A group of young people walk into a room looking to change the world… Stop me if you’ve heard this joke before. “The youth are the future!”, “The youth have the power to change the future!” “You are the future!”... Stop me if you heard this speech before. Stopped! It seems to be stuck on repeat. From people in positions of power with seemingly more interest in getting support than giving power. The realisation slowly dawns like the sun on a cloudy day. They’re not speaking to you, but to the expectation that the youth should be spoken to. A check-list to tick off; god forbid actual people to engage with. When born free from a right of reply, ticking bombs becomes the pastime to pass time by. But this isn’t about these figures of apparent power.Nor the unnamed group of faceless futures. It is about us and a space that asked only for our voices. May we have the courage to speak to those above and the humility to listen to those who come after. A group of young people walk into a room looking to change the world today. They’re not waiting for permission anymore. I don’t think you can stop them by pretending you haven’t heard Leaders, Dreamers, Change makers, Community drivers, Chain breakers, Earth shakers… but we leave here with more. Friends. Family.
SONA Assumptions - Kim Windvogel The change in paradigm: My law dreams - Sello Mokoena Human Society I, II and III - Kim Windvogel Build A Team of Success - Siyavuya Mlungu Equality Must Be A Reality - Nkele Attitudinal Structuring - Casca Johnson
LUNCH Matters Of The Heart FEELINGS - Ncedisa Blossom Kolisi Home - Claire Gemmill Mirror - Fefekazi Mavuso STIFLER AND THE BLUES Act I: I Will Not Be Silent - Siyabonga Mbaba Act II: The Professional - Bulumko Gana Act III: Paying For The Lordâ€™s Prayer - Nathan Taylor Act IV: An Excerpt From Catharsis - Bulumko Nyamezele Act V: Medley/From Prof. Sagewood Feinbos With Love
to be continued...
assumptions KIM WINDVOGEL
No, I’m not Brazilian. I did not grow up on the coast of South America or play beach soccer in my teeny bikini with the little kids from the next village. I am not Columbian True, my hips don’t lie and my curls don’t go straight but your Shakira comments are getting offensive. I am not foreign. Even if I were, who are you to grab me in the street and call me your “senorita”? I am not Jay Z, I don’t speak Spanish too I am Capetonian Born and bred in the valleys of our majestic mountains, within then richness of our diversity, before the freedom to express information could be punishable by law. I am one of the born frees, born free from the oppression of my mothers and born free from the guilt of my fathers when they were the oppressors. I am a coloured and in my country that is not a racist slur . It is something to be proud of I carry the blood of the Sotho. The courage of the slaves. The audacity of the Germans. And the education of a modern womxn of colour. I am made up out of genocides and heartache, Triumphs, failures and stereotypes. But they do not shape me. I do I am Capetonian and your deep shock when I utter those words works on my poes. Capetonian enough for you?
the shift in paradigm: my law dreams SELLO MOKOENA
The dream was never to be a lawyer. In fact, I did everything in my power not to study law, but when the heavenâ€™s call and you miss that call â€“ definitely you have to respond to the sms. My recollections of my earliest mapped out dreams are from a dream board that I did in a camp in Grade 7. It is from that point onward and probably a number of years after that I started to collect Financial Mail articles and pasted them across my room. I did not understand anything that was written in them, but the dream was to one day be able to understand. My adoptive mother had science posters up on my wall. It was very colorful posters of the periodic table and related chemistry things. She did not see me not pursuing a career in science. My biological mother on the hand was only proud to see how I am defining myself outside normal family traits and that I loved education. My dream was to be a big charted accountant in some big mining corporation. One Lazarus Zim who is also born in Bethlehem, Bohlokong, inspired this dream. He is currently Chairmen of the Board of AfriPlam Resources. He became a business heavyweight when he sealed the deal that saw the merger of Impala Platinum, Northan Platinum and Mvelaphanda Resources in 2011. I had a great dream, but reality and I did not compare notes as when I got to Grade 11 I started being actively involved in social politics and a system of capitalism was no longer appealing. I had a burning desire to engage in social projects to dismantle it. I then saw the dream of being a charted accountant go up in smoke. I wanted to embrace fully my political interests and study philosophy and politics. My family was and is still against my involvement and interest in politics. This new dream was much exciting and I stayed up nights reading and preparing for it. I no longer worried about complex economics concepts and markets. This was the shift in paradigm. My newfound love for Africa could not let me administer proceeds from our land and send them off to Multi-nation Corporations to help them maintain their elitism and control over global politics. However, like all good African dreams, money becomes a barrier to dreams. After the completion of my matric I could not secure funds to harness this interest that I hoped it would benefit Africa. As I was about to give up hope, it reared its head over the mountains in the East, but from the West and accompanied by terms and conditions. I was told that I would be funded on condition that I study law. Politics of the stomach give little choice to no one. Comforted by my mothersâ€™ words that in this, was a blessing in disguise; I journeyed to central South Africa with a backpack full of broken dreams, love and hope for Africa. I made a decision that the system of capitalism buried only the heart for politics, but not the spirit to service Africa and like a phoenix that catches fire when it dies, the spirit to service Africa shall be reawakened in the form of a legal giant. I will be of service to Africa and the Africans. However, currently my primary and most pivotal task is to acquire education. The experience to study law has been with its upsides and downs. The pressures of studying law balance out any prestige associated with being a law student, but I remain resolute to the course. Generally, my analysis is that the downside of studying law is that everyone is so determined to see themselves at the top that some law students have completely lost sight of the bigger picture: that there is more to life than our law degrees. Despite at times feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated and stressed, we often tell ourselves that we have no reason to complain or to be stressed; after all, this is the path we chose. As a result,
many law students seldom talk about the pressures faced with in fear of being labeled weak. This is the area that university needs to improve on handling, because these problems gets worse for first generation students. Studying law is not all glamorous and we need to be truthful with this reality for students. I have come far and the end of the road is near. I look back with a lot to reflect on and I smile for the time for Africa is coming. As I reflect, I remember the words of cadres as we engage and deliberate on matters on the state and the space that exist for the revolution that it will not be televised. Equally, we should move forward with the resolution that selfie sticks are not present. We are arming ourselves with education. I had an opportunity these winter holidays to do vacation work and see how practical my shortterm goal to be legal representative is. I do not want to receive a cheque at the end of the month, but to cut chueques at the end of the month. The starting point is to acquire as much skills as possible through a medium-sized firm for number years and establish my name. I will pursue postgraduate degrees in a number of human rights related issues and African politics. The ultimate goal is to litigate reparations related matters connected to past injustices. The giant is asleep and the reawakening shall be such a time of marvel. The potential that Africa is pregnant with will be born when the sun for true freedom rise. In conclusion, I want to quote one great Kwame Nkrumah when he said we face neither East nor West, we move forward. Africa requires all individual contributions to be great again. I cannot do it alone and I therefore ask for your helping hand to build not the Africa of my dreams, but of our dreams. Forward we move and never backwards.
human society KIM WINDVOGEL
I Sometimes, only sometimes, I wonder if there is an alternative to the life we live. A life where trolls aren’t sent to chambers of so-called education, then trained for battle in the concrete jungle. Sometimes I wonder if life was once a walk in the park, nature’s park. A naked body unafraid, unashamed. Sometimes I wonder if life itself wasn’t the one who started questioning its banal existence and wanted to be different. Different from its apparent inferior fellow animals, and so eliminated itself from the circle of life, making humans superior so we can just take and take without stop no end, without punctuation, becoming gluttons of the first degree, becoming complete fuckups with no meaning, becoming what the masses are today. Sometimes, I yearn for a life different to that of our ancestorsa. An informed life, a free life, because unlike them we do not have to fight fo freedom. We need to fight for freedom from our so-called freedom. A freedom we shouldn’t have to be able to afford and then buy with money worth less than the paper it’s printed on. Sometimes I want to go back to what life once was; a naked body unafraid, unashamed, as it was at birth, the way we all were at birth.
II I walked past a house by the Vlei and saw a womxn in a blue dress and matching cap. She was washing a car. It gleamed, not only in shine, but in value too. As she walked around the spotless car she kept on checking if she had missed a spot. Wiping here nor there. Wiping there nor here. Watching her, was her son, or a boy I presumed to be her son. He was eating a slice of bread. There was a pool filled with pale coloured peers shouting, laughing and playing. Crumbs of chocolate cake smeared on the corners of their mouths. The womxn looked at her son and they exchanged a smile. This womxn will never live in this house, she probably will never own it. Her son will never play with those boys and those boys will never share their pool with him. The womxn is not even wearing a blue dress as much as it is a uniform. This womxn is washing a car worth more than her wages can afford her in her lifetime. She is a domestic worker, wearing seshoeshoe that her ancestors endorse and wore with pride. She is wearing sandals made from leather that can bend with her feet as she scrubs the floor that she did not dirty. She is working for a wage that hopefully, one day, can send her son to school. And hopefully keep him in school. I imagined her baking that cake that now smears the faces of the kids without a care and lovingly slicing a piece for herself and her boy, placing it in a container so that they could share it over a glass of ginger beer at home. I imagine many a times what goes through the minds of those who cannot afford a life next to the Vlei. Next to the ocean, a lake, a forest. I wonder sometimes if that is all that is important, money. In the ideal world the answer would be no.But in the real world, the compass always points North, even if it ain’t the direction we are headed.
III When I close my eyes I imagine a world where lovers will never be afraid to hold hands. A world where people are judged on their actions and not their race, sexual orientation or religious convictions. I imagine a world where loneliness is only in our minds and genuine friendships are abundant. I imagine a place where crying is nothing to be ashamed of, but has the potential to heal hearts, heal spirits, heal relationships. I envision a place of comfort, where food grows in the valleys and churches are organic farms where the masses can join to feast, join to sing, join to give thanks to all that is good and true; Allah or Jesus, Buddha or Jehovah worshippers alike. A place to join hands, a place where people are appreciated for what is in their hearts and not in their wallets. But when my eyes are open and I am forced to see the real world my parents brought me into, I see a world where lovers cannot always hold hands in public, because someone, somewhere once forbade interracial relationships, because someone somewhere started a fucked-up “corrective-rape” trend, because someone, somewhere decided to make those life decisions for others. I see a world where loneliness isn’t cured by true friendships and interactive activities, but rather by drinking the next best anti-depressant. I see a place where crying is something to be ashamed of and people would rather retreat to the privacy of their own rooms to do something so beautiful and raw and then leave the house with the biggest smile on their faces as to conceal the real pain inside. I see a world where food is scarce and the world’s resources are controlled by the elite. I see a place where churches are as exclusive as a genuine Dolce&Gabbana handbag downtown. A place where people join to worship their own god, yet judge another for trying to worship theirs. A place where money is appreciated more than what is in our hearts and in our spirits. Damn, there is so much more to this life, there is so much more. If only we could believe it, imagine it and live it. If only we could share the truth. The truth that no truth is real. My truth is my truth, your truth is your truth. Her truth is hers and his his. This is a beautiful world we live in but there is so much pain and heartache and I haven’t even started to scrape at the ugly, cold hard facts that is the system we live in. But for now, I’m tired and really sad. It’s time to heal my spirit with tears of mourning. Mourning for all the things I can’t change, but wish, really wish I could.
build a team of success SIYAVUYA MLUNGU
No man is an island, meaning that noone can achieve magnificent success on their own. There is nothing like a self-made successful person. In each and every successful individual out there, there is a team or group of individuals who contributed to their success. No one has ever achieved high peak of success without an effort and support of others. Today, we are living in a complex world that is so based on the integration of different human expertise, a combination which a single person cannot fully master. Building a team starts with your ability to relate. Those that cannot relate to others are often the ones that lose the game of life. You do not have to be educated, easy-going, hard-headed, or intelligent to build a team. You just need to be able to relate and connect with others using your common sense and few principles. When you want people to join your team it is very much important that you excite them with great large desired outcomes. Make sure that you show them something bigger than a payslip, so that they can buy into it. No one wants to join a losing team with no goals or vision. This vision must contain a challenge, & provide an opportunity to make a difference. Today I’m surrounded by visionaries, go getters, world changers, & doers because they know where I’m heading. Remember, birds of the same feather flock together. You are always attracted to people that are on the same mission or congruent with you. You will never see a happy person hanging around with unhappy people. There is a reason why you do not live alone in this world. It is simply because man’s survival requires other people’s ideas, thoughts, products, services, & expertise. To be a great soccer star you need team players that will allow you an opportunity to showcase your talent. The reason why Itumeleng Khune is currently the no.1 goal keeper in South Africa is because he has his teammates and coach by his side. A business man needs a great team of employees. An author needs a designer for the book cover, editor, publisher, and a distributor. You cannot be everything, there is no enough energy and time for that. Does it happen that you become a goal keeper and a striker in a game? No. Why? Due to the fact that for a person to survive in this world and claim their space in society, a team of various experts in different areas should be built. I for one wouldn’t be the professional inspirational speaker that I am if it wasn’t for my former English teacher, Mrs Lulu Hobongwana, who spotted something great in me and assigned me to a debating society in 2008 back at Jamangile High School. My mentor, coach, supportive friends and family are part of my team. All successful men & women in the world have applied this principle. No man is an island. No one achieves success on their own. There is no such thing as a ‘selfmade’ successful man. Each and every person’s success & happiness is always an effort of others. It is very much important that you also sit down & start building your team of success. These are people that are going to be your fans and cheer you up when you feel like giving up. They will also hold you accountable. They will speak your language and always look out for you. You might be chasing something but find it hard to catch it because you are running a one-man show. When I first started my coaching business, I would organise group coaching sessions for ten people. I would do its marketing, branding, and advertising, thinking that I am on point, but to my surprise only 3 or 4 people would pitch. The reason was not that people do not attend such gathering or events, they do. The problem was not that I was hosting my events in Khayelitsha, or people were not willing to pay, but the problem was me. I wanted to do everything whereas I had no
skills in the areas of marketing, and advertising. My job is to coach, and speak, that’s it. So If I had a team of public relations, marketing & branding, and advertising my event would have been on point. Now I’m sure you are asking yourself. Where do I start? In my book I speak about the following 5 steps on How to build a strong team of success. • CLEARLY DEFINE AND DESCRIBE WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE. • SCREEN AND RELATE • SHARE YOUR VISION • DELEGATE AND CLARIFY ROLES • FIND YOURSELF A HEAD COACH The above 5 steps are so profound and they will make a magic in your life when you start following them. Honestly it doesn’t help anyone to run a one-man show. What will happen if you do? you will be drained to hell and end up going nowhere. Apply the above 5 steps and see magic happening in your life.
equality must be a reality NKELE APLANE
22years into democracy we are faced with land loss, academic exclusion, financial exclusion, poverty and unemployment. The bourgeois form of democracy makes us all believe that making a cross on a piece of paper very four years and having members of political parties represent us is the highest form of liberty and equality available. The constitution promotes formal equality which is in actual fact in conflict with equality of outcome in which everyone must be equally materialistic in terms of wealth, status and other social goods. Formal equality is liberal in nature , thus the constitution provides a framework of equal rights and freedom that aims to create opportunities equally, but it doesnâ€™t iron out any equalities that are bound to emerge in this system (such as poverty, unemployment, crime, unequal distribution of wealth and socio-economic issues. This is why we need to instil consciousness in our people and advocate for change; by challenging the current system and end the sleeping within the rainbow nation rhetoric. We need to work toward emancipating our people and teaching them to support each other and do things that the current system does not teach them and always keep the agents that protect the system on their toes. Chase your passion like it is the last bus of the night. Equality must be a reality
attitudinal structuring CASCA JOHNSON
As a Human Resource scholar I must say that I am a bit familiar with types of bargaining, and one of them is attitudinal structuring. This is not a type of bargaining per se, but a tactic used to influence bargaining. This is widely used in bargaining platforms and tends to be very effective. After interrogating the root causes of our financial inequalities, I stumbled across the Robben Island journey of our political leaders and the mobilization that took place within those boundaries. It dawned on me that some of the cadres were not receiving the same treatment from their oppressors as others. When freedom bells were ringing, prison cells were shaking, some of our trusted cadres broke. In the last term of his imprisonment, Nelson Mandela spent most of his time in a fully furnished house with a swimming pool at his disposal and time to organize family parties at his new house that was provided by the oppressive state while he was still a prisoner. He was actually imprisoned in a nice fancy house that was provided by the state while all of his comrades were still in that cold and ugly island. While we were leaving in poverty and squalor on the outside, he was eating with fork and knife on a silver platter in â€œprisonâ€?. A few years down the line De Klerk succumbed to international pressure and released Nelson Mandela, along with some other political prisoners. There was a lot of hope after the release of this hero of the nation and there was a lot of hype built around him by both the white and black media, international and local media. Fast forward to CODESA negotiations, there was a lot of wrestling with power which ended up with Mandela being adamant that we should settle for political freedom while our former oppressors made sure that the deal is not signed without defining clearly that they will retain their economic power and will be secured in their own spaces with Mandela promising them a rainbow nation and Truth & Reconciliation commission. I hope you catch my drift by now. Attitudinal structuring is when the employer showers the employee or union leader with gifts and other niceties shortly before the bargaining processes begin so as to change their attitude before the actual negotiations begin so as to harvest a favorable attitude during the negotiations. I hope you catch my drift. When negotiations began, Mandela was already comfortable financially and his family well taken care of. This same man was the leader of the negotiations. This led me to believe that it is easier to negotiate from the place of comfort than to negotiate in a place of poverty and squalor. Had he been hungry and disenfranchised like the rest of us, he would have led the negotiations to a better agreement that would have benefitted the rest of the country. He supported white institutions and sports while it was obvious that there was no transformation or any plan of it whatsoever. He continued to extend the hand of forgiveness while the perpetrators did not see any need for this and continued as business as usual. Well, I must say that this does not surprise me now because his attitude was structured well in advance for that particular moment: The house, the hype and the funds were all a strategical attitudinal structuring to ensure that the majority of black people remained in poverty and squalor even after the so called freedom. It is improper and unfitting that 22 years after democracy we are still crying about racism, transformation and economic freedom. It is unfair that after 40 years of student uprising, the students
are still crying about Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in public funded institutions of higher learning, access to education and transformation. It is unbecoming that after so many years since the Sharpeville Massacre, workers are still being butchered like livestock all in the name of a living wage. Are we not decent enough to participate in the mainstream economy of our beloved country? Are we not cultured enough to wear colors of our beloved national sports? Are we not intelligent enough to be educated? Are we not human enough to be taught in our home languages? Again I am not surprised at all by the turn out of events because attitudinal structuring is a very effective strategy in South Africa.
FOODLUNCH: FOR THOUGHT
My ability to act the fool but be serious when the situation requires. I really love cooking but can never follow recipes. “I cannot be an optimist, but I am a prisoner of hope” - Cornel West
Sense of humour. I’m petrified of driving any object that could possibly fall under the transport “category” (motor vehicle, bicycle etc.)
MENU: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Everything. I dream of having a six-pack and participating in Musangwe tournament
I like that I’m always trying new things and my playfulness. When I’m on my own I like pretending like I’m in a movie scene or dancing in a music video
I like that I’m resourceful and tenacious, I once won a national spelling bee. “Burn slow, never burn fast” - The Brother Moves On
I like my personality, willingness to learn and openness to meeting new people. Talking to myself in the mirror
What I like about myself is the friendly, loving caring person. I am always passionate about helping and working with the youth
I like the fact that I can help someone to understand the state of mind. I also like being myself and loving what I do with my life.
I like the fact that I like sharing. I’m very kind and approachable. I have a tendency of laughing at serious matters.
FOCUSED! Likes to laugh.
What I like about myself is that I don’t know how to pretend. If I don’t like you, I don’t like you finish and klaar! I walk like a man when I’m wearing sneakers
I love my sexy portable curves. I have no filter.
I like the fact that I’m always up for new challenges and ideas. I like being active in my community and being a risk taker. I love my toes
I like the way I am nurturing & pursuing creativity in my everyday life. I love food, especially chocolate & Cake!
I like my bubbly personality & the fact that I’m focused. I know what I want in life, lastly the fact that I can make friends easy. I’m humorous & a bit crazy
I’m smart and I’m kind. Approachable
I like that I’m selfless, beautiful and courageous I will smile at people even though I don’t know them
I am very passionate about what I am doing. The passion and dedication are what makes me to be in love with myself.
I don’t give a f*ck, except when I cry or laugh. My heart, my vagina and my mind.
What I like about myself is a heart to help others to move close to their desired destination through coaching & inspirational talk. “People do not fail, it is the approach they use that fails” - SM
Blossom Ncedisa Kolisi :
I’m curious, confident, improvise, talkative, always make myself comfortable around people I’m a boy in a girl. I love cars in a funny way
ATHENKOSI NZALA: SILINDILE MNCUBE:
I like the fact that I laugh like a lunatic, it keeps me on my toes in terms of: I never know what will come out of my mouth.
I like the positive attitude towards openness to learning from others as well as my internal & external living spaces. I love recording and listening to myself, then laugh at myself afterwards.
THEMBINKOSI NGXOKELA: Respect and equality Talented
I love the fact that I’m an open person and a fast learner. I enjoy my own company
I like the fact that I’m not shy and I don’t undermine myself no matter the circumstances, I find myself under. Sport personality
I build good relationships with people I love laughing
SELLO MOKOENA: I like my height. I have two mothers.
AIMEE HARE :
ashley roman :
I like the fact that I really like connecting with others on a deep level and that I’m a good listener. I’m obsessed with going to the theatre.
I love that I love, I love that I can tap into all parts of me. I love I can share that in a space with others. I like dreaming and I like sharing my dreams with others so we can dream together. I love that about myself.
BULUMKO ‘STIFLER’ GANA:
I like my beard and my feet. Another thing that I like about myself is the fact that it takes me ages to get angry and I take everything as a joke. As a kid, I was dyslexic, now that I’m older I hate writing, I prefer typing.
I everything about myself and I have Stalkish tendencies.
I love my confidence. My impact and my presence. When I walk into a room, nobody misses me. And that’s what I love about myself
I like the fact that I speak what I like. Mmmmm… I laugh hysterically.
What I like about myself is that I am a dreamer, a believer and a man who makes things happen for myself and for others. I like that I am afraid to die without making a major impact on others.
I like the fact that I was Educated by uneducated educators, that made me to be versatile and embrace diversity . I am a student of life “Self-determination is the ultimate freedom” Casca Johnson
Iâ€™m self-driven, passionate about people, I look up on a nation with untapped potential and a need for influential to people like myself I do not brag or boast I am a man who brings comfort Iâ€™m aware that the tongue is very powerful so I watch what I say
BULUMKO jacobs-kanYAMEZELE: I love happiness and all things positive. My curiosity aids my boredom.
MATTERS MATTERS OF OF THE THE HEART: HEART:
BLOSSOM NCEDISA KOLISI I describe a feeling as a general attitude that one has about other people or things. The feelings can be positive or negative, depending on a particular occurrence. Much like a coin, feelings are two sided. Wikipedia describes a ‘feeling’ as “A physical sensation of touch through, either experience or perception.” The reason I decided to write about “FEELINGS” is to share my experience with you about the struggles that I have and still going through in terms of expressing myself. Be it you are a male or female you go through those challenges. Men grew up and some were culturally (i.e. Xhosa) reprimanded that man don’t cry and it’s a sign of being weak. In my understanding, bottling things up can get you depressed, and I ask myself if that means men should die from depression? Women on the other side are attacked by assumptions that they are not supposed or not expected to express their feelings towards the opposite sex because it makes them look bad and it’s viewed as being bitchy. People generally have resorted to hiding in closets because they scared to come out as who they are because they scared of being judged and of what people will say about them. In the process of that happening their feelings are suppressed. Why though? Who has the right to determine who I can be? Isn’t that my space to live in? I believe that one should be given freedom to make their own choices. Even in our communities we don’t speak out about things that affect us because we are scared to be vocal and things don’t get done in that instance. From my own perspective, I realised people worry too much about what other people think that they even forget about their feelings. Secondly people are scared of being rejected and some undermine themselves. In a conversation i had with my two compatriots, one of them said “When you tell a person about how you feel, it should not bother you how she or he deals with it. Your duty is to express how you feel”. The second one said “If you do not follow your dreams, how will you make them possible”. I Blossom Ncedisa Kolisi I am with the motion that people must be the people they are. Brave and confident in what they believe in and speak out their feelings. In Xhosa we say “Usana olungakhaliyo lufela embelekweni”. I thank you.
Home [hohm]: 1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. 2. the place which one’s domestic affections are centered. 3. deep; to the heart. 4. to go, or return home. 5. a place inside of oneself. Synonyms: dwelling; ekasi; loxion; ekhaya; location; township; roots
Community /kəˈmjuːnɪti/: 1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. 2. a group of people living together and practising common ownership. 3. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common; similarity or identity. 4. a group of nations. 5. to be built. Synonyms: body; network; circle; society; clan; village
i am painted in a coat of bronze thickness the patterns in my eyes reflect the intensity of my stance crooked smile, faded dimple my jawline outlines the contours of the words i utter and the uphill of my nose my inner being is a graceful catastrophe a deity of sunrise and sunsets humble strength, bittersweet detours traces of resilience and the pain of childbirth my faith is mapped between heaps of doubt and last minute prayers within me are signs of humour and the echoes of memorable laughter my soul seeks the ability to forgive for the walls of pride to fall to live within the beauty of art and the sculptures of colour the rhythm of music and lingering words unspoken my quest is to detangle the threads of depiction and to glorify my own purpose within my core is empathy my ability to feel and understand without being told solitude a missing piece in a turmoil of confusion silence complete absence of sound and my inability to utter emotion complexity the questions, the plots and the deception of my own actions contradictions the inconsistency in my ways and the inability to explain reason love a reflection of selflessness and sacrifice trust a belief in my own truth, my own
i will not be silent SIYABONGA MBABA
I will not be silent til art is used for activism The inner voice of fear will hold me back no more Do not call me a poet when eloquent words fail me If nothing be wrong with the South African basic education, Then why do we have black children attending white schools? If there’s nothing wrong with the education in the townships Then why don’t we have white kids attending township schools? If colour is not an issue in South Africa Then why is government dividing us into three segments? Why do we have 99% of black people in khayelitsha? Why do we have 95% of coloured people in Mitchel’s Plain? Why do we have 96% of white people in constantia? if colour was not an issue. How can I be silent. When black people are still mentally imprisoned? They may not be physically chained but they are modern slaves They were told they are free Yet they still praise white people Who does a garden of a white man? A black man Who cleans a house of a white man? A black woman Who babysits a white child? A black woman How can I be silent When the government builds shopping malls in the townships but none of the local entrepreneurs owns a single shop When I witnessing black businesses such as Spaza shops being destroyed to benefit the rich class I won’t be silent until absent fathers realise that their children need a father not an atm I won’t be silent Until government stops gambling with people’s lives! How can I be silent when the lives of the marikana miners were sacrificed for money? I will be silent when Land is redistributed to Black Farmers When wealth is shared
the professional BULUMKO ‘STIFLER’ GANA
How do I tell her that this profession takes up all of my time?
How do I tell her that I’m going to spend less and less time with her?
How do I tell her that I never meant to cancel our dates
but I get booked and thats good for business?
How do I tell her that even though I’m never around,
I’m always thinking about her?
How do I tell her? How do I tell her? How do I tell her? How do I tell her? I’m always thinking about her
paying for the lord’s prayer NATHAN TAYLOR
We died before we even began The raspberry jam ran dry on the bread it failed to spread Whispering “at least we tried” The crusts not even the butter king could bring back from the cusp of being Discarded to the bin of ‘forgotten’ hungry mouths Forgotten not, we ignored the hungry children’s sounds Ignored them as we ignored our own, ourselves, Learning to crawl instead of run, scared we could fly Dragging our bellies on our earth-bound beliefs Learning to live without song Learning that life was that which was devoid of song And so we sang our sorrows into our tear-stained pillows At least we had pillows Bedding made from acceptance of silent suffering Defanged by the tooth fairy in exchange for silver change At least we had silver change Learning to accept the sliver of change At least we had small change To feed into the vending machine of momentary sustenance In this system of temporary happiness What have we learnt in this place? Where we crawl on our bellies on the backs of those robbed of a face To be happy with sugar mixed with water mixed with colouring mixed with human suffering Apricot jam today I think The crusts cut off, the periphery always cut off The butter only goes so far we know If only we learnt the periphery was the whole Scared to fly, we learnt to live was to get by We learnt that life was to survive We learnt that crawling was a mark of success We learnt that tear-stained pillows was the proper place to lay your head to rest We learnt that life was fleeting, and feeling was cheating We learnt that small change was our greatest treasure Given at the price of blunted teeth and bounded tongue That the songs only lay in thy kingdom come, That thy kingdom was reserved only for some May it never be on earth as it is in our hollow heaven
an excerpt from catharsis BULUMKO JACOBS-kaNYAMEZELE
dear FATHER, in your absence, i am learning to idolise sunrise and how to conduct my dreams in the presence of the stars. i’m your sun, the one who glows to reveal your name behind the gloomy shadows of that good night. i still hear your voice whenever clouds gather in your memory and i am entranced by the might of your genes whenever i hug the pain out of my brother’s heart. you left us out of tune and your abscence tightens my mother’s arteries so hard that every bit of her in me convulses like an earthquate erupted around my spine. you taught me how to be a father and what being a man meant, and i sometimes questioned the values that made the man that you were but you were never absent long enough for me to question your fatherhood. dear father, you introduced us to god but stood idle when i told you that i already met her and her name was MAMA. dear MOTHER, you never taught us how to be sad. i mastered the puzzles and lego blocks but my emotions are still in pieces beneath the dining-room table. you nurtured us with the cane hoping that one day we would be able. i wish i could wake dad up just for a moment,so we could talk about how beautiful you are with the same breath that stole yours. dear BROTHER, i once came home with a bloody nose, stuck my chest out and posed like a hero because i didn’t want to disappoint you. i came home with a bone protruding from my left foot, looked for you in every crevice and screamed out all your aliases including ‘Abraham’ before i proceded to seek for answers from our mother’s hands. i came home and hid my scripts beneath dirty sheets because i had aced all my tests but one. that missing 3% had me walking backwards for a week, trying turn back time. i twisted my ankle and you chastised me for being careless. i’d do it all over again dear brother. in fact, i’d break all 206 bones just to be spared your disappointed face. i came home to find you with your guard down. defeated, waiting for god but being overwhelmed by the traffic of languid mourners walking in and out carrying pieces of utata, in an attemp to comfort our overflowing hearts. at that moment i realised that you never wanted me to hide my fears but to never in the altars of broken men.
Medley(From Prof. Sagewood Feinbos With Love) STIFLER AND THE BLUES
Fefe Your existence is an affirmation of the kingdoms that women carry in their lungs. Your heart is the temple in which your mind meditates.
Aimee Your narrative moulds ambitions. Clarke Kent has nothing on you.
Itumeleng There are solutions in your happiness and I am taking some home with me.
AMO To have met you is to read a thousand books. You make a way.
KB Watching you host monologues within your heart is an inspiring experience. Will your way to greatness as you have done with my memory
Amy In a week, you are teaching me lifetimes. Andisiwe If silence was ever golden, I would dig your thoughts for sentences. I look up to you. Aphelele Fear motivates and sometimes cripples, I am inspired by the grandeur of your dreams.
Khanyi You are a star noticeable even in the hottest of afternoons. Kim I hope to be around long enough to witness the moment when you reclaim your throne. There are nations congregating somewhere within those vocal chords.
Ashley The wind remembers its purpose when you speak.
Kuhle Do not be scared to exhibit your doubts. I saw and keep seeing God in the way you stumble with grace.
Athi Walking hand in hand with you has made me look up to your footsteps.
Lebo Your happiness has caused so many smiles through this intense week. You are appreciated.
Blossom I am inspired by the way you play with the sun. Your conviction is amazing.
Leshay The energy you have brought to the group is greatly appreciated. You are a breath of fresh air.
BULUMKO You are an African elephant in stature. The gifts and talents you possess are ancient memories of those who came before you. Your greatness casts a shadow that comforts all those around you,
Nathan Watching you play with gunpowder in hell has me playing with logic in heaven.
Christelle Thank you for blessing us with your voice. You matter. Casca The footprints you leave are the stars to which we look up for guidance. Cara I’m cuddling in the warmth of your sincerity and your faith has me preaching a better gospel. Claire 15 185 km from Cape Town to Canada. You dissected the world to find a place where you would have conversations with your heart. Thank you for waking up today. Devine “Everyone breaks in the same language.” You taught me a new way to rise in an ancient voice. Dineo There is a magic beneath your skin and I stand a witness to its existence because I have heared you speak
Nkele We might not understand your dreams. But we will remember your name when it dawns on us. NTOZINDE You are renegotiating your contract with destiny. I love your terms and conditions. Ntsikelelo There’s magic in the manner in which you stumble through landmines just to have a look at what’s on the other side. Your dreadlocks are the roots of paradise Nthabi The first time I saw you your smile made me do the same. Never stop sharing your heart. Sanchia When you dance the world stops just to watch you evolve. Sello You are a king birthed by the moon and nurtured by the sun. Thank you for showing the world the treasure map in your scars.
Sifiso They are busy digging the ground for diamonds but they have forgotten the wealth that breaths above ground. One day soon. Siyabonga Your heart is the Promised Land and your mind is the path. Siyavuya You are one of the books my soul prescribes to my distracted mind. Sli Thereâ€™s a sermon in your smile. We appreciate the victories in your voice and the reign of your grace. Stifler It has been said that not all that glitters is gold, but you have shown me that not all gold glitters. Tefo Only you can stop the train of success that you are on. Never stop trying. Thembinkosi Your story makes Table Mountain feel small. You are great. There are movements in your breath. Tsholo Quiet, calm, but when you dance itâ€™s fire. Thank you for sharing it with us.
A group of Activators came together and documented their lives while on training.