The Code Switch 1

The Code Switch: A talk show by Vanguard Magazine

04 November of 2014

By Vanguard Reporter

The Code Switch is a talk show based on articles appearing in Vanguard magazine and hosted by its founder and editor, Panashe Chigumadzi. The cast discusses a range of issues that speak to the life of young black women who are coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa and find themselves ‘switching’ through a number of culturally diverse environments.

The cast members include Pontsho Pilane, Obenewa Amponsah, Masehletse Lucy Balimba, Sebenzile Nkambule and Nozuko Mapoma.

Episode 1: ‘What is code switching?’

The first episode dissects the meaning of ‘code-switching’ and how each of the cast members relate to the concept. Some hate it, some love it, some are different. For some it means cultural sensitivity, for others it means too much compromise, for others its a way to reconcile the irreconcilable.

Episode 2: ‘Are we entitled?’

In episode 2 the cast debate the implications of being labelled ‘entitled’ and how the concept of entitlement plays out in the global context for the so-called millenials and,more specifically, how it plays out for the generation of young black South Africans who have come of age after ‘freedom’ had been won and have had to bear the weight of great expectation from parents, communities, government and themselves.

READ: Are we entitled?


Episode 3: ‘Womanism & Intersectionality: Feminism for young black women’

This episode the cast discusses womanism and intersectionality as a theories of feminism that are relevant for young black women. They discuss how womanism recognises that their blackness is not seperate from their womanhood and vice versa.

READ: Womanism & Intersectionality: Feminism relevant for young black women’


Episode 4: ‘Have you checked your privilege lately?’

This episode sees the cast discussing ‘Relativity, privilege and intersectionality’ and asks each cast member to check themselves for the privileges they might enjoy as a result of the intersection of social identities such as class, gender and race. Importantly, they then discuss what to do when you have recognised those privileges and how to become a better ‘ally’ instead of a messiah.

READ: Relativity, identity and privilege: Have you checked your privilege lately?


Episode 5: ‘Lobola 2.0′

This episode sees the cast discusses lobola, the practice of paying a bride price, its place in society in 2014 and how each of the cast members relate to it as young black women who identify as feminists and, very importantly, womanists.

READ: Lobola 2.0: How the traditional practice can be reformed for modern society



Episode 6: ‘Is It Really Our Perfect Wedding?’

This episode sees the cast discuss the popular South African wedding show, and asks ‘It is it really our Perfect Wedding’. Vanguard suggests whether if in contemporary South Africa and Africa, where the definition of culture is often such contested terrain, wouldn’t we do better if a show like #OPW was more intent on showcasing the beauty that is the African marriage process and not just caricature black people? The show glosses over cultural conflict like these issues as if these shouldn’t be considerations during the celebration of events.

READ: Is it really our perfect wedding?

Illustration by Thandiwe Tshabalala


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