Showing posts from May, 2011

why i voted...

AFTER casting my vote on Wednesday I chatted to a few people about the
elections. One non-voter said he did not believe in the current system, but
in a plutocracy where educated people should be running the government.

Being a bit ignorant about this I decided to look up plutocracy and discovered it is actually a government system by the wealthy by virtue of their wealth. Given the current phenomenon of many people getting wealthier because of their political affiliations, the notion of a plutocracy isn't too much of a stretch for South Africa.

My housemate and her friend also confessed to exercising their right not to vote. I am never sure how far my judgment should extend on this decision, given that people have the right to choose to vote or not. But the history of the franchise in South Africa, especially for black women, has always led me to take my voting rights seriously. So when people choose not to vote I'm never certain what that means-given that a democracy rests on the…

a delayed thought...sexual violence in south africa

BY THE time I was in matric, I had three friends who were rape survivors. All three had been raped by people they knew and I never pressed them about whether they had pressed charges or not.
The reality is that many women are not raped by strangers waiting in dark alleyways ready to pounce on their vulnerability. Women are sexually assaulted and raped by people they know: partners, cousins, colleagues. This is not surprising considering the rape statistics in South Africa claim that a woman is raped every 17 seconds.
There are certain places I know I should not go to after dark; I have to be even more careful if I am out drinking with friends because I am aware that in South Africa, a woman’s body is not her own. Not only is my movement curtailed as a woman, but my body can be used as provocation for a violent crime.
As a student at a relatively safe university campus, one is still not 100 percent secure. There have been instances of rape and sexual violence. Some have been reported and…

my infatuation with Cape Town

I’ve spent the past week in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. I have picked up the habit of going to the bigger cities when I’m tired of being in Grahamstown. I always think that’s an irony considering people in the big cities go to smaller towns for some respite from traffic, the blinding lights and massive billboards.

In Stellenbosch I was hiding and working on a farmhouse just outside town. I was surrounded by mountains and acres of land with vineyards. It was surreal considering that my view in Grahamstown is usually of the surrounding block of flats or when I stand at the Monument the entire town, with all its inequalities made visible in the very architecture of the housing. The inequalities were well hidden from me while staying in Stellenbosch. I don’t remember seeing any shacks or dilapidated RDP houses. When I did venture into town I ended up on the tourist side with endless coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques. If i didn’t know any better I would have convinced myself I’m in …