Gloves off, doeks on

03 June 2016 - 08:55 By Shenaaz Jamal

#RespekTheDoek. This is the call being made after an eNCA line editor removed a reporter's footage from a news bulletin dealing with Africa Day because she was wearing a headscarf. Yesterday a twitter storm erupted as #RespekTheDoek trended for most of the day, with both men and women posting pictures of themselves wearing doeks in solidarity with arts and entertainment reporter Nontobeko Sibisi.But trend analyst Nicola Cooper noted that headscarves were laden with cultural meaning and it was not surprising that the news agency - which seeks to be neutral on religious, political and cultural matters - would object to a reporter wearing a headscarf.Cooper said: "It is a very interesting and ongoing argument about cultural appropriation and whether it is offensive or not to other viewers."While the doek is an important signifier for the individual, it is still up to the employer to decide whether or not the doek infringes on their dress code or company policy towards cultural neutrality."Gail Cameron, the managing director of Image Excellence Group, said eNCA erred.She said: "We are in Africa and it was Africa Day so the doek was fitting. The company should re-look at their dress code policy and be specific from the onset."The speaker of parliament wears a doek often and it's acceptable. Doeks are beautiful and culture should be respected," said Cameron.eNCA editor-in-chief Anton Harber earlier confirmed that the company would review what reporters may wear on air.Sibisi turned down interviews as she did not want to bring her company into disrepute but said the support she had received, from her colleagues and the public at large, was overwhelming...

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