What’s wrong with the South African Secrecy Bill? A dispatch from award-winning journalist and South African PEN board member Ray Louw.
Photo by U.S. Army Africa on a CC license
Is South African literature hanging on the edge?
Nearly two decades after the fall of apartheid, what has changed in fact and fiction in South Africa? This Saturday, May 4, the country’s premier writers will descend on the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature to debate literature and free expression in the country. The panel South Africa in Two Acts will feature celebrated authors Zakes Mda, Siphiwo Mahala, and Margie Orford, and will be moderated by Zimbabwean human rights attorney, writer, and PEN American Center President Peter Godwin.
photo of the Drakensberg by darkroomillusions on a CC license
My new article in Huffington Post on the amazing new school for young leaders in Africa.
Johannesburg — On a dry, sunny morning in Honeydew, the air laced with smoke from distant bush fires, I stopped at a sprawling central lawn at the African Leadership Academy. About a hundred uniformed students in Gryffindor colors energetically sang anthems, smiled and hopped and egged on their rivals. Instead of Hufflepuff or Slytherin, however, each group belonged to a house named after an African river: Tana, Nile, Niger, Congo, Zambezi and Volta. These were young wizards of a different stripe, with math geeks and business mavens among their ranks. Instead of wands, they wielded calculators and laptops.
This was the African Leadership Academy, a finishing school for future leaders from across the continent. Over 2,900 students applied for 100 spots in 2012, a lower admission rate than Harvard. Admissions are need-blind, with 90 percent of the student body receiving partial or full financial aid awards. But financial hardship is not a criterion for admission; rather, the school screens applicants for leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, a commitment to service, a passion for Africa, and academic achievement.
The Academy was founded by Stanford Business graduates Fred Swaniker and Chris Bradford in 2008, and has since embarked on an ambitious program to prepare burgeoning young African minds for success. The students study for international admissions tests such as the SATs and A-levels and over 95 percent of the 2012 graduating class were admitted to universities around the world, including Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and leading African universities. Of these students, 80 percent received adequate aid or scholarship packages and the remaining 20 percent will reapply this year for better funding.Source: The Huffington Post
With Mangaung around the corner, President Zuma’s legal team seem to be doing all they can to avoid a damaging legal showdown with cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro over his Lady Justice rape cartoon.
Zuma has entirely dropped his R1-million claim that the cartoon harmed his dignity, and reduced the claim of defamation from R4-million to R100 000, with an unconditional apology, media lawyer Dario Milo told the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday.
The case will now go ahead on Monday.
The dramatic changes to the claim come two years after various delays on the part of Zuma’s lawyers.
“It was due to start on Thursday and that date has been in place since February. But they’ve used the same tactic that they’ve used in other cases, where they sue and then they make all kinds of adjustments and changes – it was clear that they didn’t want to go to court ahead of Mangaung,” Shapiro told the M&G. “But we dug our heels in and said we had to get into court and we’re confident of our case.”
Legendary South African Apartheid photographer Alf Kumalo (right) passed away yesterday, October 21st, at the age of 82 in a Johannesburg hospital from renal failure.
Born in the Gauteng township of Alexandra in 1930, Alfred Kumalo began working as a freelance photographer in the 1950s - a trade that black people in South African were forbidden to take part in - and by the 1960s Khumalo began working for iconic black culture magazine Drum.
Throughout the Apartheid regime, Kumalo photographed and documented several historic moments in South African history including, the Treason Trial, the Rivonia Trial, the Black Consciousness movement, the 1976 Student Uprising and the Codesa talks. All despite numerous periods of detention, arrests and official harassment by the South African state police.
Kumalo’s work has appeared in international newspapers such as The Observer, New York Times, New York Post, and the Sunday Independent.
During his retirement Kumalo ran and managed the Kumalo Photographic Museum in Diepkloof, Soweto.
In 2004, Kumalo was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, an award recognising his contribution to documentary photography and journalism in South Africa.
Free Particle is a digital art exhibition and reflection supporting practice and technical learning around Digital Practice in South Africa. It is a artist in residence exchange and collaboration between the Ososphere Festival in Strasbourg and the Division of Digital Arts at Wits University.
An exhibition of related work will take place at the Sci-Bono Discovery Center from the 19 – 27 September.
Workshops and panel discussions that expand on topics of digital creative development will be included in the program for Free Particle. The program of events can be found here.
This event is organised as part of the France-South African Seasons 2012 & 2013. www.france-southafrica.com