Thisgingnio: South Africa’s only Chinese woman prisoner

by Karen Williams  Although Chinese men made up the main contingent of prisoners that the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) held in South Africa, one Chinese woman prisoner has been documented. Thisgingnio1 was from Cirebon in Indonesia and she arrived in Cape Town on 9 April 1747. There is no information on her crime… Read More

Chained and enslaved: Early Chinese prisoners in South Africa

by Karen Williams   In 1705 a gang of Chinese slaves were caught robbing the burghers at night. When interrogated, it was discovered that they escaped from the (Slave) Lodge by forming a human pyramid in the courtyard to escape over the roof. – The Dutch East Indian Company’s Slave Lodge at the Cape, by Helene… Read More

Where were South Africa’s enslaved people from?

by Karen Williams  Slavery in South Africa began at the same time as colonisation in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck, the representative of the Dutch East India Company (the VOC), arrived in Cape Town to set up a refreshment station. Van Riebeeck arrived with two slave girls from “Abyssinia” (Ethiopia). But Van Riebeeck’s arrival did… Read More

Garissa University Attack 1 Year On: Not Just a Number, Not Just a Hashtag

by Samira Sawlani  2nd April 2015, Garissa University College, Kenya. It should have been a normal day, one of corridors brimming with individuals rushing to classes, lecture theatres filled with the noise of chatter and students preparing to wind down for Easter. However, 2nd April 2015 will never be looked upon as a normal day… Read More

African Women winning elections: Lessons for Hillary Clinton

by Naleli Morojele  Nelson Mandela once said, “If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.” What Mandela meant is that there is a perception that countries besides the USA or Britain (and other global north countries) are… Read More

The Theft of Innocence: Voluntourism and Child Sexual Abuse

by Samira Sawlani Trigger Warning: Article contains stories of rape and child sexual abuse On the 7th of March 2016, at an American district court in Oklahoma, twenty-year-old missionary Matthew Durham was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,863 in restitution after he was convicted of sexually abusing children at… Read More

Too Black to be Arab, too Arab to be Black

by Leena Habiballa Within every Sudanese diasporan is an unceasing internal dialogue about where we fit in the dominant racial order. Sudan is one of the most ethnically, culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse places on the African continent. It was also home to some of the most ancient civilisations in African memory. But today it… Read More

Chad’s Torture Factories: ‘Justice – not African justice’

by Karen Williams  Chad’s former leader, Hissène Habré, went on trial in Senegal this past July, accused of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes committed during his rule. The trial comes after more than twenty years of long, hard struggle by survivors of Habré’s torture chambers and by the families of his victims. (The… Read More

People of Colour of The Year 2015

As a – hopefully welcome – alternative to the incredulity that can come from those “Person of the Year” accolades awarded by the established press (Nigel Farage, anyone?), we here at Media Diversified wanted to give a space to acknowledge those people of colour whose contributions were worthy of special mention. A team of our… Read More

Pope Francis pontificates on ‘new colonialism,’ Africa still reeling from the old one

by Rachel Décoste Thirty years ago Pope John Paul II chose Cameroon as the location to apologise to black Africa for the involvement of white Christians in the slave trade. This time, it is Pope Francis who uses Sub-Saharan Africa as a backdrop to speak out against colonialism. Last week in his inaugural trip to… Read More