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What You Couldn’t Miss Last Week: Thuli in Time, Minnie’s secret, and the Caine Prize shortlist

27 April of 2014

By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)

This week’s important newsmakers from South Africa and around the world.

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1. Thuli Madonsela and 9 other Africans in the Time 100

Thuli Madonsela was honoured in the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list. Irony was not lost on many that her profile was written by the recently fired Nigerian bank governor Lamido Sanusi.

Aside from the stans excitement for Queen Bey’s cover, Africans on twitter had reasons to praise the total of 10 Africans on the list. Kenya’s Ory Okolloh (WATCH: Her TEDTalk on becoming an activist) and the Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala added to the total of three African women on the list (WATCH: Her TEDTalk ‘Want to help Africa?Do business here‘). Another favourite of ours on the list was Kenyan author and activist, Binyavanga Wainana ( WATCH: His ‘We Must Free Our Imaginations series).

Tell us in the comment section: Who would you nominate for the list next year?


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2. Lupita named People’s Most Beautiful Person in 2014

Lupita Ny’ongo became the third black woman to be named People’s Most Beautiful Person after Halle Berry in 2003 and Beyonce.

Many have hailed it as a gain for black women, as did Code Switch in ‘Why Lupita Ny’ongo’s People cover is so significant’ . However, while we celebrate for Lupita, there are questions for us at Vanguard around whether this is another case of her being fetishized because mainstream media has decided to overcompensate for year’s of underrepresentation. (READ Clutch Magazine’s article’Let’s about Lupita, The Acceptance  & Fetishization of Black Women In Media’)

 Tell us in the comment section: Is this validation or further exotification of Lupita?

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3. Gayton McKenzie’s open letter to Juju

Ex-convict Gayton McKenzie, a leader of the Patriotic Alliance lambasted the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF)’s leader, or in McKenzie’s words ‘con-mander-in-chief’ Julius Malema in an open letter, saying his revolutionism was undermined by his lifestyle which includes shopping at Louis Vuitton. (Listen to McKenzie’s interview with Powerfm’s Eusebius McKaiser)

“We are in a boxing match. There are going to be punches thrown at all of us,” Malema told Sapa, ”I shouldn’t be bothered by this. As we come closer to election day it will get worse…I have nothing to say… I don’t think the matter deserves my attention.”

Gauteng Premier candidate for the EFF Dali Mpofu also responded at a rally saying “I don’t read that kind of trash”.

Tell us in the comment section: Is McKenzie shady or saint?

minnie's lingerie

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4. Minnie’s secret on Twitter and Instagram

Minnie Dlamini presenter, actress and model posted a pic on Instagram and tweeted: “Nothing makes me feel sexier than @victoriassecret lingerie #Something’sCooking.”

The post had the media speculating whether there was a Victoria’s Secret endorsement in the pipeline for Dlamini. It set twitter and instagram alight and trended for the day, sparking off fierce debate on morality and respectability politics.

Point in case:


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Many stood up for her and defended her right to do what she wants with her body, another case in point:


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Tell us in the comment section: Is she free to do what she wants to with her body or should she cover up?


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5. Shortlist for 15th Caine Prize for African Writing Announced

This week, the 15th Caine Prize for African Writing was announced by Africa’s first Nobel Laureaute for Literature and Patron of the Caine Prize Wole Soyinka as part of the opening ceremonies for the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 celebration in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Last year’s winner was Nigerian Tope Folarin for his story ‘Miracle’, however this year there are no Nigerians:

  • Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) for  ’Phosphorescence‘
  • Efemia Chela for (Ghana/Zambia) for ’Chicken‘
  • Tendai Huchu for ‘ The Intervention‘
  • Billy Kahora (Kenya) for  ’The Gorilla’s Apprentice‘
  • Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) for  ’My Father’s Head‘

The winner will be announced later this year.

Tell us in the comment section: Read the short stories and tell us who you think should win the title.


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 6. Bloomberg Businessweek’s ‘Freeze Your Eggs, Free Your Career’ Cover

Bloomberg Businessweek 17 April edition was released with the cover story titled ‘Later, Baby: Will Freezing Your Eggs Free Your Career?‘, documenting how new egg-freezing technology, can potentially help to ease career-family angst for (high-earning) women.

The piece was lambasted by sites such as feminist platform Jezebel in ‘Hot New Having It All Tip: Just Be Rich Enough to Freeze Your Eggs!’ for speaking to only a narrow sub-set of women who can afford the more than $10,000 required.While the cover and title was provocative, it was misleading in that the piece was more objective than it would have appeared and it made no bones about, to quote the article, ‘the typical profile of an egg freezer: They’re great at their jobs, they make a ton of money, and they’ve followed all of Sheryl Sandberg’s (WATCH Sheryl speak on why we have too few women leaders) advice.’

Tell us in the comment section:  Is this development helpful, taking off the pressure (read ‘Vangi’s Voice: Be gentle with yourself, excellence takes time‘)? Is it harmful by lulling women into a false sense of security about their fertility? Or is it simply unaffordable and therefore irrelevant to you?

7. The search for Nigeria’s abducted girls

Two weeks later, the the search for the more than Nigerian girls were abducted from their boarding school continues.

It is assumed, Boko Haram, the al-Qaida-linked jihadi group.1,500 people have been killed this year in the crossfire between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces.The latest bombing, which killed 70 people, took place on the same day the girls were abducted.

In comparison to the coverage granted to events such as South Korean ferry tragedy, Prince George’s first royal tour there was decidedly little fuss was made about this from international media.

Tell us in the comment section: Do you think there’s been enough coverage of the Nigerian girls’ abduction?



Happily Ever After

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Beyond the Vote: Active for the Common Cause

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  1. Young people doing it for themselves. That’s the spirit. Good start, thumbs up to the team @vanguard. Keep up the good work.

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