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Showing posts from September, 2010

Overhauling education in SA

AS A YOUNG South African I have recently been trying to grapple with the idea that my generation has not inherited a new South Africa but a country that is under reconstruction every day.
I do not take lightly the significance of the 1994 elections and the contested Truth and Reconciliation Commission which marked the importance of people telling their stories in order to make meaning of our collective and individual past, but something is amiss.
There is no common theme to agree upon when looking at South Africa’s narrative but mostly complex interpretations.
The complexities and interpretations of South Africa’s past have implications for my generation: ranging from those who were toddlers or just born in 1990 and those starting school in 1994.
We oscillate between the luckiest generation where there is a fluid movement between the races for some where experiences and ideas can be exchanged.
But for others who are still trying to overcome the barriers of social class and the rural/u…

What's in a name...?

About a month ago I witnessed my sister's traditional wedding where she emerged not only as Mrs so-and-so but with a brand new name, Nokhwezi* as opposed to Zimasa* as she is commonly known. The practice of a new bride changing both name and surname is an age-old practice across many cultures to some extent or another. The new bride(makoti) is supposed to identify with her new family hence a whole new identity is created for her, including a new identity document. It is important to note that the groom's name and surname have remained intact. The wedding day also included a wardrobe change where umakoti had to wear new clothes that symbolize her status as the new bride. Again, the groom didn’t change anything. The day ended with my sister sitting on a grass mat(ikhukho) and her husband on a chair listening to older women telling them about the new adventure ahead.

Such practices surrounding women and their status in relationships in relation to men have been under much scrutiny…