Short Form

Short Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

A field of maize devastated by Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai: ‘I don’t know how my children will survive’

Why the storm may have conspired with a savage drought to deliver a deadly second blow to Zimbabwe where 70% of people are in dire need of food.
Water shortages in South Sudan force residents to rely on water vendors.

Juba’s water vendors make a living, but it’s a cut-throat business

Water pumped from the Nile is the only option for 98% of the residents of South Sudan's capital.
(Madelene Cronje)

How one project is finally helping reduce the risk of suicide among teens

When kids at risk of suicide can talk to trained friends & family, they're seven times less likely to die, says one...
Menstrual cups

A guide to ‘alternative menstruation’: Save money and the world during your period

When 'that time of the month' comes, you don't have to reach for disposable tampons or pads.
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.
A local youth group has been trained on how to safely remove the human waste that will become biofuel for cooking and heating.

Waste not, want not: Kenya turns sewage into cleaner, longer-burning fuel

Is Kenya, currently plagued by a cholera outbreak, about to show the world the energy wealth hidden in human waste?
A girl in Kibera holds up the Peepoo

Kibera’s ‘flying toilets’ flushed out by peepoo bags

Peepoo bags and drop-off points give those living in Nairobi's Kibera a hygienic and safe solution to dealing with human waste.
Spoilt for choice: The department of health plans to distribute a billion new Max condoms throughout South Africa.

Silky strawberry is the best condom fit for South Africans

After three years of deliberation and research, the South African health department launches flavoured condoms.
A health extension worker visits Brahini Mokonen at her home

‘If it wasn’t for them I would have died:’ How community health workers save...

Ethiopia's rural health extension workers have helped halve the country's child death rate.
Everyday life in Cairo: but the city has become a hub for the organ trade.

Organ trafficking: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney’

Desperate to reach Europe, migrants from Africa are travelling to Egypt to sell body parts to pay for their passage.
A poster celebrating Ethiopia’s prime minister

‘The choice is this: if we go we will be killed; if we stay...

In the rarely visited town of Gedeb, fears are rife over state plans to return 150 000 people to areas they fled because of ethnic violence.
Topvein was marketed as a cure for AIDS

A roundup of fake AIDS ‘cures’: Angel Zapper, Garani MW1, Topvein, SF 2000

Fake AIDS "cures" have been the bane of activists fighting for treatment. We discovered a new one and checked in on some we've debunked before.
Gasping for air: How this African innovation is helping the tiniest patients breathe a little easier.

Local is lekker: How this Kenyan hospital began to make its own supply of...

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children die gasping for air. This could help to change that.
Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile started a Facebook group to support women who have had abortions or are looking to access abortions while also acting as a support system to victims of illegal abortion providers.

Slice of Life: ‘I shared my abortion experience on Facebook and it went viral’

A horrifying experience at an illegal abortion provider led Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile to use social media to help women access safe abortion services
A medical scientist at the NICD prepares listeria samples for DNA sampling.

Listeria outbreak over: Your polony is safe, now meet the scientists you can thank

SA's listeria epidemic is over. Take a look at the detectives who traced the epidemic's source in this feature from our archives.
Maasai girls participate in a newly conceived rite of passage to mark their ascent into womanhood

When police crashed her wedding, she was 8. Her soon-to-be husband was 67.

Across the continent, women are helping to reimagine a sacred rite of passage in an effort to honour their cultures and spare their bodies.