Editor’s Note: #Dezemba

Dear Vanguardsters

So, it’s the 2nd of Dezemba and of course, before I could open the festive, Honourable Member Mbaks beat me to it yesterday:

mbaks open twitter

Just as I was about to retweet a tweet by another tweep that went along the lines of “#KeDezemba, woza sidle ama-bonus!”, Honourable Mbaks followed his merriment with a cautionary tweet as follows:

cautionary mbaks

We have been told.

For me, Dezemba means I am beginning to unwind and that I have less bandwidth for complexity and more for monate. That has meant the long political reads have been put aside in favour of long and indulgent novels like the Quiet Violence of Dreams (I in fact spent a whole (week)day reading it and only feel half-guilty); the queues on online videos about deconstructing imperialist white supremacist capitalist cis-hetero-patriarchy are currently being boycotted in favour of queues to get into Maftown Heights (definitely worth it, even for us newly initiated lovers of local hip hop!).

We’re sure you are also gearing into the festive season, so we’ve prepared content to suit the Dezemba mood.

Most excitingly, in partnership with the Dibookeng initiative, we will be releasing our Summerx500 Digital Anthology next week. That’s 15 short stories of exactly 500 words about summer created with the ‘FUBU’ mantra. that is For Us [Young Black Kids] By Us [Young Black Kids]. All for free download. This should be the perfect companion for the beach, the poolside, the verandah, the passenger seat or wherever you will find yourself this Dezemba. (If you are keen, join us for the launch at the Poolside Café in Maboneng next Wednesday evening!)

In the name of Dezemba travel, Andiswa Maqutu will be sharing her experiences of Travelling While Black (and a woman) in places such as China and Nigeria.

This week we have a great round up of some of the best online workouts videos and channels for women who want to maintain and accentuate curves. (I must say, I have tried most of them out and I’ve not only enjoyed them but I have seen a noticeable improvement!)

We, however, couldn’t resist with one final ‘heavy’ topic. After the drama of Bonang Matheba as the ‘First [local] black’ woman on the cover of Glamour Magazine, Siphokuhle Mathe so eloquently broke down the problem with ‘First Black’ and tokenism on twitter and we had to include a Storified version of it here, for the records.

Finally, as is customary with year ends we take time away from monate and reflect. We would like to say thank you. This has been a great year with you, the Vanguard readers. Thank you for continuing to open our mails every Tuesday. Most importantly, we appreciate all the feedback that you have taken the time to give us. It’s not always pleasant to hear, but definitely necessary for us to know. A big thank you to all our amazing partners and writers who have collaborated with us over the last eight months. A big thank you to my business partner, Thato! Thank you for being a boss of an ally for womanism who is always there for laughs and quick to point out when I’m being an askari. The biggest thank you to our families who have to put up with all the BS that comes with kids who have stubborn dreams.

Here’s to no regrets and having a great year end, because #KeDezembaBoss and Mbaks has officially ordained it so.


Panashe (@panashechig)

Founder and Editor

  1. Hi, thought id share this issue I have. I have posted this as a status update on my fb account:
    How is it that even in 2014, the media constantly feels the need to question the RELEVANCE of black people’s cultures, traditions and lifestyles? Why do we always need to justify who we are? What about white people, Indians and coloureds? Why arent their cultures and traditions being questioned?
    And then u get those stupid blacks who feed into this patronising inquisition from the media by saying that times have changed and we need to adopt modern lifestyles. When in actual fact, that person (unconsciously) means that we should divorce our own cultures and adopt “white people’s” cultures and lifestyles.
    Its always the black person who’s being disected under society’s microscope of identity. This clearly suggests that society views white people’s lifestyles, cultures and traditions as life’s default setting, and the rest of us have to Conform to be Relevant.
    Its even worse when black journalists/editors take up or suggest such assignments.

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