Home Features Short Form

Short Form

Short Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

‘I had to kill so many people’: The battle to protect children in conflicts

25,000 grave violations were committed against children in conflict in 2019, says the UN, which hopes to highlight issue with new international day.
Water hyacinth isn’t just good at being abundant – its foliage also contains a high ratio of carbon to nitrogen. The combination makes it ideal as a renewable gas source via bio digesters like this one.

Why the fight against this weed could pay off handsomely for an energy-strapped SA

This invasive plant clogs our dam and rivers but in Kenya, it’s become the next big thing in renewable energy.
Honeybee harvesting pollen. WWF is piloting beekeeping and ecotourism initiatives in the Madagascan village of Kivalo.

What happens when you can’t fight climate change? You use what you’ve got to...

In Kivalo, where cyclones, overfishing and rising seas threaten livelihoods, beekeeping offers an unlikely alternative to fishing.
A rare group of patients across the globe is ageing at an astonishing rate. The secret to why is in their genes — and understanding it could shape the way we age.

Ageing and the secrets of our genes

A rare condition has caused this man’s body to age at super speed. Why?
Yahya Jammeh peddled fake HIV ‘cures’ complete with alleged human rights abuses. But he also banned female genital cutting

This former dictator invented a fake HIV cure, but banned female genital cutting

Having banned female genital cutting, his ousting was good for democracy, but but bad for women's bodies.

Behind the masks: Meet the people who keep Gauteng’s field hospital going

Get to know the cleaners, plumbers and therapists who work at the Nasrec field hospital. Plus, find out what happens to newspapers,...
A woman brings in a bucket of fish in Gunjur village

China’s overfishing of Africa: The lure and the lies

Scientists and campaigners warn that factories in coastal villages are wreaking environmental and economic havoc.
A doctor bends down to check young cancer patient's heartbeat.

From the mouths of babes: This is what it’s like to be diagnosed with...

Death comes for us all and when it does, we hope it’s a good one. We hope it has meaning, we...
Amelie Chauke was able to keep up with her healthcare on the go and ensure her baby was born HIV negative with the help of farm-based clinics.

Plant, pick, pack: Finding Mpumalanga’s missing fruit pickers

In this province, the agricultural and mining sectors draw thousands of workers each year – and then they disappear. Here’s why we need to find them.
US professional societies urge women should be warned that water births remain largely untested within the scientific community.

Could a water birth be right for you? Weigh up the pros and cons

More South African parents are choosing to bring their baby into the world with a splash, but is it better than conventional births?
Health worker Jackline Atieno has vaccinated more babies under the age of one year since the Masogo Health Centre started sending SMS reminders to parents and caregivers.

Paying for change? Trial offers cash to parents willing to vaccinate babies

Researchers have shown that monetary incentives lead to infants being immunised on time.
In Nigeria

Life under Nigeria’s gay ban

It’s been five years since the country prohibited same-sex marriage and LGBTI gatherings, and the climate of fear left in its wake could be deadly.
Through its branches

How many of these iconic protest posters can you recognise?

Here's the story of the Treatment Action Campaign or how a handful of people created a global movement that changed the world.
Codeine products are available over the counter in South Africa. But codeine is addictive and the products can be abused.

Is codeine Africa’s drug of choice?

Common cough, flu and pain medicines can be addictive. Codeine addiction is an increasingly well-known problem in South Africa.

Mining’s tragic legacy: Open pits have become tombs

Government, international watchdogs, corporations all swear they're not the ones to blame for the gaping holes in the ground that swallow...
When these women fell pregnant

Forced abortions: A new frontier in the war on women’s bodies?

Partners and families allegedly drugged women and in some cases even physically restrained them as doctors performed the procedure.