Wednesday, 31 March 2010

M3nsa on the Babylon Way of Life


On our way to work we talk about work,
on our way from work we talk about work,
we no have a life, all we do is work
when we go to sleep we dream about work,
and on our days we catchup on some work
workworkworkworkworkworkworkwork
workworkworkworkworkworkworkwork
workworkworkworkworkworkworkwork.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Free Owen Maseko

[Joshua] Nkomo signs the [Unity] Accord, 1987

Owen Maseko has been arrested. His crime? He dared to be bold. Maseko opened his exhibition on Thursday 25 March at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, an artist’s impression of the harsh reality of Gukurahundi as well as the decades of oppression and violence that have characterised Zimbabwe. Gukurahundi was the name given to the violence in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the mid 1980s that led to the deaths of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele people, after ZANU PF unleashed the notorious North Korean trained Fifth Brigade in the area. In a combination of graffiti, 3D installations and his painting Maseko unflinchingly dared to tell the truth, adding his usual and whimsical element of humour.
Voti Thebe, the Acting Director of the Gallery, was also arrested, but was freed later the same day.

pics & story jacked from www.owenmaseko.com
also see www.sokwanele.com for info on  what you can do to help Owen Maseko.

Ndebele Votes Flushed Down The Toilet

Thursday, 25 March 2010

iHeart Liya Kebede



Featured in the April 2010 edition of the US Vogue.
Pics by Mert Marcus.
jacked from fashionising.com

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

aveganbodyisahealthybody




 fisttap DV.net for the pics

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

-François VI duc de la Rochefoucauld

Monday, 22 March 2010

Fros in Fashion







These hairstyles are the genius of Angela Plummer, a London based hair stylist and photographer whose done some phenomenal work in TV and the fashion industry.
Here's the link to her site ALL fashionistas should mos' def checkout.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

50 Years Ago Today, White South African Police Murdered 69 Black Protesters In Two Minutes


                                                                              fisttap Africa Is A Country
Today, March 21, is Human Rights Day in South Africa. It should be called Sharpeville Day instead. 50 years ago today White police attacked and killed 69 Black protesters and also wounded or injured several others who were peacefully protesting the pass laws which restricted the free movement of Black South Africans.


...Then a new and more militant organization called the Pan-African Congress decided to oppose the passbook grievance and urged Africans all over the Union to descend upon their local police stations—without their passbooks, without arms, without violence—and demand to be arrested. In a few spots, the turnout was impressive. At Orlando township in the outskirts of Johannesburg, 20,000 Africans milled around the police station, led by Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, 36, a Methodist-reared university instructor, who heads the Pan-African Congress. Fifteen miles to the south, in Evaton, 70,000 Africans turned out. The police made few arrests of the demonstrators; at Langa, near Cape Town, they opened fire to disperse the Africans, killing three and wounding 25.

At first, everything was relatively quiet, too, at the Sharpeville police station, 28 miles southwest of Johannesburg—but Sharpeville was soon to become a headline name the world over. Twenty police, nervously eying a growing mob of 20,000 Africans demanding to be arrested, barricaded themselves behind a 4-ft. wire-mesh fence surrounding the police station. The crowd's mood was ugly, and 130 police reinforcements, supported by four Saracen armored cars, were rushed in. Sabre jets and Harvard Trainers zoomed within a hundred feet of the ground, buzzing the crowd in an attempt to scatter it. The Africans responded by hurling stones, which rattled harmlessly off the armored cars and into the police compound, stinging three policemen.


Chain Reaction. At 1: 20 p.m., the blowup came.

When police tried to seize an African at the gate to the compound, there was a scuffle and the crowd advanced toward the fence. Police Commander G. D. Pienaar rapped out an order to his men to load. Within minutes, almost in a chain reaction, the police began firing with revolvers, rifles, Sten guns. A woman shopper patronizing a fruit stand at the edge of the crowd was shot dead. A ten-year-old boy toppled. Crazily, the unarmed crowd stampeded to safety as more shots rang out, leaving behind hundreds lying dead or wounded—many of them shot in the back.
It was all over in two. awful. minutes....
Read more here

Stolen by Brandon Lacy Campos

For anyone who has ever struggled...never forget

I stole this poem from the voiceless
From the forgotten, struggling, and homeless
I stole this poem from every life
Cut short by violence and domestic strife

I stole this poem from the innocence of Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal
From every political prisoner whose name I can't recall
And anyone who ever died from AIDS
Or wrists bled dry by razor blades
I stole this poem from every single refugee
Whose land was destroyed by this democracy
From invasions of Panama, Haiti and Grenada
And the Cuban exile of the revolutionary Assata
I stole it from Brandon Teena and James Byrd
From every hate crime about which we've never heard
From immigrant workers and Operation Bootstrap
Every black called nigger or Mexican called wetback
From the gas chambers of Auschwitz
And cadaver-filled Iraqi death pits

I stole this poem from the ashes of bombed black churches

I stole this poem from every crack purchase
I stole this poem from four dead girls in Birmingham
I stole this poem from every enslaved African,

Yes, yes, I stole this poem from the tattered dreams of MLK
And from the illegal detainees at Guantanamo Bay
From every child that grew up gay
And decided it was better to runaway
Than face a father's fist or mother's hate
Or to escape Matthew Shephard's fate

I stole this poem from villages bulldozed by Israel
And from every Palestinian ever killed
By the colonial ambitions and Zionist aspirations
Of that unlawful, racist, illegitimate nation
I stole this poem from Fred Hampton as he lay in bed
While bullets entered his sleeping head
From Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman
From every little girl who never had the chance to be a woman
I stole this poem from every lost fight for liberation
From the sabotaged movement for Puerto Rico as a free nation
And the blood that runs from the red, white, and blue
From every CIA sponsored anti-"Marxist" coup

I stole this poem from strange fruit hanging in trees

I stole this poem from experiments at Tuskegee
I stole this poem from thousands of interned Japanese
I stole this poem from millions of dead Vietnamese

I stole this poem from Jones Town and Cape Town

From Nat Turner and John Brown
The continued fight of Aung Sang Suu Kyi
For the realization of Burmese liberty
Dear God, I stole this poem from the working poor
From every brown sister called bitch, cunt, or whore
By brown men who should love them but instead lash out in fear
At a world that would rather that we not be here
I stole this poem from the crushed body of Rachel Corrie
Her death another chapter in Sharon's story
Beginning with genocide and homicide
And Moses' law by which he can't seem to abide
The clear commandment that "thou shall not kill"
And he continues to murder still

I stole this poem and wrote it as prophecy

That what has been will cease to be
The time has come for us to be free
And tear down the constructions of our enemies
To reclaim our histories, take back our lands
To arrive at victory anyway that we can
Either by Martin's or Malcolm's plan
I stole this poem, and I'm giving it back
To ready my people for the final attack
Against a corrupt system that must fall
If we're ever to have liberty and justice for all.

copyright Brandon Lacy Campos
stolen from: http://www.calacapress.com/redcalacarts/redcalacarts-uwbbrandon.html

Saturday, 20 March 2010

StarWatch: Tinashé

...if it were up to me; Tinashé would be a proper indy, acoustic artist , forget the commercial sound he's trying for in the original version of Mayday, f'xample.





...some screwups here n there in the names coz his Shona ain't all that, and Highfields is not a province, but a suburb one of the first ghettoes in Harare, but seriously tho', homeboy's aight: musically gifted & a good head on his shoulders.

Friday, 19 March 2010


In the absence of committed leadership, many African countries have fallen prey to military exploitation, to the extent that today the generals constitute the majority at the Africa summit.
This is as it should be, because when political leadership loses the sense of internal direction, when, in bewilderment, it gives up the efforts to find solutions to people’s problems and begin to amass wealth for its own individual use, political leadership tends to become commandist in its state operations.
Logic and rationale become subversive. And when politicians become commandist, they too become redundant, because who is better fitted to command than the army?

Professor Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu
postcript to
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - Walter Rodney


23rd November 1964: Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X (1925 - 1965), left, with General Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu (1924 - 1996), leader of the Zanzibar Revolution.
(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Playing the Race Card...

A handy li'l card made for South African politicians (one Julius Malema in particular), but this nifty li'l thing has universal application, it saves any 'race victims'  the trouble of having to explain why they 'deserve' 'victim' status and yelling 'racist!' when something, anything and even nothing goes wrong! Get yours at www.theracecard.co.za 
iCould think of a few peoples who'd need these, esp the Honorary Whites Card.


iMagine Africa in the Future



Pumzi, directed by Kenyan, Wanuri Kahiu, is Kenya's 20 min Sci-Fi film. In a futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III (“The Water War”), nature is extinct. The outside is dead. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.

Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.
from the Liberator Blog & Wired.com

Calling Mr President...

pic by liz johnson-artur

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Books and all forms of writing have always been objects of terror to those who seek to suppress the truth.”
-Wole Soyinka
The Man Died: The Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka.

The Games Are Coming!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Oscar the Farce



The Academy Awards are total bull$@%&. As an accolade, its function is to give the okay to bourgeois audiences to do some chin-stroking rumination with one hand, while they dig for dollars in the wallet with the other. It has nothing to do with the reality of global cinema, but rather the incestuous world of Hollywood boys’ club ego-fluffing and the perpetuation of its own delusions of grandeur – and, ordinarily, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass which person takes home which Golden Phallus. Even a cursory glance at the anatomy of the awards reveals quite clearly how The Oscars is tied up with dodgy American imperialist, WASP-ish values. So to win an Oscar is something of a dubious pat on the back when you ask yourself who’s doing the patting and why...

*Cut* And that's Wrap(!) because the rest goes on to give a nice-ish, PR, liberalist review of The Hurt Locker and that's not my point here.

Article by Sarah Dawson on www.mahala.co.za

Ben Sharpa: One The Most Forward Thinking MCs in Mzansi

Tracks That I'm Feelin': Cape Town STAND UP!



I go waaaay back with some of the members of 5th Floor when it was an 11-strong group split between CapeTown and Jo'burg; it's nice to see them finally getting into the spotlight. These guys were b.e.a.s.t.s on the underground hiphop circuit in the Cape - they were the conscious voice to groups like Cashless Society & Groundworks (R.I.P King Pinn & Nikei)) who were equally baaad on the mic. The KonWomen (TKFM) witnessed many a battle between them and we rolled with 5th Floor - fun times with the family. I really hope this is the start of the good life for them and one day soon, it'll be the start for me too and I'll be back in Cape Town, my 2nd home.



This is Dreimanskap repping for the Cape Flats township of Gugulethu (NY1 baaaaby); - I love this track for the fusion of hiphop with traditional sounds and because they rap in Xhosa. The song is about  remembering your roots, culture and respecting your parents. It also talks abut circumcision which is the rite of passage to manhod in Xhosa culture - I don't believe in traditional circumcision (the Nazarite Vow & some disturbing stories of what happened to some of my peoples, some of whom are part of the o.g. 5th Floor so it's a ratha odd I'm posting this track together with the 5th and brings into kwestin why I even like dis track - because the track is not the act, nor is it it's mouthpiece, but truth be told, I'm still a li'l uncomfortable with it and debated about posting it) The guy with the bongo locks on the guitar is just the coolest! According to their record label, Pioneer Unit they've opened up for Dead Prez, Wordsworth (USA), Jonzi D (UK) and Ben Sharpa (SA) (anutha lyrical beast from waaay back).

From www.pioneerunit.com/dreimanskap: "Driemanskap form the vanguard of the new generation of proudly South African Hip Hop artists who understand that Hip Hop, more than any other musical art form, is about addressing important issues and representing where you're from. They are one of the pioneers of the Spaza movement, representing Cape Town with a rhyme style that combines their mother tongue, isiXhosa, with English and Cape Flats slang."
 fisttap to mahala.co.za for hipping me to this spaza hiphop.

Friday, 12 March 2010

A Li'l History Lesson

Alessandro de Medici was born on 22 July in 1510 and to this day, this date is celebrated as he was the Black ruler of modern Italy in the 16th century.

He wielded great power as the first duke of Florence. He was the patron of some of the leading artists of the era and is one of the two Medici princes whose remains are buried in the famous tomb by Michaelangelo. The ethnic make up of this Medici Prince makes him the first Black head of state in the modern Western world.
 
Alessandro was born in 1510 to a black serving woman in the Medici household who, after her subsequent marriage to a muleteer, is simply referred to in existing documents as Simonetta da Collavechio. Historians today are convinced that Alessandro was fathered by the seventeen year old Cardinal Giulio de Medici who later became Pope Clement VII. Cardinal Giulio was the nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
On being elected Pope in 1523, Cardinal Giulio was forced to relinquish the lordship of Florence but he appointed a regent for his thirteen year old son Alessandro who had just been created Duke of Penna, and a nephew, Ipollito. Even though both were bastards, they were the last of what has come to be referred to as the elder line of the family.

Republicanism had grown in Florence under the regent and when Emperor Charles V sacked Rome in 1527, the Florentines took advantage of the situation to install a more democratic form of government and both Alessandro and Ipollito fled. When peace was finally made two years later between the Papal and the Imperial factions, Charles V agreed to militarily restore Florence to the Medici. After a siege of eleven months Alessandro was finally brought back as the Emperor's designated head of state.

In 1532, the new Florentine constitution declared Alessandro hereditary Duke and perpetual gonfalonier of the republic. Though his common sense and his feeling for justice won his subjects' affection, those in sympathy with the exiled opposition hated Alessandro and accused him of using his power to sexually exploit the citizenry. However, only two illegitimate children with the possibility of a third, have been attributed to him and even these he fathered with one woman, Taddea Malespina, a distant cousin of his.
With the death of his father, the Pope, in 1534, the exiles attempted to oust the Duke Alessandro from Florence. But the Emperor decided to uphold Alessandro and in an obvious show of support, gave Alessandro his own illegitimate daughter, Margaret of Austria, as wife.

Despite the security this kind of support should have given him, Alessandro was finally assassinated a few months after his wedding by Lorenzaccio de Medici, a distant cousin who had ingratiated himself in order to win his confidence. According to the declaration he later published, Lorenzaccio claimed that he had executed Alessandro for the sake of the republic and that he had been able to disarm him of his personal bodyguards by setting up a sexual liaison for him as a trap. When the anti-Medici faction failed to use this occasion to overthrow the ducal government, Lorenzaccio fled in dismay. He was himself eventually murdered some twelve years later.

thanks to AfroEurope for hipping me to this.

Mi Piace La Nera!



Are there certain historical and social practices in Europe that suggest that the Black gendered body in Europe carries with it certain sexual and cultural constructions
(in the Western gaze)?



At the level of the State and at the everyday in what ways
is this migrant African (and African descendants in the Diaspora) body simultaneously visible and invisible?
Whenever cultures jangle, mingle
clash, contact or interact how is (an)other figured in the (an)other's imagination
and what factors inform this gaze?

Thursday, 11 March 2010

extracted raps for hondo*

rap 5
protest in the morning
revolt in the evening
war at all hours
until this land is ours
dust is heavier than water
i'm of soil matter

rap 7
i blew the horn for hondo
freedom danced through the door
from circumcision school zambia
to sandbedded namibia
i came home in the wind
leaving the dark bushes behind
with me trusted bazooka friend...
...[i] go on my knees
give the calabash a kiss
invoking the gods of wonder
raising the creators of thunder
we afrika khawuleza kwedini

*hondo means war

extracts from horns for hondo by lesego rampolokeng (1990)


Monday, 8 March 2010

Stars of the Pharaohs


pic jacked from the university of hawaii

Long did I lie in the dust of Egypt, silent and unaware of the seasons.

Then the sun gave me birth, and I rose and walked upon the banks of the Nile,
Singing with the days and dreaming with the nights.
And now the sun threads upon me with a thousand feet that I may lie again in the dust of Egypt.
But behold a marvel and a riddle!
The very sun that gathered me cannot scatter me.
Still erect am I, and sure of foot do I walk upon the banks of the Nile.

From: Sand and Foam by Khalil Gibran 

fisttap to DV.net for reminding me abt him.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Genius That is, Will Self

The job of governing Britain, under the constraints that the Prime Minister and government are currently placed under, is effectively a managerial task and a non-ideological task. You couldn’t insert an anorexic cigarette paper between the two, three main parties, in terms of policy and they’ve got no wriggle room, so you are essentially looking for who the best administrator or manager is and you’re not going to discover that from seeing these guys shout at each other on television. And actually, while we’re at it, if this is the best we can do as a nation in terms of a 'cult of personality', then it’s a very, very sorry state of affairs.

Will Self on BBC Question Time, commenting on having a live debate between the leaders of the UK's main political parties.
4 March 2010

The Scramble For Africa Continues

The Scramble For Africa: Yinka Shonibare (2003)

Ethiopia is one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than 13 million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least 3m hectares of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world's most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations.
But Ethiopia is only one of 20 or more African countries where land is being bought or leased for intensive agriculture on an immense scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.


An Observer investigation estimates that up to 50m hectares of land – an area more than double the size of the UK – has been acquired in the last few years or is in the process of being negotiated by governments and wealthy investors working with state subsidies...The land rush, which is still accelerating, has been triggered by the worldwide food shortages which followed the sharp oil price rises in 2008, growing water shortages and the European Union's insistence that 10% of all transport fuel must come from plant-based biofuels by 2015.

....Together they are scouring Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and elsewhere. Ethiopia alone has approved 815 foreign-financed agricultural projects since 2007. Any land there, which investors have not been able to buy, is being leased for approximately $1 per year per hectare.


Saudi Arabia, along with other Middle Eastern emirate states such as Qatar, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, is thought to be the biggest buyer. In 2008 the Saudi government, which was one of the Middle East's largest wheat-growers, announced it was to reduce its domestic cereal production by 12% a year to conserve its water. It earmarked $5bn to provide loans at preferential rates to Saudi companies which wanted to invest in countries with strong agricultural potential .

...Since 2008 Saudi investors have bought heavily in Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya. Last year the first sacks of wheat grown in Ethiopia for the Saudi market were presented by al-Amoudi to King Abdullah.

Some of the African deals lined up are eye-wateringly large: China has signed a contract with the Democratic Republic of Congo to grow 2.8m hectares of palm oil for biofuels. Before it fell apart after riots, a proposed 1.2m hectares deal between Madagascar and the South Korean company Daewoo would have included nearly half of the country's arable land.

..."The biofuel land grab in Africa is already displacing farmers and food production. The number of people going hungry will increase," he said. British firms have secured tracts of land in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania to grow flowers and vegetables.


Indian companies, backed by government loans, have bought or leased hundreds of thousands of hectares in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and Mozambique, where they are growing rice, sugar cane, maize and lentils to feed their domestic market.

Nyikaw Ochalla, an indigenous Anuak from the Gambella region of Ethiopia said, "The foreign companies are arriving in large numbers, depriving people of land they have used for centuries. There is no consultation with the indigenous population. The deals are done secretly. The only thing the local people see is people coming with lots of tractors to invade their lands.


"All the land round my family village of Illia has been taken over and is being cleared. People now have to work for an Indian company. Their land has been compulsorily taken and they have been given no compensation. People cannot believe what is happening. Thousands of people will be affected and people will go hungry."

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/07/food-water-africa-land-grab

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

in saul we trust

The GOAT: Saul Williams
ohm
through meditation I program my heart
to beat breakbeats and hum basslines on exhalation
*Saul beatboxes* "ohm"
I burn seven day candles that melt
into twelve inch circles on my mantle
and spin funk like myrrh
*Saul beatboxes* "ohm"
and I can fade worlds in and out with my mixing patterns
letting the Earth spin as I blend in Saturn
niggaz be like spinning windmills, braiding hair
locking, popping, as the sonic force
of the soul keeps the planets rocking
the beat don't stop when, soulless matter blows
into the cosmos, trying to be stars
the beat don't stop when, Earth sends out satellites
to spy on Saturnites and control Mars
cause niggaz got a peace treaty with Martians
and we be keepin em up to date with sacred gibberish
like "sho' nuff" and "it's on"
the beat goes on, the beat goes on, the beat goes "ohm"

and I roam through the streets of downtown Venus
trying to auction off monuments of Osiris' severed penis
but they don't want no penis in Venus
for androgynous cosmology sets their spirits free
and they neither men nor women be
but they be down with a billion niggaz who have yet to see
that interplanetary truth is androgynous
and they be sending us shoutouts through shooting stars
and niggaz be like, "Whattup?" and talking Mars
cause we are so-lar and regardless of how far we roam from home
the universe remains our center, like "ohm"

I am no Earthling, I drink moonshine on Mars
and mistake meteors for stars cause I can't hold my liquor
but I can hold my breath and ascend like wind to the black hole
and play galaxaphones on the fire escapes of your soul
blowing tunes through lunar wombs, impregnating stars
giving birth to suns, that darken the skins that skin our drums
and we be beating infinity over sacred hums
spinning funk like myrrh until Jesus comes
and Jesus comes everytime we drum
and the moon drips blood and eclipses the sun
and out of darkness comes a *Saul beatboxes*
and out of darkness comes a *Saul beatboxes*
and out of darkness comes the
...ohhhmmmm

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Rebel's Prayer

I made this by putting images, word and music to reflect The Living Word in the everyday.
video