On his recent trip to Uganda, American photographer Nadere Johnson captured dancers and performers at Ndere Cultural Centre. I absolutely love the way these dancers look in their traditional clothes and for some reason they have my heart singing songs I have never heard before yet they feel so right and so familiar. So in Spirit of Heritage Month commencing in South Africa tomorrow I would love to celebrate The Ndere Troupe. They look very beautiful in their traditional regalia and this makes me proud to be African.
The Ndere cultural troupe is very diverse and it was founded to instill a sense of pride towards cultural practices and to bring together the rural and the urban. Aaaah this pictures are really breath-taking and are adding and fueling my strong desire to visit East Africa.The Ndere Troupe can perform folk dances and songs from any part of Uganda.
Yemurai Nyoni is a 25-year-old Zimbabwean activist, who expects to influence global governance within the next 15 years through equipping young leaders and creating and supporting spaces for youth to exercise their leadership. As a leader in his country, he helped build and eventually led a national network of over 1200 young leaders working on sexual and reproductive health in Zimbabwe. His experience as an activist has seen him serve in a number of leadership positions nationally, regionally and globally. He also provides constant mentorship support and voluntary consultancy for young leaders in the African region who lead organizations in their countries.
Yemurai cares about women and girls because they’re largely at the receiving end of bad social policy, the repercussions of war, and the impact of drought and disease. According to the World Bank, women account for 61 percent of those living with HIV and young women are three times more likely to be HIV positive than young men. Girls continue to be married off in their adolescence, which puts them at grave risk of experiencing violence from their significantly older counterparts as well as adverse complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
In my view, according to the statistics we see everyday, being a young African woman is perhaps the most perilous form of identity in the world today. African women and girls face heightened life risks from the complications of pregnancy and child birth, are subjected different kinds of violence and t disenfranchised by our patriarchal society. I believe this isn’t right, and that we must turn the world on its head to right this injustice.
Yemurai also believes that the current investment case for women and girls should not focus on the burden of disease or the development challenges they face. He believes that we should focus instead on the strength and immense potential that women present as the ‘better-half’ of humanity. We must not invest in women because of their perceived weakness but because of their definite strength. Women are the driving force behind agriculture in the continent, they actively build the capacity of their children, are innovators in business and politics and have great resilience in the face of adversities like war, famine and disease. This is what fuels his passion for women and girls and he has determined that if he can play the smallest part in ensuring gender equality then he must play it well.
What does Africa Reign mean to you?
I value the concept of building a generation of African youth with the power to redefine their identity, shake of historical inferiority and claim their God-given influence. Africa Reign to me represents a movement with these values; a reflection of the strength of the youth of our continent and a chance to reconstruct the perception of what it means to be African.
What steps should we as African youngster take in order to move Africa Forward?
The first is to stop thinking small. To do this we must become more inquisitive, we must seek to find out why things are the way they are, to analyse the things we consume and find out how we can create them ourselves. We must change our mindsets from being perennial consumers of foreign culture, technology and education, to being producers of authentic African products. Who says British citizens shouldn’t learn Swahili or that the African drum shouldn’t become a core feature in international orchestras. So I challenge every young African to learn something new every year, to buy a notebook and think of new inventions. Create your own vacuum of innovation and force yourself to produce solutions to our continent’s challenges. Refuse to accept the existing order.
Check out Yemurai on his social media platforms
Ruramai Musekiwa is a creative activist who’s passionate about art life and effecting positive social change through creative mediums and campaigns. She is a graphic designer by trade, writer, visual artist and aspirant muso. “Rudo” as she is affectionately known strives to find the balance between an extremely philanthropic business model and a focused profitable value proposition. “Sibahle”which means we are beautiful: is a campaign that was started by Rudo that is aimed at celebrating Africanism through the use of creative mediums and activations, an electric lifestyle brand with the African woman at the helm of its vision.
African Reign to me is us owing our space and purpose individually and collectively and building on a foundation of passion and awareness of our beauty as a people.
According to Rudo building the “African Dream” starts with recognizing our power, potential and beauty. Once we have a new frame of reference, one that speaks to power and positivity, that energy will flow into progressive endeavors. through the Sibahle initiative, book clubs have been started in major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and even spiraling into London. Rudo is doing a remarkable job by getting more African youth involved and showcasing their work on Sibahle Magazine. For us as the youth to help develop Africa, there should be campaigns that encourage active citizenry. Ruramai believes that there is hope for the youth and there is a generation of youth that are running with innovative concepts.
I think the media needs to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start highlighting the positive things that are happening on out continent. The subliminal impact of seeing negativity frequently is crippling.
Check out more on Sibahle and Ruramai’s work on www.sibahle.com
Shot on the streets of Gaborone, Botswana
Crop Top: Mr Price
Sunglasses: Mr Price
Dungaree: Vintage Shop in Hillbrow
Photographer: Lorraine Binne Kinnear
Location: Bull ‘n Bush Gaborone
Photographer: Modisa Brilliant Kodie
Top: Vintage Shop in Hillbrow
Skirt: Custom Design by Thabile Mfokazi
Scandals: Kinky Shoes Alexandra
After months and months of hard work and constant pressure, I somewhat started losing my sanity and focus of what I set out to do. So the only way to get back on track was to take some time out, regroup and relax.
Botswana was just what I needed, being among great people and getting to explore the city of Gaborone was good for my soul. This might sound like a cliché but the moment I set foot in Botswana I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and having vowed not to do anything work related all I did was explore the young city of Gaborone whose Central Business District is still in its early stages of development with skyscrapers being erected. I spotted some really interesting and beautiful architecture.
DID YOU KNOW?
A taxi (what Batswana refers to as a combi) costs P3.50 to go just about anywhere around Gaborone from the Bus Station. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I didn’t have to spend the usual R12 or more for a taxi ride. I was relieved and happy that my not so loaded purse was going to survive longer than I anticipated.
So it turns out that my uncle who resides in Botswana has started Poultry farming and naturally I wanted to check it out. We went with the new chicks to the farm as they had orders for the grown chickens that had to be slaughtered. I had a great time feeding the little chicks and getting them used to their new home. I think I should get into farming. I bet I would be good at it. Maybe one day I will buy land and have a go at it.
The Farmer’s Market
My friends from Botswana had been telling me about the Farmer’s Market so I decided to check it out at Bull ‘n Bush. The Farmer’s Market is all about music, good food, good company, food stalls, clothing stalls and loads more. Botswana is a very young county when it comes pop culture so The Farmer’s Market is still in its infancy but a much needed space for the creatives of Botswana. The space caters for fashion designers, chefs and book sellers. I tasted juice made purely from the Amarula fruit and it tasted alright. It’s an acquired taste.
Photo credit: Lorraine Binie Kinnear check her on http://lorrainekinnear92.blogspot.com
Modisa Brilliant Kodie : Check him on
STYLE FASHION WEEK AFRICA PRESS RELEASE
STYLE FASHION WEEK AFRICA
Date: 26- 27 September 2014
Time: 18:00 -22:00
Venue: Museum Africa, 121 Bree street , Newtown
Style Fashion Week Africa is a fashion show that aims to promote and help designers and models all over Africa to enter the fashion industry and sustain their brands through collaborations and mentorships from other fashion lovers from all over the world. Style Fashion Week Africa also aims to celebrate our heritage as Africans and to learn from other Africans.
Our vision is to keep our heritage alive, there is a need to practice it every day. In such times, fashion is the best way to celebrate our heritage 365 days a year. We want to see the new generation of South Africa and Africa as a whole proudly wearing clothing with cultural features. Young designers from Swaziland, Durban and Johannesburg will be showcasing their heritage inspired ranges from the 26th- 27 September in Newtown. Style fashion Week Africa has not only engaged models from other provinces, but also models from Namibia as well.
The beneficiary of Style Fashion Week Africa is Hospie Toys, a charity organization started by a 21 year old Mosa who spent most of her life in hospital suffering from a kidney disease. Having seen what it feels like to spend most of your life in hospital, she decided to collect children’s books and toys and donate them to children in hospital.
Style Fashion Week Africa will have : Designer Stalls, Great Fashion Labels on the runway, Cash Bar, DJs, Poets, Singers , Dancers, Celeb Judges and may more
For tickets contact
I was introduced to the sounds of undivided roots at the Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival that took place in June at Constitutional Hill. I caught up with them to find out more about them
Q:How was Undivided Roots formed?
A: Well it started as a one man band by our late father Roots Ntsangu Cele. He was a street musician in Pietermaritzburg, some hated him some loved him, he started playing with other different groups with some guys from his area and he found that there wasn’t any seriousness, they didn’t appreciate anything he had to offer, so he formed his first three piece band with two of his older children Wadada his son who was 11 years old and Greenfields his daughter who was 9 years old at the time. He did Savuka festival in Swaziland in 1997 for the first time then toured around S.A working with Credit Indemnity which was a good experience. We’ve been playing since 2007 as new family members joined in Undivided Roots.
Q: How did you decide on the name?
A: Our father Roots came up with the name taken from his roots and all the trouble his been through with his children, he knew nobody can separate him with his children as he is a one big tree with roots that can never be separated.
Q: Have you performed outside South Africa before?
A: As a six piece band no we haven’t we still playing around SA and hoping that soon its gonna happen that we tour around the world.
Q: What do u think of African musicians and African music in General?
A: African music is good! But we think African musicians can do more, like young artist could give more positive message out there, cause life should always be inspiring.
Q: Would you ever collaborate with African artist?
A: Yeah, sure we can, I mean there’s a lot of inspiration in S.A music out there especially in reggae.
Q: Which musicians would you love to collaborate with?
A: There’s quite a lot, like Denver Jacobs,with Rock stone band from Capetown and Thandiswa Mazwai, Slave, Zahara, Prime Circle, and The Meditators from Durban.
Q: Music is universal. Do you think that is true?
A: Yes that’s true, we know its true cause that’s what music supposed to be, music is love and it covers all corners of the earth.
Q: Are you signed to a record label?
A: No not really but we try to work with a lot of people, like Mr Gavin Paul-Jolliffe. Who’s been very great to us and he understands us, he is a great manager and promoter, mostly we do street music we call busking like our father was a street busker in PMB.
Q: Who are the band members (Stage names and Real names) ?
A: We don’t have stage names but there’s our own names we named ourselves, our real names are: Wadada 30 years old rhythm guitar and vocals: Revival 23 years old bass guitar and vocals: Heaven 20 years drums percussion and vocals: Spear 18 years old keyboards guitar and vocals: Rainbow 15 years old guitar and vocals: Judgement 12 years old lead guitar and vocals.
Q: What is a normal day like to all of you?
A: On a normal day it’s practice during lunch time and than more practice and watching live music performance’s and programmes .We try to make everyday a positive day.
Q: Does everyone in the group do music full time or is there anything else that you do?
A: Yes everyone does full time music but each individual has their own thing, like Spear is a dancer and rapper, Wadada does music production in the roots development. Revival does fashion designing and is a stylist, Rainbow does beaded art craft and Heaven is a bag designer.
7 June marked my 23 years of existence in this world, so to celebrate I took to Durban to spend the weekend exploring with my friends. 2014 is a year of a lot of first times for me so it was really exciting for me to be in Durban for the first time. We spent the whole day roaming around Durban central, being shown some nice things.
During the tour I came across two separate female dance groups dancing for the crowds that were eagerly watching on. These girls were between 11-16 years old and from what I understand they were fundraising. It was fun watching them and it was funnier when they approached the members of the audience and danced for them (or rather challenged them). The idea is that when one of the girls places a headband on your head, she will then dance for you, you will then have to tip her.
Some audience members took on their heels as they saw the girls approaching because they did not want the attention of being singled out. It was really fun. Then came on a comedian who was like a pregnant woman, he was hilarious though.
We saw a group of vintage loving people who were dressed to the T and they looked great , they reminded me of Braamfontein during the weekend. Even though they were shy we managed to convince them to take a picture
Shot by: Vuyiso Tshabalala
So after many years of planning to attend the BushFire Festival in Swaziland and somehow getting my plans cancelled last minute, I was finally afforded the chance to not only attend the BushFire Festival but to explore the beautifully breathtaking Kingdom of Swaziland by the Swaziland Tourism.
The first day of the BushFire saw a number of people flock through Swaziland and causing major congestion at the border. Despite the long lines, there was a pleasant atmosphere with everyone anticipating a great fun filled musical weekend. On our eventual arrival at the BushFire , Qibho and Sands were performing and they were a welcome sound to my ears. The variety of the music genres made the festival so much fun ,for me at least because it was a new experience. The much awaited performance by Muzart was amazing, these youngster never disappoint. They had the crowd doing the soul train and the guitarist showed off his skills by playing the guitar with his mouth.
Other performers included the likes of Spoek Mathambo, Fuel Fandango, DJ Muscle. Bongo Maffin, Bholoja, LA-33, Uhuru, Pelepele, DJ Lolo, Normadic Wax Collective, Sigauque Project , Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Oliver Mtukudzi just to mention a few. The festival attendees looked good in their different clothing and it was a refreshing sight to see different cultures represented. For shopaholics like me ,there was a market where you could get everything from bags, clothes,necklaces and crafts. Condoms were distributed all round the festival in a bid to promote safer sex for festival goes because we all know how things can get out of hand .After all prevention is better than cure.
Children who tagged along with their parents seemed to be having so much fun in partaking in the different activities at the KidZone. The recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space called the Barn had some really interesting dialogues going on. When I got there there was a lady talking about how she left overseas for married life in Swaziland and she went on to discuss the different initiatives that there are working on.
The campsites looked beautiful like a small village somewhere . I met a lady sitting at the corner of the road at the campsite charging her phone. As someone who likes to have her phone with, I could understand the need for her to sit and the corner and guard her phone while it charges. So the charging spot worked on a first-come-first-serve basis. I ran into a couple of friends at the festival and we had so much fun waiting for Saturday night’s most talked about performances. Bongo Maffin and Uhuru had the crowd dancing and singing along to their songs, even when they had finished performing the crowd still wanted more.
The highlight of my Saturday night was when LA-33 came on stage. I heard never heard of them prior to the BushFire Festival but after that night they have topped my favourite musician list. Their performance had me dancing salsa( even if I don’t know how to) and planning a trip to Colombia. I cannot wait to see what BushFire Festival 2015 is going to be like I think I have found a new ritual, I might just try camping because the people at the camping site looked like a close community. Much respect to the production team. It really was an amazing weekend.