ZAM reporter
Martin Bosma, MP for the extremist Dutch anti-immigration party PVV, has reinvented the idea of South Africa as an empty land at the time when the white settlers arrived. In his book Minderheid in eigen land (Minority in own country) he presents South Africa’s transition to democracy as a forecast for his doomsday scenario: the low lands' takeover by Muslims. In a fact check, Bram Vermeulen, correspondent for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, investigated Bosma’s 'empty land' claim. Find one of his... Martin Bosma, MP for the extremist Dutch anti-immigration party PVV, has reinvented the idea of South Africa as an empty land at the time when the white...
ZAM reporter
ZAM congratulates Mikhail Subotzky (1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (1981, UK) on winning the prestigious 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. A six year journey into Johannesburg's 54 stories landmark building Ponte City resulted in a book (Steidl Publishers) and exhibitions from Paris to Lubumbashi and from Edinburgh to Cape Town. Subotzky started his career as a photographer in post-apartheid South Africa. His work reflects the multiple complexities of a society in transit. ‘Ponte’... ZAM congratulates Mikhail Subotzky (1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (1981, UK) on winning the prestigious 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography...
Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom takes issue with afrophobia. Visiting my family in Crossroads, Cape Town, we came to talk about xenophobia. That was because it was on the news all the time and because my aunt Dolly had bought some new curtains from Congolese Susie who sells in St George’s Mall in town. Aunt Dolly likes Susie’s fabrics because they are cheap but good, “in a way that you can’t get here, it’s straight from China.” She says this as if ‘China’ is a hallmark of excellent quality, but I let it rest. When Dolly... Uncle Tom takes issue with afrophobia. Visiting my family in Crossroads, Cape Town, we came to talk about xenophobia. That was because it was on the news...
Nomalanga Mkhize
In a column in the South African newspaper Business Day, University of Rhodes-based historian Nomalanga Mkhize took issue with the label ‘xenophobia’ that is used to separate good, foreigner-and-human-rights-friendly South Africans from the ‘bad ones’ who have attacked immigrants in that country in recent weeks. She argues that the ‘rainbow nation’ image does not help to deal with South Africa’s history of brutality. But surely the burning and looting of shops, the storming of people’s homes with... In a column in the South African newspaper Business Day, University of Rhodes-based historian Nomalanga Mkhize took issue with the label ‘xenophobia’...
Uncle Tom
I sure had to giggle when, last month, Muhammadu Buhari was elected President of Nigeria as a ‘candidate for change.’ For heaven’s sake, the man already did rule Nigeria, ages ago, and we didn’t see much ‘change’ then, did we? He was a military dictator, cantankerous and authoritarian, though he was never –we must grant him that- as bad as the guy who came after him, the oppressor and plunderer Sani Abacha. But a change maker Buhari was not. More like a humourless old schoolteacher. He used to send... I sure had to giggle when, last month, Muhammadu Buhari was elected President of Nigeria as a ‘candidate for change.’ For heaven’s sake, the man already...
ZAM Reporter
ZAM tries to make sense of the massacre at Garissa University in Kenya on April 2, 2015 in which 147 young students died. Here’s what we came up with. 1. The movement that claimed responsibility for the pre-Easter mass murder of mainly Christian students, the Somali islamist Al Shabaab, is not solely fuelled by ‘jihadi’ fundamentalism. Al Shabaab (meaning “the –rebel- youth”) has its origins in an independence struggle against the Ethiopian and Western occupation of Somalia that started in 2006.... ZAM tries to make sense of the massacre at Garissa University in Kenya on April 2, 2015 in which 147 young students died. Here’s what we came up with. 1....
ZAM Reporter
Was Mozambican constitutional lawyer Gilles Cistac murdered because of ideas that upset the country’s ruling Frelimo party? Listening to Frelimo’s vehement denials and silly remarks about how the real motive for the murder could have been to ‘make Frelimo look bad’ one would almost conclude that that’s probable. Those who have studied the Mozambican state’s descent into criminality, however, have a slightly different take on the assassination of the much respected French-Mozambican lawyer who... Was Mozambican constitutional lawyer Gilles Cistac murdered because of ideas that upset the country’s ruling Frelimo party? Listening to Frelimo’s...
Nomvula Xaba
South African author Tom Sharpe (1928-2013), who comically portrayed bumbling apartheid cops disguising themselves as ‘terrorists’, then arresting one another and leaving trails of exploded ostriches to mark their ‘secret’ operations, would have had a field time with the leaked South African State Security Agency (SSA) reports as exposed by Al Jazeera earlier this week. The leaked SSA reports, -now sensationally dubbed the ‘spy cables’ , with one alleging a ‘plot to kill’ African Union head... South African author Tom Sharpe (1928-2013), who comically portrayed bumbling apartheid cops disguising themselves as ‘terrorists’, then arresting one...
ZAM Reporter
Cell phone jamming, news blackouts, violence in parliament and water cannons and armed vehicles in the streets of Cape Town marked the beginning of the new parliamentary year in South Africa on Thursday. The events unfolded around a planned interruption of the presidential State of the Nation speech by the opposition ‘Economic Freedom Fighters’ of Julius Malema. They, as planned, interrupted the speech by asking when Zuma would pay back the millions of taxpayers’ money that were spent on his home... Cell phone jamming, news blackouts, violence in parliament and water cannons and armed vehicles in the streets of Cape Town marked the beginning of the...
Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom is a bit happy with Kenya. ZAM has been giving Kenya a hard time lately. It denounced the police killings of terror suspects, raids on Somali citizens and draconian draft laws against investigative journalists in that country. But, my friends, there are nice things happening there too. In the beginning, the story of the Langata playground wall was not nice at all. Poor kids at this primary school in Kibera, Nairobi, came back after the holidays to find that their playground was gone.... Uncle Tom is a bit happy with Kenya. ZAM has been giving Kenya a hard time lately. It denounced the police killings of terror suspects, raids on Somali...
Dianne Massawe
It’s not sex work that causes high HIV rates and violence, it’s the criminalisation of it that is the problem, argues Dianne Massawe of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce in South Africa. The South African National Aids Council (SANAC) shocked media and public when it announced, mid-January, that sixty percent of sex workers in the country are HIV-positive (1). The Council based its statements on research carried out by the sex worker rights organisation SWEAT (Sex Workers Education... It’s not sex work that causes high HIV rates and violence, it’s the criminalisation of it that is the problem, argues Dianne Massawe of the Sex Workers...
ZAM reporter
Among African writers, opinion makers and activists the news of the Charlie Hebdo attack has provoked an outpour of anger: at the attack itself, but perhaps even more so at the twin scourges of terrorism and dictatorial oppression suffered by people in Nigeria, Somalia, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali and elsewhere on the continent. The ones who attracted most fire were African leaders who had the gall to march in Paris, whilst seemingly not bothered about victims of terrorism back home. The internet buzzed... Among African writers, opinion makers and activists the news of the Charlie Hebdo attack has provoked an outpour of anger: at the attack itself, but...
ZAM Reporter
Tobore Ovuorie, author of the ‘Undercover in Human Traffic’ report that was published earlier this year in the ZAM Chronicle and in the Nigerian Premium Times, has won a Wole Soyinka Institute award for her brave work. She received accolades for going undercover for several months to expose the deadly dealings of the human trafficking mafia in Nigeria. Ovuorie was also considered for several international awards in the aftermath of the dangerous assignment during which she witnessed murders and was... Tobore Ovuorie, author of the ‘Undercover in Human Traffic’ report that was published earlier this year in the ZAM Chronicle and in the Nigerian Premium...
ZAM Reporter
The Kenya Television Network's award winning ‘Jicho Pevu’ team of investigative journalists that exposed scores of extrajudicial killings of ‘terrorism suspects’ by police may soon be unable to continue its work under new security laws in that country meant to criminalise the ‘broadcasting of information that undermines security operations’. This news comes in the wake of the US Senate report on torture by the CIA of terrorism suspects, at least two of whom were illegally taken from Kenya with the... The Kenya Television Network's award winning ‘Jicho Pevu’ team of investigative journalists that exposed scores of extrajudicial killings of ‘terrorism...
ZAM
Finally international media have caught up with the sentimental counterproductive patronising Band Aid initiative. We hated ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’ the first time around and hoped they would go away. But they are doing it again with the Ebola epidemic, which only adds insult ( patronising untruths ) to injury. Thank all the gods that the world is starting to notice how wrong this kind of ‘charity’ is. We heave a collective sigh of relief that at least Damon Albarn and Adele have refused to... Finally international media have caught up with the sentimental counterproductive patronising Band Aid initiative. We hated ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’...
Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom is not scared of Ebola. I have become an ebola expert. I know about virus loads, bodily fluids, contaminated surfaces and transmission. No, I am not scared to get it, since I haven’t been to the countries where it rages, but I have read up because people here in Holland seem to be scared of me. I don’t blame them. I could be West African. People don’t want to die. But it is unpleasant when you are looked at like you’ve got the plague. As an old black stranger I am used to getting some... Uncle Tom is not scared of Ebola. I have become an ebola expert. I know about virus loads, bodily fluids, contaminated surfaces and transmission. No, I...
Professor Oyewale Tomori
It’s not poverty that is to blame for the weak African responses to Ebola, but bad leadership, says the head of the Nigerian Academy of Science, professor Oyewale Tomori. In an interview in the Science Insider, Nigerian Academy of Science head, virologist professor Oyewale Tomori, didn’t mince his words criticizing bad government leaders for the raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Isn’t that a bit harsh? No, it is the truth. These government leaders can build monuments that cost millions of... It’s not poverty that is to blame for the weak African responses to Ebola, but bad leadership, says the head of the Nigerian Academy of Science,...
ZAM Reporter
Up to today, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso featured on a tongue-in-cheek Facebook chart called ‘Africa Presidents’. Timeline that dates this particular old man’s rule back to the introduction of the cellphone (1988): a bit after Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea (the walkman, 1979) and a bit before the ‘old fat white chicken’ Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia (the DVD, 1994). But he is finally, finally gone now, Compaore, ‘le très françafricain’ as the French website Survie calls him, the... Up to today, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso featured on a tongue-in-cheek Facebook chart called ‘Africa Presidents’. Timeline that dates this particular...
Evelyn Groenink
Halloween seems a perfect time to scare the world with the Dutch tale of the bone snatcher. Dutch artist Tinkebell, previously known for provocative art that denounced battery farming, has taken to dead people as art material. Specifically, in this case, the victims of the textile building collapse disaster in Bangladesh last year. Tinkebell went to Dhaka, snatched some of these victims’ bones, successfully smuggled them into Holland and waved them around on Dutch TV. She is now invited by the NGO... Halloween seems a perfect time to scare the world with the Dutch tale of the bone snatcher. Dutch artist Tinkebell, previously known for provocative art...
ZAM Reporter
Dutch-resident Nigerian ‘Comrade’ Sunny Ofehe, portrayed last June 2014 in the ZAM Chronicle , stands accused of fraud and human traffic. The Dutch daily newspaper Trouw of 30 October, reporting on the current court case against Ofehe in the Netherlands, calls him a suspect ‘with two faces’. In development aid and some NGO circles in the Netherlands, Ofehe is known as a human rights activist who has dedicated his life to fighting for the people of the polluted Niger Delta and against oil company... Dutch-resident Nigerian ‘Comrade’ Sunny Ofehe, portrayed last June 2014 in the ZAM Chronicle , stands accused of fraud and human traffic. The Dutch daily...
Bart Luirink
The significance of Teju Cole’s Every Day is for the Thief lies in the refusal of the author to buy into this back-and-forth discourse. The book is a report -in thrilling prose- on the author’s visit to Lagos, the city where he grew up. Whilst reading it, it soon becomes clear that if Cole had any ideological baggage that could possibly influence his view, he left it in New York, the city he has resided in for many years now. He has no interest in answering the question whether Africa is ‘rising’... The significance of Teju Cole’s Every Day is for the Thief lies in the refusal of the author to buy into this back-and-forth discourse. The book is a...