27 March, 2013

BRAZO WA AFRIKA is on top of his game

Keletso Manyaka is not only  Brazo Wa Afrika in the mix but a computer scientist in making, as Moses Moreroa discovers.

 People perceive him as an artist who is, at all times, behind music and on stage, but Keletso is a third year student  in BSC Mathematical and Computer  Science, at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop campus. The 21-year-old established celebrated star matriculated at Calvin College in Burgersfort, his hometown.

Brazo Wa Afrika is a Limpopo Born House music producer. He is known for his vast variety in terms of production as his music sound ranges from tribal to deep. Not only is he an established music producer but also a renowned club DJ who has set the stage alights with some of the country’s finest djs. He describes his sound as Deep-Tribal as it fuses both ancestral elements and soulful pieces together.
Brazo plays on Capricorn FM every Sunday at 21H30 and goes around all provinces of the country.
It is difficult, sometimes, to get to know the whereabouts of other people. Nonetheless, chatting to him is an eye opener and you leave feeling that you know him better than Brazo. He answers our questions directly and shows his delicate side:

What are your real full names?
Keletso Manyaka

So where does Brazo come from?
The name Brazo is derived from the word Bravo, which people use to salute someone for a good deed.

Why were you saluted?
For the music I played at a very early age, that’s where the name started.

When did you start playing and what inspired your work?
I’m a self taught DJ who started playing at the age of 14 and my main inspiration was simply my love for good music and the passion to play such good music to a responsive crowd.

Why Brazo Wa Afrika and not wa Limpopo? You are a Limpopean right?
Well, its Brazo Wa Afrika because my vision when I started this music thing was to see myself representing the whole of Africa worldwide and that is why I opted for the name.

Hmmm quite a big dream. Which amongst your songs, is your favourite?
Its hard to pick out a single track but from the success, my breakthrough song ‘Afrikan Sax’ brought my way. I’d say that’s my favourite song. It brings endless memories.

Is there any artist you relate to?
I try to be as unique as possible with my music. I do, however, take some inspiration or influence from Chymamusique, Dolls Combers, Da Capo, Sean McCabe, Jimpster and Jonny Montana.

What would you call your unique style?
I have my own style of jazzy house which I produce. I fuse jazz elements, live elements to produce my own unique sound.

I guess it took you some time to originate that style of yours. Did you ever feel like giving up?
At sometimes I did, but my passion drove me to keep on pushing.

What is the best thing about being an artist and the worst thing you have experienced?
Best thing about being an artist is the fact that you get to share the musci you love with the masses and you get to travel and explore new environments and crowds. And abviously the fact that you actually make a living off doing something you love, it tops it all.
The worst experience I’ve  ever had was when I missed a flight to a big show I had been booked for in Cape Town, that whole night was a total disaster. I ended up taking a very late night flight and running at a lose.

How do you feel when people interpret your music work differently?
It is clear and understandable to me that different peple like different types of music, it doesn’t bother me much if some people don’t really like my music because that is just how it is suppose to be.

So update us on your upcoming releases and tours. Do you have an album already?
My first album titled Ultimate Fusion: House Afrika Session 3 is coming out this March with 12 brand new tunes from myself. I am also working on some tracks with the international vocalist, Chappell for his new release.
As for tours I’ll be having a nationwide tour soon when launching the album I am about to release. I will also be playing in Kenya, Lesotho and Botswana these coming two months.

What do you feel as you play music?
I cant really say I have the proper words to describe that feeling, best feeling ever, I’d say.

Who is your role model?
 I inspire myself.

Oh you sound weird. Have you ever though “this is what life was made for”. Perhaps when you were at high school in 2009 and backward?
Ive had this dream fro way back, but having that I wouldn’t say I have reached my destination just yet. I am still very far.

Now lets talk about your studies. What are you studying and at which level?
I am in my third year doing a BSC in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Limpopo.

Why you never opted for media studies since you are doing music?
Computers have always fascinated me. That is why I felt Computer Science was my field, to get to know things and have a stable career.

You must be good in time management. On this had there are studies, and on the other is performance. Isn’t your academic time and bookings arrangements clashing?
I only get bookings on the weekends and there are no classes on weekends, so no real clash there.

Okay, do you plan to make music as long as you can or maybe your computing profession might take over?
Music isn’t a career for me.it is just something I do out of the love I have for it. I will build a career out of my degree.

Let’s shift to a more personal life of yours. Who would you want to duet with?
Vocalists it has to be Nickson, Kafele and Empress Lebo. Producers I would love to work with are Dolls Combers, Deep Xcape and Glenn Underground.

If you had to listen to one artist for the rest o your life, who would it be?
Dave Koz, a jazz musician.

Are you in a relationship, if yes with who?
Haha I am in a relationship with somebody, I don’t think its necessary to disclose her name. someone I met on campus last year.

Where do you go for eating?
I am a fan of Shisanyama’s . I usually eat out at House 22 in Pretoria on Sundays on my way from gigs and yeah all my favourite meals are there.

So at what times do you eat at Hungry Lion?
Desperate  times.

As we wrap up, what advice can you give to your fans who would like to follow the same footsteps as yours?
To the fans, all I can say is truly appreciate the massive support they give me, without them all this would still be nothing but a distant dream. And to all aspiring music producers, passion can take you farwww.infogiant.webs.com

26 March, 2013

FJP Siyabonga Myeni

FJP 2013
Age: 21
Born in: Empangeni , Kwazulu Natal
Studying: Bachelor of Arts Degree
Likes: Poetry, art, movies, basketball
Hates: “I am a non-judgemental person, I hate segregation especially politics because they separate people and make pick sides”.

An act of curiousity can lead many to destruction, yet in some cases it can also open a book to a world of opportunities you have never imagined. This page out Siyabonga Myeni’s book.
Myeni, a 21-year-old student from the University of Zululand and future journalist from the rural part of Empangeni called Somkhele made an interesting decision one day and chose journalism as a career choice, one that has opened doors for him and encouraged him to make a change in his own community. 
He has surprised himself by doing exceptionally well academically, one of the reasons he has pushed himself to make a difference in his community.
“Somkhele is a very deprived area,” Myeni shares, “deprived of journalism, development especially in municipal infrastructure, when I was growing up there was no electricity, water and the rate of crime and poverty was really high and still id today.”  He expands on how he wishes to change that, through his education and opportunities, as well as make his community and parents proud since they never had the same opportunities.
And how will he change society, you ask.  Myeni’s number one weapon is his sweet personality and his way of interacting with people of all ages, social cast, race or gender.
“I am a non-judgemental person, I hate segregation especially politics because they separate people and make pick sides.”
Siyabonga Myeni is an innovative journalist—one who grabs an opportunity with both hands. He is part of a bunch privileged journalism students who are part of the Future Journalism Programme 2013.
Text and picture by: 
Khethukuthula Lembethe

FJP 2013 Favourite Quotes - Nompumelelo Mncube

Alfred Makhubela- Keep your vision clear, because only cowards live in fear"

Noko Pela

FJP 2013
Name: Noko Tshegofatso Pela
Age: 21
Born in: Dennilton, Limpopo
Studies at: University of Limpopo, Turfloop campus, Mankweng
Studying: BA Media Studies
Likes: “I like reading any literature that teaches me about life.”
Hates: “I hate dishonest and pretentious people.
Text and pic by Nompilo Mncube

Passionate journalism student, Noko Pela, 21, born and raised in Dennilton, near Groblersdal, started his journalistic studies at the University of Limpopo in 2012.

The last child with three sisters, Noko gained responsibility and independence from an early age. “I remember in Grade 7 my sisters taught me how to cook and clean because there was a possibility that I would move to a boarding school in Pretoria,” Pela said. His hardworking and tolerant ethic came from the experience of being surrounded by his sisters and mother.

From the day Pela entered university, he wanted to study for a career in journalism, studying Media Studies. He was intrigued by investigative journalism having watched television shows such as 3rd Degree  hosted by journalist Debora Patta.   

With strong political views, Pela plans to voice his opinion and deal with the realities of government corruption using investigative journalism as a portal for revolution in South Africa. “There is so much corruption amongst our leaders and our public officials and through investigative journalism I wish to somehow reduce the corruption in our country,” Pela said.

Having spent 14 months in university studying the media, Pela has enjoyed his first experience of his journalistic career.

“If our university had more practical work for us, I think I would have had a better experience of journalism, but [it] has been nice so far, I can’t complain,” said Pela.

Humble Beginnings

Name: Kagiso “Isa” Makwana
Age: 20
Born in: Groblersdal, Limpopo
Studies at: University of Limpopo
Studying: BA (Media management and Communications)
Likes: “I like soccer because it’s refreshing after reading, it’s entertaining and I get to socialise with people”
Hates: “Drinking causes damages – alcohol disturbs the mind and if it is damaged it can never be recovered” 

Kagiso Makwana, 20, came from playing on dusty soccer fields to wanting to be a media muck-racker. Makwana is now in his second year of Journalism Studies at the University of Limpopo but was a popular soccer captain in primary school days. 

“I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was in primary school, I was just enjoying life as a child,” Makwana says. 

In Grade 8 at Mang Le Mang Senior Secondary School, Makwana realised his talent for writing and decided to become an investigative journalist. He was good at Physical Science, Life Science and Pure Maths, but History and English ignited the flame for essay writing and journalism. Makwana’s English teacher, Mr. Mahlese, played a great role in fostering the budding journalist. 

“He spoke in bombastic terms and he was very good,” Makwana fondly recalls. Makwana’s family told him to “do whatever he wants” and offered no obstacle in achieving his dream.  Makwana recognises that the freedom he had when growing up was important for finding his feet as a person. At university, he notes this same freedom leads him to excel. There is a hint of pride when Makwana says, “I don’t drink or party because I want to be the best at journalism”.

However, Makwana’s talent for writing is not the only motivation for wanting to become a journalist. Corruption in the South African government is something Makwana feels strongly about. “I want to expose politicians’ corruption so that these people can stop enriching themselves [at the expense of] poor people,” Makwana says. 

His dislike for corporate fat cats runs deep; just as that for capitalism as an economic system because he says it serves the political elite exclusively. 

“We [South Africans] need to live an equal life,” he laments.

 Text and Pic by Youlendree Appasamy

 FJP 2013

Khethukuthula Lembethe

Name : Khethukuthula “Khethu” Lembethe
Age : 20
Born in : Durban- Kwazulu-Natal
Studies At: Durban University of Technology
Studying : Journalism
Likes : The Arts ( music, drama , theatre , fashion)
Hates: “ I have never voted for any political party, as there aren’t any parties which cater for individuals like me”.
Text and pic by: Siyabonga Myeni

Khethukuthula Lembethe was born in 1993, in Kwadabeka but was raised in Pinetown, Durban. She defines journalism as one which strives to inform, challenge and neutrally tell stories to society. She matriculated from Queensburgh Girls High school in 2011 and is now a student at the Durban University of Technology.

She states she is spiritual, as well as selfish.

She confessed that she has never voted for any political party, arguing that there are no parties that cater for individuals like her. Khethukuthula defines her idea of an authentic political party as one which acknowledges the needs of the broader public, and not only comprehend the challenges of the society, but also its growing needs. She claims that political parties are pretentious and deceive the public with a seemingly positive image. Khethukuthula is especially concerned about politics after losing an uncle who was running for counsellor.

Khethukuthula says she is fortunate to be on the way to attaining a degree, but worries about the amount of work.

Khethukuthula does not intend involving herself with any political issue or position, but admits that she would vote for the ANC if it were prerequisite for her to accomplish anything.

25 March, 2013

She never heated the post! Youlandree.

                                                       SHE NEVER HEATED THE POST!
FJP 2013: Youlandree Apassamy

Name: Youlendree “Len” Appasamy
Age: 20
Born in: Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban
Studies at: Rhodes University
Studying: B journ (journalism). Majoring in journalism,politics and English.
Likes: Going to the beach because weather is fantastic in the beaches.
Hates: Physics as subject and in general because according to her not everything needs to make sense.
By Makwana Kagiso
Youlandree Apassamy is 20. She is from White River; went to White River Primary School and Pernryn College and is now a student of Journalism & Media Studies at Rhodes University.
Youlandree loves novels and has read Things Fall Apart by the late Chinua Achebe. She studies journalism because she loves to write and she likes to change South African media landscape.
She says her lecturers are excellent especially in radio production. She applied for the FJP because she believes it alters students’ lives.
“Funny enough,  [the] Oscar Pistorious story which is bad for South Africa,” she complained “now tourists are afraid to visit our country because they think all of Mzansi people are like that.”
According to Youlandree, Pistorius might not be a murder, but someone who made a mistake, which all human beings are capable of making.
A studious person who likes the challenges in the classroom, Youlandree enjoys being at university because it’s good to be away from home. Indeed Rhodes is her home away from home.

FJP 2013

Name: Sarin Drew
Age     : 19 years
Born in: United States of America, California
Studies at: University of Cape Town
Studying: International Relations and Film Media
Likes: “I like reading and music”
Hates: “I hate bad people”

Text and pic:  Alfred Makhubela

Sarin Drew matriculated at Maris Stella High School in 2011.  She remembers high school fondly, especially the extracurricular activities. 

“Those days were interesting,” Drew said, “I was engaged in debates and public speaking competitions which have helped in sharpening my writing and speaking skills.”

Drew believes her passion lies in journalism and enjoys engaging in political and social issues. She decided to study journalism during her Matric year.

 Drew is from Durban but is a student at the University of Cape Town. She said her best moment was participating in World Championship for speech and debate, where she was in the world’s top 20.

Matric is a close second as she got five distinctions in 2011, despite being part of the mathematic stream in high school, she followed her passion into journalism.

 “My inspiration to do journalism came naturally,” she said, “I was doing it in high school. I enjoyed analysis of media. I am passionate about it.” 

Drew’s favourite High School teacher was Mrs Bolton who helped her to improve her English writing and speaking skills.

She has since won numerous awards including top a history mark and drama mark as well as being honoured for public speaking and debate.