Citizen.Speak.Amplify

The VAT Increase Is An Attack On Poor Black Women

The Soul City Institute for Social Justice and community advocacy organisation Amandla.mobi are “deeply concerned” with the recommendations of the Davis Tax Committee final report released at the end of March this year. The report opposes the increase of zero-rated items and instead recommends other mechanisms be considered like increases to social grants or the school nutrition programme. Soul City and Amandla.mobi said in a statement that the current list of VAT-exempted items, the school nutrition programme, and the…

Where SA’s Top Political Parties Stand On Land

The conversation in South Africa is centred around land after the historic moment in parliament in March 2018 when the National Assembly passed a motion to review section 25 of the Constitution which deals with property and land expropriation. Section 25 says that property may only be expropriated for "a public purpose or in the public interest" and is "subject to compensation" – the amount of which, and the time and manner of payment, must either have been agreed on by those affected or decided by a court. The amendment…

Nelson Mandela and Women

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is etched into history as an icon and is lauded all over the world for his work in the struggle against apartheid. But Mandela is as fallible as any of us. Heroism and representation are political and the people we choose to commemorate and celebrate must be closely examined with a lense that is gender-sensitive, especially in an era where feminism is claiming its space. We must be relentless in our exposure of patriarchy and in our attempt to understand those who we name as icons beyond the…

How Mobile Journalism Is Empowering Citizen Storytelling Around The World

“We’ve seen the evolving of journalism based on technology just by mobile phones and the democratisation of social media,” mobile journalism trainer and co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories Sumaiya Omar said in an interview with The Daily Vox. “Everybody having a cellphone in their pockets has made it possible to have more angles, more cameras, more perspectives. That means it really takes people closer to the truth, closer to what’s actually happening.” Omar and her partner, the mobile journalist Yusuf Omar, have travelled all…

What Being A Black Muslim Woman Means

“It’s not easy being a black Muslim woman - especially in hijab. It's sort of like people want to create an identity for you,” health journalist Nelisiwe Msomi says in an interview with The Daily Vox. Last year, The Daily Vox published Msomi’s blog post highlighting the discrimination she faces as a visibly Muslim black South African woman both from the Indian Muslim community and the black South African one. Msomi speaks to The Daily Vox in a Facebook live interview of her experiences. Msomi grew up a small Indian community…

Israel Refused To Let Ghanaian MP Ras Mubarak Into Palestine

Ghanaian Member of Parliament Ras Mubarak was denied entry into the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by Israel. Mubarak was invited to speak at the International Conference on Jerusalem in Ramallah which commenced on 11 April. Israeli authorities had issued a permit for Mubarak to enter the OPT but later refused him entry and cancelled his valid permit, Mubarak said. As the occupying power, Israel controls access to the OPT which comprises the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Other international…

DD Mabuza Hails Mam’ Winnie As A Hero For Black Women All Over The World

“Mama Winnie taught young women that they are more than capable to stand shoulder to shoulder with men,” Deputy President David Mabuza said in his keynote address at the memorial service of the late freedom fighter Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Thousands of mourners congregated at the Orlando stadium in Soweto on Wednesday 11 April to remember Mama in song, dance, and cheer. We remember Mama #WinnieMadikizelaMandela pic.twitter.com/53v04UwoI5 — South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 11, 2018 Mabuza spoke of Mama’s…

Doornfontein Building Collapse: City Can’t Escape Safe Housing Responsibility, SERI Says

On Monday 9 April, an abandoned building that housed families at 39 to 41 Davies Street in Doornfontein partially collapsed. The collapse killed three young children, two others were rushed to the hospital. This tragedy is a symptom of a greater problem of poor and unsafe housing in the Johannesburg inner city. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) represents the residents of the building. The residents had known that the building was unsafe for some time, the non-profit organisation said in a statement.…

EXO Inspires South African EXO-Ls To Give Back

The South African EXO fandom known as EXO-Ls showed their love for the K-pop group on its sixth year anniversary by embodying the groups charitable endeavours. On Sunday April 8, 28 South African EXO-Ls gathered at the Platbos Forest in Gansbaai in the Western Cape and planted 40 trees in EXO’s name. Each tree represented the 40 fan bases that form part of the Worldwide EXO-L Union (WWEXOL). This was part of the South African fanbases contribution to a worldwide six year anniversary project for the anniversary of its debut.…

Lebohang Masango’s Mpumi’s Magic Beads Helps Children Love Themselves

“I do want little black girls to see it and see themselves and see names that they recognise and hairstyles and places that they recognise,” poet and writer Lebohang Masango aka Nova said about her children’s book Mpumi’s Magic Beads. Besides that, Masango said, “The book is for children. I don’t like to gender books, books are just books. I grew up reading books with male protagonists all the time.” Mpumi’s Magic Beads tells the story of three little girls in the city, Masango said in a Facebook live interview with The…

“The Only Democratic Thing About The Congo Is In The Name”

President Joseph Kabila has overstayed his welcome in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Congolese have been protesting his brutal reign despite violent crackdowns and a number of human rights atrocities in the country.The Daily Vox sat down with Human Rights Watch researcher Ida Sawyer (IS) and exiled Congolese youth movement activist Sylvain Saluseke (SS) to speak about the dire situation in the DRC and what role South Africa and SADC can play in alleviating it. The elections in the DRC were supposed to happen in…

Patriarchy Erases Mam’ Winnie’s Contribution To The Struggle

The late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had a range of identities that do not fit neatly into the conventional understanding of “Mother of the Nation” as she is being called. Mam’ Winnie was a medical social worker, a wife, an activist, a soldier on the ground, a mother, a leader of the struggle. Her history and legacy was always contested and distorted - and it remains thus in her death. The Daily Vox spoke to black women activists about Mam’ Winnie’s vilification and the lessons they learned about being custodians of their own…

Winnie Mandela: The Woman Who Fought For Our Freedom

The nation mourns the death of the prolific revolutionary and struggle icon Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, who died on Monday, 2 April at the age of 81. The legacy that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela leaves behind is rich and intricate, and her place in our country’s struggle for political liberation is indisputable. This is despite that it is marked by controversy and demonisation by the media, and that her history is inextricably linked to her husband Nelson Mandela. Here is an outline of the contributions she made and…

Here’s How To Create A Plant-Based Easter Feast

Navigating religious holidays and family gatherings can be challenging when you have made the choice to forego meat and/or animal products. These expose the conflict of balancing personal beliefs - and religion, tradition and cultural heritage. Eating plant-based at these functions is a stark reminder of giving up the meals you were raised on and can even lead to feelings of exclusion and disconnection. Of course, it isn’t easy to reject the efforts that loved ones put into preparing traditional dishes. But it doesn’t have…

Memory Banda On The Struggle Of The Girl Child In Malawi

There is fire in the eyes of Memory Banda when she talks about girls rights in her home country of Malawi. The 22-year-old has made great strides in her efforts to champion the girl child. She was part of a national grassroots campaign to ban ‘child marriage’ in her country, joined local organisations talked to girls about their experiences in sexual “initiation camps,” collaborated on a project where girls share their experiences, dreams, and challenges through art, storytelling, and poetry. The project was later adopted…

Jen Thorpe: Feminism Is A Doing Word

The book Feminism Is will start a conversation with yourself and unpack a lens for you where you will believe you can make change in the world, and that you have to, writer and feminist Jen Thorpe said in an interview with The Daily Vox. Thorpe was speaking at the Rosebank book launch on Tuesday of a book she recently edited called Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth. It’s an anthology of feminist writings which includes voices from people in various fields, different race groups, sexual orientations, and religions…

What I Learned About Freedom At The Oslo Freedom Forum In Joburg

The Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a platform for struggles that have been opaqued and ignored, a gathering for disruption in the name of freedom, according to its founder and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Thor Halvorssen. The conference series, produced by the HRF, seeks to address the freedom deficiencies of democracy and humanise human suffering by providing a platform for global activists to share their lived experiences. As appealing as it sounds, the OFF definition of freedom is shrouded in blind idealism, is…

#ThisFlag’s Evan Mawarire: Zimbabweans Have Found Their Voice

Evan Mawarire says not much has changed in the new Zimbabwe but he is hopeful for a better future for his country. The civil rights activist and pastor led the #ThisFlag movement in 2016 which encouraged Zimbabweans to take ownership of their country. Mawarire first gained social media attention after posting a video in April 2016 that expressed his frustration with Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. In July 2016, the #ThisFlag campaign resulted in a mass movement of Zimbabweans shutting down the capital in a series of protests…

Omar Sharif Jr: It’s Always Been Difficult To Be Queer In Egypt

Omar Sharif Jr. gives face and voice to the queer population in Egypt who face clampdown at the hands of the authorities. Close to 100 people across Egypt were arrested last year based on their perceived sexual orientation after the display of a rainbow flag in a Mashrou’ Laila concert in Cairo on 22 September. The Egyptian actor, model, and queer rights activist publicly revealed he was gay and also half-Jewish in 2012. The reaction to his identity led to his decision to leave Egypt for the United States (US). Sharif works…

The Politics Of The Other: Being A Black Muslim In South Africa

“Wherever you go, there will always be the politics of the other, whether you are in an Islamic space or whether you are amongst the Africans,” said the Soweto-based Imam and newly elected Al Jama'ah Councillor Abu Bakr Thapelo Amad in a Facebook Live interview with The Daily Vox on Thursday. Amad was speaking on his experience of racism within the Muslim community. Amad said as a black African Muslim, he was perceived by his community as someone who follows an Indian religion. “I grew up as a Muslim. As a young black…