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

On the beauty of black story(tellers)

Parents of black children do not have it easy. The world is an ugly place, but it saves its most brutal faces for black people. But even before all that, before our children learn of the violence, both casual and profound, that lies in their path, there are the awful silences. Children's stories, in print, … Continue reading On the beauty of black story(tellers)

The Immortal Lessons of Henrietta Lacks

Whilst I was watching a particularly harrowing sequence in the new HBO-produced movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (based on Rebecca Skloot's bestselling book), I was reminded of a bit that Chris Rock used to include in his stand-up about race. He would argue that the most 'racist' black people he knew were older black people, … Continue reading The Immortal Lessons of Henrietta Lacks

But is it racism?

  Another year, another viral story about Cape Town’s insidious racism. This time the story came from a young woman who was visiting the city with her family over the festive season. At some point, she and her family tried to make reservations at an upmarket Camps Bay restaurant, using (as you do) their own … Continue reading But is it racism?

On Silence and Human Limits

look at what the lord has made. above Missouri, sweet smoke. not an elegy for Mike Brown, Danez Zmith Oh, the week that was.   On Monday morning, I woke up to the news that a grand jury in Missouri, in the US, had decided not to indict the white policeman who killed an unarmed, … Continue reading On Silence and Human Limits

Obliterated Places

    I’m a middle class black person who is married to a white person and who happens to live in a hopelessly unintegrated city (Cape Town).  It should therefore not surprise you to learn, reader, that I am often The Only Black Person in the Room.  It doesn’t often surprise me much, having lived … Continue reading Obliterated Places

The New Normal, or what a family looks like

  This is my 'normal' You get used to the staring. When my husband and I first started dating, the staring bothered me. Wherever we went, people would gape at us, openly unashamedly, wearing all of their (offensive) questions on their faces. At first, I would fly into impotent rages and rant on and on … Continue reading The New Normal, or what a family looks like

White Women’s Stories: A Late Review of The Help

I came to The Help*, the book, late. Long after the movie was released, and discussed ad nauseum, and had its (somewhat successful) shot at Oscar glory, I have finally found it in myself to read the book. I bought the book a solid year ago, from an airport bookstore, on one of the many … Continue reading White Women’s Stories: A Late Review of The Help

Steve Biko on Allies: Reflections on Masculinity Work

Two weeks ago, I attended an engaging discussion on gender-based violence and what is involved in the work of stopping it. At this event, one of the panelists raised the issue of masculinity work as a crucial part of this. I was intrigued: whilst this is not my first time at the masculinity rodeo, per … Continue reading Steve Biko on Allies: Reflections on Masculinity Work