27th Mar2017


by admin


Hi everyone,

In this week’s edition of the blog, our talented writers have explored the issue of identity. Stephanie Schaffrath, after walking past the Israeli Apartheid Week exhibitions, wonders as to whether we can live in a world without any labels. Obvious Nomaele derides Christianity’s judgement of members of the LGBTIAQ+ community and makes a call for greater compassion for members of the community. Sandiswa Sondzaba discusses how Brenda Fassie complicated our understanding of the ideal black womxnhood in post-apartheid South Africa. Sandiswa Tshabalala discusses the toxicity of hegemonic masculinity. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala shares a poem which celebrates the strength of black womxn.

I hope that you will have a restful research break.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017.

20th Mar2017


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


13th Mar2017

The Violence of Change

by admin

So I decided to listen to Drake’s album, no, not Views (from the Six?) but Take Care and all of a sudden, I found myself listening to a lot of the “old Drake”. Man I have to say, I used to die for Drake. I remember finding his Thank Me Later somewhere in my older cousin’s stuff (yes, I used to snoop through her stuff sometimes). I asked her what kind of music it was and it turned out it was one of her friends’ CD’s so she said I could have it because her friend would probably not even miss it. And I fell in love at “first listen”. Since then, I’ve kind of grown up musically and veered a bit off from the Drake’s brand of hip hop into other genres but that is a story for another day.

Fast-forward five years later and I’m listening to Take Care spontaneously because I was overcome by nostalgia. On my Drake binge, I also listened to ‘Club Paradise’ and the lyrics had me clutching my chest- the usual manner of “draking”. “Draking” is a term used to describe a person who listens to so much of Drake’s music that they start feeling miserable about life in general. In my case though, I became homesick. I’m due to go home in a few weeks and I haven’t been sleeping well because I’m just too excited.

Some of you probably won’t understand. “I grew up at home” has a different meaning for me: I was at home ninety percent of my schooling. I didn’t like going out. I had friends, sure, but I was, and remain, a self-proclaimed introvert. A hermit. Here’s a Warsan Shire quote that describes my kind of introvert ways well: “my alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” So basically, I’m a homebody.

How many introverts can say that they chose to leave their hometowns in order to go to somewhere far and new as soon as high school was over? I’m probably not the only one but I’m sure the numbers are not that high. There’s something comforting about being at home right? It’s just so effortless to always be comfortable. So there I was fresh out of high school and I still had all of my limbs intact, my mother expecting me to go to the university town that was two-hundred kilometres from my own town. The ironic part though, is that I also thought that that is where I would be going for three years but we all know that life is not that predictable. Instead, I’m more than seven-hundred kilometres away from home and the land is as foreign as Wonderland was to Alice. A few months ago, June seemed eons away. June meant exams sure, but those exams were the bridge that would help me cross to the other side: home. Now that June is finally almost  here, I’m still happy that I finally get to go home after months in this land that sometimes still feels foreign, no matter how many friends I make or how many places I see. However, I did not expect to also be dreading going home. Let me explain.

The town I come from is a small town (not on the coast unfortunately) where nothing happens but everything feels like it’s happening when you’ve been there for your whole life. Many people who stay there describe it as stagnant, not going backwards but not moving forward either. My friends and I used to joke about how people become attractive and somehow better when they leave the place. But now that I’ll be one of the people who have left and are on their way going back, I can’t help but wonder how a stagnant place reacts to those that refuse to stagnate with it. You know the people you leave back home when you go somewhere and they say “you’ve changed” with that tone of voice they use to describe someone that they don’t like? My town has those people too.

Trust me though; I’m okay with hearing that because for me it means I have grown away from the stagnation that I am seemingly not allowed to grow away from. Here’s a lovely picture that illustrates what I am trying to say:

You Have Changed

Somehow, the world has made normal things seem strange and strange things seem like the norm. I have never understood why inner change that gives an individual greater depth is not celebrated. We are not in this world to stay stagnant. I love my town. I’ve been in that shell for nineteen years and it was comfortable, yes but as the smarts of this world like to say: a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there. Certainly not the flowers on the above picture. Here’s something that we should all do best to remember at the moments we refuse ourselves the opportunity to veer away from comfort:

Where the Magic Happens

There’s nothing wrong with change (with exceptions of course) but, in each case it is crucial how we choose to that particular change. There have been days where I felt like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, as though a constant raincloud was following only me. I had an ache in my chest that longed for one thing and one thing only: the comfort zones I chose to leave. There are still days where I wonder if I made the right choice by deviating from what was expected of me, what I expected of myself but I’m so glad I am here.

There’s this quote I have a thing for – sorry, I love words – it’s always been an analogy for me, mainly about waiting for what you deserve and the change it will bring. It’s a quote from Beginners, a film by Mike Mills.

Beginners Quote

13th Mar2017

First Year Experience

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As the first quarter is ending and the level of intensity increases, Matriculants are gearing up for their exams. Last week, Matriculants from different schools around Johannesburg and Limpopo made their way to the Career Indaba, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton. The event offers first hand career advice and guidance to help Matriculants make the right decisions about their future .

I remember last year when I was in Matric, I had also attended the same event and, as I result, I couldn’t wait to finish high school. I couldn’t wait to get away from home, the annoying teachers and, most especially, the dull school uniform I wore. “Varsity life “that is what myself and my fellow pupils used to talk about . We saw it as a life you get to live in your own way, do whatever you want to do and wear whatever you want without anyone saying a word. But I saw my imagination fooling me when I entered the gates of University.

As a first year student myself, I find it very funny how University came out to be the opposite of what I had anticipated. I expected it to be all that television University students had presented it to be. All hot chicks, lit parties and the freedom of doing whatever I want to do.

The first few weeks were so hectic that I had no choice but to go with the flow.First day I couldn’t find my lecture, didn’t know where the toilets were and I knew no one. When I finally got my lecture, I thought I was in the wrong one because I didn’t understand a single word the lecturer said. As weeks went by I started familiarising myself with the ins and outs and made a few friends here and there. When I got my first assignment I just didn’t know where to start, as I understood nothing and had worries about my potentially plagiarising on the other hand. I then realised that the high schools cut and paste had no place. I remembered my Life Orientation teacher, teaching about time management and tried applying the method but it just did not work.  Not that I didn’t get it but just because I was busy occupied by a lot. All that happened in the past weeks made me sit down and do some introspection. I found out that I was overwhelmed by “Varsity life” and just did not know my place. This made me stand up to the situation and be the solution , give myself enough time for books or “ chow course” as students say and the rest will follow .

I am not trying to make any Matriculant  not want University anymore but I’m just trying to give a clear picture of reality. I know how awesome the feeling of finishing high school is, but the future waits. Although there are those hot guys and girls, top fashion, lit parties and “cool life “, there is more to it than meets the eye. I can now proudly say “Varsity life “will become the way you want it to be.





17th Oct2016

Who are We As Women?

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I was with a friend of mine a while ago. I don’t recall how we got there, but we ended up discussing about women of all kinds: single mothers, housewives, wives who juggle work and raising children as well as taking care of their husbands, women who only have their work and no family to come home, etc., all categories of women. And I wondered; who has the perfect life? Who is the happiest amongst those women? Initially, I thought it was the woman with her work. Whether she has children and a husband or not does not matter. Because I want to be that woman. I want a successful career. I want that so much that I don’t care about marriage and raising other humans. If that does happen, then it would have happened (at the end of the day, it’s the Universe that does all the speaking) – but it is not top priority for me. Then, it hit me that no one has it more perfect and no one can be said to be happier than another. One woman wants that and the other woman will want another. We shouldn’t judge people’s lives based on the fact that it’s a life we never want for ourselves.


So, to answer my own question: we, as women, are who we want to be! The woman who is happy is a woman who has reached her full potential or is at least trying her level best to reach it. Yes, there are circumstances in our lives. The things that are so out of our control. But be strong, woman, and go for gold. Make plans A B and C, even D, so that you can look around you someday and see everything you’ve ever wanted: either you’re a housewife taking care of the household; a working wife who can manage diapers and a million rand international deal; just a mother raising children on her own, or a woman with only career prospects and nothing else in mind…just live the life you want to live. Live the life you need to be happy in life, without regarding society’s opinions and its place for us in the world. Our desires matter too, no matter how big or how small.

08th Aug2016


by admin

Keep Calm and Mbokondo Mnyandu

I tried to stand up to the oppressor

and I guess that made him angry to realize that there is a woman so brave who’s able to voice her own opinions without fear of being judged

that there is a woman who is conscientized she might actually rub off onto others and enlighten the fellow women

He got so scared he tried to make the woman feel small and discredit everything that he clearly was guilty of

Oh but this woman was so brave she dared not break

because they threw all sorts of demeaning words at her

tried to break her spirit by all means

but because she was woman and possessed in her resilience so great

it could power the nation

she continued her fight and one by one fellow women starting seeing the light and changing their ways

they were no longer enslaved by men’s expectations and their fickle idea of what beauty is

oh dear because beauty is skin deep hits you like the morning sun and never fades

woman you are strong, stronger than who they compare you with for you carry your strength it resides in you

Now if you could carry with you these word and recite them like the serenity prayer

you would be building a nation full of confident, assured, strong and beautiful women

#HappyWomensMonth #MbokodoLeads #SheRock

08th Aug2016

And So They Called Me a Woman

by admin

Because I was ‘beautiful’ and smiled differently.

Because I cried hourly.


Because I wore a dress on my first birthday.

Because I walked weirdly.


Because my father was not close to me.

Because I wore a bra at age twelve.


Because my voice was not loud enough for this world.

Because hurtful things hurt me.


Because I hated touching dirt at age sixteen.

Because I did what I was asked for no reason.


Because the smell of cigarettes was hell for me.


Because lipstick was invented


Because I found white cloths and kitchen sinks appealing.

Because my eyes see colours dancing.


Because I can give life to another.

Because I can stay for a while longer.


Because I think everything has meaning.

Because I understand where it is all going.


Because pain is a living.

Because I walk through the hours dying.


Because my name is countless assumptions.

Because science says.


Because I sit down.


Because I am like the others like me;

6 black-and-white-stripes-watercolor-fashion-woman-art-print-beverly-brown-prints

08th Aug2016

Sentiments of a Poet

by admin

This is what a feminist looks like

Inverse racism

Personally, what worries me more than anything when I consider the discussions black people are proudly, fearlessly and fearlessly and outspokenly having these days is what I had called inverse racism?

Inverse racism is not reverse racism; it has nothing to do with the concept, so nobody should tie me on that. Inverse racism is when you end up hurting black people in some way with the original intent of helping them, or hurting whites. It is about preferring black weakness to white strength, simply because “it’s black”, as if those are the only two options.

The fact of the matter is if you make decisions or deliberations based on what white people think, your mind is colonised. There are some people who are so in love with whiteness that they make it their standard and aim for it-sad and stupid. But equally bad are those people who are so full of hatred (i.e. fear) of whiteness that they go out of their way to make decisions against it-more sad, more stupid.

Being anti-white is not pro-black……What am I?

Women Empowerment

It takes a real man to see something wrong in society especially if it is caused by your kind. If there is anything I hate like white supremacy, it is the treatment of women in our society (especially black women). It sickens me to see the rape statistics in our country and across the world. It sickens me to see that there are no women in the South African Forbes top 10 list. It sickens me that even today woman have to pay for sanitary pads or tampons. It sickens me that only 2.4% of CEO’s in this country are women.

You see being a real man is like asking for the removal of a referee that is helping your own team to win. I am a real man because I see something wrong even though I don’t have anything to lose.

Why are we more offended by swear words and middle fingers instead of the struggles woman face in this man’s world? Why can’t can we get free condoms but women can’t get free pads? Why can we justify rape by saying “She was asking for it”?  Why do we not ask these questions? Why are we so reluctant to speak out about the injustices and evils of this world? Why are we so ignorant?

I grew up mainly around females and I learnt a lot from that, firstly I was taught to respect women. This was not only taught to me by the women in my life but my father too, he showed me how to treat women by treating my mother right. Secondly I find it somewhat disturbing that some guys think that knowing how to braid hair or going to the shop to buy pads as a guy is feminine and gay. We need to grow up as men of our society. We need to love and protect women (even those deemed to be ‘fuckgirls’) because at the end of the day, we are the reason they are at the bottom of mankind.

I am against women abuse, I am against selling sanitary pads, I am against women exclusion in the economy, I support women empowerment, I am pro-black, I am black and proud, I support black empowerment, I am unapologetically black and I refuse to be ignorant.

I am a confused Xhosa feminist.

02nd Aug2016

X Marks the Spot

by admin

Municipal Elections South AfricaHi everyone,

Tomorrow marks the local elections. In this edition, Tessa Hellberg discusses the importance of autonomy and being an Autonomouse during the local elections. There seems to be a lot of apathy amongst many South Africans around the value of voting. Tomorrow, we implore you to vote as this is your way of making a difference to your council’s fortunes. Our democracy, like any other, is not perfect. However, voting is your tool to make a difference within your immediate community.

Remember, your voice counts.

Till next week,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016

24th Jul2016

Waiting on the World to…

by admin

Pretty BicycleHi everyone,

Welcome to another edition of the exPress imPress blog. As usual, our great writers have provided us with articles to enjoy and mull over. Monde Nqeza writes a literary appreciation of one of Lupe Fiasco’s lastest tracks, “Adoration of the Magi”. Thabisile Miya considers the need for Africans to produce their own narratives in so that, (to paraphrase Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s phrase) we may counter the danger of a single story. Nokuthula Mkwanazi considers the fragile relationship shared between South Africans and other African nationals. Her article gets us to wonder whether we, as South Africans, regard ourselves as too special to be considered as Africans.  Finally, Londell Ramalepe gets us to consider the ethical implications of the recent plagiarism scandal around Melania Trump’s recent Republican National Convention speech.

Hope you enjoy the works of our talented writers.

Until next week,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team.

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