Monday, April 27, 2015

South Africa is not all about Xenophobia

Watching the news recently, one would be tempted to believe that South Africa is just about the angry Zulu boys going after blacks from other African nations. It is ugly. There is no getting around that fact. It is also sad that South Africa has Zuma as her president. One can only hope that Z is truly the last letter in the English alphabet.

Zuma's time will come to pass. The question is: what next? What ideas will guide Zuma's successor? And that brings me back to the idea that South Africa is more than spontaneous violent outbursts of xenophobia. South Africa is still the land of Mandela and Tutu and of TRC despite its flaws.

In the past two decades, South Africans have produced  more comprehensive ideas about the future of the continent than the whole of Africa combined.

I have put together some brilliant ideas by some of South Africa's leading thinkers on the future of their country, Africa, and the world.

"Transcultural affinity: thoughts on the emergent cosmopolitan imagination in South Africa."


Saturday, April 25, 2015

South Africa Turns on Its Immigrants

The recent outbreak of xenophobic violence (in South Africa)is a direct consequence of (the political) compromises (of the early 1990s). Usually labeled a “miracle transition,” the early 1990s were actually a period of tremendous violence in KwaZulu-Natal and around Johannesburg. The unrest was fueled in part by the apartheid government’s efforts to sustain itself by promoting rivalries between the country’s “traditional” or tribal authorities and the nationalists affiliated with Nelson Mandela’s A.N.C.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Ghana Must Go"

Thirty years ago, Nigeria ordered up to 2 million illegal immigrants to leave the country within a few weeks.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Belonging–why South Africans refuse to let Africa in

In the early years after I got ‘home,’ it took me some time to figure out how to respond to the idea that Africa was a place that began beyond South Africa’s borders. I was surprised to learn that the countries where I had lived – the ones that had nurtured my soul in the long years of exile – were actually no places at all in the minds of some of my compatriots. They weren’t geographies with their own histories and cultures and complexities. They were dark landscapes, Condradian and densely forested. Zambia and Kenya and Ethiopia might as well have been Venus and Mars and Jupiter. They were undefined and undefined-able. They were snake-filled thickets; impenetrable brush and war and famine and ever-present tribal danger.

An interesting read.