A Brief History of South Africa
South Africa is a young nation rich in culture and history that launched it onto the world stage. From Nelson Mandela’s inspiring leadership to unite the country after apartheid to J. M. Coetzee’s masterful novels, South Africa gives us much to explore.
Dave Steward, the former Chief of Staff to South African President FW de Klerk and the Executive Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation, weaved the tale to Big Think of the country’s complicated and dramatic recent history.
“One of the things that’s very important to understand about South Africa is that it is, like so many other African countries, an artificial entity created by the Brits,” says Steward. “The South Africa that we know in its present borders is only 104 years old. And in 1990 when we went through our transition it was only 80 years old. It was the creation of the British Empire.”
In this interview clip, Steward takes us through stories of the Xhosa and the Zulus, the Anglo-Boer Wars, Afrikaner nationalism and the cruel system of apartheid, the Soviet Union’s proxy wars in Africa, and the freedom of Mandela. It’s a captivating story with perhaps surprising insights for those with a keen interest in the country.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.