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I think submission to authority and absolving oneself from blame by saying that one has to obey orders are widespread… I think all medical students should be taught about the research on submissiveness being a key etiological factor in the perpetuation of atrocities. They should be fully familiar with Milgram’s work and reflect on Hannah …

  • April 21, 2021
  • Culture , Culture
  • Comments Off on Misdirections and Grossly Unreasonable

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When Geraldine, “The White Rose of Hungary”, married King Zogu I of Albania on 27 April 1938 she had no idea of what was to come.   Indeed, it was a life no one could have predicted: filled with lavish luxury and exile, living in Albanian castles and a modest Bungalow in South Africa and …

  • April 5, 2021
  • Comments Off on La Reine Geraldine

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When King Cetshwayo died on 8 February 1884, the circumstances were suspicious.  Officially his death was due to a heart attack, but not even the British  representatives who observed his autopsy could agree on whether or not the last independent king of the Zulu had been poisoned. Cetshwayo’s life was remarkable in many ways.  His …

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On 8 January 1912 the first meeting of what would become the seminal anti-apartheid organization was held in Waaihoek, South Africa. The South African Native National Congress would become the African National Congress in 1923 and would later become known as the party of Nelson Mandela.   The men (and one woman) who founded the …

  • January 8, 2021
  • Comments Off on The First Meeting to Free Men

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On 8 January 1912 in an unprepossessing Wesleyan Church in the Black community of Waaihoek near Bloemfontein several men and one women met to create the organization that would shake the foundations of the South African nation. The South African Native National Congress would become the African National Congress eleven years later in 1923, but …

  • December 14, 2020
  • South Africa
  • Comments Off on Eighty Years to Change the World
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First published in 1930, Mhudi was finished in 1920.  The author, Sol Plaatje had trouble finding a publisher, and so the manuscript languished for a decade. Mhudi was a groundbreaking novel, approaching history from an Afro-Centric view rather than the more common European view. It was a radically different approach for the time, showing the …

  • October 16, 2020
  • Reading , Review
  • Comments Off on The First African Novel in English

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The movie Zulu was more than just the breakout vehicle for Michael Caine – it was an account, albeit the movie version, of a war that defined the British Scramble for Africa and yet was hidden behind the complete and overwhelming shadows of the two World Wars. Even the movie Zulu itself still obscures the …

  • August 28, 2020
  • Comments Off on To Be the Zulu King

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Cetshwayo’s name is not as well known as that of his uncle Shaka.  Shaka had managed to turn the small Zulu tribe into the powerful Zulu nation before being assassinated by his brothers.  Cetshwayo, who officially ruled from 1873 to 1879, was confronted with the might of the British Empire and history records him as …

  • August 16, 2020
  • Comments Off on The Last Independent Zulu King

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On 27 July 1948, Dorothea Bleek died. Dorothea had followed in her father’s footsteps, documenting the culture, language, and thousands-of-years-old rock art of Southern Africa.  And although Dorothea continued to demur to her father’s expertise throughout her life, it was her books that brought the San to the attention of more academics.  Her book, A …

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The San people of Southern Africa first really came to the world’s attention in the 1950s with a miniseries and a book by Laurens van der Post titled The Lost World of the Kalahari.  Of course, Africans weren’t unknown in the world – not only had the trans-Atlantic slave trade forcefully and violently moved people …

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