What’s in a Name?

Up along the west coast of South Africa, towards its border with Namibia, lies the Kamiesberg (or Kamies mountain), about five hours drive on the N7 from Cape Town. The mountain range is in a semi-desert area, the largest and most sparsely inhabited province of South Africa. For millennia the mountain has been an oasis […]

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Goodbye, Arch: Sharing Sorrow

South Africa lost a much-loved leader in Nobel Peace laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, in December 2021. A kind and principled man and the moral compass for our country both during apartheid and after democracy in 1994, he fought vociferously to bring about change. He was an avid campaigner for international […]

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The Right to Vote

Featured Illustration: Melissa Koby Earlier this month, South Africa held local government elections (South Africa has a three-tier government system, i.e., national, provincial and municipal). In 1994 the country held its first democratic elections, ending almost fifty years of legalised racial discrimination and ushering in the African National Congress (ANC) government led by Nelson Mandela. […]

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What We Lost in the Fire

Cape Town burned for three days this April in one of the worst fires that I can remember. I woke to the sound of helicopters transporting water from the dam in the city to the mountainside that was on fire. I fell asleep to the sound of sirens from fire engines, hoping that the wind […]

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A History of Silence

Featured Image: Corbis/Getty Images As a young child growing up in Cape Town, I knew that the minstrel carnival my parents took us to each new year and the songs sung by the Malay choirs had something to do with slavery. It certainly wasn’t something that we learned about during history lessons at school and […]

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Reflections on Heritage Day in South Africa

As I scrolled through posts on social media about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), I noticed that she wore her iconic white beaded collar in the majority of the images. Apparently, it’s a favourite in her collection of neckpieces, and came from South Africa, where it is made and worn […]

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The Joy of Being Human

Joy has been popping up in my feeds a lot lately. One of the more recent posts was an image of a jazz musician, Jon Batiste, playing freedom songs and hymns on a joyfully decorated upright piano at a protest march in New York. He has been doing that at marches all over the city, […]

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The Breath That Connects Us

Featured Artwork: Feroze Alam In the same week that George Floyd was so callously killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, I attended a webinar celebrating Africa Month and what it meant to be African. Right here in South Africa, a country that carries the heavy legacy of colonialism, slavery, and apartheid, is irrefutable, scientific […]

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