South Africa

Arts, Culture & Media

What's it like to portray Nelson Mandela in an opera? Amazing!

If you're in Pretoria, South Africa, one show you won't be able to see is a new opera about Nelson Mandela. That's because the show, "Madiba: The African Opera," was cancelled after just three nights because of a lack of funding. The opera depicts Nelson Mandela's early years in his native home of Qunu, on South Africa's Eastern Cape. Thabang Senekal is the well-known South African baritone who played Mandela in the production. He describes what it's like to play Mandela on stage.

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 Scan

Scandinavians, for the first time, are joining the jihad

Scandinavia is known for its commitment to civil and human rights, its government services and its equality. But it's also becoming a source of jihadi fighters in Syria. Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine have secured a huge cache of weapons. And a white man and his black puppet are creating candid talk on race in South Africa. That and more, in today's Global Scan.

How new technologies are bringing water to the developing world

The introduction of better water management and water technology can change lives in places like Sub Saharan Africa. And it’s not just Sub Saharan Africa where water is a problem. The United Nations estimates that three-quarters of a billion people lack access to clean water and that almost two-point-five billion lack access to adequate sanitation. One solution to the problem may be through innovation and technology. Here's a look at three that are trying to make a difference.

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.