Category Archives: Politics

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele: Fit for a politician’s hat?

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele: Fit for a politician’s hat?

Tweet By: Nadia Ahmadou* Everyone who knows anything about political movements in Africa has, at some point or the other, come across this name: Dr. Mamphela Ramphele. She has been involved in South African politics from the early 1970s through the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). Dr. Ramphele was part of an instrumental campaign by BCM that… Continue Reading

The Panopticon reversed: how the inescapability of power can help us change our world without taking power

The Panopticon reversed: how the inescapability of power can help us change our world without taking power

Tweet BLF’s current undertaking is to discuss the possibility of changing the world without taking power. This article first provides a critique of the narrative of changing the world and then, a discussion of how Michel Foucault’ s conception of power and the use of Jeremy Bentham’s concept of the Panopticon, if reversed, empowers the… Continue Reading

I Don’t Understand: A Response to the ANC’s condescension towards Young South Africans

I Don’t Understand: A Response to the ANC’s condescension towards Young South Africans

Tweet By: Amukelani Mayimele* “Young people don’t necessarily understand the challenges of governance and undoing 250 years of oppression and colonialism” were the words uttered by Keith Khoza, the spokesperson of South Africa’s leading and ruling party the African National Congress (ANC), responding to the controversial First National Bank (FNB) advertisements. Not only does this… Continue Reading

Change the World Without Taking Power

Change the World Without Taking Power

Tweet The year 2011 saw the collapse of some of Africa’s longest despots: Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Gaddafi in the noted North African awakening. Post conflict reconstruction challenges in these countries since then, especially in Egypt, demonstrate the limitations of centering revolution on changing state power.In “change the world without taking power: the meaning of revolution today” (2002), John Holloway argues… Continue Reading

Arming Youth with Skills and Work: notes from the (Youth version of the) UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report

Arming Youth with Skills and Work: notes from the (Youth version of the) UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report

Tweet By: Gcobani Qambela* I spent much of 2012 researching from home in Lady Frere, rural South Africa. In the course of the year, two young males from our community committed suicide. I could not believe it the first time my mother informed me of the first suicide early in the year. I was taken… Continue Reading

Resisting working ourselves to the bone: for black girls who’ve considered politics when being strong isn’t enough

Resisting working ourselves to the bone: for black girls who’ve considered politics when being strong isn’t enough

Tweet By: Siphokazi Magadla* In the past few weeks I have been raving to several friends on email, whatsapp, BBM, facebook and even at random dinner conversations about Melissa Harris-Perry’s book “Sister Citizen: shame, stereotypes, and black women in America/for colored girls who’ve considered politics when being strong isn’t enough” (2011). In this ambitious project Harris-Perry… Continue Reading

“News Cameras never come”: A Tale of Two Worlds in South Africa and the Politics of Invisibility

Tweet By: Gcobani Qambela* In his memoir, “Decoded”, American rap icon Jay-Z explains the history behind his song “Where I’m From”. In the opening lines of the song he tells us “I’m from where the hammers rung, news cameras never came”, meaning he is from the lower echelon of society: the ghetto. He brings our… Continue Reading

Fostering Development: African Solutions for Africa?

Fostering Development: African Solutions for Africa?

Tweet By: Gilbert Omware* A cry rings out through the pages of time and the experiences of the present day. It is a call to arms and everyone in Africa must respond to this cry. We must respond with action and not only speech. We must respond with solutions for ourselves by ourselves. It always… Continue Reading

Political and Economic Power are key to Transformation

Tweet By: Reuben Dlamini* The domination of an organized minority… over the unorganized majority is inevitable. The power of any minority is irresistible as against each single individual in the majority, who stands alone before the totality of the organized minority. At the same time, the minority is organized for the very reason that it… Continue Reading

Putting the “white” back into the White House: Race baiting, Barack Obama and memories of Jim Crow

Putting the “white” back into the White House: Race baiting, Barack Obama and memories of Jim Crow

Tweet By: Merrian* When I saw this picture with the inscription “Put the white back in the white house” I was dismayed.  Not surprised, but definitely disappointed. Regardless of how one feels about the politics of the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who also happens to be black: one thing is clear in… Continue Reading