Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

A freak wave that hit Durban's beaches in January is still wreaking havoc in the coastal city

‘No home, no money, no medicine – but who cares? I don’t exist’

Introduce harm-reduction and HIV programmes – especially for heroin users – before it's too late.
Tholakele Memela sought help when she realised the symptoms for HIV and a sangoma’s calling were similar.

Sangomas learn to meld muti with conventional medicine

Traditional and Western healers team up to treat patients with HIV and tuberculosis because many people consult more than one health system.
Scans have been used to compare brain activity between people who took psilocybin

Therapists test psychedelic chaos to cure depression and addiction

Psychiatrists have since turned to antidepressants, mood stabilisers and antipsychotics that aren’t curative.
LSD hit the clubbing scene and is now a highly controlled substance.

Return trip: Psychedelics are back

In the first of a two-part series, a band of doctors set out to reclaim LSD and ecstasy for mental health treatments.
More than half of men in Diepsloot report having sexually or physically abused a woman in their lifetimes

Rape can happen in an instant but is it generations in the making?

Crime stats released in 2015 reported a drop in rape cases, but experts say this is because fewer people are bothering to report rapes to the police.
The youngsters have successfully completed their initiation and are now regarded as men. The campsite where the initiates stayed is burnt after the initiation is completed.

[From our archives] The boys who lost their manhood

During this initiation season, we look back at what happened in 2013 when bungled initiations cost boys their penises.

A doctor born of hope

This man from rural Eastern Cape had to travel all the way to Cuba to make his dream of becoming a doctor come true. Now, he is back home and treating patients at the same hospital his mother used to sell fruit in front of when he was a boy.
Shattered dreams: A tradition called ukuthwala sees girls as young as 13 years forced into marriages with older men.

Is today’s ukuthwala a perversion of an earlier tradition?

The kidnapping of young girls ignores the 'niceties' of a cultural practice.
Nongezile Sinkala walked 7km across hilly terrain and thick bush to get to the nearest taxi rank to take her sick grandson to the hospital.

‘God make us strong, I beg you, keep Luphumlo alive’

Mia Malan describes the arduous trek an Eastern Cape woman had to undertake to get medical attention for her sick grandson.
A pack-a-day smoking habit during pregnancy will reduce a baby's birth weight by an average of 230g

‘I saw the world through the blurry lens of an oxygen tent’

With the severe effects of the habit on the unborn child now widely known, why do pregnant mothers refuse to give up?
An eighth-grade teenager shows how funky and strong her fight against a four-letter word is.

Bianca learns to Beat It

An eighth-grade teenager shows how funky and strong her fight against a four-letter word is. Mia Malan reports.