‘Nirvana is a sacred space that we have reimagined for every inner-city girl or young woman so that she may achieve anything she sets her mind to. Here, we support and inspire each other. We develop skills. We align to the values of leadership, focus, purpose and passion. We encourage freedom of expression through the arts. We nurture a sense of compassion for humanity by being of service to our young and old. Here is where we grow.’
The Healthcare Workers Heroes Memorial aims to recognise and remember all those “who have fallen in the line of duty”. Yet, unlike soldiers, for whom monuments and memorials were traditionally constructed, the duty of those who fell in the Covid-19 “war” was not to take lives but to save lives. They lost their lives saving others. They could have stayed at home and refused to work. They didn’t. They followed their calling and worked in the line of fire.
South Africa is at a crossroads. All of the strengths we have as a society, which could and should have been mobilised against Covid-19 still exist. There is still an enormous reservoir of solidarity, resources and ideas. We can still save lives, rebuild livelihoods, push back Covid-19 and birth a better society. But ‘in the time of contagion the lack of solidarity is first and foremost the lack of imagination’.
If we lived in the type of society envisaged by our Constitution – one where there is equality and social justice – Johanna ‘Jojo’ Monama would probably be employed in the public or private sector. But our society is neither fair nor equal, and that’s how Jojo found herself among many other talented people who can’t find jobs. But help came from an unlikely source. Covid-19 gave her a mission.
Today Gauteng has over 100 community action networks, all of them made up of organisations and individuals who are trying to provide relief in the face of the humanitarian crisis unravelling in their communities.
Equal Education accuses Department of Basic Education of ‘administrative chaos’ over schoolchildren feeding programme
Another day in the court of the “new normal”. Except it was far from normal. Instead of squaring off in a court chamber, lawyers were squaring off over Zoom. As usual, the lawyers were robed and respectful. But the matter they were arguing was far from digital. In the words of Geoff Budlender SC, this was a matter about the hunger of “between three and four million schoolchildren” who that very same day were being denied their constitutional right to a school meal.
I am a runner. I am a mountain bike rider. I share my blood with other runners and riders who find joy, meaning, clarity of thought, peace of mind in physical movement. Sometimes we even find our purpose in the meshing of body, mind and nature that comes whilst pushing pedals or the endless tramp, tramp, tramp as the runner finds her rhythm.
If Alexandra was sitting on a westward facing hill it would look directly over to Sandton, accusingly. Instead it faces to the East and is invisible to its well-heeled neighbour. Another country. This makes it possible for those who live and work in Africa’s richest square mile to ignore the suffering to which they are umbilically connected and to shun their responsibilities even in a time of crisis. But this article is not a story about guilting the rich; it is a positive story about those who get on with the business of saving lives, oblivious to their hardened wealthy neighbours. As if they live in another country. It’s a kind of fairytale.
Pull a pint, fix a bike… against all odds, some of Joburg’s small family businesses survive. But now the lockdown to stem the Covid-19 pandemic may be putting them through their ultimate trial. This article celebrates the tenacity of two family businesses and calls on readers to patronise them when this crisis is over.
In the last few weeks it has often been said that SARS-Cov-2 is a virus that knows no boundaries – be they national, socio-economic, class, race or ethnicity. Although Covid-19 the disease has malicious preferences for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, the virus itself doesn’t discriminate in its infectiousness. If you are a human being, you are at risk. It’s a great leveller of artificial denominators based on class, gender and colour.