Category Archives: Features

Female health: Is the youth informed?

symbols-018Increasingly, several health ills arise that affect everyone. In turn, many health treatments and ways for prevention arise to combat these sicknesses. However, people usually are aware of these ailments and treatments when they are much older. Since it is the month of October and it well-known as the month for breast cancer awareness, (amongst National nutrition week and World Mental health day) in the health field and nationally, the focus is on young women. Do young females know much about their health, where they stand individually and preventions for such?

Although it is rare, men do get breast cancer. The most typical kind of this cancer attacks their female counterparts year after year. The CANSA organisation travels around South Africa creating awareness for general cancerous diseases while providing test and check-ups for it. Apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in South African women of all races with a lifetime risk of 1 to 35 in South Africa, according to a 2007 National Cancer registry.

CANSA’s Acting CEO, Elize Joubert stated on the CANSA website that, “We encourage all women to conduct regular self-examinations once a month. Know how your breasts look and feel – discuss any changes you observe with your health practitioner. It’s also very important to go for a mammogram every year from the age of 40,” she said. She also encourages early detection as a means for females to prevent an unfortunate future where they may have breast cancer. Women from the age of 18 are not fully aware of screen tests opportunities available. “We have nine Mobile Health Clinics travelling to remote areas throughout South Africa, in October, to reach people who would otherwise not have access to screening,” says Joubert. See when a Mobile Health Clinic will be in your area during October

They offer Clinical Breast Examinations, Pap smear screening tests for cervical cancer, as well as other health tests such as cholesterol, blood pressure.

The Papanicolaou test, also known as the Pap test or Pap smear. This is a test for women to check the cervix for any abnormal cell changes. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb), which opens into the vagina. Cell changes can develop on the cervix that, if not found in time and treated, can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can almost always be prevented with a regular check-up.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Campus Health invited female students to book Pap smear appointments in each campus. This created awareness, as several students were asking about what the test was and whether they qualify or not.

Females from the ages of 21 to 65 years old are advised to have regular cervical tests as part of a routine health care. Females without a cervix because of a hysterectomy, who also have no history of abnormal Pap results or cervical cancer, do not have to have a Pap smear. However, one should speak to her doctor before having a Pap smear, for careful consideration.

Women’s advises that women who do not have history of cervical cancer or abnormal Pap test results and are between the ages of 21 and 29 to:

  • have a Pap smear once every 3 years
  • between ages 30 and 64, you should get a Pap test and human Papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years.


There are things that can cause an incorrect test result. So, for two days before the test, one should not:


  • Use tampons
  • Use vaginal creams, suppositories, or medicines
  • Use vaginal deodorant sprays or powders
  • Have sex
  • Douche


One should always have a Pap smear done when one is not on their period.
by Siphosethu Jim


Politian’s misinterpret the concept of Black Consciousness to uplift their political self-interests

msi(Embo Executive leaders at KQ local FM to talk about Steve Biko 2014 memorial lecture)

In 12 September each and every year, South African and even international community celebrate the live of the South African Black Consciousness activists Steve Bantu Biko. In Motherwell local library, situated in nu9 on 12 of September 2014 Black Consciousness and other scholars talked about the legacy of Steve Biko. In their talks it seemed that, they use the concept of Black Consciousness as to uplift their political parties, as the event had members from Azapo, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, some from African National Congress.

First of all people tend to not understand what Black Consciousness mean, in this ceremony some scholars were saying the ideology was about unit in South African, that people during the apartheid era, and they say it was not a movement for black people only, but for all races that were against the apartheid system. By this, in the memorial lecture by Embo Movement, there were people there who were wearing ANC t-shirts in the Black Consciousness event, and after the event they were singing songs about ANC heroes. Some of the PAC members responded by singing their songs which were respecting their founder Robert Sobukwe.

The memorial lecture was supposed to be for the Black Consciousness activist, which is Steve Biko but it ended as like a tool for members of political parties to campaign and show off their conflicts between one another.

In order to understand the meaning of the ideology, as to compare to what scholars said in the Biko memorial lecture, one can look at the definition of Black Consciousness by Ranwedzi Nengwekhulu. Negwekhulu define the ideology as that it was meant for Black people to be aware of the significance and importance of their own value systems, i.e. their socio-economic, political and cultural values. For this appreciation of their value systems was the need to reject those foreign values, foreign value systems which were forced down Black people’s throats as part of the oppressor’s logic of maintaining and perpetrating its brutal system of exploitation and emasculation.

In this lecture people were having a debate on whether Biko was an ANC member, PAC, or Azapo member, in this manner members were trying to find out which party might be the custodian of Biko and Black Consciousness teachings. Azapo claimed Black Consciousness ideology as theirs, as a lot of Black Consciousness activist who were the friends of Steve Biko joined forces at Azapo.

Looking at South Africa National, the event of Biko memorial lecture was being delivered United Nations member Navi Pillay. It is in this manner that the concept of Black Consciousness has been misinterpreted by many intellectuals, Black Consciousness activists have been asking about such, as they say the government should consider other Black Consciousness activist to deliver talks about Blacks Consciousness and activists like Biko. The words by Biko that said “Black Man you are on your own” are being not considered in these such instance of making a United Nations member to talk about Bantu Biko. Steve Biko’s wife Mrs Nontsikelelo Biko had outlined in an interview by SABC that Steve Biko was a simple man who like to be around Black normal people, but not popular politicians.

Politicians tend to forget or not consider the fact that, the aim of the Black Consciousness in South Africa was not connect black people from different political parties to comes together and solve their problems in their own methods. Now politicians are misinterpreting the entire point or aim of black consciousness.

by Siyabonga Mtati

The Positives and Negatives of the quota system

Quota System: It is when the government makes a rule of how many “players of colour” should be in the team, whether it is in a provincial or national team.Fikile_Mbalula__2899362b

The Sports Recreational Minister Fikile Mbalula has threatened to not fund South African sports if certain issues or conditions were not adhered to. This involves the transformation of black sportsmen and sportswomen in South Africa. He wants to see 60% black representation in teams and warned of harsh punishment if there was any form of resistance to these measures. “If any resistance was met, government could withdraw funding to bodies that fail to comply, withdraw national colours to federations holding back, rule that utilizing bidding and hosting regulations to be illegal, de-register anybody which fails to transform and bar sponsorship to anyone hostile to transformation.” Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula said.

I do not agree with what the minister is saying as this will sacrifice quality for quantity, as there will be players in national and provisional teams, just to fill up the numbers and not because of the quality they bring to the teams. This therefore will decrease the quality of sports in South Africa, and will make our sports go backwards instead of developing and going forward.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with developing players, no matter what their race is, but the way this is implemented by the minister is incorrect and has caused a national wide criticism of the minister.   Minister Mbalula is supposed to promote and develop sport and now he threatens to penalize our sports teams.

Former South African test Captain Clive Rice had this to say about Minister Mbalula’s new quota plan. “It seems like Mbalula does not understand how failure on the playing field works. These politicians have no clue about what happens on the playing field. How many promising black players’ careers have been ruined by this obsession with quotas? It’s not about the numbers in a team, but the number of quality players. By only picking black players to get the numbers right, you sacrifice quality and it forces those players to play at a level they’re not ready for yet. You get exposed so easily if you’re not good enough for a certain level. “It ruins a player and then the minister must take responsibility for it. Nobody likes being pushed too early and then realize you are out of your depth, but let him continue. He’ll destroy the careers of a lot of black sportsmen,” Clive Rice.

This may be harsh words by the former cricket captain, but it is very true. Sportsmen and sportswomen should be chosen on merit and not because of what their skin colour is. All players should warrant their spot in the national and provisional sides. No player wants to be picked because of their skin colour, but because of their skill and talent in their sport code that they specialize in. What the Minister of Sports Mr. Fikile Mbalula should do is ensure that the disadvantaged aspiring sportsmen and women get the founding and opportunity to perform in the sports their specialize in, in boosting the grassroots projects in terms of money so that they can have the same opportunities’ as the privileged players have.

There should be no political influence in sports, all players should be chosen on merit and the skills they possess and have to offer in their respective sports codes. By this it will improve the sports in South Africa going forward and enable us to compete at higher levels with other countries and hopefully be the best in the world in years to come, not just in Cricket and Rugby but also in other sports, such as athletics, swimming and soccer.

The quota system has its positives as it gives an opportunity to players of colour to have an opportunity to play sports provisionally and nationally and it promotes more black players to showcase their talent, but the manner in which it is set out though is totally incorrect and sets out a negative message to the public and to the players. As a player of colour in South Africa today, your selection will always cause a national debate because of the quota system which has been put in practice by the government.

We saw this in the recently concluded T20 Champions League Cricket tournament which was hosted in India. The Cape Cobras and the Nashua Dolphins had at least two ethnic black players in their teams. Not saying that they do not belong there, but the system that has been put by the government and the exact two players from both side, will always cause a debate that the players were chosen according to their skin colour and not because of their ability.

As a player of colour in South Africa, you will always have a doubt about your selection in the provincial and national teams and will also doubt your ability, as it will be like you are chosen to fill up e certain number instead of being selected on your ability and what you can bring to the team. This system will kill our sports and players alike. Players want to be chosen on merit and not by the colour of their skin. The government and the respectful sports boards should have a look into the quota system, and scrap the idea, as it will make our sports go backwards and will kill the bright future we have. The nation should stand together and not be divided, especially by the quota system. We should fight this, and have teams of quality and ability. We have a very large pool of talented players in our sports, let us develop them and utilize them. Let the players be chosen on merit and not the skin of their colour.


By: Luzuko Sampo