I swam across the Pacific: a short poem

I swam across the Pacific Ocean with a backpack and skyblue sleeping bag. I flew into the unknown and unknowingly moved my life from the front to the back of the Afrikaans-English dictionary. Some days my clothes fit all backwards. Question: If you had to paint a word picture of the place you find yourself […]

Just when you think you've known Loss.

“In May 2005, the Zimbabwean government embarked on a massive, highly systematic programme of demolitions of all informal housing in urban and peri-urban areas across Zimbabwe. Combined with a total clampdown on the informal trading sector, including the destruction of official vending areas and confiscation of all wares, Operation Murambatsvina (OM), or “Drive out the […]

This may soon be a very different world

In the summer of 1999 I spent a week in New York, sleeping on a former newspaper colleague’s couch in Brooklyn. I remember the two pairs of shoes I bought there: soft gray boots and three-inch platform black sandals. I walked everywhere around the city in my Japanese cotton dress and those black New York […]

Teenage Girls Undergo 'Breast Ironing' In Cameroon

Teenage Girls Undergo ‘Breast Ironing’ In Cameroon (VIDEO). One in four girls in Cameroon are affected by the brutal practice of “breast ironing.” The procedure involves flattening a young girl’s growing breasts with hot objects to try and keep the breasts from growing. It’s a desperate attempt to curb the country’s high number of teenage […]

Speaking of Changing the world …

Here are the students from the City Harvest School of Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy on a recent field trip in Nairobi, Kenya. In one year this school has grown from six students to 32. (You can read the original Big Ask here.) It’s simple math: because we are helping to subsidize the rent, these girls […]