Tag Archives: South Africa

A different approach to xenophobia

6 Jul

A surprising tale from the Daily Sun

I had to pick up a copy of the Daily Sun when I saw the headline “Leave our Somalis Alone!” in the June 29 issue. The story describes the ordeal of a few Somali shopkeepers who were harassed by a group of teenagers in the community of Makhaza in the Western Cape. The community has decided to take a stand against xenophobia and after a meeting, ordered the boys to apologise for their poor behaviour and to leave the shopkeepers alone.

The Daily Sun is South Africa’s largest daily newspaper and is aimed at the black working class. A tabloid that sells for R2,30 ($0.30), around 300 000 copies are circulated amongst 2-million readers every day. The paper highlights sensational stories in local communities: Grandmothers argue over boyfriend! Sangoma ordered to return tortoises! Some of the stories are quite bizarre, but they are also interspersed with short stories on missing children, local charities and the efforts – or controversies – of community leaders and politicians.

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Football Fringes

11 Jun

The spirit is everywhere, especially on the roads!

Squirreled away in the media centre in Eldorado Park, I haven’t really been able to experience much of the excitement around the 2010 FIFA World Cup directly, but even from a distance the excitement is infectious. Today is the opening ceremony and match between South Africa and Mexico and I woke up to the sounds of vuvuzelas at around 6am this morning. On the way to Soccer City I passed fans with meticulously decorated cars and wide smiles on their faces  making their way to the game – five hours early!

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It’s an Interesting World: 6

3 Jun

Quote of the week: “I just feel, I’m free. When the birds sing, when the nature is making some beautiful noise. You can rest and think and just feel free and happy” — participant in the Beyond Expectations project on a hike through Table Mountain.

The project takes young kids on nature trips, providing them with a temporary escape from their troubled circumstances.  Learn more about the project on their website, Beyond Expectations, and watch the kids experience the not-for-sissies hike up Table Mountain in a film produced by Butterfly Films. They have a number of other fantastic short films worth watching.

I would never want to be on this site: MediaFail collects user-submitted suggestions of wide-ranging failures by the press, and was cited by The New York Times media blog, Media Decoder as allowing users to “give a virtual thumbs-up (or in this case, thumbs-down) to external articles and videos. Users can add links to articles and leave comments, but most just vote.” The site is run by Washington D.C.-based activist group Free Press.

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It’s an Interesting World: 4

17 Dec

In two days I’ll be winging my way to South Africa, and I just can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m trying to get a million things done before the flight, and one thing I made sure was high up on the list – next to seeing people – was seeing the Rockefeller tree, all lit up and beautiful!

Rockefeller Christmas tree - a thing of beauty!

It’s flippin’ huge, as you can see. I can’t believe the year is drawing to an end already, it’s mind-boggling how fast it’s gone. So much has happened that it’s hard to reflect on what’s been gained or lost in the last 12 months.

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It’s an Interesting World: 2

28 Oct

My dahling friend James in Oz sent me this pic of  Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, to which I replied: “I have no words,” to which he replied: “You have no idea how often I get that from chicks.”

Sunset at Green Point Stadium

A lovely picture of Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, submitted to Australia's ABC News by Ann Young

Another thing that left me at a loss for words recently was a moment at St. John the Divine, a massive unfinished gothic cathedral on the Upper West Side. I love going there when I can, the gardens are beautiful (especially on stunning Fall days when the sun is shining and the air is crisp) and the cathedral is volumous and awe-inspiring. I was sitting in one of the pews thinking about my view on blessings and misfortune (which I think I have gotten reasonably close to formulating), and I looked up to see … none other than Vanessa Redgrave’s face broadcast on several large screens, which I had previously not seen in the darkness of the cathedral. Redgrave, an outstanding actress and matriach of a great acting family, was on a small wooden stage a few metres away, quietly rehearsing a scene from a Joan Didion play that would be performed in the coming week.

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What the world thinks of South African men

18 Jun

In between tales of Confederate Cup games and rugby team excursions, World Cup preparations and political escapades, this story has reverberated through media in the U.S and the U.K.:

MRC: Quarter of men in South Africa admit rape

“One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country’s endemic culture of sexual violence.

Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.”

I find it deeply frustrating that my home – a country I love so much – is becoming renown for its violence against women.

My opinion on this story, and a list of international coverage after the jump …

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living the international (house) life!

1 Oct
Showing you my preparing for Sunday Supper, amateur techie style

Showing you my preparation for Sunday Supper, amateur techie style

Somewhere between my tiny little room at I-House, the New York City subway system and ten thousand assignments, I have had almost no time to do a blog update, which I find terribly sad.

Not that I have much of a real clue of who’s reading. HELLO? IS ANYONE OUT THERE? CAN YOU AT LEAST LEAVE A COMMENT?

(Not directed at those who have commented, you guys are super!)

Though I wasn’t able to post an update, I was able to grab a midnight interview outside a jazz club in the Harlem’s famed Sugar Hill, visit the Apollo, go upstate for a leadership retreat, cover a murder on the Upper West Side, speak to Mrs Astor’s private librarian, cover bullying at a bilingual school in Crown Heights, suffer five painful drills under the hands of our masochistic lecturers, and go to the gym. OK. Only twice.

Even though I wanted to be anti-social through all the chaos, I couldn’t be. I-House is filled to capacity with hundreds of events that even though inside you doth protest, you have to attend. A) Because they generally have free food, and B) Because this is substitute family!

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