AFRICA OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE NO. 1
UNITY IN DIVERSITY
â€œPamodzi is a Nyanja word that means togethernessâ€?
Photo Credit: Shilika Chisoko
CONTENTS MEET THE TEAM
EDITORâ€™S NOTE By Sihle Masa
COFFEE ON HIGH By Poelo Keta
LITTLE LADY By Shilika Chisoko
CROSS-WCOUNTRY BUSINESSES By Cayla Mandean
WOMXN IN POWER By Nobuhle Gama
REVISTING OUR ROOTS By Sihle Masa
PETITE AND PROUD By Nobuhle Gama
KRAFTS BY KUDZIE By Cayla Mandean MYKHANDA ART By Poelo Keta DOES THE MEDIA SEE COLOUR? By Shilka Chisoko
UBOMI NGUMZAMO 41 By Sihle Masa SPRING HAS SPRUNG By Shilika Chisoko
MEET THE TEAM
POELO KETA Editor
SIHLE MASA Editor
NOBUHLE GAMA Designer
CAYLA MANDEAN Editor
SHILIKA CHISOKO Photographer/Creative Director
hy should we have something to define a thing so versatile and broad? We live in this continent embracing different diverse cultures and heritages which are all are inclusive of everyone in Africa. Africaness could be best described as the unity or togetherness of African people, rather than the different ethnic groups and skin tones. Umntu, ngumntu, ngabantu (a person is a person through or because of other people) you are who you are because of how you relate to others around you. In that sense we will strive to believe in being united and as one regardles of what ethnic group you belong to. We use many different ways of expressing our Africaness whether it be through art, music, food, fashion also by expressing what it truly means to you as an African. Dr Lindsay Kelland, from Rhodes University wrote on: The ‘Africaness’ of white South Africans?
Photo Credit: Shilika Chisoko
Where a stigma came about that people are starting to question their belonging in the African scene and whether or not they were African enough. The idea is not to have any restrictions when trying to lay out the meaning of Africaness or being an African, but to rather be inclusive and exclusive to and of all Africans as Africaness is an experience. We will tell stories of people’s perspectives of their love of their heritage or culture and the way they choose to embrace it. The aim is to create a sense of pride for Africans, and encourage a culture of inspiring one another and celebrate where we come from. By uniting and giving the recognition we are shaking the preconceived ideas of Africa as a continent, we are showcasing and creating a platform where one African being can embrace their true Africaness in AFRICA PAMODZI.
By: Sihle Masa
Photo credit: Sihle Masa "The inception of High Street"
Photo credit: Sihle Masa "Under the bamboo lights"
COFFEE ON HIGH By Poelo Keta
alking on High Street requires one with a confident stride and a focused gaze, or else they’ll think you’re up to no good. I walk faster and faster, fuelled by the rapid beat of my heart. I scrunch my nose up and politely decline a greasy flyer from a drifter on a drug high. I pace towards my favourite corner and suddenly my eyes are assaulted by the startling image of my mother; painted in hues of orange, yellow and green. My eyes tear up and I taste the familiar tanginess of my tears on my tongue. A car honks, I’m in the way.
Photo credit: Poelo Keta The warm aroma of the coffee intertwines with the zest of the cinnamon bun
As I make my way towards this mural of a woman who resembles my mother so much, two lost boys beat me to it and nestle themselves against her chest, as if
to say, “she’s our mother now”. Through the dark abyss that is their eyes and the strong smell emanating from their pores, I decide; they can have her. On most days I’m not sure what Mzimasi is playing. His off tune guitar betrays the melodies he wants to share with the world.
"She's our mother now"
His guitar, his lone possession, stays perched on his knee and a tattered hat lies in front of his feet, a 50c coin the lone occupant. I drop a coin in his hat and the sound of the coin kissing the other wakes me from the memories brought on by the brutal assault of my mother’s painting. I cling to my cup of coffee and blame the tears in my eyes on the paint fumes
coming off from the fresh painting. I swallow the saliva I have gathered in my mouth, trying to savour the last bitter remnants of my coffee, my favourite thing in the world. I turn around, look at the ghost that is my mother and start walking backwards, staring at her face as I get farther and farther away. The car guards enjoying the afternoon sun shout at me, warning me about the oncoming traffic, but I mute their deep, rough voices out. In that moment, as if realizing how deeply her image has affected me, she winks at me and I walk off towards the tempting buttery smell of popcorn that the lady under the arch sells.
Photo credit: Shilika Chisoko "The little lady"
By Shilika Chisoko nybody by Burna Boy could be heard from a distance in the Botanical gardens on this gloomy Tuesday Afternoon. Winter came with changes, visible though the withering away of the great willow tree at the center of the gardens. At the bottom of a vast area of greenery lay the willow tree. Its curtain-like branches made the tree seem like a beautiful ornament at the center of an empty table.
Photo credit: Shilika Chisoko "The Little Lady's Home"
During the summer time the tree was green, radiating life and energy. The tree had changed and was yellow, green and brown. The sky was grey - a mixture of the winter and smoke from a large, distant fire. The grass was a lively green mixed with the fallen brown leaves from the willow tree and from the corner of oneâ€™s eye, a ladybird beetle could be seen clawing on the grass.
The ladybirdâ€™s shell was auburn with little black dots all over. Lifting the branch the little creature nestled on led to the ladybird becoming still. It seemed to pretend to be dead so to be left alone, a clever tactic. Ladybird beetles are believed to be a symbol of good luck and anyone that encounters one is bound to experience good luck. What a privilege to see the little lady!
AS WE ENDEVOUR INTO CROSS COUNTRY EXPERIENCES, WE REALISE THAT AT THE CUSP OF IT ALL WE ARE ONE COUNTRY. ONE AFRICA.
Photo credits: Shilika Chisoko
Photo credits: Cayla Mandean "People of Makhanda Walking past Ali's shop
Photo Credit: Shilika Chisoko left: A sign in Ali's Shop R: Ali reluctantly poses for a photo
By Cayla Mandean outh Africa has once again been rocked by protests held by hawkers, resulting in a clash between police officers and migrant shop keepers in central Johannesburg last week, the 2nd of August 2019. According to EWN reporter Edwin Ntshidi, reports had claimed that police in the CBD were confiscating items from the hawkers that were operating illegally. This then led to the retaliation by the vendors resulting in officers firing rubber bullets in order to break up the crowd. This event raised concerns of xenophobia, with some people arguing that what the hawkers practiced was a crime. Whatever we choose to call it, there are certain facts that cannot be ignored.
In order to run a private business in South Africa one needs to register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). However foreign nationals should ensure they follow the necessary practices in order to open a South African Private Company through the support of the National Small Business Chamber. Niser Ali, a small business owner from Pakistan, located in Makhanda encourages migrant entrepreneurs to take the necessary precautions to ensure the legal operation of their businesses. Niser Ali explains that in order to create a successful, law abiding business one should ensure that selling beyond a products expiry date is avoided. Coupled with the careful monitoring of counterfeit goods should also be implemented.
According to Businesstech, unemployment statistics in South Africa has seen an increase of 1.4 percentage points in unemployment from the first quarter of the current year 2019, from 27.6%, to 29% in the second quarter of 2019. South Africa provides endless business venture opportunities for those willing to work for it. Lawful business practices lend a partnership between entrepreneurs and government officials, thus allowing more employment opportunities for the citizens of South Africa and decreasing crime rates.
WOMXN IN POWER By Nobuhle Gama
he Independent Electoral Board (IEB) has once again announced the election session at Rhodes University for the School Representatives Council (SRC) office for 2020. These elections commence every year from the end of July to the begging of August. "Participants are required to get a signature from their Dean as well as a support of at least five students for them to be legible candidates," said David Gwapetza a Ph.D. candidate in Water Research at Rhodes who helps the IEB team facilitate the elections, during the SRC meeting.
Yesterday students made their way to the Grazzle venue at 18:30 to listen to the manifestos made the candidates running up for the SRC office. This helps the students know the candidates and also make well-informed decisions when voting. Leboghang Nkambule (21), a Bachelor of Science Student at Rhodes said this is one of the most interesting and tense sessions at Rhodes University as leaders get to contend for the leadership positions in the SRC. She said it is, however, very pivotal that the elections are done fairly and with confidentiality to maintain peace among the students. A majority of candidates running up for the SRC office are said to be female, and
this has influenced the female supporters to wear headwraps as a symbol of women's power. Leboghang said as long as the elections are still on, they will be wearing the headwrap in support of the female candidates as a way to embrace their courage and femininity. This year, the SRC elections began right after the mayoral elections in Grahamstown, where Mzobane Nkwentsha, a local citizen and student at Rhodes University won as a councillor of ward 12 in the Makhanda Municipality. Meanwhile, the SRC candidates are given time to canvas and campaign until the close of the election dates.
"As long as the elections are still on we will continue wearing our headwraps in support of the female candidates"
Opposite page: "Leboghang flaunts her headwrap" Phoro Credit: Nobuhle Gama
WE GET IN TOUCH WE GET IN TOUCH WITH WITH OUR OUR ROOTS... ROOTS...
Photo credits: Sihle Masa
Photo credits: Sihle Masa
. . .AND CONNECT WITH OUR PAST TO UNDERSTAND OUR PRESENT. Photo credits: Sihle Masa
CONCAVE AT THE SOUTHERN TIP OF THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA, SITS OUR HOME. THE LAND THAT IS A LIVELIHOOD OF THOSE BEFORE US, OUR FOREFATHERS WHO ENGAGED IN THE STRUGGLE TO BIRTH THE FUTURE THAT WE NOW CALL OUR OWN.
Photo credits: Sihle Masa
THIS IS THE LAND WERE A MAN WITHOUT HONOUR DISGRACES HIS OWN SKIN, A WOMAN WHO CAN NOT NURTURE SUMMONS THE EVIL WITHIN AND A MAN WITHOUT MORALS CAUSES THE LIGHT TO DIM.
FOR THE ROAD TO FREEDOM, THOUGH SCARED AND BRUISED IS AN ENDEAVOUR WE BUILT THROUGH THE RESILIENCE WE GAINED FROM BLOWS THEY GIVE . . .
Photo credits: Sihle Masa
PETITE AND PROUD By Nobuhle Gama Are radicals born or made? Well, after our sit-down at Luzuko Pre-school in extension six at Rhini with Zinande Santi (23), one can fully be convinced that Zinande’s questioning of the “natural” order of things in learning institutions, workplaces and society comes from a genuine place.
in George, had to work extra hard in everything just to prove that she, as a black person is capable and qualified enough for her job description just because the company is white-dominated. “I mean, really?” Zinande asked while rolling her eyes.
This comes after her long-time struggle to gain weight simply because people, especially in the township and relatives gave bad remarks about how skinny she is when walking in the streets. This is said to be more common in African families said Vuyokazi, Zinande’s colleague.
orn and raised in Levallia, George in the Northern Cape, Zinande refers to herself as not only a poet but also a self-proclaimed equality activist. This is due to all the hurdles of life she’s been through and witnessed as a black, petite female.
Zinande also speaks about how women also had to prove themselves worth their positions which were once viewed as men’s, such as in the cooperate, mining and entertainment such as DJing. She says that to some extent this has made women be subliminally inclined to want to become like men, yet women were created differently from men with different purposes and qualities. “Can’t women occupy these male-dominated areas and still cherish their femininity? Can’t women be in board-room meetings in their heels and red lipstick and still be outstanding in their work?” she asks rhetorically.
Zinande says she hated family gatherings because that’s where her extended family would tease her saying that she wasn’t a proper Mfengu Xhosa because she is skinny yet the Mfengu Xhosas have got assets-referring to big bums, hips, and thighs.
These hurdles most of the time forced her to feel inferior and incompetent not only towards people from European descent or patriarchy, but also in her own family due to cultural expectations. She elaborates that gone are those days where the challenges of a black Child were mainly proving themselves that they’re capable of doing what a white child could. She recalls how her sister who is a former Executive PA at JS Marias Attorney Inc.
What makes her even frustrated is that not only are women facing such today, but they’re now denied the right to proudly be themselves in most social platforms and spaces simply because of their body shape and size.
After all the turmoil she’s been through, Zinande says that her self-discovery journey has rescued her from self-imposed unhappiness. She says that being different in an intolerant world is hard, but her journey has taught her that when she fully accepts herself, others have no choice but to follow suit. And that has thus led her to become unapologetic about the way she looks and also feel comfortable in her skin.
"After all the turmoil she's been through, Zinande says that her self-discovery journey has rescued her from self-imposed unhappiness"
Photo Credit: Nobuhle Gama 'Miss petite and Proud"
PORT ELIZABETH, A BEAUTFIUL CITY WITH MUCH TO OFFER. STROLLING ALONG THE SHORE WITH EYES GAZING AS FAR AS PERCEPTION ALLOWS. WHAT CAPTURES ONES ATTENTION IS THE BEAUTY AND UNIQUENESS THAT IS PRESENTED BEFORE YOU BY YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
Photo Credit Cayla Mandean
K R A F T S B Y K U D Z I E
KUDZIE EXCEEDS THE NORMED EXPECTATIONS OF A TYPICAL BEACH EXPERIENCE. THEIR STAND SITUATED NEAR THE BOARDWALK ATTRACTS THE EYES OF ALL THAT PASS WITH HANDMADE PRODUCTS THAT EXCEEDS MORE THAN JUST CRAFTSMANSHIP, BUT ALSO THE ABILITY TO TAKE A SIMPLE OBJECT AND CREATE SOMETHING AESTHEICALLY PLEASING. RECYCLING TIRES INTO REUSABLE ART PIECES.
Photo Credit: Cayla Mandean
THE SUN SETS, AS THE DAY COMES TO AN END. THIS IS THE TIME WHEN KUDZIE PACKS UP HIS CREATIONS IN PREPARATION FOR THE NEXT DAY OF BUSINESS.
Photo Credit: Cayla Mandean
Photo credit: Poelo Keta "The three-eyed queen"
Photo credit: Poelo Keta "Give me a break" By Poelo Keta
ichele Kloppers switches on the overhead lights in a stark room that is so cold and bright that you have no choice but to confront the honest truths displayed around it. This is one of the rooms that contain some of the art produced by young students around Makhanda. Their art will be showcased at an exhibit at the Johan Carinus Art Centre from the 11th to the 20th of September 2019 from 8:00 to 15:00. As if the lights understood the magnitude of this moment, they flickered, one by one, displaying various art works created by the talented artists. “Wow, art rocks,” mutters Jane James, the ceramics art teacher proudly. James has been working at the art centre for many years now and after taking a short hiatus to travel around the world and observe many galleries and museums, she returned to her teaching position at the art centre and resumed her job as a ceramics teacher.
“We should refuse to accept banality and mediocrity, and expect excellent craftsmanship. It is important to find a way to connect to the pupils, and to make them aware you appreciate their individuality,” she said. Kloppers, the Principal at the Art Centre, continuously moves around the various rooms with a grace only an art enthusiast can have, marvelling in the
“We should refuse to accept banality and mediocrity, and expect excellent craftsmanship,” James said. creations from the young students. “I believe it’s very high quality work, very expressive and you can see the kids’ commitment to their own work as well as the commitment of the teachers,” Kloppers says proudly. After being appointed a job at the centre
in 1988, Kloppers has since been dedicated to her work and her students, urging them to be expressive and to not be afraid to let their emotions spill out onto the canvas. The centre has five departments (ceramics, graphic art & printmaking, painting, sculptures and textiles) and their students range from Grade 4 up until Grade 12. The centre caters to various schools around Makhanda, namely; Victoria Girls High School, Graeme College and PJ Olivier amongst others. “The schools that are in the neighbourhood walk here, or a bus brings them here, but mostly we have teachers going to the various schools, especially to schools in the location such as Ntsika Secondary School, Fikizolo and Nombulelo,” she states. The exhibit will be open to everyone and the students will be present for opening night. Kloppers hopes many people can attend and witness this art and recognize the effort put in by the students and the staff alike.
Photo credit: Shilika Chisoko
PAMODZI. TOGETHERNESS. THE FEELING OF SAFETY THAT TRANCENDS ALL BORDERS. A CELEBRATION OF UNITY IN DIVERSITY.
Photo credit: Shilika Chisoko
Photo Credit: Shilika Chisoko "Ongezwa embraces her identity as a dark skin woman with pride."
DOES THE MEDIA SEE COLOUR? daya, Zoe Bella Kravitz and Yara Shahidi. In popular black sitcoms the women are lighter skinned whilst the men vary in complexion. In the popular 90’s show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-air, a black dark skinned woman that played the character ‘Aunt Viv’ was replaced by a black woman of a lighter complexion. Taking a closer looks at celebrity culture, most men in Hollywood tend to date women who are racially ambiguous or white women. When this media is consumed by the everyday African woman, they are being subconsciously convinced that beauty is determined by one’s proximity to whiteness. It is through these means that colorism is facilitated by the media. The effects that colorism may have on a dark skinned person can be catastrophic. Due to the influence of the Western media, colorism has found it’s into African societies. Over 77 percent of Nigerian women use skin lightening products, according to The World Health Organization. Khanyi Mbau is a South African celebrity who has come under fire for lightening her skin. In 2019 she admitted to lightening her skin in order to be successful in the entertainment industry.
By : Shilika Chisoko
n 2013, Tito Mboweni’s son was threatened with deportation by a police officer because he was suspected of being a foreigner. He was called out from a group of people in a taxi by a police officer who told him that he was too dark to be South African. Although the arrest could be said to have been xenophobic in nature, it also highlights colorism.
Colorism is a problem that the media helps sustain. Alice Walker devised the term Colorism in 1982, describing it as the “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” It is mostly a problem that is encountered by women, owing to the fact that the standard of feminine beauty is often determined by white women. Successful black women in Hollywood are often lighter in complexion e.g Zen-
Colorism often leads to skin bleaching which could have serious health repercussions. Some skin bleaching creams contain mercury which can cause skin discoloration, rashes, scaring and peripheral neuropathy. Colorism could also have an effect on one’s mental state causing illnesses such as depression and anxiety. When the media perpetuates colorism, dark skinned consumers might feel as though they are not accepted into society. It is therefore important to support the entry of dark skinned people in the media. It is though the representation of dark skinned people in the media that colorism and the problems that come with it can be eradicated.
"prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.”
Photo Photo credits: Credit: SihleSihle Masa Masa 'Umama catching up on her social media
UBOMI NGUMZAMO By: Sihle Masa
ama Thembela sits in her caravan as she prepares and waits to serve her food. face lit up as she saw someone walking towards her caravan, a vibrant, approachable and kind-hearted woman sits in this caravan and makes a living. Shyly she bites off her vetkoek with bacon and eggs sits in silence and gently sips on her coffee. Then a reciprocation of warm smiles. Car horns, revving engines, men shouting, and the sound of the gas stove create the ambiance in this caravan. A taxi rank behind the Market Square building with food stalls is where you will find Mam’Thembela’s caravan.
“Nani nje nifunda siyanibona, lonto ke asizukwazi univalela ngphandle ngoba nathi sinabo abantwana abafunda kwezikolo kwaye siyayazi ba imeko zenu zinjani lonto kufunkeka sini ncede.” (We also have children in school, and we know their struggles, so if any child would come to me, I wouldn’t close my door to them, we have to help them.) Mam’Thembela regards all of her customers as her family, her warm motherly character is really not hard to miss as she embraces it so effortlessly. The people around the taxi rank respect her and truly do support her in her business, whether it would be needing someone to get a few ingredients for her at
“Nani nje nifunda siyanibona, lonto ke asizukwazi univalela ngphandle ngoba nathi sinabo abantwana abafunda kwezikolo kwaye siyayazi ba imeko zenu zinjani lonto kufunkeka sini ncede.”
Thembela Mncongo (53), started her business 2 months ago, with the intention to keep on supporting herself and her children. Her career as a caterer started many years ago, working at a company called Makana Brick where she had a contract as a caterer there cooking for the workers, as soon as that ended, she needed to continue to make means of income. That is how the idea of taking over Ntosh’s Takeaways caravan came to her, her passion of cooking and always having grit do something weighed out to her advantage.
Shoprite or just the company and someone to talk to.
She has two children that she supports, one studies at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, and the eldest works at Mercedes Benz in East London. With what she earns out of her business, she has to pay her sons tuition fees with little of what she makes. “kundzima apha emhlabeni mntanam, umntu funeke enze azizamele" (life is quite difficult, as a person you have Wto try for yourself) just to make ends meet”, she acclaimed.
She is honestly a powerhouse of determination and perseverance as she also has another business on the side. She sells outsourced branded clothing and shoes that she gets from China. With so much excitement she began to show me these beautiful items of clothing and shoes that she sells, with the expression “hayi! Mntanam, uMama akahlelanga nje, uyazizamela ininzi into endiyithengisayo!” (My child! uMama is not just doing one thing, I try for myself, there are a lot of things
The grit and motivation come from her family as they all seem to be business orientated. She began showing me pictures of her sister’s work, a traditional seamstress. Her sister has her own business in town where she makes these impeccable traditional African garments and sells them. As Africans it may be difficult to get into the corporate world where you earn the big checks, so for the time being use your talent to make a living for yourself and be your own boss. Mam’ Thembela believes that you have to make a living for yourself otherwise you won’t make it in life, by having the urge to persevere is all you need to be able to take full responsibility of being able to live your life the way you would like to. Zimkhitha is one of Mam’Thembela’s helpers, she commemorated Mam’Thembela’s work ethic as she said people who are usually in the age group of Mam’Thembela in her community would stay at home and become solely dependent on their children who work to give them money to sustain life. It would never come to them to at least try to help themselves and their children. Zimkhitha subtly opened up and said, “Umama made sure that I stayed out of the streets, I am young and I still have a lot ahead of me, she pushes me to become someone who can make a living for themselves so that I can go home and support my family, she started by giving me this job of trying to help her out here and I am really grateful for that.” Mama’s love and warmth surely does make you smile and hopeful for a better day and a better tomorrow. Her perseverance and hospitality brings a lot of smiles by the taxi rank behind the Shoprite market square.
Photo Credit: Shilika Chisoko
SPRING HAS SPRUNG,
AND THE BEAUTY HAS BLOSSOMED UNDER THE AFRICAN SUN.
Our publication strives to present and embrace different forms of African identities in the different forms they manifest in.