Category: Art

Mancoba in a class of his own

The late Ernest Mancoba, painter and sculptor, should be to South Africans as Van Gogh is to the Dutch and Picasso is to the Spanish.  He, like others, have for too long been excluded from the South African narrative. He is considered to be in a class of his own and yet his work is not sufficiently studied at South African universities or art schools. The father of writer Njabulo Ndebele, Nimrod Ndebele, a playwright and friend, is known to have described Mancoba as the leading intellectual of his generation in the 1930s.

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In defiance of prejudice

South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza has come home to present a special solo concert at the Roodepoort Theatre on 2 November 2021.  She will sing a selection of opera arias and traditional South African songs from her current repertoire.I was fortunate to be invited to preview the show with family and friends at the theatre on Friday 15 October 2021. She and her accompanying pianist Paul Ferreira received several standing ovations from the enthusiastic audience.

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Kadaf opens up about his hit single and fighting GBV

Besides music, the artist is involved in the national gender-based #ActNow Campaign. The campaign was formed by black men who decided to take a stand against the ongoing Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.

The #ActNow Campaign is endorsed by various government departments, cabinet ministers and celebrities such as DJ Sbu, businesswoman and motivational speaker Gugu Khathi, DJ Fresh, Khanyi Mbau, author Jackie Phamotse as well as Miss South Africa 2020 Shudufhadzo Musida, to mention just a few.

In solidarity with civil society institutions, educational organizations, sports and entertainment federations, members of @actnow_africa (Kadaf included) are mobilizing various communities to combat, report and fight gender-based violence.

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Myesha Jenkins 1948 – 2020

This tribute is not only a portrait of an extraordinary human being, but a set of decisions, like any work of art, executed with dexterity, empathy and commitment.

Myesha Jenkins, activist, poet and feminist, who died peacefully in her home on 5 September, arrived in South Africa from the US in the heady early days of our new democracy and devoted her life to the empowerment of rural black women, performance poetry, the creation of networks that supported poets, the broadcast of poetry and multiple collaborations between poetry and jazz, one of her greatest loves.

A protean artist, who evolved as her interests led her, her signature style was one of unshakeable socialist principles delivered with simplicity and integrity infused with a rich seam of humour.

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Forging ahead in new terrain

Cape Cultural Collective adapts to conditions imposed by pandemic

The Covid 19 pandemic has deepened our crisis. More people are out of work and hunger depressingly gnaws at growing numbers of households in the country. The very basis of human interaction has changed dramatically.

In these conditions, building resilience and pushing boundaries present themselves as almost insurmountable obstacles.

However, four weeks into the pandemic, we hosted an online fundraiser that generated income for the organisation and for a host of artists.

Community Chest and the Cape Cultural Collective joined forces to produce a publication called Heritage in a time of global crisis: Building resilience and pushing boundaries.

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The Crown

A short story set in the time of the pandemic

We feature poet and performance artist Philippa Yaa De Villiers’ award-winning short story. The Crown won second prize in the Arts24/Kwela Books Corona Fiction competition.

Fiona checked over her shoulder and quickly closed the Women’s Ways magazine open on her screen. It felt weird to worry about Van Reenen, her line manager at the workstation Hamish had setup in the spare room. A cloudy light made it past the thick ugly curtains, adding to the surreptitious atmosphere. It felt like the beady eyes of the surveillance cameras at Gordonson Insurance had followed her to Kublai Khan and were staring down at her from the painting of Paris in the rain, above the bed.

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Tsitsi Dangarembga and writing about pain and loss in Zimbabwe

Writing a pain body and also reading such a body are acts of resistance and triumph

We review Zimbabwean author, Dangarembga’s, new book This Mournable Body, which has been long-listed for the Booker prize.

Tsitsi Dangarembga has made a name for herself as a writer, filmmaker and activist in Zimbabwe. She gained international acclaim with her debut novel Nervous Conditions (1988), which became the first published English novel by a black woman from Zimbabwe. The BBC named it one of the top 100 books that have shaped the world.

As a trilogy, Nervous Conditions was followed by The Book of Not (2006) and This Mournable Body (2018). 

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Linton Kwesi Johnson gave poetry back to the people

Poet who made black “cool” in Britain wins 2020 Pen Pinter Prize

The dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, this year’s recipient of the PEN Pinter Prize, is the third consecutive black winner of the gong instituted in memory of Nobel-winning playwright Harold Pinter. Johnson, popularly known as LKJ, follows in the wake of British poet Lemn Sissay (2019) and Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2018).

It is no exaggeration that LKJ, who went to Britain from Jamaica at the age of 11 to follow his mother, part of the Windrush generation, did more than most to make black “cool” in Britain and beyond. In his music and poetry, he not only threw orthographical conventions by the wayside

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The world is dancing to South Africa’s Jerusalema

Master KG’s hit a feel-good song for all!

A South African song combined with a dance that began in Angola, has captured the imagination of people throughout the world. Amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, Jerusalema has had 50 million views on You Tube and has got groups of people dancing in many parts of the world.

South African born and bred artist, Master KG has both young and old individuals, all over the world dancing to his latest single called Jerusalema.

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