Alex Duval Smith

Alex Duval Smith is a freelance foreign correspondent based in South Africa

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Chinua Achebe writing in his office at Brown University in 2012

Chinua Achebe: Novelist and dissident whose work reclaimed Africa's history

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author and dissident who has died at the age of 82, learnt early in life that words can lead to a lot of pain. It happened when he was at secondary school in colonial Nigeria. Turning to a fellow pupil, he asked in his native Igbo language: ''Nyefe M ncha ahu'' [pass me the soap]. For not using English, Achebe's English headmaster gave him a beating he remembered all his life.

The girls who fled a life of sex slavery

Abducted girls are finding refuge and rehabilitation in an academy in Uganda

South Africa is home to about 20,000 rhinos

Poachers' trade in rhino horn is 'pushing species into decline'

Demand in Far East for horn's medicinal qualities drives killings to record levels

Using Rwanda as inspiration, the President of the former French-speaking nation wants to introduce English to give it “the best opportunities”

Frosty relations with Hollande see Gabon break the French connection

President swaps colonial language for English after being inspired by Rwanda's example

Julius Malema on corruption and fraud charges

The renegade politician Julius Malema will appear in court on fraud, money laundering and corruption charges next week.

President Zuma was greeted with cheers at the congress of the mainstream union confederation

Marikana miners end strike after agreeing a 22 per cent pay deal

Striking platinum miners agreed to go back to work last night, ending a six-week industrial dispute that claimed 43 lives and put President Jacob Zuma's government under severe strain.

Miners welcome co-workers released from jail yesterday

Peace accord fails to end mining strike

South African workers demand talks on pay before accepting agreement

Striking platinum mineworkers protest after negotiations at Lonmin’s Marikana mine

South Africa mine shootings: 'Police are against us. That's apartheid'

The South African force's killing of 34 striking miners, and the arrest of hundreds more, are all too reminiscent of the bad old days of white rule, victims' families tell Alex Duval Smith

Angolan President set for win

The ruling party of Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos looked to be headed for an easy parliamentary election win yesterday.

South Africa: Minister objects to mass miners charge

Justice Minister demands prosecutors explain applying apartheid-era 'common purpose' law
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Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker