Spanking is still a popular parenting tool — but should it be?

Growing up in South Africa, it’s been a very rare event that I’d come across someone who had been raised without spanking being a common weapon in their parents’ arsenal. After all, its promise is appealing: on the one side of the coin, parents get easier control over their kids from an age where they can’t yet understand why they shouldn’t do certain things. On the other side, it is a deeply-held conviction in many cultures that spanking teaches children fundamental lessons about obedience that cannot be taught in any other way. Disobey a superior, and you will feel the…


What, exactly, is the point of Trump’s impeachment hearing? Yesterday, on 18 December 2019, US President Donald Trump was impeached. However, it is clear to all the he will probably not be removed from office in the Senate trial next month. So, not being removed from office, does he at least suffer some penalty? Save a tarnished reputation, and a 50–50 chance that he could’ve lost voters (it’s equally likely that he might’ve gained more supporters), no ­– if not convicted, he will be acquitted and remain in office.

When I tried doing some research online to find out why…


Photo by Mabel Amber from Pexels
Photo by Mabel Amber from Pexels

What is it that separates humans from animals? Probably the most common answer to this question is “intelligence.” This is a quality responsible for many people believing that humans are superior to animals. By the same hand, though, it is responsible for many believing that this means we have the “right” to do with animals as we please. The fact that we are smart enough to manipulate animals so drastically to get them to multiply by the billions and slaughter them efficiently means that we have the right to do it. It’s ethical because we can.

The problem with this…


Colonialism has unequivocally scarred practically the entirety of Africa. Most of the continent is still grappling with weak economies, political strife and identity crisis at the hands of the legacy of years of colonial oppression, only to be followed by brutal fights for independence. A supreme leader is ultimately installed by the love of the people, only to be found with an indefinite despotic hold. Socio-political conflict widened ethnic divides, forcing youth to question their very group identity.

In the ensuing decades, capitalism and democracy have promised solutions. Adopt it, the United States, International Monetary Fund and World Bank urged…


When Emmerson Mnangagwa took the helm of the embattled Zimbabwe on 17 November 2017, the streets of Harare were lined with jubilant crowds celebrating the fall of the brutal autocrat Robert Mugabe, who had been in power for 37 years. Coming out of exile in the wake of a military movement to depose Mugabe, Mnangagwa’s entry was powerful, explosive, absolutely heroic. On the throne sits the only man with the shrewdness, military influence and patience to be able to rid the country of a stubborn dictator.

But on the corners of the same street occupied by jubilant crowds stand the…

Lawrence van Rensburg

Politics. Animal rights. Mindfulness.

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