20th Mar2017

Wanderlust

by admin

Hi everyone,

We have another great edition this week with many stories from our talented team. Thabisile Miya discusses the nationwide students’ accommodation which has culminated in the rise of movements such as #Shackville and #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Lindokuhle Kolanisi questions whether the post-apartheid political order could be more inclusive of gender and sexuality. Tsholanang Rapoo explains why she believes the recent feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj is not anti-feminist. Molebogeng Mokoka explores the continuous devaluation of the BA degree; is it really worth nothing? Veli Mnisi gives us an in-depth look into how thrift shopping has, culturally and economically, transformed itself. He also gives us an insider’s perspective of Braamfontein’s newest thrift shop- haunt, The Thrift Vintage Shop (T V Shop). We’re also featuring Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem, titled Black Girl Magic. Finally, Charissa Govender gives us the ultimate traveller’s guide for exploring New York City.

Hope you enjoy what we have to offer. Have a wonderful Human Rights’ Day tomorrow.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Wanderlust

20th Mar2017

Chicken or Beef: Nicki and Remy

by admin

Does my womanhood take away my right not to like you?

Remy Ma Nicki Minaj

Following the flurry of commentary around this beef and how Remy was wrong for ‘slut shaming’ Nicki Minaj and vice versa, I am left with one question: Does the fact that I am a feminist strip me of my right not to like you because you are also a black woman? Yes, we are all women and yes, we need to uplift each other and reconstruct the patriarchy thrusted upon us. However, some things should be taken at face value. Nicki and Remy, have got nothing to do with me and my struggles as a black woman.

Remy’s personal and professional views on Nicki Minaj have nothing to do with women in general. The idea that all feminists, or all women for that matter, ought to get along is one that I find highly ironic considering that all of us know people, men and women, we don’t like. We might share the same values but if I don’t like your behaviour and I feel like you need to get checked, why not? This is hip hop; tracks and whatever is said on them ought to be viewed in that context. The patriarchy that we are trying to prevent is the patriarchy that you are perpetuating by not allowing these women to openly challenge, and destroy their direct line of competition. The release of ShEther, is a play on one of the most famous beefs in hip hop- between the New York giants, Nas and Jay-Z who later settled their difference after many fights, war of words, and the release of Ether by Nas. It is with this in mind, I feel people should listen to Nicki and Remy, the battle between two New York giants, going at it. In my opinion, their gender has no bearing in their lyricism. It is fun and it is what hip hop is all about.

I know some might be thinking that if this is a pure hip hop battle, why post it on social media, and why the release of intimate information by both parties.  Well in response to that I say that all is fair in Love and Hip Hop. It is a battle and it is not going to be pretty, something must get beaten, besides their make-up. Dirt was dug and mud was slung from both sides, some more than others, but that is the nature of the game. Only the best will survive: it is eat or be eaten, killed or be Nicki’d. For every punch that was thrown in ShEther, there was a comeback in No Frauds. Where Remy referred to Nicki’s surgery, Nicki did the same. When Remy came for Nicki’s brother, Nicki came for Remy’s children. It was blow for blow, grimy and ruthless on both sides and this brings me to my point; Remy does not like Nicki, Nicki doesn’t care, and the audience is entertained.

This is all that there is to it. To assume that empowering females in all spaces relinquishes my right not to like you is not only patriarchal but it’s a bit naive. As feminists, we are not in the position to judge every situation based on gender under the assumption that all females who believe in a free, equal and non-sexist world need to love and support each other at all times. It is in cases like these where I think that we should truly consider what feminism means not only as a movement but for all women; Black, White, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Latin, and all other shades of womanhood. If these two rappers weren’t female, would there be so much fuss about what was said and how they said it, and would we even be discussing how objectified and disrespected the females in their lives must be feeling. Equality and justice are not the same things and as feminists we need to ask ourselves as to whether we are fighting for equality or Justice? These are all important questions that we need to address however, in a hip hop battle, I find it more helpful to ask: Who won? Who came out on top? In this case, who was the better rapper?

 

17th Aug2015

ANC Women’s League: Out of Touch, Out of Mind?

by admin

Sandiswa Sondzaba writes about the election of the ANC Women’s League new President, Bathabile Dlamini, and evaluates the extent to which they are capable of addressing the many challenges that affect ordinary South African women.

The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has stated that it is now ready for a female President. This is great news, especially when considering the fact that the league’s former president, Angie Motshekga, has previously expressed apprehension at South Africa having a female Head of State. During the national conference, Bathabile Dlamini was elected as the new President of the ANCWL. With this new leadership, the ANC Women’s League may be able to transform itself and become more relevant in its pursuit of improving the lives of ordinary South African women. This relevance is important owing to the high levels of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa which affects millions of South Africans, but predominantly women and children.

ANC

But wait, is the ANC Women’s League fit to address this and the other challenges which affect South African women? I do not think so. The reason for my scepticism is because the Women’s League has been notoriously patriarchal and anti-feminist in its political orientation. This political orientation is largely the result from the league’s inability to forge a political identity that is separate from yet complements the main body of the ANC. This inability is demonstrated most clearly through the league’s unbridled loyalty to President Jacob Zuma. A recent example of this loyalty was the league’s refusal to invite Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, to speak at the recent conference. However, the league invited male speakers to speak at the conference. There is nothing inherently wrong with having male speakers at an event exclusively catering to women. Although, what is a problem is excluding female speakers who have proven to be stellar examples of those that speak truth to power. Thuli Madonsela has consistently spoken truth to power through her reports. This integrity has been largely proven by her refusal to cower to political pressure as she stood by the findings of the Nkandla report which stated that President Jacob Zuma unduly benefitted from the improvements made to his homestead in Nkandla, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Through Madonsela’s exclusion, the ANC Women’s League has demonstrated its loyalty, not to the ANC, but to an individual who happens to be the President of the ANC. This is problematic for several reasons. The reason why I find this loyalty to be particularly problematic is because the league is prioritizing loyalty over integrity. Sure, the league may not agree with the findings of the Nkandla report, but to exclude Thuli Madonsela is playing another political game that lacks integrity. This lack of integrity demonstrates that the league is out of touch with the needs of South African women. The league is currently not in the position it needs to be in to address the needs of South African women. Thus, the ANC Women’s League has become nothing more than a pawn in the South African political landscape.  This is unfortunate to say the least.

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