Chilean-German DJ Matias Aguayo performing at Kitchener’s Bar in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Charles Leonard

After dark

Jo'burg by night: A time for dreamers, graffiti artists, lovers and dancers

Scholars of urban studies are acknowledging that the discipline is characterised by a fear of the dark and the night. But artists are giving us a creative language to engage with the darkness.
Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong'o shows his newly released book “Wizard of the Crow” during launch at a Nairobi bookshop. Antony Njuguna/Reuters

No Nobel

Tipped to win Nobel literature prize, Kenya’s Ngugi misses out – again

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is still regarded as one of Africa's greatest living writers in spite of missing out on a literature Nobel yet again.
Sol Plaatje at his writing desk taken from his book Native Life in South Africa. Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand A979 Fca3.

Plaatje 100

Conversing across a century with thinker, author and politician Sol T Plaatje

The centennial publication of Sol Plaatje's seminal, 'Native Life' is a timely reminder of his estimation of intellectual work, in contrast to the current disparagement of ‘clever blacks’.
For women studying and working in Eurocentric institutions, wearing natural hair can be a symbol of resistance. Shutterstock

Hair

Kinky, curly hair: a tool of resistance across the African diaspora

Natural hair has become a political rallying point for women across the African diaspora. For these women, wearing natural hair is way to resist Eurocentric norms and "post-racial" political thought.
One of two benches demarcated apartheid style for either ‘whites only’ or for ‘non-whites only’ in Cape Town. Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Remembering

Memorials that go beyond boring statues of big-men-on-bronze-horses

September is celebrated as heritage month in South Africa. How to get it right? A revisit to a national newspaper's decade-old, ambitious project is a good yardstick to use.
Hair speaks of the past, and of cultural heritage. Steve Evans/Flickr

Roots of hair

The heritage of hair: stories of resilience and creativity

Hair has long been modified for aesthetic and other ends. But skewed power structures have meant that women, particularly women of colour, have borne the brunt of stereotyping and prejudice.
Great Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates winning the gold in the men’s 5000m at the Rio Olympics. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Fandom

Watching sport is far more than just pure, dumb entertainment

Watching sport is more than just an entertaining experience. As the 2016 Olympic Games again highlighted, it can enrich and improve our lives in many more complex ways.

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