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ISSUE No.03 / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2014

KShs. 100

AFRIKANMBIU BY AFRIKA FOR AFRIKA

Mi Casa The South African house music trio

@AfrikanMbiu /AfrikanMbiu

The

Connectivity Issue


FROM THE EDITOR “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.�

EDITOR Jullianne Obonyo obonyoj@afrikanmbiu.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Martha Ogonjo

True to this saying, no man is an island; in life we need each other. As we release this third issue, I am reminded of my childhood days at school. I abhorred being put in groups, just so as to complete a task I would have easily done on my own. At least that is what I thought then. With time I have come to learn the value of connecting and networking with others. My appreciation of others is drawn from the fact that working together with others lightens the burden of working alone and the variety in rich ideas is priceless. Back then, I had to unlearn the negativity I had about group work; and honestly, it was the best decision because I aced my exams, that was key for me. Everyone we meet at some point in life has something to teach us. It does not matter whether it is a pauper or the president, if we learn to look at the other side of the coin, there is always a greater lesson than the superficial look. I am excited about this issue because it focuses on the connectivity factor. It is probably the most Human issue we have released so far. Each article brings out the importance of unity. Today more than ever Africa ought to stand united in all aspects. Supporting and encouraging each other in the good and standing in the gap for each other through the thick. Africa is in the wake of the Ebola disease that seems to be spreading all over. While all others question the readiness of Africans to combat the disease, my prayer is that even if in the least bit, we will cooperate in finding a solution to this problem and more so that we would constantly be on our knees interceding for our continent.

Umoja ni nguvu is our mantra and through this issue, we envision a united Africa.

WRITERS Ayat Ghanem Jacques Maritz Levi Obingo Stephanie Wanga Clement Obonyo Owolabi Olanrewaju C. Serins serinssphere.wordpress.com Nyanda Labor Deputy Regional Director, Planned Parenthood Global PHOTOGRAPHERS Felix Okaka Okaka Photography Imor Abagha Music Planet Centre

Contact information Editorial & Advertising info@afrikanmbiu.com www.afrikanmbiu.com

- J.

@AfrikanMbiu /AfrikanMbiu


02

contents 03

04 KUUNGANISHWA (Swahili: CONNECTIVITY)

07

MEETING MYSELF

05 ÉVÉNEMENTS (French: EVENTS)

THE RIFT VALLEY FESTIVAL

06 MUA YEPEMA

(Mende: CONNECTIVITY)

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX… YOUNG PEOPLE SAY

08 KUUNGANISHWA (Swahili: CONNECTIVITY)

15

THE GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO GASTRONOMY

10 ISIMO SOKUXHUMANA (Zulu: CONNECTIVITY)

HIDDEN CAPE TOWN

14 VERBINDING

(Afrikaans: INTERVIEW)

MI CASA

17 OKUKWATAKANIFA

20

(Oshiwambo: CONNECTIVITY)

THE GHOSTLY DIAMOND TOWN OF NAMIB

19 CONNECTIVITÉ (French: CONNECTIVITY)

ALONE IN ALGERIA

20 ISOPO (Pidgin: CONNECTIVITY)

THE AMNESIAC SAVIOR

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 3


Kuunganishwa Connectivity

MEETING MYSELF by Stephanie Wanga Photo © Imor Abagha from Music Planet centre

I

n this age of connectivity, many times we like to be connected with everyone but ourselves. Connection with others, especially the very shallow sort of connection in which we pretend to be missing each other and loving each other and having such a great time with each other, sometimes helps us to create this big land of ‘happy’ in which we are indeed ‘happy’ and can forget that we are neither happy nor ‘happy.’ I’m going to do huge generalisations here, but it’s because for some reason I assume the world is a little (a lot) like me. Forgive me. I’m only scared of seeming like the only one with the problem. Am I the only one with this problem? Does all this ring a bell? We are plagued by insecurities. . In fact, insecurities may be the mother of our problems, at least our personal ones. We are a people scared of ourselves. Let us begin with physical insecurities. We all know a girl who believed she was very beautiful until she was told she was not. I think some physical insecurities are created, or maybe not. It depends on how you look at it. Is insecurity caused or formed? Our skin, particularly in Africa, may be a source of insecurity. Perhaps due to some thoughts passed down from colonial times some of us believe that lighter skin is better skin. Perhaps not. But let’s go deeper. There are some people who are scared of their skin. Scars and birthmarks, the kind that are never going. The kind that nobody sees, because nobody knows, or the kind that everybody sees because everybody knows. The kind that is not really focused on by magazine articles, because everyone else has more general problems. These are the kind of insecurities that nobody may relate to. But let’s

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 4

go back to the surface. We still have the people battling between light skin and dark skin. What about them? What about those who are heavier, in terms of weight, than others and this kills them? What about girls with larger feet? What about men with softer voices? What about the men who are insecure about their height? Or the ladies? What about people with actual disabilities, people without hands and people without legs, those who cannot speak or hear? What about men who are insecure about being skinny? What about the perceived horror of larger noses? Fish lips, maybe? This is getting a tad uncomfortable.

either scared of public opinion or our parents’ opinion. We want to write. We want to fix cars. We want to dance. We want to draw, and paint. We want to work with iron. We want to be sculptors. I’m not writing this to condemn anyone. That would be extremely tiring. I write as an extreme optimist and a girl who is filled with too much hope. I’m also not writing to offer one-size-fits-all solutions. I really think that the only person who can solve your insecurities is you, solutions to such problems are tailor-made to suit one’s situation, and all that the world and articles such as these can give you is information.

We need to connect with ourselves, and discover who we are. We need to do a humble appraisal I can talk about something that’s less uncomfortable though. I once went to Toi market of who we are, and accept it. Further than that, we need to take it in our stride. Why did I say and I was trying out sweaters and the lady who the matter of the lady at Toi asking me such a was selling me sweaters looked at me so oddly question was not really uncomfortable for me? and she really looked pained, and asked/said (I don’t know if she really expected an answer), “my Because I have not made it uncomfortable for me. goodness you’re so flat-chested! Are you normal?” I mean, I know the state of various parts of my body. And I love it. This goes back to my question We have mental insecurities. Some people are of are insecurities caused or formed? I believe to a depressed. But they would not ever admit it to large extent, perhaps the greatest extent, they are themselves, much less to you. I mean, being formed, and even when they are caused, we allow depressed is not really the most attractive thing. I them to form. We need to realise that as people put this under mental issues because depression we are works of art. Beauty should not be relative is a mental issue. Then there are the other mental to a standard of beauty. Beauty should be intrinsic insecurities that people may not be so willing to the thing, not as compared to another thing. In to talk about but people do undergo—anxiety the Sale of Goods unit in my first year law classes, disorders, eating disorders as well as and perhaps we learned that goods should be fit for purpose. especially addictions. It’s a terrible analogy but I think the way we have been made is such as to have us be fit for our We have social insecurities. By social insecurities, purpose—you may not have discovered it but you I mean insecurities that people have thanks to will discover it. We are not born knowing that there society. Some people are ashamed of their friends, is something ‘wrong’ with us. We ‘realize’ this upon or even their families. Perhaps this is because interaction with society. But who said what is right? society has set for us perceived ‘ideals’; the ‘ideal’ friends to have, and the ‘ideal’ families to have. Know yourself. Learn to love yourself, who you Some people are absolutely frustrated by their are and who you can become, ignite that little inability to dress as well as their friends. They fiery African spirit in you, that of pride about your would go out thinking they look good, until they very existence, connect with it and be bold. Reveal see their friends. Some people are insecure about to people you trust bits of your insecurity. Laugh being good. For them, it’s the worst thing to look about it. Slowly you will be free to show and tell like they’re not sleeping around, like they’re not the world. Fix the stuff that you formed—the abusing drugs, and basically that they are not ‘wise’ eating disorders and the self-harm, talk about in the ways of the world. Society, at least some it, be helped. And when you are comfortable part of society, is such that you look more stupid if with something, particularly something that is you don’t know how the ‘world’ works, and in this absolutely not wrong, such as having vitiligo, or part of society, the ‘world’ is drugs, sex and alcohol. a man having a soft voice, being a dwarf, being We also have social insecurities with regard to our unable to see, or having large feet if you’re a girl, talent and passions. We want to sing, but we’re the world will have to be, too.


RIFT VALLEY FESTIVAL WHERE: LAKE NAIVASHA’S FISHERMAN’S CAMP WHEN: 29TH-31ST AUGUST

Événements Events

Photos © Julia McKay

Day One: Beautiful art spread all over the festival grounds. There were three stages the main stage, Fambula stage and the Wasanii(Artist) stage. The main stage was taken over by the famous event organising company Kenya Nights. They gave the audience the best of afrohouse, deep and tech house music; these performances were delivered by Jack Rooster, Sean Frazer and Tom Hartley.

Art being showcased

Penya Africa showcase. Sauti academy students showcasing their talent at Fambula stage. Kidd the rapper entertains the crowd

Campsite camera shots

Day Two: Saw live performances from Sarabi, Wyre and Rumba Japan blared through the speakers. And Introduction of the Up Live stage courtesy of Up Magazine.

Sarabi lead vocalist Mandela in the middle, Adam on the acoustic guitar and Bella female vocalist Drumming jam session near the bonfire

Day Three: Rift Valley performances such as Yellow Light Machine played music. On the Fambula stage Sauti Academy students performed singers such as Swiga, Philie, Ciano and rapper Kidd are just the few that blew us away. Once nightfall came Santuri DJs kept people dancing till the wee hours of the morning. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 5


Mua Yepema Connectivity

A youth educating her peers.

Let’s Talk About Sex… Young People Say by Nyanda Labor Deputy Regional Director, Africa Planned Parenthood Global Photos © Nyanda Labor

J

ebeh was a twelve-year-old girl in a small town in southern Sierra Leone. One day while skipping the rope with her friends, she felt something warm running down her thighs. Touching her thigh, she saw that she had blood on her hand. She ran straight home to her mother, a primary school teacher. When her mother saw what had happened, she rushed Jebeh to the bathroom and disappeared for a few minutes. “Now that this has happened, if it doesn’t happen again you are either sick or pregnant,” her mother said when she returned. With that, she handed a package of sanitary napkins to her daughter. This was the extent of Jebeh’s education from her mother about the changes in her body, and her own budding sexuality. Like Jebeh, I received only a vague message about menstruation from my mother in Sierra Leone over forty years ago. I never heard any of the female adults around me discuss pregnancy prevention, even as we all saw girls getting pregnant and being forced to drop out of primary and secondary school, or heard whispers of schoolgirls who had died, tragically and needlessly, from complications of unsafe abortion. Statistics show that each year, there are an estimated 2.2 million unintended pregnancies among adolescent women living in sub-Saharan Africa. (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Adolescents-SRH.pdf) I have been a reproductive health professional focusing on adolescent sexual and reproductive health for the past 15 years in the United States and the developing world. Through my work with the Africa Regional Office of Planned Parenthood Global, I have seen the adverse effects of unprotected sex among the youth.I have seen the adverse effects of young people engaging in sex when they are too young, or having unprotected sex. All over the world, including across Africa, many young girls and boys are not getting the information they need in order

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 6


health, and develop into adults with responsible and healthy attitudes about their sexuality. And they do this in creative ways. The partners we support include youth empowerment groups that organize girls’ soccer teams and traditional health clinics that recruit youth outreach teams to spread the word about their services. We help parents, teachers and youth to understand that sexuality is an integral part of humanity; and that developmentally appropriate sex education includes understanding one’s body, developing and maintaining healthy relationships, making responsible decisions including when to have sex, and avoiding sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. All over the world, young people need and deserve to learn about sexuality. However, the adults in their lives, including their parents, may be uncomfortable with the subject matter or lack accurate information. Other trusting adults, including relatives and teachers, who are comfortable with adolescent sexuality and have accurate information can play a critical role in helping young people become well informed so that they can make healthy and responsible decisions about their sexuality. I am fortunate to have a wonderful “cool Aunty” who taught me about menstruation long before my first experience. I was also very fortunate that during my late adolescence my father talked to me about pregnancy prevention and gave me a book titled “Sex Without Fear”—yes my Sierra Leonean father! But this is sadly not the norm. In African settings, there is a misconception that talking about sex is somehow against our culture, or that adolescents having sex is a modern phenomenon. But sex education is not a foreign matter in Africa. One need only consider my Mende An elder advising a young lady. people in Sierra Leone, whose traditional schools such as the Sande (Bundu) Society have featured sex education as part of preparing a young girl to become a wife and mother—the key role of girls after puberty. Many traditional cultures feature similar to understand their bodies and the new feelings that are emerging kinds of education. Girls now have the opportunity to get formal with being an adolescent. Rather than learning about the normal education which means they need to spend their adolescent years changes that occur during sexual development, they are getting the in school. The traditional schools are losing relevance and many kind of fear-based messages Jebeh received from her mother, and societies are struggling with how to help young people navigate the not much else. This contributes to a society in which over 40 percent transition into modern adulthood, which does not mean becoming a of pregnancies worldwide are unintended, with the rate much higher mother or father soon after puberty. among young people. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21465725) The reality is that in Africa as all over the world, young people need At Planned Parenthood Global, we work to fill these information gaps by providing technical support to local organizations to increase access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, with a special focus on young people. Our partners provide crucial information to support young people to take control of their own

honest, accurate and appropriate sexuality information. Research shows that young people prefer to get sexuality information from parents. I invite you to join me in encouraging your family and friends to speak more openly and honestly about this issue, to ensure that the current generation of young people will be the healthiest ever. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 7


Kuunganishwa Connectivity

The Great

Contribution to

Gastronomy by Levi Obingo Photos © Okaka photography

S

andwich,pretty easy to make huh? If it is easy for you, then what you are used to making and tasting is probably the easy and basic version.I have never been a fan of sandwiches because they all taste the same.But today (the day this article begins to exist), the course of history may change forever. Today, I learnt a number of things on elements of a good sandwich and how it is likely to taste.What you can do to give it ‘life’. In the process, you may even grow new taste buds, because the existing ones will probably be overworking themselves trying to come to terms with all the new sensations suddenly suffocating them without sufficient warning. Finally someone thought out of the box and did humanity a great favor by contributing greatly to gastronomy. You see, my dear reader, you can vary the piece of meat (or vegetables for all you lovely vegetarians out there), or whatever you put in between your sandwich, but that can only go so far in adding to your taste library- the tastes yourtongue will encounter and enjoy during its lifetime. I like to consider myself a liberal. Liberal in thoughts. Liberal in music. Liberal in opinions, and recently, liberal with food. I like trying out new things. Hence the little hesitation I showed when my brother suggested a new joint that we should try out. “A sandwich bar,” he said. “It is amazing,” he said. “You’ll love it, trust me,” he said. And he was right. They (the sandwich bar) even lets you choose the kind of bread you Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 8

want – and I’m not talking about choosing between the white, brown and yellow. Nothing too fancy either. But something different. Nice, I thought. I am the type of person who has always been chicken when it comes to chicken. Scratch the Kenchic advert. That is far from where my thought process is headed. I have just never been that much into chicken, unless it has been made a certain way. I promise I was less difficult as a child. I always stuck to beef and I still do, unless I come across chicken that has been made in a certain way. So I really wasn’t expecting much from all that. Because beef is all I eat. They would never have shocked me because I have tasted (or that is what I like to think) all variants in which cooked, roasted, steamed or boiled beef presents itself. I have seen it all, and tasted most of it. But today, this history changing day, I was schooled. It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, I like to acknowledge it. The beef wasn’t that fundamentally different. I had probably tasted something similar before. It wasn’t the bread – the tenderer version of the baguette – either. You can only do so much with that. It was the toppings. The sauces. The spices that accompanied the aforementioned. And with that, a million different flavors came to be.


“What’s that?” “Paprika.” “Oooh…nice. And what about that sauce there next to you?” “This one?” “No, the next.”

without really holding my wallet in my hand for a few minutes as I conducted a brief session of mental math. As the West Africans give us series and series of movies, as the South Africans give us Kwaito Music, as the East Africans give us the diverse culture of the Maasai and their unique colored Shuka, the North Africans have taken great leaps to enhance our gastronomy. While Sub-Saharan Africa streams with diverse cultures and livelihoods, the Berbers and Islamic Arabs of the north ‘rule’ the taste buds with their rich flavor.

“This is Harissa. It is a Tunisian hot and spicy sauce. You wanna try?” *Hesitation* “And what about that next to the Harissa? The golden brown one.” “That is La Kama. It is Moroccan. But it is not a topping. It is used to cook.” “Ah. Cool.” I can not quite remember what I chose, and I’m pretty sure the odds will be against me if I choose to try and guess my way through to get that exact combination of toppings I chose. But that doesn’t matter, because I know I will have another forty nine flavors to indulge and overwork my taste buds with. And who is to thank for this? The Egyptians. The Moroccans and Tunisians. The Berbers. The members of the Arab league who are part of this graceful continent. Apart from their contribution to the world political dynamic through their incessant revolutions which sparked revolts all around the Middle East, their great contribution to gastronomy seems just as remarkable. The Sahara sweeps conspicuously through their lands, making agriculture virtually impossible. That leaves tourism and exports, a significant portion of which are spices, to hold upright their economies. Here’s something else that you should relish at; much earlier, spice trade was more valuable than gold trade in the world. For those of you who are into history (), you’ll probably find it interesting that somewhere in the fourth century, an army (The Visigoths) captured Rome and demanded 3000 pounds of peppercorns as ransom. Back then, spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. That is probably why there are more detailed and extravagant monuments in North Africa than anywhere else in Africa, and a lot of these are probably just as relevant historically as those in Europe. Take Alexandria for example, which was established by the Romans as a strategic trade hub that linked the Middle East to Europe.Those were the days when spices competed with rare stones and precious metals. The days when soldiers were paid in salt, hence bringing forth the term ‘salary’ and the phrase ‘worth his salt.’ The days when spices were overpriced due to their scarcity and the bravado of the spice merchants who often told tales of how they had to fight off vicious winged creatures around the Atlas in order to get the spices – hence the hefty price tag attached to them. Since they became more widespread in the world, spices have become relatively inexpensive. Probably why I was able to have a taste of some Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 9


Isimo sokuxhumana Connectivity

De Goede Hoop Temple by Paul Duncan and Alain Proust from the Book Hidden Cape Town, published by Random Struik

HIDDEN

CAP E TOWN

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 10


by Jacques Maritz

J

ust beyond Stalplein (an early site of the Dutch East India Company’s stables and one of the City’s historic squares), lies De Goede Hoop Temple, the oldest active Masonic Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Built in 1803, it has been described as one of the most elegant Masonic buildings of all time. The Temple De Goede Hoop in Bouquet Street, Cape Town, stands on its own grounds, some few metres to the left of Tuynhuys, chambers of the President of South Africa. The whole complex, even including the huge tree alongside the fountain, has been declared a National Monument. The De Goede Hoop Temple was designed by Louis Thibault and built by Hermann Schutte, whilst Anton Anreith sculpted the original statues. The main Temple room is long and narrow, being based on the exact dimensions of the inner sanctum of King Solomon’s Temple, in Jerusalem. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enter a historical venue like the De Goede Hoop Temple, with the added bonus that it could give you a glimpse at the world of Freemasons? These were some of the thoughts that dawned on me when I first paged through a coffee table book called “Hidden Cape Town” published by Randomstruik; compiled by Paul Duncan and Alain Proust. “Hidden Cape Town offers a unique look at thirty of Cape Town’s most notable

buildings, revealing the architectural secrets and artworks that lie beyond the doors of some known and lesser known landmark buildings in and around the “Mother City”; forming part of the diverse heritage and culture that shaped South Africa over the centuries.” according to the back page synopsis. After seeing and reading the section on the De Goede Hoop Temple, I was intrigued. How the authors were able to enter and photograph the Temple – was it not only accessible to Freemasons? I simply had to know more! I was provided with the email address of the Provincial Grand Secretary (PGS) and enquired as to how a member of the public could gain access to the Temple? The PGS, Mervyn was amused to enlighten me that pre-arranged, guided tours of the De Goede Hoop Temple have been open to the Public for some time now. In addition I was surprised to discover that it had always been a policy of Freemasons not to react - or reply to any of the myriad rumours, conspiracy theories and many other allegations through the ages. Mervyn also stated categorically that if Freemasonry was such a secret as some would believe, then we would not know anything about the Brotherhood. Freemasons would like to rather be known as a Society with Secrets as opposed to a Secret Society.

The Temple and surrounding structures almost have an air of mystery and intrigue about it being drenched in history for more than two hundred years. Masonry in South Africa, I discovered is even older. In 1772 the Masonic Order established its first Lodge (the name for a group of Masons) in the Cape (of Good Hope) under a warrant obtained from the Grand Lodge National of the Netherlands. Initially, Masonic or Lodge meetings were held in new buildings rented for this purpose, but after 1794 they moved to a building which stood on the site of the former Union Hotel in Plein Street belonging to Abraham de Smidt, a prominent lodge member. They subsequently purchased the building, but it soon proved to be inadequate and in 1800 they bought the grounds upon which the Temple now stands. The property, known as Domburg Garden, already had a number of structures upon it and in 1801 it was decided to demolish them to make way for a new building. The Temple was built at a cost of £6000, and Brother (what Freemasons call one another) Anton Anreith installed four symbolic figures along the walls of the temple, with another three placed elsewhere in the building. The temple was consecrated on 7 July 1803 by Advocate Jacob de Mist, Commissioner of the Cape, who was also Deputy Grand Master National of the Netherlands. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 11


During the 1840s, a banqueting hall was added next to the Temple and this housed the Cape Parliament from 1854 to 1884, when the present House of Assembly was completed. In February 1892 the Temple, together with its banqueting hall, was gutted by fire, including four of Anreith’s symbolic figures, and only the outer chambers escaped damage. The building was rebuilt, and was consecrated in April 1893, while its banqueting hall was converted to a theatre and was used as such until 1916, when it was acquired by the Government. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 6 September 1968. The Cape Colony received its representative parliamentary institution in 1854. The newly created House of Assembly found a home in Cape Town. No doubt that the first Speaker of the House, Sir Christoffel Brand (also appointed Deputy District Grand Master National for South Africa for the Netherlands Constitution in December 1847), brought some persuasion to bear. There were few vacant buildings available in the growing city and the banqueting hall of the Temple De Goede Hoop was an obvious choice. The House of Assembly met there for the first time on June 30, 1854, a preliminary meeting, with the formal opening in Government House the next day. The small foyer of the Temple or Lodge De Goede Hoop is entered through two heavy wooden doors. A further set of doors, some 12 feet high, lead into the Temple Robing Room. To the left is the Perpetrator’s Room, with stairs leading to the organ loft. Also left, is the Chamber of Meditation, containing a statue of “Hiram Abiff” by Anreith. Leading out of the Chamber of Meditation, through a (very) heavy wooden door, is a sloping passageway to the Middle Chamber. At the far end of this Chamber is a statue of “Grief,” also by Anreith. To the right is the Master’s Robing Room adjacent to the Chamber of Silence. This chamber houses a statue of “Silence” by Anreith. All of the Anreith statues date back to the time of the original creation of the Temple around 1803 and his contribution is acknowledged on the National Monument Plate found at the front door.

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 12

De Goede Hoop Temple by Paul Duncan and Alain Proust from the Book Hidden Cape Town, published by Random Struik


Entrance to the main Temple itself is gained through the Temple Robing Room and underneath the organ loft. At the top of the entrance steps (the West) are the Chairs for the Junior and Senior Wardens. The Master’s Chair is situated in the East, at the centre back. Each of the office bearers has specifically allocated seats in the Temple. Lodge Charters are stored through curtains behind the Master’s throne. Just inside the entrance to the right, a wire rope extends from the ceiling. This is to activate the “Thunder Run”, a Shakespearean innovation which simulates the sound of thunder. It is, I am told, one of only two known examples of this feature, still operational worldwide. There are four magnificent statues placed in significant positions in the Temple. These are respectively :- “Wisdom” - a copy of the Giustiniani Minerva (the original is housed in the Vatican); “Strength”the Lansdowne Hercules; “Beauty” - a copy of the tinted Venus by Gibson, the Welsh Sculptor; and “Hope” – which was a local creation. These statues were put in place in the late 1890s, in memory of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr.

annual Masonic Charity Spring Ball in August where funds are raised for Masonic homes dedicated to the elderly and disabled persons. However it is Masonic to support charity in general. No Masonic Lodge takes part in politics and no discussion on politics generally, or State Policy, is permitted in the Lodge. The Order does not interfere in a Brother’s political belief, or in his activities outside the Lodge, but requires that members be law-abiding and acknowledge the Civil Authorities. The Lodge will not tolerate Brethren guilty of criminal misdemeanour, or subversive activities. Whilst demanding from its Members loyalty and obedience to its principles and constitution, there is nothing in Freemasonry which conflicts with a man’s civil, moral, or religious obligations. Masonry is an international fraternity; however, each Mason is instructed to be loyal to his own country, knowing that other men love their country as he loves his own. To book a guided tour send a mail to: guidedtours@grandlodge.co.za Tours are limited to 16, subject to the availability of a guide and must be arranged well in advance.

There are numerous other interesting features found within the Temple complex, including the several magnificent paintings of respected Freemasons from days gone by and a wide variety of interesting, historical items related to the Temple itself and the development of Freemasonry in the Western Cape.

To book tickets for the Masonic Spring Ball, contact the Provincial Grand Secretary, Mervyn on secretarysd@grandlodge.co.za

In conclusion I simply had to ask my guide “so what is Freemasonry?”

fall into a Division or Provincial Grand Lodge(PGL) and a country

The response was as follows: Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest international brotherhood or fraternity. It is, and always has been, dedicated to the moral and spiritual uplifting of good men, by creating an environment in which they can jointly pursue the principles of truth, morality, brotherly love, and charity. Making good men, better.

or PGL’s would fall.

Applicants for the Order must believe in a power greater than man, may not have a criminal record, and may not be un-rehabilitated insolvents. In principle, men are not invited to join Freemasonry and interested applicants are expected to apply for membership of their own free will and accord.

Lodge Info: A Lodge would consist of 20+ members, and a group of Lodges would would normally have only one Grand Lodge, under which all divisions

South Africa has four constitutions of Freemasons namely : ▪ South African, ▪ English ▪ Scottish and ▪ Irish. For more information: www.grandlodge.co.za

Although the Freemason must have religious belief, as the Order’s teaching is carried out with religious symbolism, Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is the Masonic Temple a place of Worship. The Order does not attempt to provide, or to supplant religious requirements which are best provided by the Churches or other religious bodies with that specific function. The Order does not assume these functions. The Freemason must however, be prepared to undertake solemn obligations in the sight of God and the Holy Bible.

for information on Freemasonry in South Africa

There are no economic or material advantages offered by the Order. Freemasonry does however have certain charities. Masonic Charities are not intended to replace the provisions which a man must make for his family in his old age or in the event of his death. There is an

www.sabc.co.za/wps/portal/news/main/tag?tag=Lodge%20

www.freemasonrysd.co.za for information on Masonry in Southern Division (Cape and W-Cape) www.glsa23.co.za for information on a Lodge in Cape Town.(this is one of 17) or view de%20Goede%20Hoop

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 13


Verbinding Interview

MiCasa The

South African

house music trio by Clement Obonyo Photos Š Mi Casa

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 14

AM: How did Mi Casa begin? MC: We met through a random freestyle, open-mic kind of session. Well that’s what it turned into. According to Dr. Duda, he gave Mo-T and I a job. Ha-ha... After the jam session we recorded an album and that was exactly 3 months after we first met.


AM: Tell us about your childhood and your family? MC: We’ve all had really humble beginnings to be honest. Mo- T grew up watching his dad touring all over the world with Mango Groove, Dr. Duda in a quaint village in Kwa Ndebele spending his time in church playing the keys. And Myself - J Something, well i grew up alongside my mother. Pretty much like any normal kid in a small town called Port Alfred. A dream to me was just that ... A dream. Never a reality. But hey look at us now :). We are blessed! AM: How long have you been singing? MC: I have been singing ever since I could remember; at 5 years old I was already telling everyone to keep quiet and listen to me. But professionally it’s been approximately 4 years.

AM: When did you guys decide that music is what you want to do? MC: I never thought it would be possible to be honest. But for us, as a band it had to have been when we free styled and saw people’s reactions. We knew that we had something special!

AM: What has kept you through the journey? MC: I think it’s the passion to be honest. We are having the time of our lives!

AM: Your team has been nominated and won a number of awards, what do you credit your success to? MC: The message in our music, I think we do have something unique. I think we do have something unique. Also the message in our music

AM: What would you say is the future of African music? MC: House music

AM: What were you guys doing before Mi casa came to be? MC: I had just finished varsity. Mo and Duda were both in the music scene. Duda had been in the music industry earlier than Mo.

AM: What is your favourite African musician/ group? MC: P Square

AM: What is your greatest accomplishment? MC: Uniting people, through music. AM: Do you guys hang out even when not working? MC: Yeah of course. We are brothers. It could be a dinner at my house or a movie at the cinema.

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 15


AM: Which event stood out? MC: Luanda, Angola for 75 000 people! AM: Tell us about the Africa rising collaboration? MC: It was great experience working with each artist as well as with the team at DSTV - Africa. Shooting the music video was crazy for us as we literally flew in for 4 hours into Ghana and then had to leave. Performing it together in Mauritius was also memorable! AM: How did all of you people come together and decide to do collaboration? MC: It was all about uniting Africa through music. We all had a shared vision of wanting to bring people together.

AM: Highlight of your career? MC: Playing for Obama’s inauguration, selling double platinum with Su Casa “more than 80 000 units on Physical only, winning for SAMA’s and playing at the Common Wealth Games in Scotland recently. I could carry on and on.

my back pockets, fainted after seeing me and giving me written letters with hearts all over the place... AM: If you were not into music what would you guys be doing? MC: J Something:I would love to be a head chef at like a famous restaurant.

AM: What would you say to aspiring Musicians? MC: Do music for the right reasons. Make music that you love firstly. And work hard. Practicing is so crucial!

AM: Love life? MC: Mo T is married and Duda and I are a work in progress :-)

AM: What would you say has made your group stick together all this while? MC: We have a very good mutual understanding and a lot of respect for each other.

AM: Tell us about your latest album? MC: Latest album is called Su Casa and it’s definitely an album that speaks a lot about our character. It is a double platinum selling album (over 80, 000 units) and has so much more gonna dance too ... Each song has a story.

AM: Who among you writes the songs? MC: I do the song writing for the band. To be honest it varies. The other day I recorded a melody in my sleep. I literally woke up in my sleep and recorded something. Who knows ... Maybe the next hit. AM: What inspires your songs? MC: Everything. From good to bad. Everything! AM: What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done to you? MC: Stolen my clothes, slipped g- strings in Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 16

AM: Which is your favorite album and why? MC: Right now it would have to be an artist by Mali ... The album is “Mali is...” AM: Future plans? MC: Take over the world! AM: You have travelled almost all countries in Africa, what is your view of music and event industry in other countries? MC: It’s a huge growing part of our story as Africans. Each country has a unique addition and story to tell.

AM: What was your experience being in the studio with all the other big artists working on the album in their respective countries? MC: Digital age makes the recording process a breeze to be honest. We only saw each other when we launched the song. AM: Why did you choose to shoot the video in the slums? MC: There is so much beauty there in Ghana Accra. And so much story. AM: You called Africa’s land Honey and in a previous interview you stated that the future of the world is the youth of Africa. What inspired these bold statements? MC: When I look at our continent there is something that excites me more than any other place in the world, and that’s space for development. There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing you can still do better at something. Because once you reach 100%, you’re done. One can’t improve on it. Africa has space for growth. With that said everyone is looking to this continent to invest! The youth of Africa are the future of the world!


Okukwatakanifa Connectivity

The Ghostly Diamond Town of the Namib by Serins Photos © Serins serinssphere.wordpress.com

R

ising through in dunes of the Namib Desert – “Kolmanskop” (Coleman’s hill in English or Kolmannskuppe in German) is the abandoned mining town in the south western part of Namibia.

is picturesque, is an understatement. It is a place reminiscent of history and eerie in its desertion.

In 1908 the railway worker Zacharias Lewala found a shimmering Once a thriving town, the architecture is of the German style of the stone in the sand near what would be established as Kolmanskop. early nineteen hundreds. Large houses which have been reclaimed by Convinced that this was indeed a diamond, his supervisor August the dunes of the Namib, stretch out into the desert like some kind of Stauch had this confirmed. News of this find, spread like wildfire and mirage. To say this town which has been partly restored as a Museum sparked a huge diamond rush, as hundreds flocked to the area. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 17


At that time one was able to find diamonds scattered on top of the sand in the area. The German Government soon declared the area as a “Sperrgebiet” and started utilizing it as a diamond field. The mining culture of the past is displayed in the museum. Even then they tried to smuggle diamonds, with hidden compartments in shoes and other inventive mechanisms. A place in the middle of the desert needs some entertainment and accommodation for all these people. A fully fledged town sprung up, complete with a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, 4-lane skittle alley, theatre, sports hall, casino, ice factory and even a swimming pool! Fresh meat could be bought at the butchery and there was a bakery and furniture factory. In the 1920’s Kolmanskop housed approximately 300 German adults, 40 children and 800 Owambo contract workers. After World War One, as diamond prices plummeted the town started a decline in population. Diamonds became harder to find and when richer deposits where found a few miles south the town was practically forsaken overnight in 1954. Walking amongst these abandoned houses sparks the imagination of creative souls. The abandoned town has served as host for several movies including the 1993 production of “dust Devil” and the 2000 film “the King is Alive”. Photographers and tourist alike flock to the town daily to take in this unique scene. The lonely buildings have a place in African History as none other. It hosted the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere and it had the first tram in Africa. The houses and buildings whisper the history of decades past. It is a place that sings of a culture long before the internet and cellphones. You can practically smell the nineteen twenties in the air. All in the middle of nowhere. While the landscape of the Namib Desert, with its red sand dunes and wide open spaces is breathtaking.On its own this place has a ghostly specialness which sparkles like the diamonds that brought it into existence.

Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 18


Connectivité

Connectivity

Alone in

Algeria by Ayat Ghanem Photos © Ayat Ghanem

meaning’ because we only understand words in relation to other words. Outside of that “Wa7di.” sphere or net, words lose their meaning, came to Algeria only with a minimal they become empty vessels. Take ‘sun’ for knowledge in modern standard Arabic, instance. We only understand sun through a with some Levantine sprinkled in the relationship of colour, yellow, property, heat, degree programme. During those study years, location, the solar system and the moon.We I learnt that to say ‘alone’ one should say ‘li only understand ‘door’ through a relationship wa7di’. To my western terms of reference, of opening and geometrical shape. Words are this phrase corresponded to ‘alone’ both in part of a net and it is through this network translation and in terms of concepts. But that they acquire meaning. Which is why it is I never had to ponder on the term much. so crucial, when learning another language, During my study years I was with English to study and understand the net within which speakers, so telling someone ‘get out, I want the words of that language operate. A word to be alone’ in Arabic was always going to be cannot be understood alone. understood.

I

After about three months of living in Algeria going from friends’ homes to family members’ homes, it became vital to express ‘I need to be alone’, not so much as in ‘you all drive me bonkers’ but more as in trying to express the dire wish to place my body and self in a space with no other bodies and selves within that space, apart from perhaps the body of a cat (well, a live one). So I used ‘li wa7di’. After being pointed to the (more perfect I’d say) Algerian ‘wa7di’, what I wanted to express still didn’t seem to be carried by that adverb. Obviously, alone did not refer to the lone-ness I knew and longed for, so what was I expressing? In Linguistics, there is a theory that advances: words do not mean anything. The word ‘door’ for example doesn’t mean anything... alone. I am not speaking of the sound ‘door’ having no relationship to the thing it describes, I mean exactly ‘words have no

When I reached saturation point, it became evident that when I expressed the wish to live alone, my addressees didn’t understand what I meant, not because I speak rubbish Algerian and Kabyle but because there was a gap in our common terms of references. One could have come to the usual bla conclusion: in traditional Algerian society, women do not really live alone unless they really have no other option, such as widows, orphans, or the more frequent young students off to university in another city. But bla clearly wasn’t the gap. Listening to how others worded their ‘living alone’, I realised that those I knew who said they live alone didn’t live alone in a physical reality. They would say they lived wa7edhum, by themselves, while they in fact lived with other individuals. They shared their living space with other human beings but these others, drum roll are not: family members. Sometimes, they were even complete strangers to them when first moving in together. For a society that

operates on clan relationships, being away from the clan, having no clan member in sight in the kitchen or fiddling about in the sitting room is finding oneself outside of the vital blood network, to make it sound vampirish. So when I told my family I wanted to live alone, I actually explicitly asked to be cut off from the clan, threatening to essentially cut my wrists off and replace blood with another unidentified substance. Now I understand their upset and surprise: why would you wish to become like an empty vessel like a word fallen out of its net, devoid of meaning? After the horrendously violent years Algerians suffered throughout the 90s, it is understandable and predictable that women and men might be reticent or even fear to live away from family protection. But this analysis of the situation is just a surface appraisal for lazy minds. The issue begins with clanic rules. There are plenty of women who live away from family members, and it doesn’t seem to necessarily pose a problem. The problem lies elsewhere. It is the stretch on the organic net, on the family and clanic network which seems to create tension because if one element of the net is repositioned, every other component in the net will need to be repositioned, causing at best a loss of meaning and at worse and entirely new definition. I now realise that between my addressees and myself, there was no gap in our common terms of references. They feared and fear that I am putting the meaning of myself at risk, that I might become lost in outer word and physical space, drifting out of the net... a subtext at best, forever. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 19


Isopo

Connectivity

The

Amnesiac Savior by Owolabi Olanrewaju C. Photos © Okaka Photography

S

he was intently looking at him as he was shopping for his grandkids. At first, it started out as just a glance and since then, anytime he turned, he saw her eyes fixed on him. Dr. Luke even tried to shrug it off, thinking that she might have been looking at one of the wares in the supermarket beside him but his uneasiness just continued to grow bigger and bigger. She was light-skinned, average height and would not be more than thirty years of age. He could estimate that from his years of expertise. That reminded of his years as a doctor. He had been in service for up to twenty-five years before he got involved in a tragic event that left him mildlyamnesiac. This led his hospital to let go of him, but on a reasonable pension pay, as he was one of the best members-of-staff then. As he moved away from her, she moved closer to him, with an expression on her face as if she just found a long lost brother. That could not be true though. Dr. Luke was an only child.

Dr. Luke suddenly figure huddled amidst grabbed his the piles of rubble. pocket as he He pulled her out and dropped his wares started running out of on the counter what’s left of the tower. in front of the Behind him, screaming, cashier. He was dead bodies and blood looking for his everywhere, the rest of medicine. His the building collapsed. He was torn between two head was now Then he looked down at oaths - his oath as a doctor throbbing. The the pretty lady he just to save all lives and his own little flash of saved. He set her down oath to his personal life. memory he got on the ground and was had sent him into making back to try saving the deadly spiral other people when the of headache he so hated. If not for his twin debris came out of nowhere and struck him grandkids’ birthday, he wouldn’t have been on his head. Instantly, he blacked out. out. A creepy woman wouldn’t have been on his tail, he thought. Above all, he wouldn’t She stepped nearer. His headaches grew bigger. Then he saw a tear streaming down have had this deadly migraine again. one of her eyes. They were not tears of He fumbled in his pockets for his car keys and sorrow though; she had a smile plastered on dashed out of the store. He got to his car and her face behind the smile. They were tears of She got closer to him and he observed her opened the door. His medication was not so joy. The flashes in his head continued. Then it features well. She was plump and mildly far out of reach. He reached into the glove happened, his memory relayed to the exact round too. He was also starting to get his compartment and got out his meds, took out moment where he knew her. She was.... usual flashes and headaches. Those had two pills and quickly swallowed them. He been a residual part of his life since the breathed heavily, then lightly, for five minutes “Thank you so much”, she said, breaking his train of thoughts mid-way as she flung terrorist attack that left his memory impaired. then decided to exit his car. His headaches herself at him and hugged him. A strange chill of deja-vu suddenly swept had subsidized now. He left his car and over him as a wave of knowledge seemed started walking towards the supermarket to to register itself in his wavering brain. He get his wares when the same woman exited. “You pulled me out of the burning tower, August 7, 1998. She was still shaking with sobs seemed to know her all of a sudden. His With her, were the things he dropped. She as she clung to him, now in more tears, the headaches, accompanied with brain flashes, was now coming towards him and he could plastic bags still in her hands behind him. The rushed back to him all of a sudden. The not escape. He stood his ground and waited flashes came in and his memory jogged, for her. Coming nearer, his flashes came back realization came back to him. Tears flowed freely from his eyes. The debris that hit him again. and started to grow rapid. had sent him into a state of mild-amnesia, but he was glad that he had touched a life with his He could see big buildings falling, smoke “Help me! Help me!!” was all Dr. Luke heard final deed as a practicing doctor. everywhere, debris flying. His ears were from the crashing building. He was torn ringing and his clothes were smoke-stained. Cars tumbled here and there, shops scattered, buildings reduced to ground level. Then he heard it - a faint, female cry. Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 20

between two oaths - his oath as a doctor to save all lives and his own oath to his personal life. His love for human life propelled him into going into the building. Then, he saw the

In the middle of the park, alone, huddled together, were two people - savior and the saved - reunited.


Afrikan Mbiu / OCT-NOV - 21


Photo © Serins serinssphere.wordpress.com

“You cannot build a house for last year’s summer.

Afrikan mbiu issue 03  

Mbiu’ is a ‘Kiswahili’ term which translates to horn.Traditionally in African societies a horn was blown to call people to a single location...

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