Friday, 10 February 2017
Punches fly in parliament as EFF MPs removed
Members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been removed from Parliament.
Screams could be heard as security forces removed EFF MPs. Some EFF MPs tried to resist the move, however they were overpowered as one by one they were led out of Parliament.
Earlier, EFF leader Julius Malema and his caucus rose several times on point of orders, delaying the start of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).
MP Godrich Gardee interrupted President Zuma as he was about to begin his address.
From that point on, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Thandi Modise had trouble returning calm to the National Assembly.
Congress of the People (Cope)'s Willie Madisha was the first MP to be asked by NCOP chairperson Modise to leave the National Assembly.
WATCH: 'Rotten to the Corel' - Malema in fighting mode at SONA 2017
Friday, 21 October 2016
Each of the recycled bottles which forms part of the iThemba Tower in Troyeville, Johannesburg contains a coloured light and a message of hope contributed by members of the community. (Image: iThemba Tower Tumblr blog )
By Lindiwe Sibanyoni
Officially opened in July 2016, the iThemba Tower is a community art project made with over 7 000 recycled plastic drinks bottles decorating a decommissioned 20m high cellular tower.
The tower is situated in the garden of the Spaza Art Gallery in Troyeville, Johannesburg. The repurposed tower has become a point of pride for people living and working in the area.
The project is the brainchild of renowned local street artist r1, conceived as a way to collaborate with the community in creating distinctive urban art. The artist specialises in taking lifeless urban landscapes and adding colourful, eye-catching African flourishes using various mediums.
Speaking to Graffiti South Africa, r1 says Johannesburg is his canvas, and its people his collaborators. "Every city has its beauty but Johannesburg [has] a special kind. There is a sense of freedom in the inner city that I don’t experience anywhere else. It is quite unique. People are open for engagement and I get fascinating opinions from very diverse backgrounds. [It’s] so rich culturally but still somehow a hidden treasure.
View image on Twitter http://bit.ly/1RL6k7U
The iThemba Tower's plastic bottles – bought from the city's informal waste collectors – each contain a light and a written message by members of the community, including learners from local schools. At night the tower lights up with a multitude of colours.
Taking the isiZulu word for hope, 'ithemba', the messages inside each bottle represent the dreams of each contributor. Speaking to blogger Heather Mason of 2Summers.net, r1 describes the artwork as a "symbolic communication tower around which a diversity of people can share their collective hopes".
More important, the installation is also an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of recycling and the informal collectors who recycle the city's waste as a means to survive.
While the tower itself is the main attraction, it forms part of an online multimedia project incorporating video, crowdsourcing and blog posts, which all highlight the installation's journey from idea to reality. It also tells the stories of the community contributors to the project, including the waste collectors.
"Even though my work is to be seen out in the street, it is also important to cater for those that spend most of their time in front of a screen," r1 says, adding that "good documentation helps re-adapting the work to the viewer’s means and expectations. The final work is not only the end product, but also the entire narrative towards its completion."
Through online crowdsourcing and visitor contributions, the project has raised over R40 000 for improving the livelihood of informal waste collectors and strengthening the community of Troyeville.
Read more about iThemba Tower, the Spaza Art Gallery and how city residents can contribute to this ongoing project.
Source: iThemba Tower Tumblr blog and SouthAfrica.info reporter
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/arts/ithemba-tower-troyeville-201016.htm#.WAsDHaDRbqC#ixzz4NnAR0Jfx
A leading South is on a mission to raise awareness of her culture and encourage young people around the world to embrace art.
By Lindiwe Sibanyoni
Esther Mahlangu, 80, was born in a remote area of northern South Africa and is part of the Ndebele tribe. She was taught to paint aged 10 by her grandmother and mother.
To keep with tradition, she only ever paints her designs with chicken feathers or sticks and uses pigments from her surroundings, such as black from river mud. Speaking before her work is shown in a major exhibition of South African art at the British Museum, Mahlangu said that she was proud to help promote her culture and her tribe.
She said: “Most people have never experienced Ndebele culture. My life’s work is showing people my culture. [It is] my small gesture of protecting Ndebele from dying out.” The artist said she hoped her work would inspire the next generation of artists. “I want to give to children so they have the passion about art that I have and the process continues.”
“I always watched my mother and grandmother when they were decorating the house,” says Mahlangu of her start in painting. “The original patterns that were painted on the houses in the past were part of a ritual of Ndebele people to announce events like a birth, death, wedding, or when a boy goes off to the initiation school. I started painting on canvas and board as I realized not everybody will be able to see the Ndebele painting in Mpumalanga where I live, and I felt I need to take it to them to see. This is how my work started to be exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.”
While Mahlangu’s artistic foundation is in the centuries-long tradition of Ndebele craft, she has developed a visual lexicon and color palette that is specific to her. “In the old days, the decoration on the houses was always done with natural pigment and cow dung as that was the only material available,” she remembers. “We were very limited with colors and used monochromatic yellow, white, ochre, black, and red clay. Then acrylic paint in lots of colors was introduced, which was more durable in the rainy season and it was adopted by the younger generation of painters like myself.” For her breakout exhibition, in the group show “Magicians of the Earth,” at the Centre Pompidou in 1989, Mahlangu used acrylic paint.
Her first car followed a lineage that includes Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and many other well-known male artists of the Western canon. “We opened our plant in Rosslyn, South Africa, in 1986 and have had a big presence there ever since,” explains Girst of the decision to work with Mahlangu. “And Nelson Mandela was freed from prison [in 1990]. So 1991 was the year that the commitment was made to do something for the art scene there.
That was embodied in the commission of Esther Mahlangu. I’m proud of that heritage as well as her becoming the first woman artist to tackle the project.”
“I would think that no art is being created in a vacuum,” says Girst. “It’s somewhat problematic when looking at South African art and Western art—with mostly Western art taking and African art giving. The way that African art was appropriated is more of a taker’s attitude. I want to see the art history written that pays as much tribute to the originality of this South African heritage that we also see in Mahlangu’s art as to Keith Haring.”
Mahlangu herself points out the influence of African art on Western culture. “There has always been a fascination, demand, and admiration for art from Africa,” she says, “and the Ndebele style is one of the most significant styles of painting that still resembles original shapes and forms. It is colorful and abstract and lends itself to incorporation into modern design.”
But she also sees the importance of inserting Ndebele painting into the Western art canon in order to preserve its history. “Sadly there are very few traditional Ndebele painters left, as girls no longer stay home,” she says. “Everybody works in big cities and all the houses are now brick houses and not the traditional mud houses of the past. A long time ago, if you drove through the areas where Ndebele people settled, you would see lots of decorated houses. Now there are fewer and fewer. I am very scared that one day the only Ndebele mural or painting that you will see will be a picture in a book or in a museum.” Mahlangu cannot stop the changes taking place in her culture, but she can be part of its amplification.
Thursday, 20 October 2016
The Queen with Nagai and
Ntsimu on stage.
Photograph by Ayanda Zungu
The South African State Theatre in association with Afrikan Freedom Station proudly presents Song of Nongoma on 21 October 2016.
A tale of an African queen told through musical instruments inherited from the gods for future generations. Written and directed by Dr Steve Kwena Mokwena and Dr Kgafela oa Magogodi. These two combined, they produce a composition of jazz featuring drama, poetry and film for theatre.
Song of Nongoma is a musical that tells a story of a music goddess, Nongoma and her battle with Nagai, the evil god of greed and hate. Nagai’s soul thieves go head to head against Nongoma’s sound warriors in this otherworldly story about life and music inspired by the magical writings of Isanusi (high sangoma) Credo Mutwa. Song of Nongoma is a free jazz operetta and a futuristic fable about the origins, death and rebirth of true music.
Steve Kwena Mokwena is a historian, filmmaker and cultural activist. He is the founder of Xivumbeko Media and the Afrikan Freedom Station, an afrocentric multi-media gallery. He has produced and directed numerous films, including A Blues for Tiro (2007), Our Father Who Art in Memory (2008), Biko’s Trail (2008) and Driving with Fanon (2009). Mokwena describes the musical piece as “a spiritual modern African story that is entertaining, educating for the entire family. This is an African mythology in the present tense.”
One of the directors and writers of the musical, Kgafela, brings to the show an element of poetry. Known for his mysterious writings, still today he cannot be figured out. He’s described as “something of an enigma in the arts world- Abdul Milazi of Sunday World.” He wrote his first book, Thy Condom Come, in 2000 and followed it up with Outspoken in 2004. Both books received rave reviews locally and abroad, leading to his work being translated into German, Dutch, French and Catalan. He wrote and directed the spoken-word films I Mike What I Like and Itchy City.
Song of Nongoma will premiere at the South African State Theatre on 21 October and it will run till 29 October 2016. When greed, hatred and evil meet beauty, make sure you are on the front rows of the Opera theatre to witness this tale as it unfolds. It will be a saga to tell your children’s children.
Even true stories are fairytales. Life is a muddle, as intricate as a Gordian knot. We do the same with world history, shaping the details into a consistent story.
Song of Nongoma is a musical that tells the story of the goddess of music, Nongoma and her battle with Nagai the evil god of greed and hate. Nagais’s soul thieves go head to head against Nongoma’s sound warriors in this otherworldly story about life and music inspired by the magical writings of isanusi (high sangoma) Credo Mutwa. Song of Nongoma is a free jazz operetta and a futuristic fable about the origins, death and rebirth of true music.
The musical will feature singers Ayanda Nhlangothi, Sebone Rangata, Sandile Makhoba and Lebogang Inno. With Khaya Mahlangu on saxophone and flute, Feya Faku on trumpet, Marcus Wyatt on trumpet, Thebe Lipere on percussions, Pule Pheto on piano, Tumi Mogorosi on drums, Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet, Ariel Zamonsky on contrabass, Gerrit Strydom on guitar, Thandi Ntuli on keyboards, Oscar Rachabane on saxophone and pennywhistle and Siya Makhuzeni on vocals/trombone. Makhuzeni is the Standard Bank Young Artist Award recipient (jazz) for 2015.
For more information, please visit South African State Theatre.