When schools are too private for cultural diversity

Racism at schools has been in the national spotlight following protests over discriminatory hair regulations at Pretoria Girls High School in August, and South Africa’s posh private schools have not escaped scrutiny. A grade 11 learner at Roedean, a prestigious private school for girls in Johannesburg, wrote to The Daily Vox to complain about experiences which she said “contradict the ideas of transformation”. “Certain teachers would make racist comments like “your hair should not be a fashion statement ... Soon after that,…

It’s back to school for some Witsies, but they’re not all happy to be there

On 10 October, Wits University resumed the academic programme in order to complete the academic year. Students and staff members were instructed to be on campus while violent clashes between protesting students and the police continued outside, sometimes spilling onto the streets surrounding the campus. The Daily Vox spoke to some students and staff members who have gone back to class. Around lunchtime on Wednesday, 12 October, students were sitting peacefully on the Wits Library Lawns. It looked like a normal day at…

In conversation with the feminists on the picket line

"I’d like someone to show me who my breasts shot. I’d like them to lead me, by hand, and take me to the grave of the person who died from bullets fired from my breasts. I want to see this awful sin my breasts committed. I want someone to show me the minutes of the meeting where my breasts refused to deliver on the promise of free education"  - bare-breasted protestor Lerato Motaung On 4 October, Wits University was a war zone. Private security guards and members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), under the…

Behind the scenes of Wits #FeesMustFall

This year's Fees Must Fall protests have been characterised by violent altercations between protesting students and private security or police.  But there's a whole lot more that goes on behind the scenes of mass student movements. The Daily Vox spoke to some students about what it takes to co-ordinate Fees Must Fall at Wits. Far beyond the camera lens and in the echoes of struggle songs, protesting students at Wits University say organising a movement has many complexities. The legwork that goes into building a movement of…

Five #FeesMustFall activists on the future of the movement

With so much action going on at universities this year, it’s hard to keep up with what the different Fees Must Fall movements at each university are upto. The Daily Vox spoke to five fallists from universities across the country to catch find out where to from here. What is the current status of the Fees Must Fall movement at your university? “A lot has happened at the university currently known as Rhodes to caution fallists against protesting. The interdict has silenced students and derailed the movement. We have been…

Five ways black bodies resisted conforming to old white traditions in 2016

The year of asinavalo has come with nothing short of dololo chill. Black bodies have resisted assimilation and conformity with white traditions in various ways. Here are five examples of how South Africans disrupted whiteness in culture and industry. 1. Relax for who? Coconut oil, thank you Black hair has always been a contentious topic. In 2016, one would think that institutions and working environments understand human rights and the implications of limiting them for one group of people. Unfortunately, this is not the…

Rape or sexual assault: What happened at UKZN reveals rape culture again

How did this all begin? On Monday the 5th of September, a UKZN student reported that she was raped by an officer of the South African Police Services. She told Pumelela Nqelenga, a drama lecturer at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg Campus, while waiting for an ambulance outside the Risk Management Services (RMS) offices. Nqelenga said the student was sexually assaulted when officials forcefully removed her from the residence before being raped at a later stage. News spread on social media that a student was raped by a SAPS officer…

We asked people in Jozi what they think about Max Condoms

After Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa presented the Max Condom in Parliament last week - a newish brand of government-issued condoms, which come in a variety of flavours and are designed to be less noisy - we went out to find what people thought about the national “birds and the bees” conversation. What do you think about the new Choice Max condom? “I like the apple flavour. I think it’s brilliant. I like the humour in them. If you’re going to give these things to the young masses they must be trendy. That was real…

For Colored Girls explores what it means to be a black woman in sexist Johannesburg

Ntozake Shange’s music-drama, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, is a work of poetry, music and improvisational dance otherwise known as a choreopoem. The written text tells a story of pain, suffering, strength and resilience with a cathartic joy in each of the characters when they share their stories with one another. Directors Namatshego Khutsoane, Khutjo Green and Kieron Jina explore what it means to be a black woman in a sexist Johannesburg South Africa. The play explores the themes…

Gender testing only emphasises the gap between athleticism and feminism

The gender testing or gender verification methods of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), otherwise known as the witch-hunting misogynists conglomerate, are fiercely recurrent in the global sports community. Their early intention was to catch male athletes posing as women. However, most of the athletes caught in the witch-hunt have been women who naturally produce more testosterone than others. The Daily Vox followed the ways the practice of gender…

The education system is leaving children with disabilities behind

On 17 August, social justice NGO Section 27 released a report entitled “Too Many Children Left Behind: Inclusion in the South African Inclusive Education System”. The report is a result of research work conducted by Tim Fish Hodgson and Silomo Khumalo in northern KwaZulu Natal in partnership with the Philisa Isizwe Foundation for persons living with disabilities. The research followed the lives of 55 caregivers for children with disabilities who are either in special schools or are unable to access any kind of schooling.…

Pandering to the youth with dabs is not going to win votes

NYIKO SHIKWAMBANE points out that for all the ANC's gimmicks, the party still does not get the youth.  What was merely a hashtag became a call to fill up the stadium for a political rally. A hip hop dance made struggle-song history. Insert rolling eyes emoji. Have political parties spruced up their campaigns to appeal to young voters? Or have youth been the influencers with their online revolutionary pop culture? Politicians have been speaking over the heads of young people for a while. When the EFF made parliament after the…

Wits #SilentProtest: “I am tired of swopping rape stories with my friends”

On Wednesday, victims and gender activists gathered at Wits University for the annual #SilentProtest against incidents of sexual violence on campus. The protest demonstrated the need for universities to take a more progressive role in addressing issues of gender-based harm. The work done by the #RUReferenceList, #Rape@Azania and the #IAm1In3 movement have made this year's protest part of a growing conversation around rape culture. This women’s month, the #SilentProtest, in solidarity with movements across South African…

“I think a black woman’s body is godly and its beauty should be celebrated holistically”

PHINDILE THENGENI - “the girl from next door” - is a conceptual stylist, graphic designer and creative director who is inspired by black South African women. Her use of digital media and photography attempts to decolonise beauty by asking a simple question - Does This Suit Me? The project came about when I found myself having creative ideas that I considered art but I knew that I couldn’t easily get into a gallery so I created my own gallery on Instagram - @uphindi_wasenextdoor in collaboration with photographer…