- Richard Poplak
Three elderly sisters survive who speak the Nǀuu language. In the heat of Upington, one of them, lacking the resources to do so elsewhere, is teaching local children to speak it outside her house. With the help of a local academic team, they’ve even developed an orthography to ensure the history and heritage doesn’t vanish. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
The latest news about pregnant South African schoolgirls has landed. On this occasion, 13 of 633 pupils who fell pregnant at Limpopo schools last year were in primary school, with one in Grade 4. Importantly, we don’t know their ages. But while discussions about schoolgirl pregnancy often evoke moral panic about the notion of sexually active young girls, there’s less consideration of those responsible for their impregnation. By REBECCA DAVIS.
What happens when you block traffic from entering an urban road for a day and turn it over to pedestrians to walk on, skate on, cycle on, sing and dance on? Central Cape Town got a taste of this on Sunday, when the Open Streets initiative turned Bree Street into a rollicking party – just a day after the city’s roads had played host to the riotous celebration of the Cape Minstrels Parade. REBECCA DAVIS checked it out.
Wednesday’s deadly attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo forces publishers and media practitioners worldwide to consider how far they are willing to go to uphold freedom of expression. REBECCA DAVIS spoke to South African editors, and the country’s most famous cartoonist, to find out whether the Charlie Hebdo attack would make them less likely to take risks with provocative content in future.
This period between Christmas and New Years Day in South Africa was a period of sorting and weeding out of decades’ worth of documents and records, as well as a start on a mountain of books that have been waiting for the quiet times. Far and away the best book this writer read was Howard French’s extraordinary record of discovery about the way as many as a million Chinese are now making their fortunes and futures in Africa. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look at this important book that should be on every economic policy maker’s reading list.
After an eight-week trial in the Western Cape High Court, lingering doubts remain. Did Shrien Dewani orchestrate the killing of Anni Hindocha? It is a question that has continuously plagued those of us who have been covering the court case. Like a tongue returning to probe a cavity in a tooth, we have all obsessively interrogated the more baffling aspects of this crime. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Audi’s S-cars are ubiquitous members of the Four Rings clan: sportier, rortier and certainly quicker versions of their bread and butter counterparts, if not quite as hard-core as the RS models. The only exception has been the A1 range, which has had to do without an S-model – until now. As DEON SCHOEMAN finds out at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, it’s been worth the wait.
Maintaining an orchestra for five decades may be a major financial and administrative feat, but finding players for as ambitious a work as Stravinsky's ‘Rite of Spring’ certainly doesn’t seem to be. While mainstream musical taste is slowly being drowned in the mindless repetition of thud-thud trance and the big buttock-worshipping lyrical nausea of modern pop, this small but fiercely present corner of a corner of South Africa’s music scene is not dwindling into insignificance as so many predicted. On the contrary, the youth are determinedly and voluntarily keeping it alive year after year – and attracting international attention in the process. By DIANA NEILLE.
While the National Prosecuting Authority might not be calling it a victory outright, there must have been sighs of relief in the NPA corridors on Wednesday. Fresh from the shock of the Dewani case discharge, the state has now been given leave to appeal against Oscar Pistorius’s acquittal on the charge of murder. To the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein we go – though likely not with any great speed. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The National Theatre of Great Britain production of ‘War Horse’ has finally ridden into Cape Town, conceptual home of Joey and the other magnificent puppets conjured to life by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones’ Handspring Puppet Company. The show has toured to several countries the past seven years wowing audiences and arrives on our shores with much baggage and great expectations. By MARIANNE THAMM.
One year has passed since violence reached a peak in Central African Republic, forcing nearly one million people to flee their homes. This year has been marked by the ongoing war, widespread displacement and a critical lack of funding for humanitarian interventions. Despite huge challenges, Central African frontliners are providing life-saving assistance. By UNICEF.
While the country faces the ever darkening gloom of load shedding, cars like the Toyota Yaris Hybrid prove that there’s something to be said for a car that recharges its own batteries on the move – and saves petrol in the process. It’s also meant to be greener than your average runabout. By DEON SCHOEMAN.
As Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso prepares to make a ruling on Monday as to whether murder accused Shrien Dewani will be free to go or will have to remain in the dock a little longer, Anni Dewani’s family have asked the man accused of killing their daughter and sister to take the stand. By MARIANNE THAMM.
In a three-day visit to Turkey, Pope Francis covered three significant areas: the relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Christian-Muslim relations and peace in the Middle East – especially in Syria and Iraq. The visit was primarily intended to be an ecumenical one to the centre of the Orthodox world. However, it took on a significant political dimension because of the Pope’s strong words for ISIS - Turkey is a supposed ally of the United States in the fight against ISIS and Islamist extremism. By RUSSELL POLLITT.
For almost sixty years Capetonians have supported the annual summer production of Shakespeare at the open-air theatre in Maynardville. Each year things get um, rather Shakespearean, with charges of racism, sexism, misogyny and nepotism, as well as complaints about funding and the selection of work. However, cutbacks have resulted in this year’s production being determined by the school setwork, “The Tragedy of Othello”. Quo vadis this institutionalised manifestation of Shakespeare in Cape Town? By MARIANNE THAMM.
Why do so many people consider convertibles glamorous? Is there really anything romantic about braving the baking sun – and the glare of attention from passers by – while cruising the suburbs? Is having your hair tousled by the slipstream at 120 km/h really so much fun? And yet, as DEON SCHOEMAN finds out, there’s something to say for a ragtop cabriolet after all – especially if it’s a sporty one.
The multi-talented Mike Nichols, master comedic genius, film, television and stage director, has passed away. J BROOKS SPECTOR takes note of Nichols’ impact in a long career that brought memorable works like The Graduate and Angels in America to the big and television screens, and Death of a Salesman to the stage.
There are two worlds, the state argued in the Shrien Dewani murder trial yesterday. One, the realm of the “reasonable man”, the other, the criminal underworld where anything is possible including an assassination plot planned in 30 minutes and executed sloppily in two days. But somewhere between the tragedy and farce of the killing of Anni Hindocha, the state still believes her husband has a case to answer. By MARIANNE THAMM.
‘Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense’ has been distilled from P.G. Wodehouse’s original works. Set in the 1930s with laugh-out-loud gems, intelligent, sophisticated wit and physical antics, it’s a lovely period piece - with the costumes and elegant language in frightfully clipped accents all spot on. By LESLEY STONES.
While murder accused Shrien Dewani might have optimistically packed his bags over the weekend in anticipation that an application for the dismissal of charges that he conspired to kill his wife Anni would be granted, it is far from clear that this will be the outcome. Today, the state will argue that there is enough evidence for the trial to continue. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Now that Michael Elion’s controversial sculpture ‘Perceiving Freedom’ is receiving criticism, questions are being raised about the process which enabled it to occupy public space in the first place. FARZANAH BADSHA sat on the art54 selection committee, and has some insights into her experience of the selection process, its limitations, and what might be done differently to make public art work for all.
By Monday next week murder accused Shrien Dewani and his legal team should be able to gauge whether the Bristol businessman will soon be a free man or whether the court still has questions and doubts about his alleged involvement in the killing of his wife Anni. It has been a costly trial for the state and one that has placed the country in the international spotlight. By MARIANNE THAMM.