04th Sep2017

Sibongile Money

by admin

This article critically responds to the NSFAS saga that involved Sibongile Mani who accidentally had R 14 million deposited into her account. That amounts to $1 million. If we put ourselves into her shoes, it is possible to claim that we could have made a rational decision and actually send back the money. But really, would we have done that?

Listening to Wasanga Mehana on 702- he mentioned that he would have gone to several exotic and secluded places jumping from one place to another to make it difficult for government to trace him, and finally would have taken the money to Switzerland to hide it there. Although his idea sounds far fetched, he could have been successful and gotten away with it. The money was deposited 5 months ago and the matter was only brought up recently only because Mani shared slips of her expenditure and bank balance on social media.

She went on expensive shopping sprees, bought expensive phones and threw parties for her friends. In a period of five months, she spent close to R900 000. At that time she didn’t even spend the money on things that could be considered as assets, like a car or a house. She comes from a relatively disadvantaged background, and the way in which she spent her money reinforces the quote that says, “Rich people will remain rich because they act broke and poor people will remain poor because they act rich.” Now she is in a situation of real poverty. Despite the fact that the funds have been taken away from her account and that she is given 20 years to pay the money back, she now faces charges of fraud, theft and misappropriation of funds which could result in 15 years of imprisonment.

When looking at this story, one cannot look at the girl in isolation. One needs to account for the entire system. Knowing the nature of South Africans, or rather humans in general, no person would make a mistake with their money- ever. This incident could be a blessing in disguise as it could raise public awareness around the fact that this kind of activity does take place in the education funding programmes. NSFAS loans are meant to aid disadvantaged students which would increase their chances of graduating, getting a degree and contributing to the growth of South Africa’s economy. The fact that huge amount of money was deposited five months ago and there were no investigations conducted indicates that there are systemic problems around the regulation of student funds. If they had conducted a search it would have brought attention to potential corruption around the distribution of NSFAS funds- but instead they kept quiet. An assumption we could make is that the persons in charge of distributing funds made a mistake in the account number, hence the money was deposited in Sibongile’s account and not the person is was intended for.

The transactions that Mani made were frequent and the fact that they couldn’t pick it up reveals the inefficiencies in the scheme. Students have been rejected by NSFAS, some cannot go to school because either they owe too much, or they cannot afford university entrance. NSFAS has been asked to explain why many students have been rejected without any reason given and they haven’t been able to provide sound reasons. One could argue that the system is really failing SA citizens; the government is not representing us anymore but rather representing their own stomachs. What is the point then of having a democracy? This is why students end up protesting, and it is not a pleasant experience, but government leaves the student body no choice but to protest in order to get them to listen to their demands.

If we are to adhere to the principle of  rational decision making, she should have gracefully returned the money and even posted on social media that she had accidentally received the money. If she had contacted the bank, InteliMali and made them aware of the error, she would have received positive attention. NSFAS would have probably have made the decision to pay her tuition without expecting her to pay-back the money after completion of her degree.  But we know that you cannot separate humans and their money or rather as the stereotype goes, “you cannot come between Xhosa women and their money.” Unfortunately it was not her money so she must PAY BACK THE MONEY.

Sibongile Mani

14th Aug2017

Homo-sensually Speaking: Are You Sure?

by admin

Being gay has never been easy, especially in a society whose understanding of dialogue has nothing to do with spoken words, and everything to do with clenched fists. Personally, I’ve never agreed with the concept of “coming out”. To me, it implies that something wrong has been done, and that one needs a licence to be their authentic self. Ideally, people should love who they want, without fear of judgement. However, this piece would commit a great injustice if it failed to look at both sides of the debate. For those who do choose to come out, the cycle never ends. First, you come out to yourself, then in no particular order, friends, family and society in general, multiple times if needed.

It’s almost like a re-birth, where you have to reintroduce yourself to everyone. Without dividing the experiences of differences of genders, and with the focus being on women this month, I would like to suggest that the black homosexual woman is one of the most disrespected members of society. At it’s worst? When people ask if your being lesbian is because of your being raped or your growing up in a dysfunctional family. It’s like one cannot be gay in peace, and that circumstances led to an individual’s sexual preference. Another insult is when people ask if you are sure. It’s already difficult, telling someone, who happens to like you, that you’re not straight. Now you have to convince them that you’re not joking and you are not using ‘being gay’ as an excuse to reject them.

‘But you don’t look it!”. Yet another misinformed statement that suggests that homosexuality has a dress and behavioral code. Unfortunately, a lot of this is done involuntarily, by members of both the homosexual and heterosexual community. Yes, it’s wrong, but everyone has some sort of stereotype regarding other groups of people. Then comes the aspect of religion.  It’s hypocritical how people use the Holy Book as an excuse to rationalize judgement. The Good Book was created to move people closer to the Lord and not as a weapon to make others feel inferior.

Key message, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are here to stay. ‘Gays will make it’

15th May2017

Trash Talk

by admin

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Men are trash. This is a maxim adopted by self-proclaimed radical feminists who wish to express their disdain for the status quo. A status quo in which not only do men accrue benefits such as higher pay, more career opportunities, and positions of power in society, but also are able to live their lives without fear of experiencing violence of a verbal, physical, sexual nature because of their being considered the ‘weaker sex’.  Additionally, men might be called trash because they aren’t necessarily willing to work towards changing things and enabling a more equal society (because how do you begin working against a system which benefits you?)

Moreover, arguably the trashiest of the lot might be the crowd that floods the internet, discourse, social media and really any public space to defensively declare that “not all men are trash. You are generalising, and cannot attribute the behaviour of a select few to everyone”, as if they haven’t made contributions towards the objectification of women and/or consume media that maintains that very same mandate. But it’s fine. This might qualify them as trash because instead of engaging with the actual discussion at hand, the conversation is taken and made about men and how they’ve begun to experience discrimination themselves. I might even consider myself trash. I stand to gain from the benefits of patriarchy, and while I understand and attempt to empathise with the plight of women everywhere and appreciate the need for change and serious discussions, I am unlikely to actually use my agency to change anything or even forfeit my societal privileges because I am quite removed from the situations that women find themselves in.

However, I identify with a different kind of struggle.

Society’s perceived hatred of women can be linked to the fragility of masculinity, and masculinity’s need to maintain its hegemony because that’s just the way things are. Anything that is seen to deviate from masculinity is considered abhorrent and inherently less. These attitudes play out in a number of different ways. Homophobia, could be related to the need to maintain heteronormativity, which essentially empowers masculinity because in a “traditional” heterosexual relationship, men are seen as being dominant. The Bible (and John Milton’s Paradise Lost) even say so.

We must concede that it is possible for women to benefit from heteronormativity, should they identify as heterosexual, in a way that men and women who don’t, would not. Heteronormativity occupies hegemony in society, which seems to be arguably why we wouldn’t generally hear of such a thing as homonormativity. When you do hear of homonormativity, it is in relation to how homosexuality aligns itself to the ideals and constructs of heterosexuality, such as marriage, monogamy and procreation. This alignment implies that that there is a normal, but it isn’t homosexuality, and there are women who can find themselves within heteronormativity and find privileges that their queer counterparts would not. This is not to suggest that women’s issues are not as pressing and imperative as queer issues, however, intersectionality dictates that we be inclusive and genuine in relation to identity politics.

To have this authentic, genuine debate, a few concessions must be made:

It is possible that women can occupy certain hegemonic roles that are exclusive towards certain other lived experiences. White women, for instance, have certain privileges. As do heterosexual women, when compared to queer bodies, perhaps on the basis of religion. Interestingly, religion tends to relegate women to certain unfavourable roles in society. We must also discuss the amount of cultural appropriation that might occur on the part of women with regards to queer culture and language; concepts such as shade, reading, “yasss” and “hunny”. The erasure of the lived experiences of queer bodies that can be seen in television shows for instance when they are made the “sassy gay best friend” or “pet”. The contribution they make to the cisheteropatriarchy’s violence against the queer body and lived experience when the church makes admonishments against queer people for simply being. The failure to say anything when their pastors, fathers, brothers and lovers decide that the only good queer person is a dead one, or at least one that knows that they ought to be dead. Perhaps, even when mothers kick their sons out because they gave birth to boys and not girls or sissies. Women.

It is also necessary to point out that there is a phenomenon of gay misogyny. Gay men might be gay, but they are also men. However, we cannot regard any struggles in isolation. Because while women are being harmed and killed by the men they trust to protect them; Chechnya has set up a concentration camp where gay men are kept and tortured and killed. In 2017. I don’t know. Men truly are trash. Even making the above arguments probably makes me trash. But I too buckle under the pressures and the abuses of heteronormativity and the cisheteropatriarchy.

To the women who face violence on a number of levels during every single second of every single day, you are Goddesses.

To our queer brothers and sisters: slay and werk, you are Queens.
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15th May2017

What a Time to be Alive

by admin

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Racism is still alive and well doing what it does best. It is most certainly not a thing of the past (unlike what we were taught in many history classes) as it is the very thing that caused the death of Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu. The little black boy was allegedly killed by two white farmers Pieter Doorewoord and Phillip Schutte in Coligny in the North West. The reason behind his death is apparently because these two farmers had caught the boy “stealing” a sunflower, the very creation of God, on their farm. I argue that this is mere racism because this reason cannot be justified for his death matter-of-factly.  There can be no justification for the killing of a black child by white men especially in post-colonial, post-apartheid, constitutionally democratic South Africa. It is astonishing that in this day and age such brutality can be performed in broad daylight.

It is shocking that men who are supposedly sane can inflict such grotesque acts in the name of hate.  It is absolutely scary that black people should still live in fear of possible racial attacks. I would not be surprised if the accused denied the relation of racism against this charge. I would understand that, as brave as they were when killing this boy, they may be afraid of igniting the wrath of anti-racists if ever they admitted their act to have been solely based on racism. It is still hard for me to imagine what this little boy could have possibly done in order for them to have not merely verbally disciplined him, reported him to the police if he had broken the law, taken him to his parents to reprimand him themselves or even simply told him that what he did was wrong and shouldn’t be repeated in the future. The society at large should move towards a united South Africa that belongs to all. We need to steadfastly isolate racist elements within our communities and not infringe the rights our constitution has intrinsically granted us.

30th Apr2017

Colourism Country

by admin

 

Colourism is not something that is unique to South Africa. It is prevalent amongst people of colour across the globe. In our country, discrimination based on skin colour or preference for light skin affects a large number of dark skinned women. In short, being light skinned in the black community, is social capital, and being dark is equivalent to a curse. We live in a society that ridicules dark skin and praises light skin, which is why I find trouble understanding the uproar about on social media regarding South African media personality Khanyi Mbau’s skin lightening process. Mbau has had 10 sessions of IV infusions   for the treatment of skin pigmentation, which have left her noticeably lighter since her debut in the entertainment industry. The change in her skin colour, which has people asking, can the real Khanyi Mbau please stand up, is a reflection of a how hypocritical colourism is. Not only does it shame women for being dark and then for bleaching, but it doesn’t shame dark skinned men for their complexion.

Mbau recently posted a picture on twitter and internet trolls took every opportunity to exclaim at how pink her skin is. My frustration is not with Khanyi lightening her skin, but with South Africans who continually shame dark skinned women then proceed to get angry at them for choosing to lighten their skin. Colourism is normalised in the black community, but those who have never been on the receiving end of negative comments their skin colour will never understand what it feels like to have your complexion affect your social life, dating life and even the chances of getting hired. This makes it easy for me to empathise with Mshoza, Lil Kim and other black women who have resorted to skin lighthing for social acceptance or other personal reasons.

On the other end of the conversation about colourism is the alleged suffering light skinned women face as well. Actress and TV presenter Pearl Thusi took to Instagram to voice the struggle she faced as a young light skin girl. According to Pearl, she was bullied because of her complexion as a young girl, which left her wishing she was born darker. There is nothing wrong with Pearl voicing her lived experience. The problem with her Instagram post was that by painting half of her face and neck darker she resorted to performing black face to express her pain. Another light skinned South African actress, Enhle Mbali also posted a picture of herself in blackface , which according to her was a way of showing people that beauty is only skin deep. This is not an attempt to take away from either Pearl’s trauma or Enhle’s agency, but dark skin is not a costume that can be put on and off to perform pain. It is something dark skinned people have to live with and it affects every aspect of their lives. If South Africans want women to stop bleaching or for dark skinned women to stop complaining about how difficult it is to be a dark skinned women, then they should consider treating them better.

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24th Apr2017

Banning Divorce

by admin

MSWATI

“In our culture, once you marry someone, there’s no turning back”, King Mswati III was quoted by the Times of Swaziland, as he seemed to be endorsing banning divorce in his country. As the King of Swaziland and a proud man of his culture, he seeks only to preserve his cultural beliefs and norm. One of these beliefs is evidently that it is not advisable to marry then later divorce. As a husband and a father himself; he understands the importance of unity within a family. Thus, he would wish that all other families could stay together as cases of divorce have shown to have the most dreadful effects on families, particularly children.

With his suggestion of banning divorce he has turned a blind eye on the reasons people divorce in the first place. This is completely unfair in the case that he eventually implements this law. Divorce statistics in South Africa show that the rates are 0, 5 divorces per 1000 estimated population; and there has been a constant decline on the number of marriages occurring annually.

There are several reasons why people get divorce. To mention a few, the most common reason is that of infidelity; in my opinion, once a partner has decided to allow himself or herself to cheat the latter could be in a position to want out and with good reason. Abuse- psychological, physical, mental or emotional is another reason for many divorces. Substance abuse can cause financial strain, emotional detachment and sometimes violence which is reason enough for anyone to want out of a marriage if they feel they have reached a point of no return with the person they used to know and love. Not only that, but being in a position of inferiority and helplessness can affect people psychologically and emotionally and they would want to help themselves by seeking a divorce.

With that being said, it would be highly considerate for King Mswati III to further explore the reasons as to why people divorce before implementing this law. Not doing so would be of no help if people are stuck in positions where they feel endangered or unloved and are held down by this law (given all the human rights we have) just for the sake of preservation of culture. Although I am personally in favour of preserving the family, I can only support fighting for saving a marriage provided that it is not oppressive or unfair for either party in the marriage.

24th Apr2017

Can You Blame Her?

by admin

Over the years, social conceptions of beauty have changed dramatically. From the stick-thin models of the early 1990s to the curvaceous, hourglass figures of the modern day generation, the pressure to conform remains the same. How does engaging in extreme dieting to achieve the body of your dreams differ from getting plastic surgery to achieve flawless perfection?

Recently, social media has been abuzz over Khanyi Mbau’s skin transformation. The actress, presenter and socialite started taking tablets to change her skin from dark, to complete yellow bone. Mbau, who was very open about the process, received tons of backlash from the public, with some people accusing her of denying her blackness. But isn’t race more than skin complexion? With society’s preference for light over dark skin, can we really blame her?

Khanyi Mbau

While others threw shade at the personality, others expressed concern over the long term effects of the pills she was taking. Again, why are we so concerned about someone who has the financial means to take care of herself? Should we rather not be focusing our attention on 19 year olds getting lip fillers than on an independent adult woman with a child? What I stand to do is not to justify Mbau’s actions, but to rather show that, in my opinion, we have been a bit too hard on her. While we proudly defend wearing weaves with notions of I am not my hair, can’t we also say, for a change, that, “I am not my complexion”?

India Arie Quote

Conformity is something that we all do, but at different levels. What if Khanyi’s skin transformation was an act of self fulfilment rather than a manifestation of a racial identity crisis? As I noted my previous article, let us all imagine how financially successful we would be if we were to focus on our own issues. Who knows, maybe that could be the first step towards working our way out of #JustStatus.

16th Apr2017

No to Roman Catholic Priests Getting Married!

by admin

I say no to Roman Catholic priests getting married (add link). I personally feel that it is not a good idea as more corruption would be caused in and outside of church. Furthermore, relationships come with terms and conditions that a married couple have to adhere to.

Every church has its own tradition and the Roman Catholic Church has the tradition of priests not being permitted to get married as they are, in fact, married to the church. Roman Catholic churches get their dignity and value from priests not getting married. A priest should fully focus on the Church; his having a wife and having an argument with his wife could lead to his preaching a sermon that is not ethical enough for his congregation. When one enters the altar, one needs have to be as pure as a baby without any sexual desire being brought to the altar. Death is a natural part of life; there will come a time where a priest dies. If the priest had a wife and children, my question is who will take care of the wife and children of the priest as the priest himself was supported by the congregation. Where will the wife and children go since the priest lives in the church built by the congregation? Priests have a protocol where they reshuffle yearly and this begs the question of whether the priest will have to annually move with his wife and children in tow.

A man is a man is a man; giving the priests a platform to have a relationship is not a good idea as it encourages corruption within and outside of church. Do you feel great when your husband says “I’m busy”? As the wife of a Roman Catholic priest you are expected to understand his busyness but for how long are you going to understand that your man has no time for you and your children because he’s always busy?

If the church needs money to contribute to the running of the church, the priest has to decide on whether he is taking the money to the church or his family. In my opinion, it is quite obvious that he is going to choose his family and that will lead the church being poor and his nuclear family being rich as, of course, blood is thicker than water. I find it very disturbing for the Pope to even suggest that Roman Catholic priests will be allowed to get married.  Yes there have been incidents wherein Roman Catholic priests have sexual relations with members of their congregation. This, then, does not mean that they must be given the opportunity to have sexual relationships. If incidents like these continue to occur, I personally feel that serious punishment must occur; when a man chooses to become a Roman Catholic priest, he knows what he is getting himself into. Being called to serve as a Roman Catholic priest is higher than being married or having a relationship with members of that priest’s congregation. A Roman Catholic must remain celibate as their sexuality affects their congregation and the Roman Catholic Church itself.

10th Apr2017

IPL…Get Ready for a Smashing Cricket Season!

by admin

IPL Cricket

The IPL cricket season is back with a bang! This T20 league is one for the masses as it unites players from all the major cricket teams around the world. Taking place in the cricket hub of the world, India, the tournament offers both the atmosphere for T20 cricket and the scenery and architecture that the city has to offer- for not only the tourists but also the locals.

What better way to start of the prestigious IPL than with an opening ceremony? Marking a decade of IPL cricket there was not 1, not 2 but 8 opening ceremonies that took place at each team’s home ground. Each ceremony had a separate theme symbolising the diversity within each team’s city, and showcasing the wonders of each city participating in the 10th season of the IPL. The main ceremony, however, took place at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad before the defending champions played the runners up from the 2016 IPL Season.

Wednesday 5th April saw the Sunrisers Hyderabad face off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was an intense match but the former 2016 IPL champions conquered, once again, putting the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the top of the points table after match number 1. This definitely put a smile on the face of the captain of the Sunrisers team, David Warner.

Day 2 of the season was the Rising Pune Supergiants’ turn to show off their skills against the Mumbai Indians. By the closest of margins the Rising Pune Supergiants, under the captaincy of Steve Smith, beat the Mumbai Indians team by 7 wickets in the latter part of the 20th over.

With the atmosphere, still high it was time for the Kolkata Knight Riders to take on the Gujarat Lions. With a tremendous partnership between Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn of the Kolkata Knight Riders were able to win the 3rd match of the league placing them now at the top of the points table ahead of the Sunrisers Hyderabad due to their net run rate of +3.254.

With 6 weeks to go before we find out the 2017 IPL champions, it is bound to be an exciting ride for all 8 teams and their fans. This will be a thrilling promising stadium sixes from MS Dhoni and many others, exceptional boundaries, yorker styled bowling from Lasith Malinga, precise umpiring and perfect fielding.

Catch all the action on Supersport channel 202 weekdays at 16:15 and on weekends for back to back matches at 12:30 and 16:15. If you miss it, be sure to catch all the highlights after the matches.

Let’s get ready for a smashing 10th season of the VIVO IPL!

27th Mar2017

Society and the “GayZ”

by admin

 

It is very amazing how Christians react to PEOPLE in the LGBTIAQ+ community. For those who do not understand what LGBTIAQ+ stands for, let me teach you. It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, asexual, queer and other sexual orientations and gender identities but I will get more into detail on those in upcoming editions (Wits Pride).

 

There is a scripture in the bible that reads “Thou shalt not judge”, but what we encounter is the script being ignored by those who call themselves the ‘superior Christians’. I am not against Christianity, but I am against false practice of Christianity. I have realised that a lot of PEOPLE in the LGBTIAQ+ community do not attend church. This is not because they do not want to. Rather it is because of the Christian society that judges their sexuality.

 

Although it is a sin to have same sex marriage, it is equally a sin to judge. When the society judges an LGBTIAQ+ member, they quote the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah. They may think they are spreading the word (which is true) but they are also destroying the kingdom of the Almighty. They forget that they too did not just wake up and decide to be male or female. If you now anyone who is a member of the LGBTIAQ+ but does not identify as such, I am sure you understand what I’m talking about. LGBTIAQ+ people did not just wake up and decide to be different. Some were born gay, lesbian and all that but some were forced by uncontrollable and uncomfortable situations to identify as members of the LGBTIAQ+ community.

 

A good example of what I mean is thus follows. A boy who cannot be named was living with his uncle in the rural areas. The boy hand an androgynous look. The uncle was the bread winner. Because of his being the head of the household, culturally whatever he said was to be obeyed, even though it seemed wrong. The uncle (who was unmarried) started raping the boy every day. The boy got used to the way things were because he had nowhere to go. This gave him the thought that that is the way things are. The rape lasted until grade six and the boy started dating other boys. The story is an extreme case. Most of the time, members of the LGBTIAQ+ community do not have to go through extreme trauma to become members of the community. I know some many criticize the situation but you just have to put yourself in the boy’s shoes. What would you have done? I know he had a choice to run away but where was he going to run to ‘Ezilaleni’ (in the rural areas)? What was he going to eat? Even if he tried telling, no one would believe him because culture rules.

 

It is hard living life where people around you are always questioning and judging the way you live. Being a member of the LGBTIAQ+ community is not wrong but using the word of God to dehumanise other people is wrong. What I am just trying to say is that people in the LGBTIAQ+ community are also human. Love thy neighbour like you love yourself I remind you. If you have a problem with LGBTIAQ+ people you will just have to keep it to yourself. I am just saying! This is South Africa so keep calm and allow yourself to become part of the true Rainbow Nation.

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