Friday, September 03, 2004

amampondo - history in the making

last night i had the priviledge of listening to some of the national treasures still living in this land. amampondo, south africa's top marimba and percussion ensemble, had a jamming session in a the city varsity campus in cape town. we had organized for them, for the first time in their 23 year career, for their first music video to be shot.

these guys, who have accompanied nelson mandela to the middle east on his first trip there after his release from prison; who have traveled right across the world, performing at events, and festivals amongst some of the top entertainers in the music business such as anastasia and peter gabriel - these guys create magic. their music brings alive the harmony of the earth. it sounds the song of the wind rushing through the trees, children playing in long grass, the mournful air of a community who struggles. it is alive. it is africa.

last night i feel i was a part of history. we have done what no other has done before. we have done it for so little money, why couldn't anyone do it before? an apathy. the drive to make money at all costs. greed. we have recorded a piece of history, and the world will savor it.

check out this site:

www.amampondo.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

the new generation of people

i am busy creating a project that reflects the way i feel about the place i live in, and the people i share that life with. i have always wanted to think that one day i would contribute to the world around me, but was never sure of how i would be able to get my message, this message i have stored in my head, to the very people who i need to tell of this. i have so much to say, its just getting it out.

we live in a time in this country, where the past is fading further and further behind us. where the horrors that were committed by the ones who we thought were looking after our own best interests, are going to be forgotten, as new modern situations engulf us. forcing us to deal with today, in a way that is very different to the problem solving situations we were forced to try, for yesterdays problems. we are growing up, and becoming stronger.

thandiswa (zabalaza) wrote : the world changes, revolutionaries die, and the children forget

i just have a problem with the continued lack of understanding of what it means to the average african, especially the white populace, but not only them either, to be an african.

an african of this continent, a person of these people. all races in this country, people born in the same dust and rain as each other, though the divide might be big, must start reacting to the need that this country has - the need to stand together as one, in memory of those who gave their all so we could be at this point, but mostly in honour of the future that we are creating today.

to be an african, a south african, puts us in a most revered position. we have survived what could have been. we have survived didn't happen. we are unique. we are south african.

once our people get past wanting to be the amercian and british dream, once we are able to start appreciating the beauty that surrounds us daily, we will see that we all strive in the same direction, we al survive for peaceful existence.

many of my friends still live in their little worlds surrounded by the ideal world that they try to create around themselves, forgetting the masses just on their doorstep, cleaning their homes, caring for their children. they live their lives of luxury, of order and first world dreams, while around them still their own people suffer in the day-to-day madness that we have caused them struggle against and survive...

but there is hope. we have had hope in our history, like almost no other country in the world. we have had the wisdom on nelson mandela. a man with his humility, compassion and willingness to take each person as he or she is, accept them, and best of all forgive them. without him, it would have taken the people that live so close, side-by-side so much longer to be able to be where they are now, at this moment in our history, to have the possibility to be able to dream. to be able to live. to be a part of the excitement of growth.

south africa grows in a way that allows us to look to the mistakes of other countries, and although we are still as yet far from perfect, we are on a steady path towards where we want to be. it'll just take time, patience and alot of hard work. and i think that if it were in honour of a great man like madiba, the rest of the world would possibly sit up a little straighter and nod their heads in approval, and awe.

we are the new generation of people. we have survived, together.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

south africa comes first

it seems the madiba magic the springbok rugby team was hoping for, by wearing the famous numbers of nelson mandela, worked today, as they fought their way to winning the title of southern hemisphere champions by clinching the tri-nations series.

madiba wasn't able to be there today, but the team said that they wanted to thank him for all the inspiration he had given them, by supporting his cause - and it worked!

the nations pride has been, not only restored in sporting terms, but elevated to new heights as the springbok is on everyone's lips once again.

its wonderful to feel the patriotism surging!

Friday, August 20, 2004

46664'ing while killing the opposition

with great pride i watched a few of my countrymen perform for glory at the athens olympics, and it was a stimulation of patriotic glow that they were representing us so well. we don't have the budgets that many do, but we have the passion as south africans, that we might not always be the best, but we try damn hard to get there.

small things count - such as tomorrows final tri-nations test game against the australians - madiba normally provides such inspiration to the players that the game is almost always won, and won well. tomorrows team will be wearing the old prison number of madiba's time on robben island, 46664, and the number that he has now given to the fight against hiv and Aids - and they will be wearing it in support of this and his cause.

its a great thing that every person should want to be a part of, to promote and excite others with - but most of the world couldn't give a hoot about what happens in africa and the rest of the third world... unless its a good holiday destination, and cheap too. lots of nice poor buggers running around to do your bidding.

its good to be part of a nation who cares.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

the children of africa

for years now we have been supporting house in cape town, nazereth house, situated on the slopes of devils peak, with the most awesome view over looking the city and out onto the sea. its such a peaceful place, with a large stone building nestled above old pine trees. when the wind blows, it whistles a tune through the pine leaves, rushing on its way to cause havoc in the city.

its here that the sisters of nazereth house take precious care of the final days of some the fortunate hiv+ children from around cape town. i say fortunate because they are the lucky ones to be in a place of so much love and caring, and their lives are far to short to have to suffer any more than they will. there are many more children through african, but especially southern africa, who will suffer a far worse fate. just thinking about the magnitude of the problem is very depressing.

how the continent will ever cope with the loss of half of it work force and the productive generations is hard to understand - we are part of a continent whose glorious rise will be marred by great sadness and pain. and its the children that will be left behind, to suffer for their parents actions, and to suffer because they were born into a statistical nightmare. the children of africa will suffer.

places and the people of nazereth house make a difference. its big. and its funded by charity drives - out in the townships, the rural areas that are almost unreachable, there are many more angels working for this continent, tirelessly and dedicated, and with the most meager provisions possible.

it all needs to change. people need to think differently about the way that they see life. there is so much opulence, while so many suffer. you want a sure way of preventing angry adults, filled with hate and revenge for the suffering they have had to endure?

look after the children now - and let them play.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

surviving south african

it is always so strange driving into the langa, round the back from the n2 side. to get there you have to pass the opulence and grandeur of the local casino with its glittering exterior and flashing lights and clamoring sirens announcing another winner. you have to pass a place of dreams to enter reality that is always shocking. the state of the homes, the rotting flats that house far more people than they were ever designed for, along roads that are littered with rubbish that seems to have come from a recycle bin, as if this is its last destination.

the children, thin and dirty kids whose eyes are still bright with life, run around freely playing games, pausing to watch us as we drive past, the occasional one throwing a quick wave before darting off again. life on the streets of a township is like surviving a battle ground. these kids see it all happening, the drugs, the abuse, the poverty, they are the next generation, and every day will teach them far more than the average person will understand.

driving through this one has the feeling of wanting to get out – either out the car to help the nearest child or get out of the area as quickly as possible to avoid becoming another statistic in next months crime reports. the townships are not a place to hang around. You go there with purpose, know where you are going and show your confidence – somehow it makes people feel that you’ve been there before, and they will tolerate you.

it is still the friendliest place to be when you’re there as a friend. people will come up to you from across the street, to greet, chat about who you are and what you’re doing, maybe see if you got a cigarette and then wish you well.

the community knows each other, they know each others business, and if you’re there with a resident, you become a part of the greetings and welcome smiles. you become a part of the ubuntu - that state of humane humanity that the west will never understand.

Monday, August 16, 2004

see where we come from?

"A senior government official offered Germany's first apology on Saturday for a colonial-era crackdown that killed 65 000 ethnic Hereros -- a slaughter she acknowledged amounted to genocide." Mail & Guardian

it takes such a long time for this kind of thing to be admitted. the world is still a sick place when the children of fathers and mothers cannot look back to where their ancestors went wrong and just admit and apologise for what was done. an apology is so powerful, carries so much meaning and goodwill, that people who understand anything about the term ubuntu will forgive, purely because we are able to.

my country committed the most horrific atrocities against its own people, in the name of god, in the name of the law. for us to be where we are today, we first had to acknowledge where we came from, and by looking our victims in the eye to ask for forgiveness, we were able to set ourselves free.

there is still so much to apologise for. so much forgiveness to be given for things that have not even happened yet. as long as we see where we come from and try not to be so mistaken again.