Afrophobia: South Africa’s selective xenophobia

This month, Afrophobia was back in the news. Incidents of violence and hostility towards immigrants are becoming so commonplace that South Africa is quickly becoming dead weight to Africa and killing any talks of the continent etching closer to pan-Africanism. Earlier in February, Johannesburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba joined police and raided homes looking for illegal immigrants and criminals. Mario Khumalo, leader of a new political party of a few days called South Africa First, echoes Western immigration policies in an…

What does Moonlight’s success mean for queer, black South African men?

Moonlight winning Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards - aka the Oscars - is a feat that has us all celebrating a win for a movie that finally speaks to something relevant to real life. Here is Samuel L. Jackson after the Moonlight #Oscars Best Picture win. ❤ pic.twitter.com/EHQyKpKvp8 — Krista Boniface (@KristaBoniface) February 27, 2017 “To hell with dreams. I’m done with it. This is true.” #MOONLIGHT WINS BEST PICTURE! ALL LOVE, ALL PRIDE! #Oscars✨ pic.twitter.com/SIt0M1K0hQ — MOONLIGHT Movie (@moonlightmov) February…

A letter to a suicidal person

Dear suicidal person, If you are reading this, it means you’re having doubts about suicide. So thank you. I may not know you or whether this will help. I don't know if it will make a difference, but if I don't try, it definitely won't. I don't know why you are here, but I'm glad you are. Call it divine intervention or a happy accident. Call it what you will. But the fact that you are reading this makes all the difference in the world. So many letters like this tell you to think of the people you are leaving behind should you…

#HireAGraduate Protests Seek to Raise Awareness about Graduate Unemployment

Flashmobs are usually fun. But this one was slightly more serious than a bunch of kids suddenly bursting into song and dance in a mall. On Wednesday, students in graduation garb took to the streets of Alice in the Eastern Cape for a #HireAGraduate flash mob. Pictures on social media show them holding up placards during a peaceful demonstration. University of Fort Hare and NMMU graduates stage a silent protest in the East London CBD during their #HireAGraduate campaign. pic.twitter.com/aVt57QFQJp — Mpinga (@SipheMacanda)…

As xenophobia returns to South Africa, Nigeria demands answers

The Nigerian government has demanded answers from the South African government after its citizens were attacked over the past two weeks in what is being seen as resurgent xenophobic attacks in the country. http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/rosettenville-mob-justice-against-illegal-activities-isnt-as-simple-as-it-seems-mohammed-jameel-abdulla/ Around 15 buildings, homes and businesses belonging to Nigerians were burnt and looted in Rosettenville and Pretoria West over the past two weeks. On Monday, the South African Parliament's…

Why collusion is bigger than just the banks

Competition is generally good for everyone in a market economy; collusion is not. Companies compete with each other for our business. Those selling us crappy services or products, or charging us too much will lose our business (just ask Blackberry). They’ll have to improve the quality of the service or product, or lower prices in line with competitors if they want to stay in business (like MTN is trying to do). This allows for a “market price” and acceptable standard of service. But companies, in trying to maximise profits…

Afro-pessimism is the greatest form of Black optimism

Amid debates surrounding the "politics" of fallism, Zama Mthunzi reflects on the confusion surrounding Afro-pessimism. Afro-pessimism has been misconceived as a field of thought that is in contrast to *Black optimism. Prominent intellectuals in this field of thought have come out several times to point out that people have misunderstood their work or the massage they are trying to convey. In a country where political thought is not a priority, a lot of political thought is misunderstood and misconstrued for personal…

Free higher education is not a universal right

The 2017 university year is beginning in earnest. The spectre of continued #FeesMustFall (#FMF) movement activity, in spite of evident attrition, political party capture, and fracturing within its ranks, looms large. It is worth revisiting some of the key debates that #FeesMustFall and the fallists, in general, have sparked over the last year. The first is that the #FeesMustFall movement has sparked something new, and worse still, that these protests are leading to something new. This is a misnomer - communities around the…

Shiraaz Mohamed is ‘alive’, and negotiations to bring him home are underway

Kidnapped South African photojournalist, Shiraaz Mohamed, is alive and there is a plan in motion to bring him back home within the next month. The Daily Vox spoke to the director of the Truth Collective South Africa - the organisation that says a deal has been brokered to bring Mohamed home - Palestinian-born South African citizen Bakar al-Maharmeh about the circumstances surrounding Mohamed’s arrest and anticipated release. What is the Truth Collective? The Truth Collective - based in Cape Town - is started for the truth…

Win an invitation to our Smart Journalism Workshop

Do you believe in the power of journalism?  Well, you may be the only one. Just kidding. You've come to the right place. Journalism (the good kind, not the fake-stuff) is more needed today than ever. We are surrounded by lies, exaggeration and attempts to soften reality. But what does it take to be a journalist in this world of competing information and 24-hour news feeds? How do you recognise the right angles? How do you prepare when the villains have become ever sharper? Our team will be meeting to discuss and workshop the…

Poem: 94+ and counting

who’s counting lifeless bodies mounting on frozen floors absent doors dignity stripped hope whipped freedom clipped who’s counting mute citizens shouting to deaf ears crocodile tears politicians pretending suits defending excuses pending who’s counting arrogant procedural flouting in violent bureaucracies deadly democracies silencing dissent escaping consent suffocating vent who’s counting the unlicensed touting of fake non-profits false prophets services unrendered government tendered families dismembered who’s counting…

A letter to the first years who carry burdens heavier than their backpacks

Iviwe Fakela, a medical student at the University of Cape Town, has some words of encouragement for incoming first-year university students, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is for the village kid who woke up at 3am every morning to start a fire so they could boil water to bath and prepare for their day. For the ones who ate burnt pap crusts and sugar water because there wasn’t any mealie meal left to cook porridge, or cereal, or bread, to eat before going to school. This is for the determined…

The deterioration of the South African dream as told by a high school pupil

Riot police stand barricading the angry crowd. The sting of gas in the air. Censorship. Fists flying and the bitter anger of a betrayed people permeating the atmosphere. 1980s riot or #SONA2017? Spot the difference. I may be called naive for this, because I hold the old-fashioned belief that Parliament is a forum for informed, constructive, and meaningful debate. Last week’s State of the Nation (Sona) was anything but. Also, I am usually the first person to defend the country and hold the ever-positive view that things will…

When Trump calls Zuma and five other absurdities

On Monday, the South African government confirmed that Donald J Trump, leader of the free world, requested a phone call with our President Jacob Zuma. So @PresidencyZA confirm that Trump wants to speak to Pres Zuma this afternoon. What do you think they'll chat about? (cred @GVelthuizen) pic.twitter.com/LmA8sS86a2 — The Daily VOX (@thedailyvox) February 13, 2017 Now it's unclear what the two leaders will talk about. One can only speculate it won't last long. Nevertheless, if we can guarantee five talking points between Trump…

Now that the high of the drama has died down, here’s what Zuma actually said at #SONA2017

When President Jacob Zuma finally began delivering the SONA2017 the action was long over. The SACP's Willie Madisha had been kicked out, with the EFF and the DA in tow. All that remained were the ANC, and a scatter of other inconsequential parties. Zuma’s speech was characteristically dry. He read out a list of successes and actions taken by the government over the past year - as has become the signature SONA speech by Zuma. Except, he wasn’t all that convincing this time around. Listening to Zuma is usually hard enough, but…

Why we should follow the opposition in walking out on Zuma’s shitshow

The Economic Freedom Fighters are no strangers to leaving Parliament - whether of their own accord or not - and this time, for President Jacob Zuma’s tenth State of the Nation Address, it was more poignant and important than ever before. The country is on a knife’s edge, and even though we’ve been perfecting a balancing act of maintaining some semblance of normality while treading the deep, dark waters of “what the hell,” it’s now more than ever that taking a stand against a government that hasn’t been held to account is…

#SONA2017: A fist fight, screaming of delinquency and horses before Zuma even speaks

As expected, the opening of parliament on Thursday evening was off the hook. It started even before President Jacob Zuma took the podium. First, the DA’s John Steenhuisen asked the Chair of the house to take a moment of silence to commemorate the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients after they were moved from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed NGOs. Then the EFF’s Julius Malema and ‘Terror’ Lekota called Zuma to step down. But there was more. Here’s a quick selection of the madness while Zuma was waiting to talk. 1. The DA’s call…

What the hell is Zuma talking about at SONA?

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is happening tonight, and it also happens to be President Zuma’s tenth address. Now, we can more or less guess what JZ will be talking about and it’s safe to assume there will be some drama if the EFF has any say, but sometimes we can get confused when big names and important-sounding terms are used. The SONA is a discussion about the country’s plan forward in the year ahead, and naturally lots of agencies and organisations are involved. But to be honest, we don’t know who they are and…

Malawian fishers are killing their livelihood with mosquito nets

Malaria remains a leading killer disease in Southern Africa, with Malawi having one of the highest prevalence rates at 33%, according to the Malaria Indicator Survey. The government of Malawi has been distributing free mosquito nets to save the population from this deadly disease. Interestingly, communities along lakeshore areas in Malawi have opted to use mosquito nets for fishing to maximise income in the face of declining levels of fish in the country’s lakes. Kenson Longwe, 38, is a fisherman by default. He grew up in a…

Beyond FMF: The first in their families to go to university

South Africa’s higher education sector has been rocked over the last two years as the Fees Must Fall protests at universities, colleges and technikons have exposed and emphasised the financial struggles of aspiring graduates. But as the political drama between the state, students and university management has entered the fray, attention has been diverted from the core matter at hand - the narrative of everyday people struggling for access to education and the systemic exclusion this speaks of. Through this six-part series…