since 1904. South Africa’s surface water levels have drastically decreased. The dams and rivers that provide us with 77% of…

NSFAS fails to address the heart of the matter at briefing

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) press briefing on the status of 2017 applications for financial aid for universities and TVET colleges was not well attended, which may be a sign of #FMF fatigue. Sizwe Nxasana, chairperson of the NSFAS board, didn’t get to the heart of the matter when it comes to the effect their decisions will have on students. He recommended no alternatives to those that were financially excluded. Nxasana claims that NSFAS has communicated with all the students that have been processed -…

From prophets to profit: The colonisation of African spirituality

In the beginning nothing existed but the Fertile Darkness, floating on the invisible River of Time. There was no sun, there were no stars, nor the light of the moon; no earth, no brooks or rivers, no animals, no people. Nothing existed but nothingness and a darkness that overspread all. But there was a trouble, a stirring in the darkness, a desire arose in the River of Time, a desire for something, for the Fertile Darkness to give birth to something out of nothing. It was a strange mating between Time and Nothing, but from…

Publisher of racist book’s attempts at redemption rejected

A children’s book that sparked outrage across the country because of its racist representation of coloured culture is a prime example of good intentions and bad execution. There is even an online petition calling for the removal of the book, called Rainbow Nation Navigation. Stop the racism @Paula_Marais's book 'Rainbow Nation Navigation' perpetuates. Sign here https://t.co/7MYxHhQZjA via @AmandlaMobi — Thoriso Moseneke (@ThorisoMoss) February 11, 2017 Paula Marais, wrongly labeled the lead author, spoke to Abongile…