Monthly Archives: November 2011

A news photographer’s ghost story

Newspaper offices, they say, are full of ghosts. Long dead editors walk newsrooms late in the night. Ghoulish sub editors scream for copy long after the printing presses have grown cold and the reporters gone home. But sometimes it is … Continue reading

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I, citizen scientist

We were an army and every month we would deploy. We would fan out across South Africa. But we didn’t carry guns, our equipment were binoculars, a bird book and a floppy hat. It was the late 80s, I was … Continue reading

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Blunt force trauma, cave man style

  It might be evidence of the first ever blow struck in anger, etched in a 126000 year-old-skull. The blow delivered by a blunt object left an indent in the skull. What is surprising is that the victim survived, his … Continue reading

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The Rock Professor

He rode the airways, a rock renegade with a Gunston plain voice and a warehouse full of vinyl. On the radio he fought the pop and synchroniser charged tunes of the late 80s he revealed there was more, oh so … Continue reading

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Humphrey the lonely hippo

Marius Els desperately wanted to play match-maker but he didn’t have a match. It was eight months ago and Marius was looking for a mate for his five-year-old hippo that he called Humphrey and liked to refer to as his … Continue reading

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When the census man returns. Part two, the mystery.

  Festus’s eyes had followed me for days. They stared at me as I walked up the street, and when I left the front gate. His eyes were on a poster, placed on a street lamp directly outside my house. … Continue reading

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When the census man returns. Part one

  This post morphed into an article that appeared in The Star newspaper. That article was the space limited, Reader’s Digest version, this is the original in two parts. He first came knocking 170 years ago, three weeks ago he … Continue reading

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The quiet Muhammad Ali

The press always caught the other Muhammad Ali, the sharp tongued boxer who cut his opponents down with his wit and rhyming verse. Photographer Alf Kumalo saw the other Ali. In the garden of the Alf Kumalo museum, in Soweto, … Continue reading

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