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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The Curious Cook

Every romance has a humble beginning

“I have made friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes…” writes Nora Ephron in her wonderful early novel Heartburn. “Sometimes meat and potatoes and sometimes fish and potatoes, but always potatoes. I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”

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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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