Human Factor 3: Coming of age in South Africa

Having worked my way through the DG Murray Trust’s latest issue of its annual publication, Human Factor: Young People Open Minds, I decided to apply my open mind to the difficult topic the issue took on, which was young people’s individual and collective identity formation in our country. The publication delves into the complex lives […]

Introducing the Human Factor 3: young people – open minds

In her essay “In memory of who we are”, which opens the third issue of the DG Murray Trust’s (DGMT) Human Factor, social justice activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi writes: “We often talk about identity as something that we can define and determine for ourselves as individuals. While that may be true in part, it is perhaps […]

Thembi Kgatlana

It’s an overcast autumn day somewhere in Spain’s autonomous Basque Country and Thembi Kgatlana couldn’t be much further from home. The 24-year-old soccer star’s journey started in Mohlakeng, a township to the west of Johannesburg (she still lists it as her location on her Twitter account); from there she entered a whole new world in […]

The Stories That Define Us

uthor Clinton Chauke documents some of the sentiments of his generation in his book, Born in chains: The diary of an angry ‘born free’, in which he argues that his generation is still very much trapped by the enduring tendrils of the oppressive system that preceded them: “To be born free, to me, comes with […]

Black Joy

BLACK JOY We were spanked for each other’s sins, spanked in syllables and by the word of God. Before dark meant home time. My grandmother’s mattress knew each of my siblings, cousins, and the neighbour’s children’s morning breath by name. A single mattress spread on the floor was enough for all of us. Bread slices […]


JOHANNESBURG Johannesburg, let my people glow All the dream-chasers The skyscrapers that raise us The moon that brings out the best in us And stars that pave the way for us The highways, the one-way-streets The nightclubs, the township beats Every child who dares to be: Opens books to bring new worlds to reach And […]

We have to live

“Although he is called the same person, he never has the same constituents, but is always being renewed… This does not apply only to the body, but also to the mind: attributes, character-traits, beliefs, desires, pleasures, pains, fears – none of these ever remain the same in each of us…” PLATO, Symposium Plato wrote these […]


HAND-ME-DOWNS In January, birthdays are celebrated with a bucket of KFC, a simple cake and Coca-Cola. Schools open in January, so do not even consider throwing a party; if you were allowed to invite your friends from next door, you were lucky. But even with January syndrome, we made sure to not attend the first […]

The Parable Of The Lost Afrikaner Son

find it peculiar that most of what my generation knows of apartheid is the legacy it left behind. Yet, we live in its wake. The term post-apartheid aptly captures this: we do not live in a ‘new South Africa’ but in apartheid’s continuum, with no expected end. How does a South Africa look outside of […]