Author: Farren Collins

Waiting to Excel

I approached my first data set like I imagine one would approach a herd of rabid bison – feeling horribly afraid and hopelessly unprepared. There was however some comfort in “knowing” the bison I was dealing with. I had received an initial data set on refugee migration in 2014 from data wrangler/ninja Daniela Lepiz from Code for South Africa. It was familiar to me because I have an interest in the topic and had done “traditional” journalism stories about it in the past. But I hadn’t analysed the information in this way before. Before I got started, I looked...

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Between countries

When Ghislain’s father died in Congo Brazzaville last year, the threat of either prison or death meant the 35 year old father of one could not go home to bury him. Instead, he wept alone in his room in the house he takes care of in Cape Town. After civil war broke out in Congo Brazzaville, Ghislain fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. When he returned home a year later he was accused of being a rebel, and arrested. After being released and detained three times, he escaped from prison with help from a sympathetic rebel commander, and...

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