Their Bodies, Their Selves

There's a striking moment about 20 minutes into Jennifer Brea's affecting film about her own and countless others' struggle with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome). She is bedridden and filming herself as she reflects on what it means to inhabit this new, limiting body, and the limited life it affords … Continue reading Their Bodies, Their Selves

Just another tragic Monday

According to all manner of South African media, it was #BlackMonday yesterday. Although I did not wear black or pray for the lost lives of South African farmers, I could not escape the blackness of the day.  It rolled over me as I scrolled through pictures of white people proudly displaying the old South African … Continue reading Just another tragic Monday

The Risky Business of Sexual Violence

When I was in my first year of university, I went, as instructed, to one of my lecturers' offices to pick up my graded final essay. It was study week and the campus was quiet. I needed the paper to study for the upcoming exam, and had gone to campus specifically to fetch it. The … Continue reading The Risky Business of Sexual Violence

The Walking Dead

At least he was hated and killed – it’s better with us we’re still hated and with words. Jacob Zuma on Steve Biko It takes an astonishing lack of self-awareness to liken the (justified) political criticism one receives to the abduction, torture and murder of an anti-Apartheid activist and leader at the hands of a … Continue reading The Walking Dead

Of Myths and Men: masculinity and the politics of the personal

A few months ago, I found myself between a philosophical rock and hard place. The cause of my malaise? A stupid Father's Day-themed diaper ad. The premise of the advert is pretty silly (and you're welcome to view the offending ad in all its glory above), but the message it carries is that dads are … Continue reading Of Myths and Men: masculinity and the politics of the personal

14 Million Problems and Mani is Only One

Or is that 800,000 problems? That's more or less the amount of money that infamous Walter Sisulu University student, Sibongile Mani, spent of the millions that were mistakenly deposited into her account by some hapless financial firm entrusted with the management of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds on behalf of her school. Much … Continue reading 14 Million Problems and Mani is Only One

Through (smiling) Irish Eyes

The first thing that hits you about Ireland is how welcoming everyone is. I say 'welcoming' and not 'nice' because there is a difference. 'Nice' is surface: it is civil, it is just enough. 'Welcoming' is warm, it is open, it is deep. 'Welcoming' is the taxi driver who fetches you from the airport singing a … Continue reading Through (smiling) Irish Eyes

How to Outrun the Darkness*

*For Chester. May your lights never dim. Your first step - really, your most important step, the step you will return to again and again - is to name the darkness. You see, it operates best in secret, this darkness. It keeps you shrouded and cloaked in its shadows, making sure you feel completely isolated … Continue reading How to Outrun the Darkness*

My Therapist is Black*

*With thanks and apologies to Young Jeezy I had my first panic attack when I was 20. Up till that point, I'd never considered therapy, and had shrugged off the persistent lethargy and darkness that episodically enveloped me. I was an undergraduate psychology major, so I was especially cautious about throwing around labels like 'anxiety' … Continue reading My Therapist is Black*