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Alex Matthews
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Alexander Matthews is the editor of AERODROME, an online magazine about words and people featuring interviews, original poetry, book reviews and extracts. He is also a freelance writer, covering travel, culture, life and design.

Matthews is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Contact him here.

Entries by Alex Matthews

Here's Why You Should Visit Durban -- Cape Town's Steamy Younger Sibling

(3) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 7:37 AM

1. It's becoming South Africa's most interesting city.
And the New York Times agrees! Last year it put the city at number 7 on its global list of 52 must-visit destinations. While Cape Town's gorgeous good looks and nearby wine country lures many of South Africa's inbound...

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Lakeside luxury: 5 Reasons You Should Book Your Malawi Trip Now

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2016 | 9:32 AM

Malawi might be off the beaten track, but it's worth making the effort to get there. The sea horse-shaped central African country more than delivers - from dazzling fish and lazy cruising to forest hideaways and fine food.

1. Hide in the forest

Before you plunge into the crystal...

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A French-Accented Retreat in South Africa's Wine Country

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 10:47 AM

Any writer will tell you that literary festivals are the best of times and the worst of times.

The best because as you go from one panel discussion to the next, you're getting a heady dose of inspiration and titillation. And where else would get to tuck into...

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My First Bite of the Big Apple (and Why I'm Coming Back for More)

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 12:28 PM

I've had encounters with New York ever since I can remember -- in books, TV shows, movies. Despite this, nothing quite prepared me for the experience of actually being in the city.

When I arrived last month, I simply wasn't expecting it to be so intense. What made it so...

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South Africa: A Nation at War With Itself

(2) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 1:49 PM

Returning to a city you once lived in (and loved living in) is a bit like spending time with an erstwhile lover with whom you parted amicably. There is so much that still connects you, that remains feels familiar; and yet the encounter is fleeting, transient, stirring up old memories...

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Today Is the Best Day: A Year of Living Mindfully

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 10:56 AM

I never met my maternal grandfather -- he passed away before I was born. He was a wise, kind man. A devout Christian who also encapsulated, beautifully, the concept of mindfulness -- of living in the present -- with the saying "Today is the best day."

My mother has often said this to her children. For...

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Can the Humanities Heal South Africa?

(10) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 4:10 PM

What kind country would you like to call home? I think I know what kind I want to live in: one in which the rule of law is respected, people have access to quality education and health; a country in which citizens have the opportunity to make the most of...

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South Africa's Ruling Party Is Stifling Gender Debate

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 10:28 AM

Brett Murray's defaced "The Spear" stands as a monument to intolerance. After thousands of supporters of the ANC, South Africa's ruling party, marched to the Goodman Gallery where the painting the had once been on display, the Johannesburg gallery has agreed it will not be displayed publicly again.

While representations...

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South Africa's Ruling Party Will Fail to Quash Freedom of Expression

(4) Comments | Posted May 30, 2012 | 4:08 PM

Several weeks ago, controversy ignited in South Africa when a Johannesburg gallery opened an exhibition by artist Brett Murray featuring The Spear -- a painting which depicted Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa (and its ruling party, the ANC), with his genitals exposed.

There has been much gnashing...

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Will the Despot King of Swaziland Last?

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 11:34 AM

You know a monarchy is feeling the heat when errant subjects face a beating with spikes. Last month, the prime minister of Swaziland, Barnabas Dlamini, threatened to use "sipakatane" -- the beating of the feet with of metal or wooden spikes -- to cow pro-democracy activists into submission. His comments...

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Is Tsvangirai an Anti-Gay Bigot Like Mugabe?

(3) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 5:16 AM

On Friday, the BBC reported that Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's prime minister and head of the opposition MDC, had declared support for Robert Mugabe's refusal to protect gay rights in Zimbabwe's new constitution. If his comments are accurate, they represent yet another step backwards in the long walk towards...

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How Zuma's Sex Life is Endangering Millions

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 11:29 AM

Recent reports that South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has fathered his twentieth child with a woman he is not married to has disturbing implications for the battle against HIV/Aids.

The three basic tenets of HIV prevention, used to great effect in Uganda in the 1990s, is "Abstain," "Be faithful" and...

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A Latte Lover's Canadian Cold Turkey

(6) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 1:21 PM

I hate Starbucks. The ubiquitous coffee chain, with its sometimes mediocre beans, reputation for exploiting impoverished coffee growers and its carbon-copy cafés' design epitomises the onslaught of soulless American consumerism. The brand belongs in B-grade Sandra Bullock rom-coms and nowhere else.

Or so I thought - until I...

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Zimbabwe Allowed to Mine "Blood Diamonds"

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2009 | 1:42 PM

Last week it was announced that Mugabe's Kimberley Process cronies have decided to give him until June to withdraw the soldiers in the Marange diamond fields. The army runs smuggling operations and use forced labour in mines whose profits benefit Zanu PF.

Human Rights Watch exposed the horrors of...

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Zimbabwe Heading Towards a Rwandan Genocide

(2) Comments | Posted August 17, 2009 | 1:22 PM

Once upon a time there was an African country that after several years of instability seemed to be moving shakily towards reform and democracy. Its aging despotic president had signed a power-sharing deal with the opposition that created a unity government that would precipitate a new constitution and elections.

Sounds...

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South African Women Still Second-Class Citizens

(3) Comments | Posted August 10, 2009 | 1:59 PM

In South Africa, Women's Day on August 9, commemorates the march of thousands of women to Pretoria's Union Buildings in 1956 in protest against apartheid's evil pass laws that sought to restrict the movements of non-white South Africans.

Across the country, males will doubtless be wondering why can't there be...

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Massacres, Forced Labour Torment Zimbabwe Diamond Fields

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2009 | 4:18 PM

Military control over diamond mining in Zimbabwe's eastern Marange district has resulted in a brutal mix of massacres, forced labour, beatings and rape.

This is according to a comprehensive report released last week by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the New York-based rights NGO, which interviewed over...

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Refugees: South Africa's New Apartheid

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2009 | 5:10 PM

A year ago mobs rampaged through South African townships beating and in some cases killing the African immigrants living amongst them. Thousands who came to South Africa seeking the peace, freedom and economic opportunities lacking in their own often conflict-ravaged countries were forced to seek shelter from vicious attacks by...

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