The columns you loved this year

Since a number of staff started writing columns, life has become increasingly exciting for us here at the Mail & Guardian Online. When we’re not flinching at your comments, we’re watching the amazing discussions and debates the columns provoke with glee. Read the list of some of the best columns of the year.

Malema to join DA
We’re not quite sure why this column was so successful but we have a few theories.
a) It was super short
b) South Africans don’t understand satire or
c) Chris Roper really is that brilliant.
Since he’s the online editor, we’ll go with the latter.

Either way Roper’s parody take on everyone’s favourite column topic, Juju, saw him pull light years ahead of other columnists in the great race for reads with a whopping 20 056 page views. And no, in case you were wondering, Malema never did join the DA.

A luta vagina
As Roper put it: “Pussy gets the clicks.” Or, as our stats show, Kenny Kunene’s penchant for sushi does. The ex-convict turned businessman’s fishy fetish proved to be a frightening amount of inspiration for Roper. In his tirade against Kunene’s controversial use of models as sushi platters, Roper came up with such gems as: “Who can forget that great struggle cry, You strike a woman, you strike a piece of rock cod stuck to a nipple.”
For more of Chris’s columns:

Bryan Habana and the form book
Yesteryear’s rugby darling was up against some heavy criticism earlier this year. Even his coach accused him of spending too much time on Twitter and not enough on scoring goals. Ignoring the haters, our sports fundi Nickolaus Bauer came out in support of the Bok wing during the throes of the Rugby World cup saying: “I choose to support the man that has done us proud on many occasions—because that’s what true fans do.” I know, it brought a tear to our eyes too. And then he went on to say: “Bottom line: What’s more deadly in the Springbok’s arsenal than a fully-charged Bryan Habana running at the tryline like a freight train?” It proved to be prescient: Habana went on to score a try and make a comeback during the cup.
For more of Nickolaus’s columns:

Take Five: Of underground nukes and electric cars
Inhouse tech, health and science whiz kid Faranaaz Parker knows so many interesting bits and pieces about the world that we decided to turn it into a column—a round-up of interesting titbits from around the world every week—from face transplants to artificial leaves. It was a marvellous look at all that was wacky and wonderful until she decided having a baby was slightly more important. We’re happy to report she’s back in action and will be producing another column soon. Watch this space.
For more of Faranaaz’s columns:

The four horsemen of the new technology revolution
Alistair may rule the M&G with a mighty and able IT fist as digital platforms manager and general Mr Fix-it, but he also manages to squeeze in some amazing writing as a weekly tech columnist. We loved his take on the big four tech companies’ battle for platform ownership. He manages to take geek-speak and translate it for us lesser mortals and for that we’re eternally grateful.
For more of Alistair’s columns:

Julius Malema and the racism red herring
As the theory proved, it was anything with the word “Malema” or “racism” in the headline that proved to be the real crowd-pleaser. Verashni Pillay was so successful when she managed to pull off both, she got several congratulations from her white liberal friends in Cape Town, who had stopped talking to her after she called them just that in another column. Not only that, but she was promptly feted in a DA newsletter, where her comments on asking politicians complex questions on Twitter was quoted at length. As one colleague subsequently put it, she could only show her face around Rosebank for a good while after that.
For more of Verashni’s columns:

View more highlights of the year that was in our special report.



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