When Life reigns
By: Evans.N.Netshivhambe 2020
HSS RESPONSE TO PANDEMIC
NIHSS in association with South African Deans' Association (SAHUDA)
"At a deeper level, we also look to our social scientists, philosophers, historians, artists & others to help us to rebuild our sense of nationhood, our independence and our ability to take our place proudly in the community of nations."
The Impact of COVID-19 and our Collective Responsibility
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unimaginable challenges for our nation and the world. Our country’s response has been decisive, to prevent the spread of the virus and minimize its impact. At the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, we acknowledge that it cannot be business as usual. Read more...
COVID-19 pandemic offers a chance to address racialised inequality
The late pan-African scholar Thandika Mkandawire made the pointed statement that one of the major problems in postcolonial Africa was the “failure of the political class to establish a productive and organic rapport with their own intelligentsia/intellectuals” and that across the continent, only in Algeria and in apartheid South Africa did such an organic link develop between the two. Read More...
When Life reigns
- Nobody yet knows just why COVID-19 is not ravaging Nigeria and perhaps the other African nations with sickness and death to the degree that it is devastating parts of Asia, Europe and America. Furthermore, that sickness and death have not yet followed that pattern in the case of Nigeria is certainly not as a result of adequate planning and early adoption of relevant precautionary measures.
- Since the start of the national lockdown more than eight weeks ago, South Africans have listened attentively on those occasions when President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation. I soon learnt that our president’s now ominous “My fellow South Africans...” speech meant that our imprisonment would be further extended.
- I often begin teaching my Social and Political Philosophy course with a discussion of Rick Turner’s argument, “The Necessity of Utopian Thinking”. This is the title of the first chapter of his book, The Eye of the Needle, which is a political theory reflection on democracy, published in 1972 by the anti-Apartheid activist and (then) University of Natal academic.
- Ubuntu and solidarity are concepts that have come to characterise Africans in the precolonial and post-colonial epochs, and are pertinent now amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has triggered fundamental questions that beg answers: To what extent do communities cooperate with a view to containing and mitigating the spread of the disease through providing mutual support for the vulnerable and economically disempowered sectors of the population?
At the time of writing, the numbers of COVID-19 cases and related deaths have been drastically on the rise in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, despite the province initially having one of the lowest caseloads. As reported by the Eastern Cape Department of Health, 200 COVID-w19 cases in the Eastern Cape are linked to just three funerals in the province.
- The year 2020; the first year of the 2020s decade; the twentieth year of the twenty-first century and the twentieth year of the third millennium. A leap year, it is said to be, and again it is a year with a palindromic date (02-02-2020). With such characteristics, one could assume that this would be a remarkable year in the history of life.
- In South Africa we have the wonderful concept of “Ubuntu” which translates as “humanity”. Ubuntu speaks to solidarity and human collective effort to achieve unity or oneness, and has a beautiful history. Today, however, Ubuntu is often a reduced to a theoretical concept, sometimes used for political or personal gain.