- Rebecca Davis
This is the biggest thing to happen to a South African entertainer since Charlize won the Oscar. News that 31-year-old South African comedian Trevor Noah would replace Jon Stewart as the host of America’s top satirical TV programme, ‘The Daily Show’, set the internet ablaze on Monday. The interest in Noah’s appointment in the States is testament to the hugely influential role ‘The Daily Show’ occupies in American popular culture. Noah faces a daunting task. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The performing arts scene in Johannesburg is getting increasingly busy with large-scale oratorios as well as much comedy on various stages. J. BROOKS SPECTOR listens to and contemplates the oratorio, ‘Ushaka’, as well as Pieter-Dirk Uys’ examinations of his own comedic gift and the questions they have in common.
After a shambolic lead-up and a chaotic and marathon inaugural consultative conference, elections for the historic Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) ended this week with a measure of calm restored when those with political ambitions were thwarted and a new board was nominated to represent the interests of the creative sector. As the week drew to a close there was even better news, when the acting DG for The Department of Arts and Culture agreed to scrap entirely the controversial White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Over the past three days, stakeholders with interests in rhino conservation have had the unenviable task of presenting their views on the “feasibility, or not, of a rhino horn trade” to the Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate exactly that. The Committees’ eventual conclusion will determine whether South Africa calls for legalisation at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2016. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes now is the time to combat SA's biggest killer, tuberculosis. The state is embarking on the largest screening campaign seen in South Africa and Ramaphosa, like activists and patients, wants to see the same efforts applied in fighting HIV/Aids. But the challenges are vast. By GREG NICOLSON.
The conviction of former tennis icon, Bob Hewitt, on two counts of rape and one of indecent assault, vindicates the experiences of many women who grew up in the claustrophobic and deeply patriarchal 1960s, 70s and 80s and who were victims of the unquestioned toxic power and privilege bestowed on men during this epoch. It might be difficult for younger women to imagine just how silencing and oppressive a time it was. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Allegations of corruption, political interference and a lack of transparency as well as death threats, walk-outs and boycotts formed the dramatic and sometimes chaotic backdrop to what should have been an historic consultative and elective conference for the newly-established Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) in Bloemfontein this week. By MARIANNE THAMM.
While the country was inundated by the usual sport and political stories on Tuesday, South Africa's worst killer continued. Tuberculosis isn't as sexy as other issues on the agenda, but unless it gets more attention, people will keep on dying of something that's both preventable and treatable. By GREG NICOLSON.
Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Sunday aged 91, was an autocrat who favoured harsh punishment over the softly-softly approach. He also, nearly single-handedly, turned a tatty colonial outpost into an economic powerhouse – and kept it his family’s preserve. In his honour, we're republishing here our 2007 story by ANDY DAVIS, first published in Maverick magazine.
New app Meerkat has been tipped as a game-changer, both for the selfie-loving and news-obsessed. GREG NICOLSON gave it a try and found you can see whatever you're interested in, wherever, by whomever, plus some things you never thought you'd be interested in. The weird thing - you can interact with it in real time.
Neill Blomkamp’s back with Chappie, a typically thought-provoking foray into the perils of artificial intelligence. Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel star, as do Hugh Jackman’s calves and the city of Joburg itself, which looks splendid as the brutalist backdrop to an action-packed but tender tale of a robot who finds himself and a family – with a little help from Die Antwoord. By SIMON ALLISON.
Once upon a time, a fair prince traveled to a distant land – of Dragons and Emperors but equally, of Ivory – to request that its leaders lend their influence to saving the elephant. In anticipation of an exchange of smiles and shaking of hands, China made a conciliatory gesture, announcing a temporary ban on carved African ivory products. Unfortunately, the resulting ripples, of this and other purely symbolic moves, will barely reach the distant shores upon which African elephants continue to be slaughtered for their tusks. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
Young men become car guards because of a lack of work opportunities. They mediate the space between those with assets and those without, acting as a buffer against crime while also accused of criminality and being a nuisance. In parts of Johannesburg, their work has come under threat from paid parking officials. GREG NICOLSON speaks to five car guards about their work.
After a successful first run in Cape Town last year, the Eco Film Festival is back – and it’s going nationwide. From the action-packed seizure of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise to a lone dad on a mission to wrestle the tablets out of kids’ hands and get them into the great outdoors, the film festival has 25 brand new local and international titles on offer this year. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
On the 13 March 2013 puffs of white smoke swirled above the Sistine Chapel proclaiming to the world that a new pope had been elected to succeed Benedict XVI, who resigned on 28 February 2013. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a relatively unknown Argentinian, emerged on the balcony above St Peter’s Square to be introduced to the world as ‘Francis’. The rain that drenched the Square stopped momentarily. Thousands, huddled together under umbrellas, had braved a stormy Roman evening and rushed to the Square when they heard the bells ringing. Nobody knew that, for the first time in 1,000 years, someone from outside of Europe had been elected. Nobody knew what to expect. Two years later, Francis’ attempts to change things have captured the global imagination and given many hope that the Catholic Church will emerge from years of what seemed like an internal battle, scandal, and stagnation. By RUSSELL POLLITT.
Open Newtown takes place this weekend. The initiative is an effort from the district's NGOs, arts organisations and artists to 'remind the public what Newtown is all about'. But why do we need reminding? And what does Newtown's curious development trajectory say about Joburg's aspirations toward being a 'world-class African city?' By ANDREW MILLER.
In January this year, a few days before he would feature as Applicant No 1 in a groundbreaking High Court application for the right to an assisted death, Avron Moss ended his life using medication he had smuggled into South Africa from Mexico. Diagnosed with melanoma, Moss knew when he offered to act as the applicant that it would be a race against time, the one race in life he had to lose. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Words fail us in the face of Islamic State’s (IS) destruction of ancient treasures in Syria and Iraq, captured in their own videos last week and released to an uncomprehending world. We are on surer ground with their clips of beheadings and mass executions; all but the most fanatical adherents to IS’ extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam have been united in revulsion at their grisly spectacle. But on the violent end of things much more permanent than us – things built to last for hundreds even thousands of years, importing meaning to the myths and narratives we create about ourselves – we grasp for an appropriate response, writes TERENCE MCNAMEE.
The prestigious World Press Photo organisation, based in the Netherlands, has found itself caught in a storm over the authenticity of images that won awards in the 2015 competition. The WWPh is not an insignificant body - it has been a leading voice in photojournalism since its founding in 1955. For many, winning one of the several awards in various categories is like getting a photojournalistic benediction. So when the very basics of photojournalistic and documentary photography ethics appear to have been discarded by the organisation, practitioners around the world are up in arms. GREG MARINOVICH reports.