Category Archives: Cultural

A Zap in the Face

Has Zapiro gone too far this time? I’m not sure. His instantly infamous cartoon of Jacob Zuma about to rape the legal system is a fiercely strong statement. It’s the kind of cartoon that really kicks you in the guts. And it’s ambitious too. Instead of just lampooning Zapiro’s favourite shower-headed target, this time he’s implicated all the big political players as active participants in the rape.

Understandably, the cartoon has got a lot of people very angry. The ANC, its youth league, Cosatu and all the other organisations featured in the piece are unanimous in their condemnation of Zapiro. Of course, there has been the meaningless, knee-jerk accusation of ‘racism’, which is trotted out so often it has lost any impact whatsoever. But there are other criticisms of the cartoon which are not so easy to dismiss. Continue reading

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Send in the Clowns

I love clowns. They are part of ancient tradition in entertainment that makes us look at ourselves and laugh, thus throwing our true nature into stark but non-threatening relief. In many repressive societies, clowns are the only ones who can question authority with impunity or provoke independent thought without fear of censure; such is the power of humour. Even Shakespeare regularly used the character of the clown, fool or jester in his tragedies to draw out various themes and to provide some much needed comic interludes.

But quite apart from their historical and metaphysical function, a clown’s purpose is to make us laugh. And that’s why I love Julius Malema and Jon Qwelane. Those guys are hysterical! Continue reading

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African Queens

Interesting story: the Valoyi clan, who live near Tzaneen, has just got its first female chief. Now, while that’s all rather nice, it’s hardly ground breaking. This kind of thing has been going on in southern Africa for hundreds of years; the most famous female chiefs being the Modjadji dynasty who (until recently) ruled over the Lobedu of Limpopo. So, while it’s unusual to have a female chief, it’s not that interesting. What really caught my eye, however, was the manner in which she got appointed. Continue reading

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On your marks, get set…

Ag man, it’s all bloody doom and gloom, wherever you look. Rates are up and the rand is down. Fuel, food, foreigners; it’s all a big F-up. And you know what? I’m done. I know I should be concerned, and people are suffering, and the planet’s about to destroy itself. But I can’t take it anymore. I’ve become numb. I’ve switched off.

It’s a purely defensive mechanism, I assure you. I’m normally an involved, concerned and committed citizen of SA and the global community, but there’s only so much bad news you can take before you go mad. And it’s even worse in South Africa. I mean, every time there’s a little crisis, we all put on our running shoes and prepare to leave the country. Continue reading

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Going to hell in a Lohan-basket

Well, whichever way you look at it, it’s been a helluva year so far. Honestly, I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath. In fact, I’ve become a bit of a news junkie. Every afternoon, when I wake up, I dash to my computer and hit the news websites to see what happened in the previous 8 hours, and I’m never disappointed. There’s always something new, something big, to worry about. I kinda knew that news was just entertainment for grown-ups, but lately it’s become a series of cliff-hangers that would shame a soapie. Continue reading

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