The Globe and Mail’s latest columnist: South Africa

Written by Shaun King, CNN Tthe latest fashion trend is to hide in small spaces. Hide in a tarpaulin, hide in your backyard, hide from the paparazzi. Hide in the slums. In South Africa,…

The Globe and Mail's latest columnist: South Africa

Written by Shaun King, CNN

Tthe latest fashion trend is to hide in small spaces. Hide in a tarpaulin, hide in your backyard, hide from the paparazzi. Hide in the slums.

In South Africa, the perils are even more extreme. To hide indoors in South Africa’s impoverished communities is risky. Living in squalor, many face constant risk of disease, violence and exploitation at the hands of street criminals. But things get trickier when you’re hiding inside your home.

You might trust your neighbors, and you might even think you’re doing the right thing by your family, but hiding when there’s an overdose or a fire — or even when there’s human trafficking taking place nearby — can prove fatal.

Welcome to The Variant Hunters.

“It’s a crazy world and we live in that world,” says Baleka Mbatha, one of the editors at Posetufuhlekanyana, the publication of The Variant Hunters. Posetufuhlekanyana means the “Caves of Mist.” A perfect description of this microcosm of misery.

Posetufuhlekanyana is South Africa’s answer to The Globe and Mail’s Good Neighbour column . It’s penned by Anton Beck and published in the Toronto Star.

Xavier Taylor.

Each week, other writers at Posetufuhlekanyana seek out stories of every imaginable social issue, from women who have been abused in highly restrictive conditions, to Namibian lions lurking in the Namibian bush, to the placement of baby kids on the African continent.

They choose stories — those that make us go, “Oh my God.” Stories that cause us to reflect, and ask, “How can this be?” Stories that make us come together in a small corner of this violent world. Stories that are terrifying. Stories that are inspiring.

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