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Gopolang Botlhokwane

Johannesburg, South Africa
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About Gopolang
Gopolang Botlhokwane is a South African freelance journalist and writer. He covers sports, culture and social issues.
English Southern Sotho Tswana
Vox Pop News Gathering Feature Stories
Politics Current Affairs Arts & Books

We are on our own: The men of Nelson Mandela Drive

28 Apr 2022  |  www.sowetanlive.co.za
The article delves into the daily struggles of unemployed men on Nelson Mandela Drive in Mahikeng, South Africa. It highlights the personal stories of individuals like Lawrence Poenyane, Lebogang Sibeko, Jabu Komokasi, and Orabile Tsietso, who face long waits for odd jobs amidst a backdrop of systemic unemployment and socioeconomic challenges. The narrative underscores the failure of local and state governments to address the unemployment crisis, particularly among the youth, and the anxiety surrounding potential job losses from major employers like Country Bird Holdings. The piece paints a grim picture of the reality faced by these men, emphasizing the broader issue of inequality and the lack of effective governmental intervention.

On the South African Hip Hop genre Motswako

The Death Of Socio-Political Commentary In South African Mainstream Hip Hop

02 Jul 2018  |  The Daily Vox
Gopolang Botlhokwane reflects on the intersection of hip hop and politics in South Africa, highlighting the decline of socio-political commentary in mainstream South African hip hop. The article discusses the career of Jackie Selebi, a former police commissioner whose tenure was marred by corruption, and how his story was captured in the music of the time. Botlhokwane critiques the current generation of South African rappers for their apolitical stance, particularly during significant movements such as Fees Must Fall and land expropriation debates. The author notes a few exceptions, such as Kwesta, Reason, and Cassper Nyovest, who have recently produced work with political undertones. The piece also touches on the historical context of political hip hop in South Africa and the impact of media platforms on the genre. The article concludes by questioning whether the recent trend of socially conscious music is genuine or a mere exploitation of popular sentiment.

The popularity of Pay TV in South Africa and the monopolisation of soccer culture

19 Jun 2018  |  The Daily Vox
Gopolang Botlhokwane discusses the impact of the 2007 broadcasting rights deal between the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Pay TV giant SuperSport, owned by Multichoice. The deal, worth R1.5 billion, granted SuperSport exclusive rights to PSL matches and led to a significant shift in how South Africans access their favorite soccer games. Previously, content was available on public broadcasting platforms, but the deal shifted this content to Pay TV, which was considered a luxury at the time. Multichoice capitalized on this by revamping its DSTV service and expanding its reach across Africa. The author argues that the popularity of Pay TV in South Africa is less about modernity and more about the monopolization of soccer broadcasting, which has forced fans to pay for content that was once free, thus exploiting the culture of soccer appreciation for profit.

Mafikeng Residents Register to Vote with Mixed Feelings

19 Jun 2018  |  The Daily Vox
Residents of Mafikeng, South Africa, expressed mixed feelings about the efficacy of voting as they registered for the upcoming local elections. Many, especially the youth, are disillusioned, citing persistent issues such as unemployment, poor infrastructure, and unresponsive councillors. Despite the skepticism, some still hold onto hope that voting can bring change, honoring the legacy of those who fought for this democratic right. Concerns were raised about the lack of facilities, access for people with disabilities, and the need for media to highlight these issues more effectively. The sentiment across the interviews is a desire for tangible improvements in their community, with some questioning the commitment of elected officials to address the residents' needs.

I reviewed Indian writer Arundhati Roy's new novel The ministry of atmost happiness, a novel that explores the complexities of modern India for the Mail and Guardian South Africa.

NWU Workers Share Their Struggles Amidst Student Protests

19 Jun 2018  |  The Daily Vox
The article reports on the plight of workers at North-West University (NWU) amidst ongoing student protests. Workers, including gardeners and security guards, have expressed their grievances regarding poor working conditions, low wages, and lack of benefits. Despite their support for the student protests, which aim to address these issues, the workers remain pessimistic about any significant change. The university's management has been criticized for ignoring the workers' complaints, directing them to their respective contractors instead. The workers' stories highlight the struggles they face daily, such as unsafe travel conditions and financial insecurity. The article includes statements from workers employed by Servest Cleaning and Hlanganani, a security company contracted by the university.

Barack Obama waves as rain falls during a rally for his first presidential term

07 Nov 2017  |  The Mail & Guardian
The article discusses the impact of social media's call-out culture, highlighting the case where Toni Morrison faced backlash for comparing Ta-Nehisi Coates to James Baldwin. It delves into the success of Coates's book 'Between the World and Me' and its significance in the context of America's racial history and the Obama presidency. The piece examines Coates's essays on race, including critiques of white America and Obama's approach to racial issues, as well as the concept of reparations for slavery. It also addresses the controversy surrounding Coates's work and the importance of engaging with it despite differing political views. The article suggests that Coates's voice is necessary in contemporary discussions on race and that his book 'We Were Eight Years in Power' serves as a crucial reminder of the issues faced during Obama's tenure as president.

Buildings torched at North West University Mafikeng campus

24 Feb 2016  |  The Daily Vox
On Wednesday evening, protests at the North West University Mafikeng campus escalated into violence, resulting in several buildings being set on fire. The protests were initially sparked by the inauguration of an interim Student Representative Council (SRC), which students claim was undemocratically imposed by the university management. The situation worsened when private security responded to the students' peaceful protests with rubber bullets and tear gas. The conflict led to the destruction of property, including an exhibition car, a computer lab, the administration building, and a motorcycle owned by the residence manager. There are unverified reports of a student being killed, but this has not been confirmed by the police. The university spokesperson denied the use of live ammunition on protesters.

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