Tag: Issue 93

Remembering the Blue Notes: South Africa’s first generation of free jazz

Music is shared love

That’s changing. On September 22, trumpeter Marcus Wyatt launches the debut recording of his Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra in Johannesburg. In a recent interview with me Wyattt declares the work of McGregor, Dyani, Pukwana and the rest as “gold”. “Not many people knew about it, but it’s music people should know.”

His project is just one flower of a slow growing interest in recovering the legacy that seems finally to be breaking into bloom.

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Why media freedom remains fragile in South Africa

The battle for media freedom isn’t over

Four decades after the Black Wednesday crackdown on the media and the Black Consciousness Movement, South Africa is a different country. Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution and a slew of institutions and laws support the guarantee. At the same time, powerful groups continue to seek ways to limit and undermine journalism.On October 19, 1977, two South African newspapers – World and Weekend World – and a church journal – Pro Veritate – were closed…

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Pen for hire: General Agent SM Bennet Ncwana

“Chairman of Propaganda”

One notable propagandist of the 1920s was Samuel Michael ‘SM’ Bennet Ncwana, who wrote for a prolific number of South African newspapers. Ncwana faced vehement criticism from his peers and rivals alike, for his political volatility. At various times he was a member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), South Africa’s first major black trade union, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU)…

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Always Another Country

Sisonke Msimang: Growing up in exile, longing for home and the baggage of being South African.

Acclaimed activist and author Sisonke Msimang released her first book, ‘Always Another Country’. From Kenya and Ethiopia, through to Canada and the USA, Msimang reflects on what it means to be born in exile in the midst of the South African liberation movement. Her memoir contains beautiful details of childhood punctuated with pain, lessons and revolutionary heroes.

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