Mandisi Majavu

Mandisi Majavu

Mandisi Majavu is the Book Reviews Editor of Interface: A Journal For and About Social Movements. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the co-editor of 'Visual Century: South African art in context Vol 4: 1990 - 2007' (Wits Press, 2011).

Some of his work has appeared in the anthologies: 'Real Utopia: Participatory society for the 21st Century' (Ak Press, 2008) and 'Beyond Borders: Thinking critically about global studies (Worth Publishers, 2006).

An 'Integration Challenge': How Does It Feel to Be a Global Problem?

Picture credit: Haeferl/Wikimedia Commons Mandisi Majavu - Many South Africans see black immigrants as a threat to their privileges. African immigrants from a refugee background, in particular, are viewed as a social burden by societal institutions. These xenophobic attitudes are not unique in South Africa. Historically, black African refugees received little help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For instance, during a politically volatile period in Africa, the 1960s and 1970s, many refugees in Africa were left to...

The Mere Mention of the Words 'Affirmative Action'...

Picture credit: Affirmative action protest in the U.S. courtesy Americana: The Journal of American Pop Culture Mandisi Majavu - Last month the BBC published an article titled, “Do white people have a future in South Africa?” Western institutions like the BBC see no problem in commissioning articles like this due to mainstream whites’ misconception of racism as a zero-sum game. Research shows that mainstream whites associate a decrease in anti-black racism with an increase in anti-white racism. The notion of “reverse racism” is rooted in this misconception. Proponents of “reverse...

Society of Fences: A Solution to the 'Demographic Problem'

Picture credit: African asylum seekers protest courtesy You Tube screenshot. Mandisi Majavu - Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote that “the first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.” Modern nation states and their immigration laws are largely founded on this logic. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was appealing to this logic when he labelled African asylum seekers, who took to the streets last month to protest against...

Sports: Some Men Are More Equal than Others

Picture credit: The late Baby Jake Matlala courtesy Uhuru Spirit. Mandisi Majavu - Sport in South Africa has always been used by different political actors as a vehicle to advance political agendas. During the apartheid era sport was racially segregated, and one of the tactics that anti-apartheid activists used to fight against apartheid was the international campaign against apartheid sport. The post-apartheid government does not only utilise sports for nation-state building, but to mediate racial and social inequality too. Sports stars such as the late Jacob “Baby...

The Future of Whitopia Lies in a Gentrified Race Discourse

Picture credit: DA leader Helen Zille and leader of the DA in the Johannesburg City Council Mmusi Maimane courtesy Democratic Alliance/flickr. Mandisi Majavu - The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) official position on the Employment Equity Amendment Bill reveals, among other things, the irrelevance and the inadequacy of classic liberalism in addressing racial justice in post-apartheid South Africa. The Party Leader, Helen Zille, characterises the bill as “Verwoerdian social engineering”.  Zille’s reasoning is that “there is nothing progressive about coercion that enforces racial quotas…” Zille’s...

South African Rugby: White Man's Game?

Picture credit: Percy Montgomery courtesy Wikipedia Mandisi Majavu - Avon Barksdale, a fictional character in The Wire, an American television series, often uses tautological phrases like “the game is the game” to signify the fact that change within societal institutions is not brought about by sudden, random forces. The tautology simultaneously serves as a reminder to all the players in “the game” that individual players do not have the power to change institutions or “the game”, as it were. In fact individuals who attempt...