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Heavenly day
Heavenly day

Tweet I must admit, I was nervous about going to Nigeria. It seemed akin to going into the lair of the beast. I had seen District 9, after all, and have ventured through Little Nigeria – Hillbrow – of a night. Was I, too, about to become cat food? Nah, I told myself as I […]

A Minor Inconvenience
A Minor Inconvenience

Tweet Of course I had forgotten about Angola’s farewell sting. At the airport, once safely past immigration, security and the shops, the “Financial Police” gather at enclosed cubicles for the final shakedown. “How much dollars you have?” “Not much…”  I said, fanning the notes in my wallet. The policeman nodded intensely, eyes fixed on my […]

The Miracle
The Miracle

Tweet I was having an unusual breakfast of spaghetti and meatballs at my hotel in Accra, Ghana, gulping desperately at the fourth or fifth cup of weak coffee when I noticed that the entire kitchen and wait staff were riveted to the television set. Instead of the usual CNN or soccer on the massive flat […]

Nat Nakasa award
Nat Nakasa award

Tweet My colleagues in the SA Editors’ Forum honoured me this past weekend with the Nat Nakasa Award for courageous journalism, in balmy Durban. A lifetime achievement award, it is great to be recognised in this way.  Trick is to ensure I keep up working in unusual places; as at just 46, I would hate […]

Shame and anger
Shame and anger

Tweet Stuck in traffic on a downtown Johannesburg street, while giving our kids’ nanny a lift back to her apartment, a shadowy figure filled my window. I turned to look and there was a youngish man, thin, wearing a blue windcheater and his face covered with lesions. He has The Sickness, I thought, as I […]

FENCE JUMPERS
FENCE JUMPERS

Tweet Fence-Jumping, Zimbabwe’s new national sport. Bumping along a sandy track in the pre-dawn gloom, sleepy boredom turns to excitement as security guard Pappi Molefe hisses “Illegals!” from the open back of the Landcruiser and turns on his failing torch to reveal two frightened young men huddled under Mopane bushes. Isaac and Nathan, in their […]

UNWELCOME GUESTS
UNWELCOME GUESTS

Tweet While in downtown Johannesburg to photograph the thousands of Zimbabwean refugees who seek shelter at the Central Methodist Church, I encountered an obstacle.  My pen refused to write.  It just so happened that the journalist with me had the same problem.   The journalist’s idea was to gauge the feelings of those who had […]

The Slippery Slope Appliance Militia
The Slippery Slope Appliance Militia

Tweet New Year resolutions. What a thing. But somehow the spirit has possesses me and one of the things I would like to fix is our impotence in the face of the disposable nature of much of today’s appliances and technology. My mother-in-law’s microwave is 23 years old, works perfectly. I enviously read online about […]

Should tannies toyi-toyi?
Should tannies toyi-toyi?

Tweet The ‘relaunch’ of the Democratic Alliance was never going to be a hot affair. But I was being paid to shoot it, so did what one has to do in the interests of fending off the end of capitalism as we know. When I saw the carefully decorated and lit stage, I turned to […]

Let injustice flourish
Let injustice flourish

Tweet A great man lives in South Africa’s largest informal settlement, Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. He was an activist in the ‘Eighties, during a particularly difficult time to be black and outspoken.  The Apartheid state rewarded him with two years in police detention and left him for dead in the veld at the side […]

And we spit on the cult of personality
And we spit on the cult of personality

Tweet Or One Nation’s Struggle To Save Democracy. As the African National Congress breakaway, split or splinter – depending on your tendencies – met in the economic hub of Africa, I was left a little bemused. While it likened itself to the 1955 Kliptown gathering that gave birth to the Freedom Charter as a response […]

What our democracy means to me

Tweet Opinion -  Jeff Mpondozenyathi One balmy September evening, I sat at the boarding gate waiting for my flight out of Frankfurt to Johannesburg. The waiting seemed to last forever, not because I was eager to get home but due to the acute embarrassment of watching South African youths behaving like hooligans. They were drunk, […]