17 October, 2012

Soshanguve gogo’s making a difference

Travelling is often regarded in Soshanguve as something that is done by young people but that will soon change.
Grannies from Soshanguve Block G have started a non-profit organisation called Gogo on Tour, established in May.
 Gogo on Tour chairperson, Thoko Matjokane says she told her two daughters   about her dream to start the organisation.
Gogo on Tour, grannies ready to travel the world.
According to Matjokane, many grannies spend most of their time doing nothing and she wanted to change that by introducing a new idea that will help them to be active.
“After observing how our senior citizens are discarded once they reach the age of retirement, I wanted to do away with one foot in the grave mentality,” Matjokane said.
She added that the grannies would be able to meet peers from other walks of life.
The project targets grannies from Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Hammanskraal.
Grannies are divided in three categories according to age.  The Silver Group are grannies that are between 60-70 year-old will be given an opportunity to travel long distances as to Robben Island and other neighbouring countries. The Golden Group are grannies from 70-80 years.  They are set to travel locally to museums and the zoological gardens.  The Platinum Group are 90-100 years get a chance to attend big functions such as Mandela’s birthday party.
One of the grannies involved in the organisation, Monica Nkosi said she was in high spirits as she believed that Gogo on Tour would help her to stop worrying about death.
“I think this is a great idea. We will be able to relax and have fun,” Nkosi said.
 Gogo on Tour still needs financial assistance, office equipment, and support with logistics.

Multitasking Gospel singer

During the day Lulama Kwani is a teacher at Beyond Kindergarten Pre-School in Soshanguve Block XX. After school she is a gospel musician and a preacher.
This 44 -year-old left her job at the Department of Water and Forestry Affairs in 2008 just to fulfil her calling.
Lulama Kwani following her
calling to help the comminity
"I resigned where I worked because God called me to serve Him and preach gospel to the people," Kwani said.
She started singing at an early age and released her first gospel album titled “My first love,” in 2008. In the same year she became a church member at Grace Christian Centre where she managed to touch many lives through the word of God.
One of the reasons she followed her calling was to reach out to the youth.
"There are a lot of things that are happening in this country. Nyaope is having a negative impact on the lives of our children and I hope that things will change," she said.
During her journey as a musician and preacher she finally decided to open a pre-school in February 2011. "I love being with children. I take it as a ministry and my happiness rests in them," Kwani said.
According to her at the pre-school they teach pupils about Christianity.
Nomsa Nawa, a teacher at the pre-school expressed her satisfaction with Kwani.
"She is a good boss who believes in God. Parents and children are happy with her effort towards them," Nawa said.
In the afternoon from 6:00 pm until 12:00 am Kwani usually has practise sessions with her band.  They prepare for upcoming performances. She recently performed at a fundraising concert at Thabang mental home in Soshanguve Block S. 
She said that on 14 December they will visit local orphanages and help raise money for them.

19 September, 2012



I have read and heard most of my friends and fellow South Africans expressing their views about Malema. With others even calling him a fool after yesterday press conference. I personally think and believe that it is a political game that Malema is playing. As you would know and understand Malema has a big influence to the masses.

Attacking the president and the current ANC leadership is another way to hit back on what happened to him and his fellow comrades early this year.

 I still think President Jacob Zuma used Malema to get the votes from the masses and he made a huge mistake to allow Malema to be victimised by the NEC.
Since when people in a democratic country are not allowed to express their views and why does Zuma  say Malema is taking advantage of the miners?  When Malema addressed University students, it was said that Malema is taking advantage of the students. The fact is and will always remain Malema is in touch with the masses and that is a huge threat to Zuma and his loyal followers.
Responding to comments by some fellow South Africans about Malema deciding to speak about corruption within ANC. I think one should understand that any politician expelled from the party he love and work hard for would do whatever it takes to discredit the current leadership of that party and all those who had a final say to remove him/her.

I wish one day most South Africans would stop, I mean stop including emotions when discussing politics. Remember politics is about critical and radical thinking. Malema made it clear yesterday that he is ready to fight for miners. He added that he see no reason for the army to be deployed at Marikana. It is no secret that there were innocent residents in that area who were shot and injured.

30 July, 2012

Inspiring Photo Journos

As I set by my desk, in the late hours of the night whilst hoping for a miracle picture to save me for my pending assignment, a great art-like piece by photo journalist Carsten Snejbjerg was my saving grace. "Carsten Snejbjerg?!" I thought to myself. What is he about?! Luckily, there was a fantastic link to his seemingly great snapshots. I discovered that he is an award-winning photo-journo who has published pictures for media giants such as Vanity Fair, Newsweek and Le Monde. His story is a great one too. Upon embarking on a 3,400 km bike trip from China to Vietnam in 1997, he sought to take the challenge of photojournalism in 2000 after the leap of motivation he experienced in Asia. Today, he is a remarkable Danish representative of the dynamic media industry.

Here is a link to Snjebjerg's website which showcases an array of immaculate photography and stories:

                                      Picture by: Carsten Snejbjerg
                                     Inspired by cock fighting which originated as a sport in the Philippines, 16th century
After viewing Snjebjerg's work, I thought it possible for me to give photojourn a try. Please do note: the cock and the image of the person have no link whatsoever.

                                         Picture by: Zithobile Zwane & Julia Payle

                                         Picture by: Zithobile Zwane & Julia Payle

05 July, 2012

Sipho Mutsi, ‘the Barefooted Comrade’

By Tendai Sibanda

The  captivating documentary  tells the life story of one of the lesser
spoken, determined and committed  young South African  political activist
Sipho Mutsi  who was prepared to give up his life as a ransom in the name
of freedom, and  to improve his socio-economic conditions  from
the cruel apartheid regime.

Born 1967 in the Free State province,, he was an exceptional thinker from an early age and ahead of his peers, which lead him on to his activist path.

When Mtusi speaks about the political struggle, people take note.. After the passing of the Freedom Charter in 1955he lost interest in his artistic work and became more determined to take his political stance to another level.

In 1985 he was arrested for his political activities and severely
tortured. He died at Odendaalsrus Police station in the Free State, where he had been detained.

His dynamic life story is a reminder of the fallen heroes of the political struggle and a
documentary not to miss out.

04 July, 2012

The taxi industry should be regulated

The taxi industry doesn't care about its customers
 Commuters deserve fairness. They are already burdened by high food prices and the taxi industry is adding insult to injury.

By Anorth Mabunda

Not only are they rude towards commuters, they also abuse the system. That’s the taxi drivers and their greedy bosses for you. This industry doesn’t give a damn about its customers.

 The petrol price has dropped by R1.40 a litre over the past two months but more than 70 percent of South Africans are still paying high on taxi fares. Commuters deserve fairness, they are already burdened by high food prices and the taxi industry is adding insult to injury.

The government should intervene in this sector and control the way in which these hooligans can charge fares. SANTANCO should have an economist who will help its allies analyse the markets before inflating prices.
For an example, towards the end of May in Thembisa, Midrand, the Ivory Park Taxi Association (Ipta) made announced that from June 1 all local and town fares will increase by R1. 50. The same day in which commuters had to dig deeper into their pocket, the Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters, announced that the petrol price will drop by 55c and today93 and 95 octane unleaded petrol fell by 85 and 89 cents.
Further drops are expected with some economists saying petrol could be cut by between 90 and 95 cents next month, but to the taxi guys it’s an opportunity of making “extra-tshelete” at the expense of voiceless commuters.
The sad part is that the day before the fare increases on June 1, Brent crude of oil was trading below $90 per barrel after reaching a record high of more than $120. Had the government intervened, the increases would have been halted.

And mind you, in May we heard about the so-called SA Taxi Passengers Association who disrupted taxi operations in Johannesburg when they marched to the Department of Roads and Transport, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. If these guys are a “real passenger association”, why don’t they stage another protest and force all other don’t-give-a-commuter taxi associations to reduce their burdening fares?

Thanks to the Akasia Taxi Association which gave its customers what they deserve by slashing fares from R15 to R12. This is the same price that these lucky commuters of Rabokala, Hebron, Madidi, Klipgat and Erusmus paid in 2008.

Read more on:  http://anorthmabunda.blogspot.com/

03 July, 2012

Why black South Africans are not good at entrepreneursip

Call me a pessimist if you like, but this article is based on "real personal experience", not on the false theory that some academics are feeding you

By Anorth Mabunda

I am not a business expert but based on the little knowledge that I have and through consultation with old folks I came to realise why South Africans today after apartheid are still not good entrepreneurs.

Apartheid has deprived many South Africans the opportunity to explore and become innovators and this has spread to the post-apartheid generation. Draconian laws such as the Group Areas Act which restricted movements of our parents and grandparents were a stumbling block that forced them to remain in their homelands under the feudal tribal system. Business is about movement, you cannot just seat in your homeland and expert good earnings. You have to go out and see what’s up on the other side of the world. Such freedom was seldom allowed to local black business people then.

My grandmother told me that in her village of N’wamitwa, ordinary community members were restricted from participating in any entrepreneurial activities and only the chief could own a shop.  Even today, the main supermarkets that have been occupied by Indians and Ethiopians were previously owned by the chief and his aides.

Due to these restrictions on movement and trade, my maternal grandfather who was the first to plant mangoes and oranges in his village couldn’t make any fortune out of them. 

My father told me that back then in his Gazankula homeland, black people were forced to work for a white man, either in a farm or a factory but couldn’t use their arable land for financial gains. “It was a crime for a black man to sell anything,” added my uncle whose dream of becoming a clerk was shattered by apartheid bureaucrats. Uncle got a job as an accounted clerk in Johannesburg but his work permit could only allow him to stay there for a month. Imagine losing such a valuable opportunity.   

My father also told me that his grandpa had a vast of land where they used to plant crops for family survival and as a result, he seems to have inherited the culture of “farming to eat”. Perpetrated by lack of education, he doesn’t even know how the trading system works. He has a huge garden in Limpopo; ask him if he ever thought of trading his vegetables and maize, he will tell you that “they (government) won’t allow me to do it”. You see, he is still stuck in the system.

Our disadvantaged backgrounds are also stumbling blocks because if you have a business idea no one in the family will be able to support you out of their meager salaries and the majority of them haven’t saved for their children’s tertiary education. Ask your neighbor if you think I’m speculating.

It is a known fact that many successful businessmen and women today either come from better families or are politically connected e.g. Patrice Motsepe is an ANC member and son of the late businessman, ABC and Tokyo Sexwale is an ANC stalwart.

But dear reader I am not saying that this system cannot be changed, there are organisations that can help you (but sometimes you will have to join the ANCYL because most of them are run by its members). A good example is the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). But you better have enough cash in your pocket because their offices are situated in cities such as Polokwane, Pretoria and Midrand where an ordinary aspiring entrepreneur from Giyani would struggle to reach. 

I should not leave the fact that you will need access to the internet in order to do your research properly, a computer or laptop to type your business proposal, some money to travel more often while checking your status and also airtime to make contacts. 

So now you see; you really need to come from a better family to be an entrepreneur because the road to entrepreneurship is hard, it has cyclical downturns and needs a concrete financial foundation or background. And if you are like me; a breadwinner whose family depend on whatever I am earning, you are likely to succumb to the pressure and join the workforce and make money for "someone" with your excellent God given skills. That’s why black South Africans are not good entrepreneurs, late and soon. 

Read more on: http://anorthmabunda.blogspot.com/

01 July, 2012

Live Wire: The Explosion

A five-set band sits Under the glowing spotlight as dancers dressed in blue overalls and gumboots  fill the stage. An arrangement of umbaqanga, afro jazz and familiar modern tunes electrify the audience as they ululate at the energetic sequences displayed on stage. From the city to mines and rural settings, the play illustrates the love story of a young couple. ZZ & JP-FJP
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Performing to the heartbeat of culture and heritage

By  Kgowa Tiragalo

Performing at City Hall on 30th of June for the National Arts Festival, the Rustenburg Bafokeng Arts Theatre company showed that culture is close to their hearts with Moribo Wa Setswana, a music and dance ensemble  celebrating seTswana culture and heritage. Their show is a tribute to Batswana heritage by performing various styles of Batswana dance, music and song.
The performance group was formed in 1998 by Thabo Kgatje, who recruited young people to
start the group. Their first performance took place in 2000 when they showcased their talent for
FIFA management personnel who were in the country for the Soccer World
Cup preparations. The company also performed overseas, courtesy of
Johannesburg-based Victory Sonqoba Theatre company and Bongani Linda, who is head of the Rustenburg theatre company.

Bafokeng Arts Theatre is performing at the Festival for the first time. “It’s
our first time in Grahamstown and we are happy to be here to showcase our
culture on a larger scale,” said Kgatje.

Even though they had financial problems, they managed to attend the
Festival with the help of other companies which financed all their
traveling, meals and accommodation costs. “At the moment we have no
sponsors but several companies like Royal Bafokeng, Anglo American and
Kgokagano Communications helped us in achieving our dreaming of performing
in a big event like this,” said Kgatje.

He also added that though every organisation had problems, bringing up challenges and tackling them together as a team is important for the entire company’s success.
The writer  is  part of the Future Journalist Programme (2012), a project of Highway Africa at the Rhodes University School of Journalism & Media Studies.

New Developments on the National Arts Festival

By Tony Manyangadze, Tiragalo Kgowa and Thandi Duze

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Mziyanda Alwyn, an artist from King Williams Town attending the National Arts Festival for the first time
Picture By Tony Manyagadze

With just three days into the arts festivities, the National Arts Festival has brought out different emotions from some of the festival goers.
 “The programme changes every year, the very nature of the Arts is it never stays the same”, said Ismail Mohamed, the National Arts Festival Director.

Mohamed also emphasised that the organisers, from year to year, strive to organise a unique and better festival for both the artistes and the visitors. “We create newer programmes every year to respond to the newer challenges, newer themes, newer ways in which artistes create work,” he said, “there are newer artistes, newer expressions and there are new forms of art, so new is in many different ways.”

Michel Schneuwly, a musician who plays for the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonics and has been attending the festival since 1985 has noted the developments when it comes to the level of organisation of the festival itself. He said that “there are different shows, different weather and mobility is pleasant and easy.”

Schneuwly is also strongly against the festival being moved from Grahamstown, “I like it here, it’s easy for the organisers and accommodation is cheaper compared to the big cities were hotels charge exorbitant prices” said the Durban Musician.

Some artistes feel that this year’s differences are against them, profit wise. “It’s a little bit quiet this time around compared to last year, people are not buying anything and this is not good news to me as an artist because I booked for the space I am using expecting something in return” said Abisha Zungaire, a Zimbabwean based in Cape Town. “I have to put food on the table at the end of the day,” he added.

Sakhumzi Nyendwane, a painter from Port Elizabeth who is attending the festival for the first time is, so far, pleased with his stay in Grahamstown. “I’m happy to be here because it’s my first time and I was so looking forward to being here.” He also added that many of his expectations, coming to the festival have been met. “I have had the opportunity to network with different artistes who have shown me new things about art,” said Nyendwane.

Another new comer, Mziyanda Alwyn shared different sentiments, unfortunately his stay hasn’t been as he expected. “It’s my first time coming here, I have been here for three days and I haven’t sold anything yet. Instead of making a profit, I have actually made a loss considering that I paid for all the expenses I am incurring.”

With eight days remaining, there is still hope for artistes like Mziyanda. According to the festival’s schedule, a lot of shows and exhibitors are still to exhibit their goods and services.

The writers are part of the Future Journalist Programme (2012), a project of Highway Africa at the Rhodes University School of Journalism & Media Studies.