Journalism

A Bantu in my Bathroom

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Eusebius McKaiser Photo: Anna-Karien Otto

For Eusebius McKaiser the personal is the political.

Family, race, sexuality, culture ‒ he doesn’t hesitate to highlight the connection between our lives and thorny issues that plague the public sphere. Considered as one of South Africa’s more progressive thinkers, he asked some tough questions of the audience that gathered to hear about his latest book, A Bantu in My Bathroom, on Friday afternoon.

Taking umbrage against the term ‘bantu’ had actually prompted some students to tear down a few of the posters advertising the event. Known as an iconoclast and a provocateur, McKaiser relished this reaction, promptly starting off his talk by questioning the assumption that Rhodes is perceived as being the most liberal campus in South Africa.

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Journalism

The other side of Orania

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Mere mention of the word ‘Orania’ conjures up images of militant Afrikaners of pro-Nazi proportions, intent on separating themselves from the so-called new South Africa.

But this is not what journalists Michael Hammond and Hanlie Retief discovered at all. Instead they found a devoted community of mostly working class Afrikaners, peopled by a host of colourful characters eager to share why they love living there.

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Journalism

Land of mirrors and metaphors

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Jean McNiel Photo: Anna-Karien Otto

The beautifully desolate, frozen landscape of the polar regions has fascinated many people for centuries.

Prize-winning writer and activist Jean McNeil gave us a rare glimpse into what she calls “the oracle at the end of the world”‒ the Antarctic, by presenting a talk the English department last week.

A senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, McNeil is a visiting scholar of the Mellon Foundation and the University of the Western Cape, where she teaches creative writing for part of the year. “Wild Places – Imaginative Writing and the Environment” discussed the experience of writing fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry with wild places as the primary inspiration and idea driving creative work.

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Journalism

Valley authors celebrate their love of writing

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Mike Nicol; Sarah Lotz; Savannah Lotz; Diane Awerbuck. Photo: Anna-Karien Otto

Four renowned South African writers (all fiercely proud Valley residents) shared their thoughts on their craft at a fascinating talk held in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Fish Hoek Library. A warm atmosphere of mutual admiration and camaraderie prevailed, injected with a strong dose of self-deprecating humour.

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Journalism

Fanon’s ‘Black Skin, White Masks’ inspires paper on colouredness

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Photo: Mandela Rhodes Foundation

Politics Masters student, Danielle Bowler, wrote a paper exploring contested constructions of colouredness, after being incensed by a column written by Nomakula “Kuli” Roberts in a Sunday paper. She describes how this is similar to what Frantz Fanon referred to when he said he wrote Black Skin, White Masks after “the fire had cooled”.

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Journalism

Writing through the silence

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Photo: Anna-Karien Otto

Award-winning poet Kobus Moolman is this year’s first Andrew H. Mellon Foundation fellowship writer-in-residence at Rhodes University. During his three month residency, from mid-April till mid-July, Moolman will teach the Masters in Creative Writing students and create his own work “free from the pressures of daily duties”. He says the residency grants him time to pause and reflect. “It helps to look at my work a bit more objectively and to look at where I’ve come from and where I’m going.”

Moolman launched his sixth anthology of poems, Left Over on Thursday 6 June, at NELM’s Eastern Star Gallery. His previous work includes Time like Stone and a collection of radio plays entitled Blind Voices as well as editing Tilling The Hard Soil: Poetry, prose and art by South African writers with disabilities, a concern which lies close to his heart.

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Journalism

Kaapse koeksisters gesels lustig saam

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Die alombekende “anties van Bonteheuwel” Flori Schrikker en Koelsoem Kamalie het Paarliete vermaak by die Afrikaanse Taal-Museum Saterdagoggend ter viering van Museum-dag. Die twee vriendinne het byna oornag famous geword en in Suid Afrikaners se harte ingekruip met hulle aansteeklike sin vir humor en unieke gawe vir tradisionele, onopgesmukde huiskos.

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