Fortyfive years ago the man who was almost solely responsible for turning the policy of segregation into the ideology of apartheid was assassinated in the Lower House of the South African Parliament. Dr Verwoerd died on the floor of the House of Assembly, stabbed four times with a knife wielded by...
The neo-Gothic Commemoration Church in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is a remarkable site of memory and devotion for Methodists.
A rant about white male exceptionalism
Is beauty possible after the horrors of Auschwitz? Is it barbaric to create art after the massacres and genocides of the 20th Century? This essay explores some of these issues by looking at the art of composer Henryk Gorecki
The term "psychopath" is frequently used in the popular press and even by professionals in the field of psychology. The term is usually used for sensational purposes, in the sense of the definition given by...
I followed De Greek's orders in writing this Hub. Now please do the same and read this!
Jan Smuts played a huge role in South Africa, imprinting on the young country his vision, not always uncontroversially.
A look at the history of assassinations by guns. A gruesome history of violence and intolerance gone crazy.
For 200 years policy in Afganistan ws determined more by factors outside of the country than within it. And this policy, right up to the present, has been an expensive failure. Butcher and Bolt (Hutchinson,...
The movement to unify the four colonies in South Africa proceeded almost as though blacks had no interest in the outcome. The myth of the "white man's country" was given concrete form in the Union of South Africa in 1910, with dire historical consequences.
The last armed rebellion by blacks against the encroaching colonists in Southern Africa was put down with great cruelty by the colonial militia, leaving bitterness and a mutual lack of understanding.
South Africa is my home, my birthplace, and in spite of many problems and issues that still exist in the country I would not change it for anything.
Sammy Marks left the impoverished Lithuanian shtetl where he was born and came to South Africa via Sheffied England. He made a fortune and left an amazing legacy. This is a part of the story of his house and legacy.
In an awesome life of role-playing Dr James Barry managed to keep his real identity, Margaret Bulkley, a secret until his (her?) death. For more than 50 years Barry duped the military and medical authorities of Britain, first in getting medical training and a medical qualification, and then joining...
Psychology is a rich field in which many thinkers over centuries have added to our knowledge of ourselves. This is a very brief and necessarily somewhat superficial overview of the complex field and its history.
After the abortive Jameson Raid in January 1896 the Transvaal government realised the need to protect Pretoria militarily and so built four forts in defensive positions.
Indians arrived in South Africa as indentured labourers in 1860. This Hub celebrates 150 years of their contribution to South African culture.
Pertoria's wonder tree is more than 1000 years old and is rich in history.
Melrose House in Pretoria is a historic home preserved almost exactly as its builder and first owner left it. A place of fascination and historic drama.
A personal view of the important characteristics of an educated person. My response to a question asked by Weblog.
Some old postcards set me on a search for some interesting poems about Rome. A short trip around the Eternal City guided by these rather charming postcards.
Steven Bantu Biko was a charismatic person who eloquently articulated the aspirations of blacks in apartheid South Africa, especially of the young people. He was murdered by police on 12 September 1977 after incredibly inhumane treatment.
Rare sightings of the Burchell's Coucal are always exciting and we have been privileged to see some in the past few days.
A poem of longing and the loss of exile. An attempt at a translation and understanding.
A tour of South Africa illustrated by cigarette cards. These cards are very pretty with coloured drawings by South African artist Charles Ernest Peers
An Afrikaans poem which awoke me to the power of words and to a love of Afrikaans poetry. It also helped me understand other poetry better. I offer my own humble attempt at a translation of it.
Empathy is an attitude and more than that, it is a skill that can be used to deepen all kinds of relationships - at work and at home.
"Oom Bey" Naudé came from deep Afrikaner Nationalist roots to become a champion of human rights in South Africa. This is an overview of that remarkable "Pilgrimage of Faith"
Apartheid was evil not only because it was racist, but because it was deeply and violently anti-freedom. The apartheid ideology kept white and blacks in a form of captivity. The struggle against apartheid included many whites. This is an introduction to and brief overview of the contributions some...
Experiential Learning is a model and theory of learning which has implications for individuals and society. This Hub explores some of these.
Explanations of the 8 National Symbols of South Africa, soon to be the host of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.
Two of my favourite poems by South African poet Lionel Abrahams with some of my thoughts about them.
Does capital punishment still have a place in modern society?
The celebration of Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is a celebration of love and a challenge to all of us to show love in the world, especially to the lonely, the outcast, the depressed, to those who are troubled in any way.
Jazz was born out of the pain of slavery and the clash between the cultures of West Africa and the Protestant ethos of the Southern states of the United States. This is a first article in a series looking at the history of jazz through an examination of its many genres.
A simple song has danced its way around the world and into the hearts of millions. This is a celebration of Elder Joseph Brackett's simple little song "Simple Gifts" which has outlasted the Church for which it was written
The art of Mati Klarwein has graced the covers of albums by artists ranging from Miles Davis to Carlos Santana and many more. This is a brief introduction to his visionary art
How relevant are the English Romantic poets in today's world? They help us keep a sense of proportion and rootedness. They help us see the wonder of nature with clearer eyes
In the second part of of this Hub on Transactional Analysis we look at some basic concepts of Transactional Analysis, including strokes, the stroke economy, pastimes, games, and the underlying philosophy of the model.
Transactional analysis is a powerful model which can help people understand why communication sometimes goes so wrong, and how to make it better.
A vicious man is sentenced to life in prison, leaving behind children and other family members to cope with the aftermath of his crime spree
Exile was a two-edged sword for the South African musicians who left their homeland for the freedom of Europe and the United States. This is a selection of some of the finest albums to come out of the greaat South African jazz diaspora
The magic of jacaranda blossoms in Pretoria. the beauty of a beautiful but threatened "invasive alien" tree brings spectacular colour to the city in October
Caster Semenya is being exploited again - this time by a glossy gossip magazine
Hunger and starvation are human-made problems, not the will of God or chance. That is why it is so obscene that starvation continues, and especially that children bear the brunt of it.
Gandhi landed in Durban, in what is now kwaZulu-Natal Province, in May 1893, a newly-qualified barrister sent to do some legal work for a Bombay legal firm which had some interests in South Africa.
A very personal reflection on the struggle of women for dignity and freedom in South Africa
In the early hours of the morning of 19 July 1965 a lovely young woman walked into the sea at Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town, and drowned. Her lifeless body was found by the police in about three feet of water at about 7.30 that morning. And so ended the life of one of South Africa's most promising...
In 1993 a disheveled man walked out of the Salvation Army Men's Home in downtown Johannesburg and was never seen again, as far as anyone knows. This not too unusual event would be unremarkable, except that the man in question has been called the "first South African poet", an artist of whom it has...
Feedback is an essential skill in interpersonal communication and the quality of an individual's interpersonal communication can be a determinant in their success or lack of it, in all kinds of relationships.
We are all philosophers. This is a very personal answer to the question asked by Ryan Hupfer about the 10 philosophy books it is essential to read.
According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Revised Edition 2006) jazz is "a type of music of Black American origin characterised by improvisation, syncopation, and a regular rhythm, and typically played on brass and woodwind instruments" and the origin of the word itself is given as "early...
I became aware as I drove home along Umbilo Road and bought, as I did every afternoon, my copy of the Daily News from a street vendor. Only when I got home and opened the newspaper did I start to get an inkling of just how different that day was.
The link between sex and racism is explored, using the story of Sarah Baartman as a case study
I was fascinated by the pictures themselves but even more by the thought that these pictures were direct links to people who had lived in this rocky place a very long time ago, as my father explained to me.
For the duration of the race, the longest, oldest and probably toughest ultra-marathon in the world, large numbers of South Africans sat in front of their TVs marvelling at the latest unfolding of what is an enduring tradition in South African sport. The race is covered live on national TV every...
One of my all-time favourite songs is "Guantanamera" because it is an almost ideal combination of real poetry with a great piece of music.
I love to cook – maybe because I love eating and maybe because I like to get the praise of others when they like what I cook. Whatever! I have been cooking for many years, mostly on Sundays, so I guess you could call me a Sunday chef!
Strand Street in Cape Town runs from the Castle of Good Hope on the Grand Parade to the foot of Signal Hill. On the way it passes many historical and interesting places, including what used to be called Boeren Plein (Farmers' Square) or Hottentot Plein and is now called Riebeeck Square, and, a...
Here are three short poems which I hope will find resonance with my readers.
The story of a beloved minstrel song in Cape Town and the Confederate ship that inspired it
Blythswood Missionary Institution in the former Transkei, South Africa, was unique in that the people it served asked for it and contributed to the cost of setting it up.
Obama is celebrated by a frequently-acerbic South African cartoonist, Zapiro.
Zita Park in Garsfontein, Pretoria, is a great place for children to have fun in a really safe environment
Fascinating Union Castle memorabilia in my collection give glimpse of life at sea in the early part of the 20th Century
Nuclear weapons have not gone away. They are still in the arsenals of combatant countries around the world, some acknowledged, and some unacknowledged. And that fact alone is extraordinarily scary.