Editor’s Note: September Issue – Let’s talk subtleties

Dear Vanguardsters,

So, the other day, I was speaking on TalkRadio702 about Vanguard and during the break a listener tweeted a message to the show’s host, Aubrey Masango, along the lines of “The coconut in that studio! You should bottle all of that coconutness and sell it”. I’ve heard this in some form or another too many times to count, so I just laughed and asked Aubrey to please say it on air. He did and I responded to the tweet by asking if the listener could please DM me his details so that we could work on a business plan together because I had been thinking of taking it to market for a while now, so I was really glad he was reaching out.

An accent is a funny thing. In some circles, the ‘right’ one can give you a halo effect, make you ‘palatable’ and imbue you with untold knowledge and sophistication. In other places, the same accent is like an ‘X’ marking you as a ‘sell-out’ or ‘coconut’. The ‘wrong accent’ can do the opposite of a halo effect, make you ‘unpalatable’ and imbue with you untold ‘uneducatedness’ and ‘unsophistication’. In other places, the same accent is like an ‘X’ marking you as ‘revolutionary’.

This speaks to our theme this month – subtleties. We are lifting a lid, shining the spotlight, or whatever other detective-sounding metaphor, on those things that are subtle and go by unnoticed but often hide huge consequences.

We kick off the month of September with a look at the role of names in our post-apartheid society, with a piece titled ‘What’s in a name?’. Later in the month, our resident doctor-to-be (who also moonlights as our Fashion and Culture editor) writes about the health of our ‘natural pockets’, otherwise known as our vaginas. Thato, our marketing buff, will speak to the insidious microagression seen in the advertising industry since 1994. We also talk about a subject that I am particularly passionate about deconstructing – privilege, how it works and the different social groups it benefits and disadvantages at different levels.

We also say goodbye to our beloved Fashion and Culture editor, who will now be focusing on her course to becoming a doctor. I have known Nombuso since high school, but over the last six months, I have really gotten to know what an extraordinary young woman she is. I’ve gotten to know someone with a refreshing openness to new things and an endearing relentlessness and tenacity when she wants something.

Working with her, I have found that there is nothing better than working with someone who you constantly learn from. It’s been so refreshing being schooled on the latest trends and artists out there – I can now namedrop artists and genres like Schoolboy Q, Beast Coast, Cuebur and Moonchild like it aint no thang. Luckily, we will still have the pleasure of her regular For the New Girls column and contributions to the mag. Thank you Miss Nkambule, for the time you have given us, the pleasure is ours.

As always, we do hope that we can fulfill our mission of entertaining and provoking.

Best,

Panashe

42 Comments
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