aKING is one of my absolute favourite bands right now. Not favourites in South Africa, Favourite. Period.
Their melodic tunes coupled with the distinctive voice of their lead singer, the raw passion that they display and their incredible live performances make them one of the leading bands in South Africa without a doubt.
I have been waiting patiently for their latest release and it is finally here. Not only have they released their new album but they have progressed with the times and released it DRM-Free!
The album is called Against All Odds, which immediately reminds me of Phil Collins for some odd reason. Anyways, the track listing looks like this:
Set Ourselves Up
Fork In The Road
The Heart Of A Fool
You And I
Against All Odds
Blood Or Glitter
New Clear Season
The Wishing Well
Know Your Bones
Now the key here that you need to know is that I already have the album. I paid R77 for it and would do it again in a second. I wish more bands removed their heads from their backsides and did what aKING are doing – selling their music at affordable prices online. Done. Dusted. Do it.
I know many people who have been victims to the violent crime that is hijacking. It’s sad to say but it’s the truth. Almost everyone I know has been directly or indirectly affected by a hijacking or other violent crime in SA.
It happened again last night. Not directly to me but to two neighbours of mine in my Townhouse complex.
I live in a relatively good area which is relatively safe and relatively close to everything one could need; Sandton City, Woodmead, Fourways, shopping malls, fitment centres, entertainment, you name it and I’m near to it. I love where I live.
But coming home last night there was a police car in my driveway.
Turns out that two cars had followed one of my neighbours in to the complex and then gone looking for others to rob once they had robbed her. They fled after beating my immediate neighbour and his party guests a bit. They were in such a rush that one of the cars crashed in to a tree and the other fled.
The police were astounding. They caught one group of hijackers and continued to look for the other well in to the night. All the while placing a police vehicle with officers in our complex until the residence affected felt safe enough to let the policemen go. I was extremely impressed with what I saw from the police officers in my area who were there to help. They did a sterling job.
I am trying to say that there is nothing that one can do after hearing about something like this.
What am I meant to do now? Change the way I live, not come in to my own driveway? Lock the doors all the time? Get more security? No. I don’t think this is the solution. I think the solution is to realise that we need to be vigilant. I need to learn the names of my neighbours and what cares they drive. I don’t think this is too much to ask of myself. I think that this makes sense and I’ve just been slack since moving in.
I need to remember that I live in South Africa. Sometimes it’s easy to slip in to a sense of security that is easily shattered.
Luckily this time no one was badly hurt and wounds will heal.
“I must say now, and clearly, that I am of the South Africa of Verwoerd and apartheid … a nation which is the result of an African graft on European stock and which is the product of its instinct and ability to maintain civilised values and standards amongst the alien barbarians … The African may well believe in witchcraft and primitive magic, practise ritual murder and polygamy; his wealth is in cattle. More money and he will have no sense of parental or individual responsibility, no understanding of reverence for life or the human soul which is the basis of Christian and other civilised societies. … A good deal of nonsense is talked of, and indeed thought about ‘segregation’. Segregation of one kind or another is practised everywhere in the world.”
These are the words of South Africa’s greatest sporting icon – Gary Player, and these words are contained in his 1966 book called Grand Slam Golf.
So, as a non-white South African, I approached brunch with Gary Player at the Emirates Golf Club, with some reservations. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that we are in the new South Africa. We just completed our fourth democratic elections, for goodness sake! One that even I, as an expat, was able to participate in!
My first impression of the “Black Knight” was that he looked remarkably good for 73. In fact, he would put most 40 years olds to shame! Although I’ve heard that he is a massive fitness fanatic, seeing him, really cemented the importance of a good diet and exercise.
Dubai is largely a world of false egos, materialism and inflated self-esteems. Another surprise: here was the most successful international golfer of all time and he was humbly posing for photographs, politely signing autographs and even chatting to the waiters and staff of the country club.
Then, Gary Player started his speech. “Its time to go back to basics,” he said assertively. With much emotion and subtle aggression, the audience (made up mainly of South African expats) was enlightened on the virtues of respect for people, respect for time and even the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Then came the moving bits. “I am blessed to come from South Africa! It’s the best piece of real estate in the world,” he exclaimed to rousing applause. “And I’m most positive about our nation. This election has proved that we are a bunch of winners. Remember, in life – always be positive. We all have a part to play in our country.”
To my great amazement, I found myself inspired by the man. So, his beliefs were a bit screwed up in his 30’s, but now, as a 73 year old, his attitude towards apartheid and indeed equality is very different. His charity work over the years and millions spent on development work speaks volumes. So, I’ve decided to leave the past exactly where it belongs and appreciate present day South Africans for who they are. Indeed, we are a remarkable, resilient bunch. So cheers to Gary Player and other South African greats!
I’ll leave you with his words: “I’ve hit more golf balls than any other player in history. There’s only one man who might surpass me and that’s Vijay Singh. But he has to live a long time to do that – because I’m just getting warmed up!”
Barbara Hogan has been names in the Science and Technology genre of the Time 2009 Top 100. She is the outgoing Minister of Health in South Africa.
Here’s what Hogan’s write-up said:
To understand the dignity and power of Barbara Hogan, one must first have some understanding of what she is made of: profound experience, dedicated service to her homeland, unflinching courage, conviction and compassion.
Hogan, 57, joined the African National Congress (ANC) after the Soweto uprising in 1976, even though the organization had been made illegal. She actively resisted apartheid and organized consumer boycotts, and for this, she served eight years of brutal incarceration in Pretoria Central Prison.
After being released in 1990, she rose through the ranks of the ANC and now has enough power that when President Kgalema Motlanthe appointed her Minister of Health in September 2008, she could engineer a radical change of South Africa’s national AIDS policy.
Hogan’s predecessor recommended garlic and beetroot as treatments for HIV. But Hogan stands up for truth, for what is right and for what must be done. She has acknowledged that HIV causes AIDS and has embraced antiretroviral drugs. She has pledged that pregnant mothers with the virus will be treated with nevirapine to stop transmission at birth — ending a policy of denial that was responsible for the loss of an estimated 330,000 lives. Not bad for less than one year in office.
While William Kentridge is hands down my favourite South African artist, I am seemingly not alone here. I would almost literally kill to get my hands on his artwork. I can’t because I am not a millionaire sadly. It excites me to see a living South African artist being recognised by an international community for his work.
Kentridge has been selected in the Artists & Entertainers genre of the Time 2009 Top 100.
This is what Kentridge’s write-up had to say:
I have often wondered: If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the price of a song? What could an essay be that is about the multiple emotions, feelings, moods and starlight of the startlingly original drawings by the South African artist William Kentridge, 54? These lives erupting through the line and the page with their features telling thousands of mutating stories.
Kentridge has stated that he came to terms with the fact (often so hard to accept) that the images — states of mind — of these interior reflections are personal to the artist, who must accept that he is putting the deepest part of his soul and mind in his work and then showing it to the world. This is something that makes interviews and journalistic adventures a misery, as the conversation will always turn to the question “Why are you showing us this?” It does not seem enough to answer: I do this to reveal beauty and humanity in all its guises. We are one and similar in all respects.
We look at Kentridge’s Preparing the Flute (an installation tied to his staging of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute) and see charcoal, pastel and colored pencil with a model theater and animation — all tools brought to bear. And still I sit in awe of his study of the artist space Artist and Model from the series Pit. The drawings of his film Stereoscope. The ability to express that for which there may be no word. An original expression of the most inexpressible. Kentridge has made a home for emotions in his private expression, through line and form, of that which we cannot say.
Jacob Zuma’s cabinet has come to light, been inducted and is taking office as we speak. It’s an interesting mixture, there are some changes, moves and shifts in position. The video in this post is a nice show of who’s who in the Cabinet. It’s always nice to see some faces put to the names that will govern us for the next few years.
Here’s the list in text format too:
President Zuma’s new Cabinet in alphabetical order is as follows:
1. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – Tina Joemat-Peterson
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dr Pieter Mulder
2. Minister of Arts and Culture – Lulu Xingwana
Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture – Paul Mashatile
3. Minister of Basic Education – Angie Motshekga
Deputy Minister of Basic Education – Enver Surty
4. Minister of Communications – Siphiwe Nyanda
Deputy Minister of Communications – Dina Pule
5. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs – Sicelo Shiceka
Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Yunus Carrim
6. Minister of Correctional Services – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services – Hlengiwe Mkhize
7. Minister of Defence and Military Veterans – Lindiwe Sisulu
Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans – Thabang Makwetla
8. Minister of Economic Development – Ebrahim Patel
Deputy Minister of Economic Development – Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde
9. Minister of Energy – Dipuo Peters
10. Minister of Finance – Pravin Gordhan
Deputy Minister of Finance – Nhlanhla Nene
11. Minister of Health – Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
Deputy Minister of Health – Dr Molefi Sefularo
12. Minister of Higher Education and Training – Dr Blade Nzimande
13. Minister of Home Affairs – Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs – Malusi Gigaba
14. Minister of Human Settlements – Tokyo Sexwale
Deputy Minister of Human Settlements – Zou Kota
15. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation – Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (1) – Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (2) – Sue van der Merwe
16. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development – Jeff Radebe
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development – Andries Nel
17. Minister of Labour – Membathisi Mdladlana
18. Minister of Mining – Susan Shabangu
19. Minister of Police – Nathi Mthethwa
Deputy Minister of Police – Fikile Mbalula
20. Minister of Public Enterprises – Barbara Hogan
Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises – Enoch Godongwana
21. Minister for the Public Service and Administration – Richard Baloyi
Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration – Roy Padayachie
22. Minister of Public Works – Geoff Doidge
Deputy Minister of Public Works – Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
23. Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform – Gugile Nkwinti
Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform – Dr Joe Phaahla
24. Minister of Science and Technology – Naledi Pandor
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology – Derek Hanekom
25. Minister of Social Development – Edna Molewa
Deputy Minister of Social Development – Bathabile Dlamini
26. Minister of Sport and Recreation – Makhenkesi Stofile
Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation – Gert Oosthuizen
27. Minister of State Security – Siyabonga Cwele
28. Minister in The Presidency (1) – National Planning Commission – Trevor Manuel
29. Minister in The Presidency (2) – Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency – Collins Chabane
30. Minister of Tourism – Marthinus van Schalkwyk
Deputy Minister of Tourism – Thozile Xasa
31. Minister of Trade and Industry – Rob Davies
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (1) – Thandi Tobias
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (2) – Maria Ntuli
32. Minister of Transport – Sbusiso Joel Ndebele
Deputy Minister of Transport – Jeremy Cronin
33. Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs – Buyelwa Sonjica
Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs – Rejoice Mabhudafhasi
34. Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities
It is upon us once more. Sexpo is a “Health, Sexuality and Lifestyle Expo” that travels around South Africa. This week it’s Cape Town’s turn. So if you have some time on your hands, are feeling a little bit frisky and want something new and interesting to do, hit the Sexpo in Cape Town.
Here are the details you need:
When: Thursday, 14 May 2009 to Sunday, 17 May 2009 Where: CTICC
Buy tickets at the door.