Tuesday, 29 June 2010


As the sign says, this wannabe intellectual's gotta take a break from the ether as my dayjob beckons - thinking for a living and travelling the planet. Soooo I'm on a blogbreak till 23/07/10.
... Well maybe you'll see a Jabulani post when Brazil or reluctantly, Argentina wins the World Cup : )

Please feel free to drop comments on the blog on anything that interests you and I will reply.
Remember: Anonymi please identify thyself, No Spam & No Trolls.

Jah Bless


The Truth That Is, Benoît Assou-Ekotto

"Me playing for Cameroon was a natural and normal thing. I have no feeling for the France national team; it just doesn't exist. When people ask of my generation in France, 'Where are you from?', they will reply Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon or wherever.
But what has amazed me in England is that when I ask the same question of people like Lennon and Defoe, they'll say:
'I'm English.'
That's one of the things that I love about life here."

...mmm wish I could co-sign 100, my dear Benoit, but for many normal people, when one's Englishness is questioned it's sometimes with the implication that one is not quite English (White) and they have to mention roots from elsewhere. Nevertheless he speaks the truth about France and when one thinks of  the reception of the French soccer team rite now, there are some quarters who see them as Caribbeans and Africans with French citizenship not Frenchmen with Caribbean and African roots....

Dirty Paraffin

                                                                                                                                          fisttap thisisafrica.me  
For episode two of Pitch Perfect documentary series, the FADER staff visit with Dirty Paraffin of Johannesburg. The duo of okmalumkoolkat and DJ Spizee, originally from Durban, bring the sounds of many childhood days spent listening to Zulu radio station Ukhozi FM into their genre-defying music. They give a short history of SA dance pop and perform at the Pitch Perfect kickoff party in Jo’burg.

words by afronline
"Dirty Paraffin
is a shambeez visual/performance art outfit
out to pomp positive vibes with this new
smanje manje Kwaito Primus Stove."


I've talked about Tinashe's music before, but I'm too lazy to link, so y'can flick through the archives. Anyway his album's out 15th of August and he's out n about doing gigs so if y'dig his style look out for him in your part of this muggy island. iHeart the video of Saved, whoever came up with the concept is the bestest! iLike the acousitc versions of his songs (& the EP version of Miss You & one of his first songs, Suzie: check youchoob) and this version of Saved is DOPE!
I really hope his album makes it.

Monday, 28 June 2010


pics by Tom Jenkins, jacked from The Guardian

I just gotta gloat and rub it in for all my friends who support England:
 The Three Lions got mauled, I told you so!
The Ref should've allowed Lampard's goal and made it 2-2 then the score may have been 6-2.

Sunday, 27 June 2010



If you grew up in Southern Africa in the late 80s you prolly know the original of this song. Who in the countries of this region grew up without PJ Powers, Brenda Fassie and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, huh? I used to love this song and praises to youchoob for bringing back so many childhood memories!
This is the remix with HHP and I'm feelin' it too.
Jabulani is a boy's name (the unisex is Jabulile) in Zulu, Ndebele and Xhosa from the word jabula meaning happy and Jabulani means happiness, so you see where FIFA was going with the ball name...ubuntu, joy and all dat. More to the point, this was the first song I thought of after watching Ghana beat USA - yet again. I was jabula-ring as we say in Ndenglish (Ndebele + English) and so were the millions of others cheering for the BlackStars, yes Africans, 'We Are All Ghanaians now'. I betchu Sally Mugabe's name will be mentioned in the Zim papers this week trying to resurrect some special Ghanaian connection, trust!

Anyway, them GH boys showed discipline and skill on the pitch and they're always so happy to play. (Watch and learn Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire, watch and learn!) Even in the Australia match that they drew, they were smiling at the end, the Germany match - although they lost, Jonathan Mensah, ran a lap of honour with the GH flag because the Black Stars had qualified for the final 16 and now they have made it to the last 8. I say maaad props, Jabulani bantwa beAfrica, rejoice children of Africa whereas my overnite soccer pundit, Shakira-infected friends in South Africa say, 'this time for Africa, waka waka!' (sigh). If Ghana make it to the final 4, I will be jabula-ring even more, others waka waka-ring (sigh), but we all know they face a very tough opponent.
KANYE MOMENT: And can I just say to all the dismissive comments and scoffs of English superiority by commentators & fans at the possibility of England playing Ghana had GH won against Germany, The Three Lions could have been mauled by the Black Stars.
'We could defeat you, make no mistake about that', said in that famous threatening voice of Barack Obama. 

OFFSIDE: Who else thinks the Portugal v Brazil match on Friday, was fixed? 0 - 0 c'mon, we know y'all threw that match coz we know you can do beta than kick a ball around for +90 mins goalless. I'm still rooting for Brazil to win the Cup and in the event that they make history for the 6th time, 'We Shall All Become Brazilians'. I mean there's Afro in Brazilian, they played against Zim & Tanzania  in WC friendlies (for a hefty fee) and history allows African-me to r-e-a-c-h-h-h and make this diasporic claim. Don't let me down Samba Kings, otherwise I shall grieve for days or I shall suddenly be possessed by some Orisha spirit of the diaspora which lays claim to all things African, so I shall be found reluctantly, yet shamelessly squatting at the Altar of Messi singing, Jabulani...Well, till I come back to my senses and realise the invisible status, I could share with a diminished African population in Argentina, by fickly declaring 'We Are All Argentinians Now', but that is an issue for another blogpost.

For now I'm talking soccer/football/futbol/bhora and in all fickleness and sincerity, 'We Are All Ghanaians Now' soooo for Friday's match to be victorious, let the prayers, ancestral invocations and finger crossing begin in earnest.

 pics jacked from The Guardian


Saturday, 26 June 2010

BlackStars Get in There!

made in '06, but still relevant. check for nii parkes @ 2:48 - 3:27.
got my fingers firmly crossed, ancestral spirits invoked & prayers to the Most High uttered hoping that GH have improved *immensely* on their goal execution so they win today! 

 (for dem who nah know nii parkes is a briliant poet and author of the novel, tale of the blue bird)

Friday, 25 June 2010

Gone Too Soon

Pink Moët: The Preferred Drink of 'Heroes' of the Struggle Everywhere

Brother Cde Julius Malema (aka Bra Julius or Juju), leader of the ANC Youth League
sippin' on some champipple to quench his throat after belting out 'Kill the Boer' ooops, I mean 'Kiss The Boer'. It's a hard knock life.

jacked from thirdworldgoesforth, pic Daily Maverick

FYI: I actually agree with some of what Bra Julius says about the song, Kill the Boer in the video, but when Bra Julius does Julius Malema Zim war-vet style, then we have a huge problem, I mean h.u.g.e.


AfroDeutsch (AfroGerman) is an intriguing short film (2002) by actor and musician Tyron Ricketts. The film describes what it’s like growing up in Germany as Afro-German in all dimensions. Ricketts (1973) was born in Austria to a Jamaican father and an Austrian mother. He now lives in Germany.

This film was made after the race-motivated killing of a Mozambican man, Alberto Adriano in 2000 by Neo Nazis. In response to this and other forms of racial violence, an Afro-German anti-racism group called Brothers Keepers was formed of which Tyron Ricketts is a member.

Although released in 2002 in Germany, the great news is that this film has recently been re-released with English subtitles.

Jacked from AfroEurope, fisttap.

Hawa's Story

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Tha Illest of Tha Ill,Tumi & Zubz

I have been searching for this song for longest time online (don't worry it plays after the ad). I was gutted to find it wasn't available on iTunes because it was a hidden track on Tumi's album, Whole Worlds, but today after many, many months of looking on global online music stores, I stumbled upon it on 3Music Store!!! Its totally mystic to find it today during the World Cup, it's a nice soundtrack when thinking back through the hopes, triumphs and disasters of days gone past. I'm happy to have found it, but this is not the original track I first heard on the HipHocalypse Show. In that track Tumi (SA) was rapping about how the rap game's changed and how some of his boys have sold out or moved on. Zubz (Zimbabwe/Zambia) kills it in a verse where he rhymes about xenophobia in S.A. I guess they had to tie in with the whole World Cup theme and it's still a siiick track. DigIT! Tumi & Zubz are, without doubt, the baddest emcees in Southern Africa.
(along with Jabba, HHP, Ben Sharpa & Fifth Floor, of course.)
For those interested, both Tumi and Zubz's albums are available on iTunes & Amazon.

In DOPE Music WE Trust.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

ARV Swallows: Positive Ladies

"They thought we were just playing games. They would laugh at us and say, ‘How can women play football? Will you be good at it? How can you sick people play soccer?" Meria Kabudura, winger.

A group of HIV women in one of Zimbabwe’s poorest areas decide to form a soccer team in order to compete in a tournament. They want to fight stigma by proving to everyone that they can win the tournament’s trophy.

There are 1000 copies of the film about these women up for grabs. If you would like a copy of the film, peep this link. The principle is watch and share, watch and share so it'd be great if you watch it and donate it to a library or community centre so as many people as possible get to watch it.

Ayobaness Bafana Bafana, Au Revoir Les Bleus!

I just watched the replay of the match and I was switching support between Bafana Bafana and Les Bleus (the 7th African Team). Given all their recent troubles, watching France play today was painful. I sympathise with them in their decision to rebel against Domenech, because they stood up for something that was wrong and couldn't hide the rifts no more. Some of my FB friends think the squad behaved like a bunch of rich, spoilt brats but I see this as standing up to the Plantation - who among those teams with all their internal beefs would dare stand up to their coach and say screw you? And screw you to the country's football federation? And risk crashing out of the World Cup?

England's former captain, John Terry had a press conference on Sunday telling the press about how the players wanted to tell Fabio Capello how they felt - the meedja eedjits went wild with it and John Terry was seen as plotting a rebellion. By Monday morning England's acting captain, Frank Lampard, was re-assuring the meedja there were no divisions in the team and Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard were quickly distancing themselves from JT, yet they'd be named as wanting to 'have a word with the coach'. Fabio Capello swiftly crushed all thoughts of dissension within the ranks...As they say in England, no bottle lads, no bottle!

Back to France, Anelka should not have been sent home, the FFF is ridiculous, but good riddance to Domenech, he was an arrogant, rigid little man. He wouldn't even shake SA's Coach Parreira hand at the end. It totally sucked watching one of my fav teams play a rubbish game and allow themselves to get beaten, I kept hoping for a comeback like they'd suddenly score three goals and silence the crickets and crackers. But that they were beaten by South Africa is not a bad thing at all, because the hosts bowed out with their heads held high. Maaad, maaad props to the boys who have become men after this 3 match feat. I'm sure next World Cup they will go far. 

But what shall be the fate of Les Bleus? Is Patrice Evra going to lose his captaincy and could the whole squad be dropped when Laurent Blanc takes over? What kind of reception will they get in France? And Domenech? Does it matter to the public that the team is majority Black, of African and Caribbean descent? I don't want to know the answer to the last qsn, I'm sure the French interwebs and Twitter have plenty to say...*SMH*

Thierry Henry giving the ball to Mphela
pic Adnan Abidi/Reuters jacked from The Guardian

Here's a commentary from The Guardian.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

L-Boogie On The MIC

Lauryn Hill performed at the Harmony Festival 2010 in Santa Rosa, California earlier this week and seems like there are reservations from some quarters, but to me L-Boogie can do no wrong. I saw her a few years back and she tore the roof off and to makeup for being over an hour late, we got full refunds...Concerning this performance, iLove most things Elizabeth Seward does not. I don't know abt how the live sound was as I wasn't there, but her hair (especially!),  the chunky earrings and the jumpsuit are FABULOUS! Her performance is kewl. For those not getting her, think Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu mashed up in one.

Art iHeart

Been meaning to post the work of Wardell Milan II and Demetrius Oliver since a while back when I had a convo with, Gee Chee, a member of my digital fam, about their work. iDig Wardell Milan's site, it's worth checking out. Most of all I like his Battle Royale collection, the way he mashes up the pics using a similar style to that of Titus Kaphar (peep the archives) - they have rolled together and have set up a museum together with Demetrius Oliver. Battle Royale is based on Ralph Ellison's boxers in 'Invisible Man' and the images explore issues surrounding identity politics, masculinity, falliability but most importantly, IMO, the elasticity of identity and power.

Wardell Milan

Demetrius Oliver is also nice, I mean his art is nice. His work draws inspiration from various places and these pics below provide commentary on inscription/erasure of identity through history and contemporary consumerist culture. The body is used as a canvas, as corporeal metaphor for the cultural and political condition of a people. Excuse me, I'm channelling Sartre here.

DV if you ever see this, this is Demetrius' work not Leslie Hewitt as y'said on ur blog.

The GTW: #dontsmokethecigarette

                                                                                fisttap africasacountry
This is a phreshhh track by GTW (Greater Than Wealth), a Nigerian hiphopper livin' n hustlin' in Chi-Town. He riffs off of the Late Great, Miriam Makeba's 'Pata Pata' - luv it and iHope it goes viral! Correction (see Sonja's comment in the box) : The good folk over at AfricasACountry don't suggest that this track sounds lie 'Ye's 'Blood Diamonds', but instead arguethat his mention of poverty and Africa's mineral wealth does remind one of Blood Diamonds esp because they sound alike. True, dat GTW does sound alot like 'Ye and uses the drums like 'Ye does on 'College Dropout'.
Anyway, here's the link to your free download, in spirit of the World Cup, he's dedicated this to the Naija Soccer Team. The other track 'Runnin' All My Life' doesn't sound quite suited to a house sound, the music's dope, but not for these hiphop bars. Feels to me like somebody needs Pharrel on speed dial to go to work on these bars and give this track the uber trendy feel it sounds like it should be aiming for, but not quite gettin' - but hey, that's my 2cents from the stands up in the nosebleeds...

From his site, Greater Than Wealth:
Music impacted my life around my Freshman year in Highschool. I fell in love with the crazy antics of Eminem and the Soulful delivery of artist like Kanye West and Little Brother. Deep Down I always had a burning passion to come out with songs that people would enjoy and relate to. For the past 2 years I have been scratching clawing, climbing the ladder of musical politics in my city. Trying to get music noticed in Chicago is as easy as crashing an Obama Dinner party. (TRUTHFUL HUMOR). I threw the thought away of trying to impress these Chicago politicians.

...I wanted to come out with a musical project where I can express my thoughts through, singing, rapping or whatever way i can express my thoughts. I wanted to make something that the whole world could relate to. Therefore the phrase Dont Smoke The Cigraette came about for my first solo project. Dont Smoke The Cigarette is a short way of saying “Dont do what everyone else is doing.” This project is filled with my me and friends singing and going on the adventure of musical bliss. I would like to thank everyone who supports me, from the south side of Chicago to the green plains of Berlin. I present to you. #dontsmokethecigarette.

pic by Sadiyya Coates
jacked from GTW.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Cry Bafana

This is a piece by Roger Young over at uber kewl Mahala and the three fab pics are by Syd Willow Smith. It perfectly captures how it felt watching Wednesday's game,
Bafana Bafana versus Uruguay.

jacked with his knowledge.

When I was very little my grandfather would tell me how, as a teenager, he had been sent to fight for England in WW2. The war had been dragging on, there was a troop shortage and therefore, training was short (not as brutally short as WW1 but still), and he was terrified. That trial by fire was not survived by many of the friends who went with him, but, he credited it for making him a man. He would get this look of hurt in his eye when he’d talk about it. The same look that I imagine, in years to come, Wednesday night’s Bafana squad will get when they talk about their match with Uruguay. Some of them will have survived, others will not.

Standing among the odd twenty five thousand people at the fan park in Cape Town before that game the sense of expectation was at a fever pitch, as if we could will it into being. I felt the force of it and, at first whistle, could not help but shed a tear; it was an unsustainable expectation, the boys would not be able to carry it on their shoulders. As the match ground on it was clear to everyone we were outclassed, but the high, the fervor of patriotic pride, the sense of this great event, sustained our hope. Until that red card. The moment that hope died. We had sent our boys to the slaughter, without lengthy training or real experience. We had built up a fable of glory in our heads and we were now shocked in the defeat. From a nation that hoped collectively, we became a nation that collectively gave up.

Fans started to leave the stadium in droves. In front of us, in the fan park, a man took the South African flag off his shoulders and packed it into his bag. His national pride became useless to him, the dream had been exposed as just that, an unreachable dream. Someone next to me cursed him, “Fuck you! How dare you give up now!” He shoved him a little, tried to convince him to take his flag back out. It got tense. The determined patriot against the convenient patriot. “You don’t turn your back just because they’re down!” He shouted. The convenient patriot shrugged, “We didn’t have a chance anyway” and made an exit while the others held back the weeping antagonist.

Sport is like that; people feel it intensely. Imagine what Bafana Bafana felt when they saw the backs of people as they left the stadium with fifteen minutes on the clock. Abandoned. It must have drained them. We sent them in and then we deserted them. The vuvuzelas went quiet, we were stripped of bluster and bravado.

But why were our hopes so high in the first place? It’s not as if we’ve been the most united nation lately. Maybe we just needed an excuse, a common cause, maybe, as trite as it sounds, we CAN all just get along. Who can say? All I know for sure is that for five days, from Friday 11th of June to Wednesday 16th June 2010, everything was possible, everything worked. It still is, it still can. Not for Bafana, but for us, collectively. We can still annoy the international TV viewing public with our vuvus, we can still sing only the parts of the anthem we know and understand and mumble the rest, and we can still smile in traffic at perfect strangers. Let’s just not be the guy who only picks up the flag because of the current mood. Let us not abandon each other, because like any come down, this is the moment we all need each other most, to hold onto the possibilities. Especially those war ravaged boys, who have now been made men.

jacked from yahoo eurosport.

postcard from matemo island...

Matemo Island, Mozambique
jacked from matemoresort.com

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Waxing Futbol Mundial

<a href="http://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/world-cup">World Cup by Nomadic Wax</a>

Nomadic Wax has produced yet another (peep the May archives for the Diaspora Mixtape) siiick hiphop collabo with emcees from all around the globe dropping heavy truth rhymes about the World $ Cup, even some natty dreads up in dere! My only gripe is it's 12 minutes - c'mon dass waaay 2 short!!!

From the site: Each of the fifteen international rappers artists featured on the track recorded their verses independently in their own country sending the finished vocal files to Brooklyn New York to be mixed and mastered. "This is the kind of global recording collaboration that could not have even been imagined even ten years ago" said Nomadic Wax Creative Director Magee McIlvaine. "The fact that we can get fifteen of the world's most talented Emcees to collaborate in this way is incredible. This is just the kind of transnational synergy that get me excited about the potential for international hip-hop to have a major impact on the world stage."

"World Cup" is the first of it's kind and explores the complexities and controversies of this historic event: the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa. According to The Economist, “South Africans themselves are grumbling about the eye-wateringly large amounts of money that FIFA…is poised to make, even though South Africa is bearing most of the cost.”

Legendary South African emcee Emile YX (Black Noise Crew) used the 'World Cup' track as an opportunity to respond to what is currently happening in his hometown of Cape Town, rapping "We'll foot the bill just so they can foot the ball." Emile and 15 other artists from a range of nations, including Italy, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, and Trinidad-Tobago, among others, rap their verses in French, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Arabic and explore many of the controversies, benefits, and pitfalls of the historic 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The track was mixed by Eliot Leigh of Funk Nouveau and mastered by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering.

Emcees: M.O.A. (Ghana), Trinitro (Togo), Zero Plastica (Italy), Emile YX (South
Africa), Alfaress (Morocco), Eli Efi (Brasil), Hired Gun (Usa), Eyewitness
(Senegal), Metric Man (Trinidad-Tobago), Seo2 & Mc Nauck (Chile), Hadji B
(Senegal), Outspoken (Zimbabwe), G.O.Man Ztrazik (Tunisia), Eyezon (South
Africa), 7th Mic (Burkina Faso).

In DOPE Music WE Trust!!!

fisttap AfricasaCountry
Maradona and his vuvuzela...shwoooof!
fisttap mahala.co.za

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


James Brown!
James Brown!
James Brown!

Silly youuuuuuu!

You love hip hop
but you don’t know whoooooo
made that beat drop.

He’s the maaaan
with 2 Funky Drummers
in his baaaand

And he made
your Grand-Ma
want to daaaance!

And he made
your Grand Pa
wear tight paaaants!

to do the
camel walk
to do the
mashed potatoes
to do the
funky chicken
to do the

James Brown!
James Brown!

- Saul Stacey Williams, part of a collection of  children's poems 
commissioned by Nickolodeon for Black History Month.

shamelessly jacked from his FB fanpage.

Today in History: 16 June 1976

Sam Nzima's famous pic of June 16
Mbuyiso Makhubo carrying Hector Pieterson (orig. Pitso)
and his sister, Antoinette running alongside.

It was cold and overcast as pupils gathered at schools across Soweto on 16 June. At an agreed time, they set off for Orlando West Secondary School in Vilakazi Street, with thousands streaming in from all directions. The planned to march from the school to the Orlando Stadium.

"By 10.30am, over 5 000 students had gathered on Vilakazi Street and more were arriving every minute," say Bonner and Segal. In total, "over 15 000 uniformed students between the ages of 10 and 20 [were] marching that day".

Once at the stadium, the plan was to agree on a list of grievances, and then possibly to march to the offices of the Transvaal department of education in Booysens, in Johannesburg's southern suburbs. But this didn't happen. Police formed a wall facing the pupils, warning them to disperse – an order met with resistance. Teargas was fired into the crowd and police dogs released. In the chaos, children ran back and forth, throwing stones at the police – who fired more teargas.

Bonner and Segal quote a student leading the march, Jon-Jon Mkhonza: "Students were scattered, running up and down ... coming back, running ... coming back. It was some kind of game because they were running away, coming back, taking stones, throwing them at the police ... It was chaos. Whenever the police shot teargas, we jumped the wall to the churchyard and then came back and started discussing again.

Then came the first shot – straight into the crowd, without warning. Other policemen took up the signal and more shots were fired. Twelve-year-old Hector Pieterson fell to the ground, fatally wounded. He was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubo, a fellow student, who ran with him towards the Phefeni Clinic, with Pieterson's crying sister Antoinette running alongside.

The World photographer Sam Nzima was there to record Pieterson's last moments. "I saw a child fall down," he says. "Under a shower of bullets I rushed forward and went for the picture." The photo went around the world and Pieterson came to symbolise the uprising, giving the world an in-your-face view of the brutality of apartheid.

Then all hell broke loose. Students targeted apartheid symbols: administrative offices, government buses and vehicles and municipal beer halls, which were first looted and then set alight. By the end of the day thick clouds of black smoke hung over the township, and the streets were littered with upturned vehicles, stones and rocks.

Anti-riot vehicles poured into Soweto, roadblocks were erected at all entrances, the army was placed on alert and helicopters hovered overhead, dropping teargas canisters and shooting. The injured pupils were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, some dying in its corridors, some dying at its gates before they could be admitted, according to Bonner and Segal. As night fell, the unlit township became even more terrifying: blinded by the night, police simply fired into the blackness. The students returned the fire with their own weapons: bottles and stones. The looted liquor was taking effect – people wandered the streets intoxicated, in a celebratory mood, raising clenched fists and shouting "Amandla!" (power).

The next day revealed the carnage: dead bodies and burnt-out shops and vehicles. The clashes continued, between police and students, joined by street gangs. Violence spread to another volatile Johannesburg township, Alexandra, and then across South Africa. By 18 June, all schools in Soweto and Alexandra had been closed by the authorities. Most of the victims were under 23, say Bonner and Segal, and shot in the back. Many others were left maimed or crippled. By the end of the year about 575 people had died across the country, 451 at the hands of police, according to SA History Online. The injured numbered 3 907, with the police responsible for 2 389 of them. About 5 980 people were arrested in the townships that year.

International solidarity movements were roused as an immediate consequence of the revolt. They soon gave their support to the pupils, putting pressure on the apartheid government to temper its repressive rule. This pressure was maintained throughout the 1980s, until resistance movements were finally unbanned in 1990. School principals were almost immediately allowed to choose their own medium of instruction, a major victory for the pupils. More schools and a teacher training college were built in Soweto. Teachers were given in-service training and encouraged to upgrade their qualifications by being given study grants.
The most significant change, however, was that urban blacks were given permanent status as city dwellers. They ceased to be temporary sojourners in the cities, expected to return to the homelands, often inferior pieces of land far away from industrial centres and jobs, where they held permanent residence. The law banning blacks from owning businesses in the townships was abolished. Doctors, lawyers and other professionals were now also allowed to practise in the townships.

But there was a sting in the tail of these measures: the police were given powers to detain people without trial. The result was the detention of hundreds of people in the coming months. They were subjected to torture in a desire to confirm the government's version of events: that the unrest was caused by a number of agitators. Thousands of young people left the country, disillusioned with the government crackdown and harassed by the police. They never finished their education, choosing instead to go into military camps and receive training. Some were then infiltrated back into South Africa over the next decade, to perpetrate acts of sabotage. This was part of the steady onslaught against apartheid that finally broke its back towards the end of the 1980s.

Most of the exiles returned home in the early 1990s, to celebrate the birth of democracy in 1994.

Lest we forget the day, there is a museum to keep the memories fresh. The Hector Pieterson Museum, in Orlando West in Soweto, is just a few blocks from where students and police first began their violent confrontation.

words: Lucille Davis, jacked from SA Info

Monday, 14 June 2010

Footy Foto Classics

17 year old Pele terrorizing the Swedes in 1958.
jacked from rootless cosmpolitan.
Maradona's famous 'Hand of God' in 1986. Boohoo Engeerrrland!
jacked from rootless cosmpolitan.

Roger Milla doin' his thang, clocking four goals against the Italians in 1990.
jacked from somewhere on the interweb.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Congo: 50 Years, 50 Faces

The Congo is 50 this year and to mark half a century of independence, Stephan Vanfleteren took 50 pictures of Congolese men, women and children. I've not looked through the whole collection, but below are random selections of the pictures and stories that moved me the most, thus far.

Augustin Mfukidi: 'I am the only Catholic in a family of Protestants. In the 20s, my parents were under the spell of a preacher in a local church formed by British Protestants: my older brother had a hump and was miracu­l­ously healed by him. But the Belgians were not of our faith; we were persecuted, displaced and exiled. As the youngest, I was forced into Catholicism.'

Denis Mukwenge, surgeon, Bukavu: 'This hospital is really a maternity clinic, but because of the war it became an asylum for thousands of women who had been sexually assaulted. An average of 10 new victims a day report to the hospital. Sexual violence is a weapon of war, a nuclear bomb that blows society apart. Things were very difficult from the start. Various armies came here to fight their battles: Ugandans, Rwandans, Burundians, Zimbabweans and Congolese. It was total war, and it seemed as if all the soldiers were looking to rape Congolese women. I was operating almost non-stop. I have chalked up 25,000 operations. By 2001 I had had enough. I felt it was not enough to operate on one violated woman after another. The extent and brutality of the violence was intolerable. So I contacted Human Rights Watch. I thought: OK, now the world knows, now something will surely be done. Well, I was wrong.'

Maman Nicole: 'I've known I was HIV positive since 1993. When my husband died of Aids, my family rejected me. Look at Marianne: her husband was the ambassador and she ended up sleeping on a cardboard box! There's only the two of us here now, at Femmes Plus (Positive Women). Chantal used to sleep on a piece of fabric, her food covered in mould. She used to have to drag herself to the filthy toilets on all fours. When she died, we buried her. The street kids who live in the cemetery called out, "How long have women had to bury the dead?" The coffin was too heavy for us. They ran over, pushed us aside and took the coffin on their shoulders. They had tears in their eyes.'
Larousse-Marciano, musician: 'I mix American hip-hop with atalaku, our kind of rap. That's my thing. My dad was always getting me to look up words in the dictionary - so that's where "Larousse" came from. Rocky Marciano was the only heavyweight never to be knocked out. Me, I box with words, and I want the whole world to know me. Then I can go out drinking with friends, and all the ladies will come and make up to us. With my money I would also like to build schools and hospitals. When I'm ill, I think about death: I don't like being sick. Actually, I'm off to a funeral now - my friend's cousin. She was 25 years old and she died of, erm, cancer.'

Nkongolo Kanyonga, student, Shamatenge: 'Each of my four brothers has light eyes. They are grey and green. Why that should be so, I don't know. It just happened. My ma has brown eyes, but my dad also has these green ones. It was already like that with my ancestors. God gave us them.'
Jules Badibanga Kabula, headmaster, Mikalay: 'No, no, I don't want to go back to the colonial times with Belgium. But why can't we work together? In the past, the roads were good, the schools were excellent and we could live a civilised life. But the dynamism in this region disappeared with the last white father. The people wept. We got corrupt, incompetent leaders instead. Fanatics serving their own interests. And when they visit the schools, they just complain how bad everything is and give out a football or two. Always giving away these footballs. I don't want to see another football. Instead of investing money in the schools, they are putting it in their own pockets.'

See the rest of the collection here.

All Photographs by Stephan Vanfleteren/Panos Pictures