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Showing posts from 2015

Stereotypes, fragmented bodies and consumerism

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With the advent of the festive season the advertising industry has escalated their shock factor: advertisements seem to be working really hard to get the consumer’s attention. A few adverts have caught my eye recently—for all the wrong reasons. While browsing at Stuttafords I was confronted by an image of a woman's legs with the rest of her body forming the shape of a Christmas tree made of shopping bags. I shared the image on Facebook and friends pointed out my discomfort about the advert wasn’t irrational. One friend responded with “Woman-as-object. Shopping stereotype. Sexualization. Fragmented body.” While another cleverly joined in the conversation with “Nothing wrong, here. Just another womyn objectified to sell sh*t. Buy our sh*t. Get sex.”

I made my discomfort known to Stuttafords via Twitter only to be told the ad is part of a larger “Spoil campaign” with images of men and women whose faces and bodies have been replaced with shopping bags. I guess the advert got my atten…

The-writer-turned-teacher

So The Writer went into teaching. And she loved it. She was very happy because she had always felt that of all the work that anybody can do in this world, teaching is one of the best jobs. And for a while, everything was fine. She was a good teacher too. The children liked her classes. She made everything she taught sound as if it had something to do with the lives they lived in their homes, as well as the lives they would live one day, when they grew up. She also made them laugh about life; being young, growing up and grown-ups. One thing the children noticed was that the way she taught them made things so much easier to learn.

Marching to the Union Building

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I'm not a student. Technically. I deferred my studies for the year. Until last week Friday I had decided to distance myself from the student movement happening across the country. I kept my opinion to myself. In fact I don't think I had an opinion because I felt that I had done my time in university. I suffered through it making sure I completed my undergrad being funded by NSFAS. I thought that's what everyone did: make a plan until you get the degree. Suffering wasn't only about the finances. Culturally I tried to keep a low profile because I didn't fit into the middle class culture at Rhodes University. I went to one Trivrsity because I was on SRC that year and had to be present. Beyond that, I kept to the academics, working to make extra money and volunteering in Rhini.

But current university students have decided that the status quo is not good enough and have slowly made demands because what is happening in the universities needs to change. And they are right…

Founders' Day

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I probably should have taken more pictures. Today was a good day. The kind of good that happens when the expectations have been met: we were excited, we sang the hymns, we oohed and aahed at the wrong and right moments, we walked around the school and hostel marvelling at the new improvements which are evidence of the school's progress. The assembly unfolded as it should and I knew every hymn except the second verse of "Dank God, dank hom alom"-- no surprises!


Here's the evidence:








I shan't go into the politics of the day. My nostalgia will not allow me to use that lens today. Here's to the next 10 years.

The ten year reunion

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About a year ago I was in East London packing up my mother’s house and rethinking the idea of home. My mother had just had a stroke and my sisters and I had just under two weeks to wrap up my mother’s life as she could no longer live alone because the stroke was quite severe. We decided she would move to Durban to be near my sisters. As a result of my mother leaving East London I realised East London could no longer be home. It became the place where my childhood and adolescent memories had meaning. 
My visitor status was highlighted last night when I arrived at the airport. Instead of using public transport or asking my sister to pick me up, I hired a car and drove along Settlers Way on my own for the first time in my life. The road was familiar after the many trips to and from the airport and living in Sunnyridge (a suburb close to the airport) for many years. I’m not sure what I expected to happen on the short trip to my friend’s house: perhaps the cops would emerge somewhere and te…