LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

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."

Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane’s "My cousin comes to Jo’burg" and "A present for my wife" as trickster tales

Phil Ndlela Opinion 2017-09-06

"In both stories under discussion, Mzamane has deployed two formidable twin pillars – trickery and humour – in order to effectively recapture specific moments of the black experience under apartheid rule. Not all those moments were characterised by gloom and doom. Some of them were as exhilarating as they were daunting."

Historical monuments: an interview with Lize van Robbroeck

Menán van Heerden, Lize van Robbroeck Opinion 2017-09-06

"There are ways of owning Afrikaner culture that is not sectarian and offensive." 

The Dalai Lama in Botswana: an interview

Herman Lategan, Karen Fitzgerald Opinion 2017-08-10

"A local neuroscientist from Pretoria, Karen Fitzgerald is one of the organisers of a conference that will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, which His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will attend. With this historic visit by the Dalai Lama, Botswana is his only planned destination in Africa."

The Artscape Women's Humanity Arts Festival: an interview

Nancy Richards, Naomi Meyer Opinion 2017-08-03

The Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival is an annual event, now in its 11th year. Woman Zone is an organisation that has its home and Woman’s Library at Artscape. The festival takes place from the 2nd to the 12th of August 2017.

From Catch-22 to 9/11

Hans Pienaar Opinion 2017-07-27

America’s Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un – not the two leaders to inspire confidence in a safe future for the earth. Their baring of teeth at each other in recent months reminds Hans Pienaar of the bombing of Hiroshima, the anniversary of which is on 6 August.

Stichting Eer en Herstel: Abolishment of slavery commemoration

Menán van Heerden, Bernice Nieuwendam Onderhoude 2017-07-21

"The whole story needs to be told: how the people were stolen from Africa, how inhumane the journey to the Americas was and how they deprived Africa of its human capital."

Institute for Justice and Reconciliation: an interview with Eleanor du Plooy

Menán van Heerden, Eleanor du Plooy Onderhoude 2017-07-18

"At IJR, we believe communities must participate in identifying, analysing and creating solutions to the conflicts and injustices that affect them. IJR contributes expertise to empower communities further with knowledge and skills to develop their capacity to achieve socio-economic justice and reconciliation." 

A vision for Afrikaans

Andries Visagie Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2017-06-01

"I am excited by the many strong voices that are currently speaking up in Kaaps. Listening to Kaaps in a film such as Noem my skollie or in an excellent play like Kristalvlakte by Amy Jephta, one is struck by the absurdity of dismissing Kaaps as little more than a 'jokey language'."

The working poor, the fractures in the ANC and the South African situation: an interview

Hans Pienaar, Lawrence Hamilton Onderhoude 2017-05-23

"So, there are only really two options … in politics. You somehow make the changes in the interests of most of the big players. So, you would somehow persuade the ANC, the EFF and the DA that these pieces of change are in their interest – which is, at the very least, a complex process. It’s not reachable because, generally speaking, people in politics, and particularly in South Africa, have a conservative bent; they want to keep things as they are."

Do the coloured people have a culture?

Simon Bruinders Opinion 2017-05-12

"And we must give guidance to our young people, who have many questions and feel that our culture – and, indeed, our people – are marginalised and maybe even oppressed by the majorities."

He “brightened the corner”: decolonial AC Jordan and the quest for an equitable education system in apartheid South Africa

Phil Ndlela Opinion 2017-04-12

“The value of decolonial thought lies in that it seeks to demolish narrow Eurocentric universalism of epistemologies; it elects to install pluriversality that recognises other knowledges in their loci of enunciation.”