Posts Tagged ‘azad essa’

Editorial: Normalising Xenophobia

June 12, 2008

Normalizing xenophobia
by Azad Essa

The barbaric violence, including the intimidation and killings that silenced the ho hum of the rainbow nation for the past three weeks has finally subsided.Ordinary South Africans, after witnessing the bloodshed sprayed all over their newspapers and television screens, appear to have returned to the daily drama of their own lives. Of course, the mass rioting might have stopped, but isolated incidents continue to reverberate sporadically across the country.

It is rather the South African government’s feeble approach to finding caring solutions to this and other crises that force one to question government commitment.

But even government inaction can’t hold out for so long.

You can bet your bottom Zim dollar that government will respond eventually. A xenophobia related conference will be arranged, a set of international rock stars will fly over for a Madiba-inspired concert, mass t-shirts and other such memorabilia will be sold. And if we really lucky, we might even get another public holiday.

Azad Essa is a journalist and researcher based at IOLS-Research


South Africa Safe from Scrutiny

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
South Africa
remains safe from serious scrutiny
by Azad Essa

Media coverage on international news networks, like BBC and Sky, have had a field day broadcasting shocking images of recent events in South Africa: foreigners set alight, newly orphaned children clutching the hands of stranger’s and angry violent mobs ruling the streets of our business capital, Johannesburg. Likewise, our local press has expressed outrage, with dailies publishing very disturbing photographs on their front pages, both in protest and to cash in on the unfolding drama.

These are Africans being maimed and killed. While it signals a humanitarian crisis, it does not warrant a potent response from the developed world, as attacks on American or English citizens would generate. Until and unless it is in the interest of strong International powers to intervene and pressure the South African government to cipher solutions for the number of mitigating factors that have contributed to this tragedy, South Africa remains safe from serious scrutiny.

Editorial- The end of a credible South Africa

April 21, 2008

The end of a credible South Africa

       by Azad Essa

Indeed, the imagery of a nation that narrowly avoided bloodshed through tactical Gandhiism by all sides are what make up bedtime stories in troubled places as far afield as Kashmir and Armenia.  In fact, no matter how hard Manto tried to match perceptions of South Africa’s intellectual capacity with those preconceived, dangerous, and racist stereotypes of Africans with the help of her beetroot fantasies, and no matter how many times the media has showcased Zuma publicly exposing his medialized macho Zulu ego, and belief in shower cure-alls across the globe, South Africa’s hold on the moral high ground was secure. Until last week, that is..


Editorial- South Africa is not immune to food riots

April 8, 2008


South Africa is not immune to food riots

      By Azad Essa


The latest fad doing the rounds these days: hints on how cash strapped South Africans ought to save, well, cash. In these particularly harsh economic times where $1 will buy you up to three loafs of bread in Harare, but just one loaf and perhaps a couple of chappie bubble gum in Durban – even Black Economic Empowerment candidates have asked their rock star wives to take it easy on the SUV pedals. So has the meltdown finally begun?




Interview with Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum

April 8, 2008


”Thabo Mbeki must reconsider his position”

Azad Essa speaks to Grace Kwinjeh, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum


The Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum (ZDF) was launched in 2005 to bring together a plethora of Zimbabweans civil society organizations and individuals. It is platform to initiate dialogue, network and build a community of Zimbabweans abroad committed to lobbying for a new democratic Zimbabwe. While the world waits with bated breath too witness how Robert Mugabe deals with a new expected MDC victory, Zimbabweans in exile just cannot wait to get back home.

Interview: World Class Cities for all Campaign (WCCA)

March 13, 2008

”Claim no easy victories and tell no lies. Give them practical alternatives”
        by Azad Essa

Smile: glimpses of sunshine

February 27, 2008

Smile: glimpses of sunshine
Women’s empowerment group focuses on economic independence

by Azad Essa

South Africa’s infant mortality – tell tale of severe inequality.

February 27, 2008

Slice of Life by Quraisha Daya

South Africa‘s infant mortality – tell tale of severe inequality.
    by Azad Essa