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African press review 9 August 2012

Text by: Vladimir Smekhov
4 min

Do SA mistresses get to celebrate Women's Day? Is affirmative action doing its job? What is Uganda's most glorious hidden jewel? And why isn't Liberia bringing in the gold at the London Olympics? 

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Happy Women’s Day! Well in South Africa it is, since today is the anniversary of the day when the Federation of South African Women organised a mass demonstration against the imposition of pass laws on women in South Africa.

The Sowetan celebrates the occasion.

“While Women's Day is generally a lonely day for mistresses and makhwaphenis," says the paper, "this does not mean that they do not get their fair share of celebrations.” Makhwapheni is a term used to refer to a lover you are seeing on the side while in a relationship, loosely translated as 'The one I keep hidden under my armpit',

The daily cites a recent survey revealing that straying husbands wooed their lovers yesterday and celebrate the holiday with their wives today.

“Sexual satisfaction and/or a listening ear out the way, they then retreat to the supposed domestic bliss of a long weekend back in the 'burbs with the wife', to keep up appearances and to protect their marriages,” says the article.

Well, the survey does not make everybody happy. The Sowetan interviews Pastor Mangaliso Njongwe of The Ark of Revival Ministries in Johannesburg. He tells the paper that it is the media's fault that infidelity is so widespread in the country. "The media and so-called relationship experts … are the biggest supporters of this sinful practice that destroys families."

Affirmative action needs surgery, not abolition,” says SA’s Business Daily on its opinion pages. The article refers to the latest statistics, which show that in some universities 55 per cent of blacks who graduate were unlikely to get a job in the first year after graduation, while the figure for whites is 12 per cent.

“These figures provide just a glimmer of the reality that racism has simply gone underground,” it comments. The author blames the failure of both white and black communities, who “have abused affirmative action for various reasons: corruption, fronting or sheer incompetence”.

The country’s Daily Monitor reveals Itanda Falls, a spectacular set of rapids, waterfalls and hillsides in Jinja province. “Known to kayakers and rafters, including Prince William of Great Britain, this stretch of the Nile is easily one of the most hidden jewels of Uganda,” says the article.

This is a place where you can also get a real sense of the geography of the Nile, reports the paper. At this juncture, the river splits into two, dividing central and eastern Uganda. On the west a shallow yet fast route goes around a large, densely forested island. There are monkeys and baboons on the island.

London Olympic Games 2012

They share the place with swimming birds, vultures and bats. The forest is so deep there that it would take days to clear even a small patch with a machete. And finally, the article gives friendly advice on how to find your way if in trouble: “If you get lost, stop and ask one of the friendly people along the road.”

Liberia and the Olympics: What Happened to Us?”, asks the Liberian Observer. It cites the case of Jamaica and Grenada, two nations much smaller and younger than Liberia that have managed to produce some of the world’s greatest athletes.

“The size of Liberia is 43,000 square miles and its population three and a half million. So with all these people to run, and all these square miles to run on, why isn’t Liberia an Olympic power?” wonders the author. “It is indeed a shame that all of these smaller and younger new countries are excelling at the Olympics as well as in the general international sports and athletics arenas while we languish in failure and oblivion.”

The author concludes with a passionate call to the nation to build a Liberian sports and athletics academy.

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