28 March, 2008
This video was filmed at the Egazini Outreach Project in Joza Township in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Egazini is a place where children from the area can express and develop their different artistic talents. The video features a dance group made up of three young girls who create and perform their own dances as a way to express themselves.
Also shown in the video is the contrast between the apartheid history of the Egazini Otreach Project building, a building once occupied by riot police, and the positive role that the workshop now plays in the community.
Bongani Diko, the Director of the project, says that this project has had a positive impact on the community’s young people, through providing a recreational facility that keeps young people of the streets and out of trouble.
Since the project started, many youths have been kept from using drugs and being involved in crime.
The dance trio in this video will perform at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The arts festival takes place from 26 June to 5 July 2008.
27 March, 2008
Crew: Nqobile, Dinilohlanga,Simphiwe, Ukona, Justice
Egazini stands as a reminder of South Africa's cruel past, but today it represents hope, development and artistic expression for the artists of Grahamstown.
Egazini is located in extension six, Joza Location and it has been there since 2000. Once used as a place of torture for political activists during the apartheid regime, it is now a hub where young artists meet and explore their talents daily.
Some of the crafts produced by this project include printed fabric, t-shirt, bags, cushion covers, woodcuts, etchings and painting. All the artists which are part of the project are paid on commission basis. The project has also held exhibitions in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, New York and London. A few of the artists working there participated in major art competitions like the FNB Craft and Brett Kebble Art Awards.
Linga Diko who is one of the members of Egazini Outreach Project says joining the club helped him grow his client base. Diko specialises in Batik art and painting. “My art reflects what goes on around my community and the country as a whole. In 2004 I was inspired by the rural woman of Limpopo who travel long distances to fetch water. I titled this particular piece –Amanzi awekho” says Diko.
The project finds a good time to expose their work during the Grahamstown Annual National Arts Festival, which draws thousands of people across the African continent.
Egazini which means “The place of blood” does not represent horror and death anymore, it now showcases the talent of the once under privileged youth of the country.
Contributors:Ernest Mulibana (UJ), Ukona Jelwana (WSU) and Buhle Mbonambi (DUT).
The Future Journalists Programme aims to create a new generation of journalists in Africa. Journalism students from various South African institutions gather to share ideas and experiences of the media industry.
This programme has enabled its participants to gain new knowledge and an experience that no one would like to miss. Programme Co-ordinator Moagisi Letlhaku says "the students have exceeded my expectation of their participation during this week's Reporting the Arts and TV production' workshop. They have proven that the potential for FJP to grow and succeed lies in the students themselves".
Facilitor, Alette Schoon says "I found an incredible enthusiasm and energy in the group. I'm really looking forward to regularly visting their blog."
Being part of the Future Journalists Programme is a great honour, since it offers unique opportunities for up and coming journos from all over South Africa. This slideshow specifically presents the various activities we (Future Journalists)have engaged in thus far. These include: camera training, editing, writing for broadcast. We learnt how to cover art stories, how to broadcast our videos using different mediums.
Nqobile Buthelezi, one of the participants says, "It's been an experiential transition from the classroom into the physical world of journalism. It's an appreciated opportunity and I'm thankfull to all the programme sponsors and our co-odinator for their faith in us, the future journalists".
The FJP is a project sponsored by Open Society and it is part of Highway Africa.
Poetry project at Egazini Outreach poetry project
The Egazini Outreach project in Grahamstown was once a place of struggle and sadness under the tragic history of the Apartheid regime as it hosted the dreaded internal stability unit. Since 2001, however, the site has been transformed by the local community into a centre for creativity and expression.
The young people of this rural community have benefited most from their involvement in this initiative. Not only has it kept them off the streets but it has allowed them to channel their emotions into gripping works of art.
Through Dead Eyes is one such product of artistic expression. In this production, a group of young men reflect on their history and how it relates to their position in society today. The production revolves around the great Xhosa prophet, Makana , and his failed struggle for freedom. The poets facing their own struggles now draw inspiration from the predicaments Makana experienced and continue from Makana’s failure to strive for change and a better future.
Egazini heritage site, filmed by Mudiwa, Somikazi, Nadine, Azwi and Ernest.
"I am an African"- This is the famous speech delivered at the South African National Assembly in 1996 by the great, symbolic and charismatic South African President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, who was Deputy President of the country at the time.
I believe this to be the speech that changed many African people's perceptions towards the beautiful continet of Africa. It brought a sense of identity and pride to many people. The speech shows how Thabo Mbeki is proud to be part of the African continent.
"I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land".
This speech is motivational in the sense that it highlights what Africans are made of, our struggle history and our experiences. Yes indeed, I am also proud to be an African. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the African continent and a part of its great the people.
Communication Science student, University of Zululand
Watch Nqobile direct
Nqobile Buthelezi, a University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) media graduate shows her directing skills on a shoot at the Egazini Outreach Project in Grahamstown. Nqobile is a participant in the Future Journalist Program (FJP), a project of Highway Africa which provides hands-on training and industry exposure for upcoming journalists. FJP is a vibrant and diverse programmein made up of fifteen students from tertiary institutions in South Africa.