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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

John Kani Honoured to Have Nothing But the Truth Chosen as Matric Setwork: “I Studied Dead Authors!”

Nothing But the TruthJohn Kani says he was “overawed” when his play, Nothing But the Truth, was chosen as a matric setwork.

“What an honour. I studied dead authors!” he tells Pippa Hudson of CapeTalk. “To go into a school in Soweto or all over South African and the young people say ‘that’s him, he wrote the book – I passed your book!’

“I felt such honour to be part of the material that will shape the future leaders of this country.”

Kani is an actor, producer and playwright, a Tony Award winner, one of the founders of the famous Market Theatre in Joburg, and chairman of the National Arts Council.

Listen to the conversation:

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Join Adekeye Adebajo for a Public Dialogue about Post-Apartheid South Africa’s Foreign Policy in Cape Town

The EU and Africa: From Eurafrique to Afro-EuropaAdekeye Adebajo, co-editor of The EU and Africa: From Eurafrique to Afro-Europa, will be chairing a discussion at an event hosted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution.

CCR is holding a public dialogue for the launch of their report entitled “Post-Apartheid South Africa’s Foreign Policy After Two Decades”.

Adebajo, who is exectutive director of CCR, will be speaking with Doctor Mashabane, Chief Director of United Nations Department of International Relations and Cooperation, and Chris Landsberg, SARChI Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy.

The event will take place on Thursday, 9 July, from 5:30 to 7 PM at the Centre for the Book.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 9 July 2015
  • Time: 5:30 PM to 7 PM
  • Venue: Centre for the Book
    62 Queen Victoria Street
    Gardens | Map
  • Panel: Doctor Mashabane and Chris Landsberg
  • More information: Kate Finlay, CCR,

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Adam Habib Sums up South Africa’s International Criminal Court/Al-Bashir Debacle

Adam Habib, political analyst, Vice Chancellor of Wits University and author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, says he is worried by hints that South Africa may leave the International Criminal Court.

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionRewolusie op ysInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa YashiywaNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika Borwa

Government accused the ICC of deciding South Africa must arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir before completing a process of proper consultation.

“I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that government violated a court order,” Habib says, although he also says that Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe was “absolutely right” that South Africa need a balance between competing obligations: “The law has to be applied in the real world.”

He says he disagrees, however, with the government’s desire to leave the ICC: “It’s a dangerous thing. It’s a race to the bottom in the human rights scale.”

Listen to the Primedia Broadcasting podcast:

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Ilana van Wyk Nominated for the Clifford Geertz Prize for Excellence in the Anthropology of Religion

A Church of StrangersA Church of Strangers: The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in South Africa by Ilana van Wyk has been nominated for the Clifford Geertz prize.

Church of Strangers is an ethnographic study of the people involved in The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in post-apartheid South Africa. UCKG, a church movement that began in Brazil, has proved successful and popular in this country and this specific time in history.

Van Wyk seeks to understand the individuals rather than the organisation, which has been condemned as empty and manipulative by outsiders. She has been praised for the rich and thorough research into how religion works in urban South Africa, and how it relates to local perspectives.

This is, according to Huma, exactly what the Clifford Geertz prize looks for:

Awarded by the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, a section of the American Anthropological Association, the prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion.

Read more about the prize on the Society for the Anthropology of Religion site:

In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world.

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Mandisi Majavu: Racial Integration is Often a Veneer that Barely Disguises Racist Bullying

Visual CenturyReflecting on Youth Day last week, Mandisi Majavu wrote an article for SACSIS in which he considered how far South African schools have come since the tragic school protest in 1976.

Majavu, who is a co-editor of Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907-2007, looks at specific incidences of racist-bullying in ideologically white schools and the struggles black children face in schools that embody whiteness.

Racial integration, he shows, is often a veneer that barely disguises racist bullying.

Read the article:

With Youth Day upon us again this week commemorating the contribution made by the school-going children of Soweto during the apartheid struggle in 1976, it’s hard to gloss over the enormous sacrifices they made. How tragic it is then that 21 years into our democracy, their massive impact has merely led to a fragile pact between black and white South Africans, where blacks have yet to be unconditionally welcomed in historically white neighbourhoods and institutions, and where white superiority lurks close beneath the surface of routine interactions.

One of the least theorised and under researched topics in post-apartheid South Africa is the way in which black parents and their children are often bullied at racially integrated schools. A brief survey of the media on this issue reveals, for example, that this year alone the Department of Education in Mpumalanga suspended a principal and two teachers from Hoërskool Reynopark in Witbank after a teacher subjected a black student and his mother to racist bullying. In another widely publicised incident earlier this year, the Gauteng Education Department found that the Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat has been racially segregating students.

Book details

  • Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907-2007 edited by Gavin Jantjes, Jillian Carman, Lize van Robbroeck, Mandisi Majavu, Mario Pissarra, Thembinkosi Goniwe
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9781868145478
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Read an Excerpt from Money from Nothing: Indebtedness and Aspiration in South Africa by Deborah James

Money from NothingMail & Guardian has shared an excerpt from Money from Nothing: Indebtedness and Aspiration in South Africa by Deborah James in which the author discusses the Black Sash in Knysna.

James visited a small branch of South Africa’s premier human rights organisation in order to find out about how debt impacts impoverished people. She spoke to Xolela May, a lawyer who set up a help desk for people who are struggling with debt.

Read the excerpt:

I am in the small Knysna office of the Black Sash, South Africa’s premier human rights organisation. I am talking to Xolela May, a consumer rights activist and lawyer.

He is one of a small network of people spread across South Africa whose indignation about the credit conundrum, and whose commitment to the cause of the indebted, have driven him to play a key role in designing and implementing arrangements to help alleviate their plight and to regulate the activities of creditors.

He gives me some of the background, recalling the origins of his activism. He grew up in the black township of Langa and it was a daily occurrence for neighbours, having got themselves into debt, to be taken to court by their creditors. He would observe the sheriff of the court arriving and doing an inventory of the family’s possessions prior to confiscating them, while they stood by helplessly.

Although Cape Town was host to several law clinics and human rights law organisations, Langa residents had no idea how to contact them: their plight was an “issue of powerlessness”.

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Don’t Miss Achille Mbembe’s Address at the Opening Night of Protest at the Hazard Gallery

On the PostcolonyAchille Mbembe, political philosopher and author of On the Postcolony, will be delivering the opening address at the opening of Protest, an exhibition at the Hazard gallery.

The exhibition, curated by Beathur Mgoza Baker, features works by Vusi Beauchamp, Willem Boshoff, Kudzanai Chiurai and many more. It is a look at what artists’ “take can educate and galvanise action out of complacency and challenge popular narratives.”

The opening is on Thursday, 18 June from 6:30 to 9 PM, and the exhibition will run until 12 July.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 18 June 2015
  • Time: 6:30 PM to 9 PM
  • Venue: Hazard
    264 Fox Street
    Corner of Main and Berea
    Arts on Main
    Maboneng Precint
    Johannesburg | Map


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Alex Schoeman and Peter Delius to Bust the Myths of “Backward African Farming Methods” at Wits

Bokoni: Rediscovering a forgotten world

Forgotten WorldA Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014Wits University Press invites you to the latest NRF Science for Society Lecture entitled “Bokoni – Rediscovering a Forgotten World”.

Professor Peter Delius and doctor Alex Schoeman will present their research for Forgotten World: The Stone Walled Settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment on Thursday, 11 June. The event will take place in the Wits Senate Room and will start at 6:30 PM.

Come and listen as the a leading archaeologist and a distinguished historian defy the usual stereotypes about backward African farming methods. The conversation will be broadcast live on SAfm.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Book Details

  • A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Laura Phillips
    EAN: 9871868147670
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Join Achille Mbembe for the Launch of the First African Edition of On the Postcolony at WiSER

On the PostcolonyWits University Press and WiSER would like to invite you to the launch of the first African edition of On the Postcolony by Achille Mbembe.

On the Postcolony is a groundbreaking work that has become a seminal text in postcolonial studies. It was first published by University of California Press in 2001, and has since been translated into numerous languages.

Mbembe will be speaking about the book with Harry Garuba and Isabel Hofmeyr in a conversation chaired by Sarah Nuttall.

The launch will be on Thursday, 11 June at 6 PM in the WiSER Seminar Room at Wits University.

See you there!

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A Church of Strangers by Ilana van Wyk: How a Brazilian Church Gained Post-apartheid Popularity

A Church of StrangersWits University Press presents A Church of Strangers: The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in South Africaby Ilana van Wyk:

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), a church of Brazilian origin, has been enormously successful in establishing branches and attracting followers in post-apartheid South Africa. Unlike other Pentecostal Charismatic Churches (PCC), the UCKG insists that relationships with God be devoid of “emotions”, that socialisation between members be kept to a minimum and that charity and fellowship are “useless” in materialising God’s blessings. Instead, the UCKG urges members to sacrifice large sums of money to God for delivering wealth, health, social harmony and happiness. While outsiders condemn these rituals as empty or manipulative, this book shows that they are locally meaningful, demand sincerity to work, have limits and are informed by local ideas about human bodies, agency and ontological balance. As an ethnography of people rather than of institutions, this book offers fresh insights into the mass PCC movement that has swept across Africa since the early 1990s.

About the author

Ilana van Wyk is an anthropologist and a researcher at the Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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