LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

Indigenous “Khoisan” languages: an interview with Menán du Plessis

Menán van Heerden, Menán du Plessis Opinion 2018-02-15

"In fact, Nama is, for all practical purposes, the only extant Khoekhoe variety (and, indeed, the only Khoisan language of any kind) still spoken in South Africa today. Most of the remaining Nama speakers in South Africa (perhaps around 2 000 of them) are aged at least 50 or upwards, however, although attempts are now being made to reintroduce the language as an additional subject at schools in the Northern Cape." 

Water crisis: a country at war

Naomi Meyer, Karen Jayes Opinion 2018-02-15

"In the end, like in the book, it boils down to helping one another. There is great blessing in giving a glass of water to a poor and thirsty person. It is a form of healing."

Eulogy to Raymond Danowski – in sacred memory

Paul Murray In memoriam 2018-02-13

"[I]n the mid-70s as he [Raymond] was putting together his collection of 20th-century English poetry ... From this initial stage, today the final product amounts to what is now known as the Danowski Poetry Library – a 75 000-volume collection of rare and first editions of modern and contemporary poetry at Emory University. It includes every poetry volume in English published world-wide in the 20th century."

Review: When swallows cry

Mercy Kannemeyer Lifestyle and entertainment 2018-02-09

"The motivation for the play is clear, and this can be a very important piece of theatre: the refugee crisis is, sadly, an ongoing one, and in some wealthy parts of the world, like Trump’s America, refugees – or people fleeing to have better lives – are not welcome." 

We are a country in waiting

Mike van Graan Opinion 2018-02-08

"The postponement of SONA is a metaphor for where we are as a country. We are a country in waiting. The dreams of 1994 and our hopes as citizens have been deferred. Again."

The advent of fee-free education and the future of universities in South Africa

Zonwabele Tshayana Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2018-01-09

"It has been long coming that as a country we follow in the footsteps of countries like Zimbabwe, Germany, Cuba and Libya, which provide free education. We can find the money, whether through belt-tightening, fighting corruption and illicit siphoning of funds from the country, and/or through increasing corporate tax."

Tribute to Keorapetse William "Bra Willie" Kgositsile

Sifiso Mzobe In memoriam 2018-01-09

"You walked stride by stride with giants. And, when the time came, you returned to us, held our hands and helped us take baby steps."

#ANC54: Cyril the Silent

Hans Pienaar Seminare en essays 2017-12-19

"For now it’s business as usual for the captured state. Ramaphosa will have to tread softly at least until the 2019 elections."

When Zuma goes by Ralph Mathekga: "Just before midnight" seminar

Ralph Mathekga, Naomi Meyer Opinion 2017-12-04

"South Africans need to get more involved in their public affairs and need to evaluate leaders more robustly."

“The problem with decolonisation”: Jonathan Jansen seminar

Menán van Heerden Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2017-11-30

"The tools that you use are as important as the problems we are trying to solve. And if you use the wrong conceptual apparatus for making sense of problems like racism, like decoloniality, then, of course, I think you will be less effective than if you, for example, use critical race theory."

Revolution à la Zimbabwe

Helena Rudolph Menings 2017-11-22

"Whereas mother nature caused the failing French wheat harvests, father Mugabe was responsible for the shortage in Zim through chasing away those who produced the wheat."

The volksmoeder, ordentlikheid and whiteness

Menán van Heerden Opinion 2017-11-09

On 6 November, the launch of Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa took place in Cape Town. Christi van der Westhuizen, author of Sitting Pretty, was in conversation with Adam Haupt. Read a broad overview of the main discussion points and also listen to the entire discussion.

Durban first city on the African continent to become a Unesco World City of Literature

Darryl David, Naomi Meyer Boeke en skrywers 2017-11-01

"This is big. In a sense it means that Durban becomes the literary capital of Africa, the literary gateway to Africa. Everything that the city plans from now, literature must be at its heart."

Aardklop 2017: A Kwaitopedia of Afrikaans terms and phrases

Menán van Heerden, Vuyiswa Xekatwane, Masello Motana, Kgomotso Neto Tleane Opinion 2017-10-19

"Using Kwaito as an entry point, Nou Die Las is an exercise in recollecting, defining and reclaiming Afrikaans and associated dialects, such as Tsotsitaal, as part and parcel of township culture."

Ryk Hattingh: A tribute to my friend

Neil Sonnekus In memoriam 2017-10-12

"Ryk Hattingh was fearless and melancholy and caring and mad and good and contrary and generous, and had more originality in his little finger than most people have in a lifetime."

Afrikaans: the language of dissent

Menán van Heerden Seminare en essays 2017-10-11

"The language also bears the imprint of a fierce tradition of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, of an all-embracing humanism and anti-apartheid activism."

ARTiculate Africa 2017: On bended knee, we fight back

Fred Khumalo Opinion 2017-10-11

"My pen is my machine gun. My words are my bullets. I committed myself a long time ago that I shall use my words to fight injustice wherever it shows up."

Images of the black youth in two poems by Wally Serote and Njabulo Ndebele, viz: “My brothers in the streets” and “The revolution of the aged”

Phil Ndlela Opinion 2017-09-19

"Both Wally Serote and Njabulo Ndebele are literary aficionados who initially cut their political teeth in the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, whose tenets entailed self-love, self-reliance and cultural affirmation."

Langston Hughes: The people’s poet who revolutionised the African-American literary tradition

Phil Ndlela Opinion 2017-09-12

"Hughes was no ivory tower type of intellectual. He was a true cultural revolutionary who celebrated the beauty of ordinary people, whose experiences he sought to centre."

Sarah Lotz on writing, plot twists, and a BBC TV series

Sarah Lotz, Karin Schimke Books and writers 2017-09-08

"I write every day, all day. I stop at five pm for a couple of hours to walk the dogs. I don’t write down ideas for new projects. The good ones tend to stick; the others go to the great idea landfill in the sky."