NHI – Fixing what’s broke

Hello – this is one of my first proper tries at writing an opinion piece! Enjoy 🙂


By Youlendree Appasamy


The challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for South Africa’s implementation of the National Health Insurance were highlighted at a colloquium held at Rhodes University earlier this term.

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No voice goes unheard


Ukufunda: Let's Talk Education

Upstart Programme Manager, Belinda Shange Upstart Programme Manager, Belinda Shange

By Lesedi Ntuli

When Belinda Shange greets you, she beams – a huge, warm smile spreads across her face and her eyes twinkle.  It quickly becomes clear that she has a talent for working with and helping people. As newly appointed programme manager for the local youth development project, Upstart, she makes it clear that her involvement “has been incredible”.

“These learners are amazing! It makes me really happy to see how passionate and confident they are, despite their different social and economic backgrounds,” she says. Although having spent just over five months in Grahamstown, Shange adds that she has learned a lot from the learners forming part of this multidisciplinary project.

“Engaging with the learners, just listening to them speak and air their frustrations – whether it’s about school, their social lives or any situation they’re faced with – is enlightening. And that is…

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Breasts series: Part two

Yo. Here’s part two of the Breasts series (it’s SFW, I promise!)


This article is part two of a series dealing with issues around breast lumps by Youlendree Appasamy. It tackles medical processes and more specifically the people involved in them, her mother and a variety of medical professionals (including 2 different male surgeons, two male radiographers and multiple female nurses).

breast cancer graph

This is a reflection on the entire process of finding, diagnosing, treating and living with a giant fibroadenoma leading up to the point I am at now.

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Tale of XXtasy and Heartbreak

I wrote this in my first year of Journalism. First, last and only foray into music journalism. lulz.

AudioMob Music Reviews

By Youlendree Appasamy


Oliver Sim of The xx. (Photograph taken by Tom verlie)

Desolate, yet beautiful landscapes – this is what comes to mind when listening toThe xx’ssecond and latest album Coexist.

In fact, The xx have been praised for their use of space and emptiness in their music, most notably by Pitchfork-and as a result every tightly stretched chord is weighted with intense emotion. The xx doesn’t fit into any definitive musical genre but for those pedantic enough to want one I’ll useUncut’s definition, which is: an indie-pop, soul, post-dubstep mash-up. Genre hopping is what makes the band incomparable as it manages to stand out from the overwrought indie-pop and dubstep genres by utilising both simultaneously (and adding some house influences for the hell of it).

The sound is an infusion of raw punk which can be heard in the stripped down guitar…

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respectability politics

the history of respectability politics. NBNBNB


Cargo-Cult-Plane a plane built of wood by a Pacific Islander cargo cult in hopes of attracting cargo planes, like those that came during the Second World War.

Respectability politics (1895- ) is a cargo cult founded by middle-class Black Americans. It says that the purpose of life is getting cargo (material wealth, “success”) and the key to that is to act more like White Americans – to dress like them, talk like them, etc. It is why, for example, some people say that sagging pants are holding Black people back.

Apostles: Booker T. Washington, Don Lemon, Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Chris Rock in “Niggas vs Black People”.

Glory days: 1895 to 1955, from Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise to the murder of Emmett Till. Its low point was from 1965 to 1984, from Carmichael to Cosby. It seems to be a reaction to racial nadirs, periods of White racist backlash against…

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Breasts: they need our support

Another journalisticky piece. It’s the first time I’ve put my thoughts down about this topic.


By Youlendree Appasamy

These things attached to my body. That’s what I thought my breasts were. What I was indoctrinated to believe is that breasts are centres of femininity, of pleasure, of womanliness. That my breasts signified a key part of my identity as lady. I scorned this identity thrust upon me by virtue of a random part of my body. The lump in my breast was merely a physiological defect. I did feel defective for a long time. The first time I felt an anomaly in my right breast was when I was 16. That is the first time I felt it. I did not know how long it had been sitting there, growing in size. My mother never took me seriously: she thought that the processes of puberty were rendering my body strange and that I was overreacting to these strange changes.

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BUWA! Call for articles



Deadline:  Jul 15th, 2014

OSISA is calling for articles to be considered for its 2014 Issue of BUWA!: A Journal on African Women’s Experiences. The theme is “Women and Economic Injustice.” We will consider articles in line with the briefs below. If interested in submitting an article for consideration by our editorial team, please write and indicate your expression of interest to alicek@osisa.org and copy tsitsim@osisa.organd indicate what piece you are interested in submitting. Once received, we will share the style guide and other relevant details. We will consider:

  • Analytical referenced pieces of 3000 words especially from women
  • Personal stories and experiences from women (no word limit although these need to be comprehensive enough to tell the story)
  • Photo-essays and comic submissions
  • Case studies on relevant initiatives to showcase responses to the issues across the region and the continent
  • Relevant policy analysis, critique and modelling
  • Literature and book…

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