Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Being bilingual is better for your brain. Now

Speak more than one language? This is what it does to your brain.

Speaking more than one language could lead to better tests scores and even being a more empathetic person.
End of the road: Ntombizodwa Matthews was wheeled put of Mafikeng Provincial Hospital in April because the facility had no staff to care for her. A month later she was buried.

Who killed Ntombizodwa Matthews? Politics, protest & corruption in the North West

A month after she was wheeled out of a North West hospital in a barrow, Ntombizodwa Matthews met her end. Her family blames politics for her death.
West African footballers practise at a ground in Naya Bazaar

Football’s dashed hopes: The teenagers sold a Premier League lie

They thought they were signing up for a dream but it turned out to be a trafficking nightmare.
Titoia Kisemei has called the Kajiado District Hospital's manyatta TB ward home since she was diagnosed with the illness. The innovative units are aimed at helping members of the nomadic Maasai adhere to months of TB treatment.

These hospitals have become a home away from home in the Maasai’s fight against...

When TB strikes, the fight to live can come at the cost of a way of life for the country's nomads. This could help ease the pain.
Social media has become a breading ground for racism and other harmful behaviour.

Black? A woman? Read why you’re more likely to be a victim of online...

Are social media algorithms designed to prey the mental health of women and people of colour?
Many school learners can’t afford sanitary pads. But an organisation in Rwanda is working with the country’s banana farmers to change this.

What do your period and bananas have in common? Find out

In Rwanda, schoolgirls can now buy locally produced, cheaper sanitary towels
Making waves: Women on Web offers an online portal that dispatches an abortion pill to people across the world.

‘I told them I had a miscarriage. But the nurses knew what had really...

Go inside the international network of women willing to break the law to give people access to termination of pregnancy services.

PrEPing young women for the HIV prevention pill

This tablet can help to protect the country's young women from contracting HIV.
Eleven-month-old Akalapatan Kebo

Gasping for breath: Pneumonia’s deadly toll

A disease that claims the lives of two children under five a minute worldwide has hit drought-stricken Kenya hard, its spread driven by malnutrition.
In 1992

This country figured out how to stop teen substance abuse, so why has no...

Find out which nordic nation radically cut teenage smoking, drinking and drug use and how they did it.
Edith Kanengoni is a peer educator — one of 10 women recruited and trained by the House of Smiles to help other street mothers get medical help and improve their parenting skills.

Raising hope: From street child to mother

Abandoned as children, women in Harare are now teaching one another to fight for their futures.
Toeing the line: The children at the Johannesburg Autism School need an organised and constant schedule at school to provide them with a stable

The ABCs of autism in the classroom: ‘He only wants to eat sandwiches with...

Autistic children experience the world differently, but this doesn’t stop them from learning.
Emergency: The collapse of cancer care in public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in patients having to wait for

KZN cancer patients sent home with panados as treatment waiting lists grow

State cancer patients have nowhere to turn, even if their cancer is treatable.
Four-month-old Samson Salo receives a dose of vitamin A at the Madamani Dispensary during Malezi Bora.

This costs just cents and could prevent half-a-million children from going blind

The substance is critical in pregnancy and in the development of children; a lack of it has dire consequences.

Is DIY HIV testing the latest Cape Town trend?

It starts with a swab but does it end with a diagnosis? Why the trickiest part of DIY HIV testing happens after the test.
Prophetess Odasani says she drives out the spirits afflicting women who come to her backstreet ‘church’ in Palermo.

‘Juju curse’ binds trafficked women into sex slavery

Traditional West African ‘healers’ and Sicilian psychiatrists are struggling to help free Nigerian women forced into prostitution.