Short Form

Short Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

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.
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.
Economic hardship means many health facilities are denying women access to free maternal healthcare.

Long queues tell Zimbabwe’s story of economic crisis and failing healthcare

Many people can no longer afford hospital treatment and medication, and the number of those with medical aid has fallen by a third.
Maternal mortality in Uganda continues to be a development challenge.

Save a little money, save a little life

A grassroots Ugandan health initiative has significantly reduced maternal deaths.
Gaba Dlamini is one of over 300 doctors in Gauteng who received special training to treat men who have sex with men.

A group of doctors are breaking down barriers one dot at a time

Looking for a doctor who is non-judgmental about your sexuality? Look no further the yellow dot doctors, they have seen it all
An Apostolic woman walks along train tracks on her way back from a mountain prayer session.

Mothers and babies at risk in Apostolic church ‘birth camps’

Leaders of Zimbabwe's Apostolic sects are warming to the idea of women giving birth at health clinics.

‘I will rape them personally, those drunkard women in the short dresses’

In this township, alcohol makes violent men close to three times more likely to rape a woman.
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.
Jeanny Mbalati and her daughter Dinah outside their home in Soweto. It took them more than a year to get a loved one into a psychiatric hospital following his removal from Life Esidimeni facilities.

72 hours to care: The precarious road to psychiatric help

For many people with severe mental illnesses, these special wards can be a lifeline and the first step to care — if they can get there.
If you’re bearing the pain of a new ’do

Five good reasons to ditch chemical hair relaxers this December

Black women, beware: your pursuit of straight, silky locks may be detrimental to your health.
Less than 3 % of South African infants are exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months

Four reasons why breast is best: Babies are smarter, healthier and better behaved

Infants are less likely to be obese and mothers' have a lower risk of cancer
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.
Cataract surgery will become part of Madagascar's universal healthcare programme.

Truth about cataracts is plain to see: They can be treated

More developing countries are offering sight-saving surgery in their public health systems, but specialist eye surgeons are in short supply.
Choose whole-grain breads to help keep your child fuller for longer.

How to pack the best lunch for your kids in five easy steps

Not up to the daily dilemma of what to pack your little ones for lunch? Beef up your children’s lunch boxes with these quick tips.
Remote: Zodwa Zulu*

It’s only 32km to the state clinic, but for the poor that’s a world...

Some residents in rural towns in Mpumalanga have to chose between buying food or going to the doctor.

‘An African man like me depressed?’ Why representation matters in the movies

The continent’s largest film industry has been getting mental health all wrong with dangerous consequences. Now, that’s changing.