Nicola Aylward

Letter to the people of South Africa on Youth Day 16 June 2020

Please watch the video version of this letter here

This letter is addressed to you, our Honourable President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, to your cabinet, to the CEOs and the captains of industry in South Africa – black and white, male and female. And everyone in between. It’s also addressed to you, the workers, the nurses, the teachers, the tellers – also black, white, male, female, and everyone in between. And it’s definitely addressed to you, our educationalists, our Heads of Schools, our education leaders. And it’s addressed to the mothers and daughters that I sat with in Alexander township on Friday. The ones who feel forgotten. It’s addressed to each and every South African. Including myself. Continue reading

Reply to Dr Michael Blackburn’s letter on FB

A reply to this letter on FB from Dr Michael Blackburn

Dear Mike (aka the Anaesthesiologist replying to the physiotherapist whose open letter is doing the rounds on social media)

I was surprised that you didn’t address your letter directly to me (Nicola Aylward) as we know each other, but I’m pleased that you wrote it and challenged me on it, as that’s what I am encouraging – critical thinking and robust debate. So, thank you for your comments and I address them below. Continue reading

Open Letter to the Department of Basic Education

An Open Letter to the Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angelina Motshekga, the Department of Basic Education, South African epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Prof Salim Abdool Karim, executive director of ISASA Mr Lebogang Montjale, and the ISASA team, Heads of Schools and educational leaders in South Africa as well as the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Department of Health and the advisors to the DBE. Continue reading


As I sit and write this newsletter, I know already that this year, and this decade, will have many ups and downs for us all. We all wish for a healthy and wonderful year, and this is my wish for you too, but the reality is Continue reading


With Mother’s Day this past weekend, most have us have reflected on our own mothers, and the kind of mothering which we received. Some of us have close and supportive relationships with our mothers. Some have strained and difficult relationships. Continue reading

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