South Africa

Arts, Culture & Media

He calls it 'plastic fantastic' — beautiful artwork made out of discarded plastic (Video)

The materials needed to make art can be expensive, too expensive for some. But one artist in South Africa has found away to combine his artistic passion and his love of recycling. Mbongeni Buthelezi collects plastic bags from the streets around his Johannesburg studio and melts them to create a unique kind of art — he calls it "plastic fantastic."

Development & Education

School Year Blog: Chemistry Champions of South Africa, and Now the World?

Last year, Abongile Xeketwana and Monwabisi Dingane designed a chemistry experiment that was good — really good. It won the Cape Town city high school chemistry competition. Then it won the provincial competition. Then it won the national competition. That's right — two kids from Khayelitsha are, one could argue, the top young chemists in South Africa.

Global Politics

Her contributions to South Africa were unknown, but a new film aims to change that

For 95 years the remains of Nokutela Mdima Dube lay ignored in a Johannesburg cemetery. Also ignored were her contributions to education, the creation of the African National Congress, and even a distinctive singing style later made famous by Miriam Makeba. Now a new documentary by an African scholar and filmmaker based in Minnesota restores Nokutela's place in the historical narrative of the New South Africa.

Global Politics

Jacob Zuma offers to pay back some of the $23 million in state funds used to upgrade his private home

For six years, South African President Jacob Zuma justified the $23 million state-funded "improvements" to his private residence. Now he says he's willing to pay back some of the costs. South African satirist Zapiro, a relentless Zuma critic, says Zuma has run into an obstacle he can't get around: South Africa's highest court.