How African countries stack up in the ‘good society’ stakes

Ferdi Botha, Rhodes University Which is the best African country for citizens to live in? A recently developed barometer has measured just that. The Good African Society Index, published in 2015, measures the quality of society in African states, exploring how African countries perform relative to each other in a number of domains. The index …

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The town where hip-hop is healing South Africa’s broken youth

Alette Schoon, Rhodes University A large body of research shows that in South Africa’s black townships, a youth masculinity dominates, probably best captured by the gangsta hip-hop term “swagger”. It involves a highly sexualised, aggressive manner, sporting the latest consumer goods, and not being averse to violence, alcohol abuse and drugs – basically how hip-hop …

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Why art and culture contribute more to an economy than growth and jobs

Jen Snowball, Rhodes University There is growing international interest in the potential of the cultural and creative industries to drive sustainable development and create inclusive job opportunities. An indication of this is a recent set of UNESCO guidelines on how to measure and compile statistics about the economic contribution of the cultural industries. But should …

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Over 21 years the Oppikoppi music festival has come to embrace South Africa’s diversity

Lee Watkins, Rhodes University South Africa has seen an explosion of music festivals and music award shows. One that has stood the test of time is Oppikoppi which is in its 21st year, making it one of the longest-running music festivals in the country. When Oppikoppi started it represented the music interest of a minority …

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South African students must be given the chance to read what they like

Shannon Morreira, University of Cape Town University curricula in South Africa are still largely European or American in origin and focus. In some spaces, though, academics are starting to shift the terrain by introducing an African-centred curriculum. In the past few months, the state of the curriculum at South Africa’s universities has become a hot …

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