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2018 has been a good year for South African pride with the release of the highly (and deservedly so) acclaimed Black Panther movie and specifically the decision to use Xhosa as the language of Wakanda.
The use of a South African language in a major Hollywood movie inspired me to dig a little deeper and try to find examples of other references to our beloved country that may be hidden in international movies or series.
And, much to my surprise, there are actually plenty of obscure references to South Africa, particularly in some of my favourite shows growing up, such as: Continue reading
Let me start with some context: I am a well-off white male – the international trifecta of privilege – and Afrikaans to boot, just to add some local flavour to my human stew of oppressiveness.
Born 8 years before the end of apartheid the only thing I really remember about the dark days are oddly vivid memories of plastic wall mounted posters – with tactile examples of different kinds of bombs and landmines – usually found in the waiting rooms of nervous white South Africa.
My facebook friends list is definitely not as demographically representative as it should be, not by preference, but because I honestly just haven’t had the pleasure of meeting that many non-whites (shocking to admit, having lived in Africa for 30 years). I am acutely aware of domestic politics, but not especially active. I was born Afrikaans, but I don’t really feel a deep connection to any South African culture or creed.
Sometimes I feel hopelessly lost in the country of my birth…
…but I am not unique – there are many others like me and many of my kind have already, are in the process of, or are planning to leave the country.
I, however, cannot leave. I won’t ever be able to, and neither should you if you identify or agree with the following four reasons why: Continue reading
Brain-drain: “the emigration of highly trained or qualified people from a particular country”.
Experts regularly warn of the impending doom that South Africa’s own brain drain will bring to the country’s economy in the near future, and with over 300 qualified engineers leaving South Africa every year, it seems that the pool of competent engineers, critical to the development of any country, might soon be completely exhausted.
But why are South African engineers emigrating, when the data clearly suggests that South Africa should be the one draining the engineering brains of other countries – sunny South Africa not only offers engineers more earning potential, in terms of purchasing power, than other English speaking countries (and by quite a large margin compared to countries like Australia and England) as well as higher chances of employment.
The previous two years have been turbulent times in international aviation: two Malaysian airliners, and their full complement of passengers, lost in the span of four months and a Russian airplane performing a fatal nosedive over the pyramids, on Halloween – its deadly descent possibly expedited by explosives. With this current spate of deadly aerial disasters, the question is: how safe is South Africa’s own aerial industry? Continue reading
Dire economic destabilisation, a disenfranchised populace and death – these are not the results of spiraling crime figures or rampant political corruption, but of another, more insidious threat to South Africa’s national security. These are the very likely consequences of a continued disregard for the country’s most valuable resource: water. Continue reading
On the 23rd of October 2015 the fees finally fell after a massive, coordinated protest action against increasing tuition fees by South African University students – one example of civil unrest among many this year. In 2014, there
were 218 protests across the country – 1 every 40 hours – double as much as in 2007 and the highest number since democratisation. The trend suggests that this year is set to surpass that amount, and the next will see even more public unrest. Some say we already have the highest rate of protesting in the world.
Is it true? Have we reached a precarious pinnacle of protestation? Have we become The ProtestNation? Continue reading
On Saturday the 24th of October a wary Springbok squad will tackle a devastatingly in-form All Blacks in a RWC 2015 Semi-Final set to thrill.
Bookies across the world seem to believe that the Kiwi’s are near guaranteed a win after their 50 point thrashing of the French. And most pundits seem to agree that while the Bokke are likely to show heart, they will be impotent to stop the continued blitzkreig of the black clad barbarians to the finals.
But a word of advice to the All-Blacks: disregard the guys in green and gold at your own peril – South Africa still has some of the fastest, strongest, hardest, smartest and most experienced players in the world. Continue reading
Around the braai or in a pub, South Africans love the taste of good brew. Whether at the game or at a music festival people of all classes, colours, and creeds regularly clamour for the unique refreshment of an ice-cold beer. South African Breweries has never looked healthier and the craft beer market has recently exploded in SA – Fokofpolisiekar recently launched their third craft beer, Hemel op die Platteland Amber Ale. The following are four interesting facts that explore the fascinating world of beer in South Africa. Continue reading
Winter is quickly approaching and it appears that Eskom will, for the time being, remain the popular subject of vilification, eye rolling and recycled jokes. Load shedding, despite supposedly being a source of great linguistic humour to foreigners of all nationalities, continues to be a disheartening prospect for most locals, besides those afflicted with light fingers, generator salesmen and / or impromptu mediaeval re-enactment troupes.
*Disclaimer: This article does not in any way represent the political affiliations of Safro, it is merely a collection of interesting and exciting facts that together seek to praise South Africa, through one of its political parties, for achieving another world first.
THE OBAMA OF SOWETO – this is the American-centric comparison that would dog Mmusi Maimane in his recent political career, from his campaign for premiership in the Gauteng to his eventual election as the new leader of the Democratic Alliance on the 10th of May 2015. While the charismatic Maimane has certainly not been discrete in taking leaves from Obama’s campaign manual, the likenesses between the two men have now been further cemented in that both are the first black leaders to be elected to head political parties’ whose leadership historically has been about as colourful as a pitcher of milk. However, the South African politician does best his American counterpart in terms of novelty by succeeding someone not only of a different race, but also of a different gender.