Nelson Mandela University hosts Biko lecture

Port Elizabeth – Nelson Mandela University held the 7th annual Steve Biko memorial lecture on Tuesday(12th September 2017)  at South Campus Auditorium hosting keynote speaker, Professor Molefi Kete Asante, from the Temple University in Philadelphia.

Acting Vice- Chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa welcomed guests and added that this lecture is needed to restore the social fabric that is in tatters as the country is facing many challenges.  “This evening I would like to focus on the fact that the annual Steve Biko memorial lecture has become something of institution here at Nelson Mandela University, this year we are hosting the 7th lecture which is special for special reasons. Firstly, it falls on the exact day of the 40th anniversary of [Biko’s] tragic death at the hands of the apartheid system.  The lecture tonight should thus have a special meaning and significance for all of us simply because the theme is attractive to us as the Nelson Mandela University.”

The activist intellectual Prof Asante is a president of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies and Professor and Chair Department of Africology and African American Studies at the Temple University.  Prof Asante was well received by the mixed audience which boasted of school children coming from as far as Uitenhage, the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Athol Trollip, AZAPO leadership, Chair of Council Ronnie Pillay and Members of Senate.

The keynote speaker spoke under the theme “The Afrocentric Vision of Bantu Stephen Biko.” He described Biko as one of the most original thinkers as he relied on only what was organic and did not rely on what Europeans had told him.

“Bantu Biko was one of the greatest and revered Africans of all time, his great talk was our talk and he spoke for us [Black people] throughout the world as our black consciousness leader. He believed that umntu ngumntu ngabantu.” The speaker then spoke of Biko with reference to the book ‘I write what I like’.  He drew a link between Afrocentricity and Black Consciousness which was something that Biko advocated for. He further illustrated how the issue of mental slavery that Biko spoke against is still prevalent in modern day society and in different black nations.

A jiff of conflict erupted when student respondents, Zolisa Marawu, Okuhle Dyosopu and Mbongisi Dyantyi were on stage because of the small amount of time that was allocated for each speaker to respond to the address. A student, Sipumeze Sipunzi and a few audience members demanded that respondents be given more time to respond to the address. The issue was then swiftly addressed by one of the programme directors who allowed for more time to be given to the respondents.  Ex Nelson Mandela University Lecturer Professor Simphiwe Sesante spoke about the behaviour of the audience and the Sipunzi saying that “Biko advocated for self-respect and respect for other black people.”

The audience was treated to a powerful performance by Lelethu Mahambehlala known as Poetic Soul whose CD was available for purchase as well as a book edited by Allan Zinn, Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Non-racialism and Democracy, which has a written and DVD series of all the previous lectures.

Naziziphiwo Buso

 

YSC with Masifunde held the first annual drama festival in Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth – On the 9th of September, the Youth for Safer Communities (YSC) with Masifunde Creativity Academy held its very first annual drama festival at the Opera House. The drama started at 11 in the morning until 6 pm.

The festival, which consisted of 8 different schools from different townships around Port Elizabeth portrayed real-life stories that take place around them. The first showcase was “Themba’s dream’’ which was presented by Walmer, proving to the audience what really attracted them to come and watch.

They delivered their best portrayal of how the black child sometimes struggle to fulfill their dreams because of what people say and sometimes even members of family lack of faith in it. The play was about, showing that even if no one believes in your dream, what matters is how much you work towards making it a reality. The storyline is about a little boy that has a dream of becoming a pilot although his father does not support it. This mainly because the father believes that black children should just work in kitchen’s and become (udaka-boy).

With his mother by his side, the boy fights for his dream, unfortunately his mother dies due to succumbing burn wounds when their shack sets alight. Themba isvforced to drop out of school and become a daka-boy. He then, decided to quit working so that he can fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. No one believes that he will make it, but he essentially becomes the pilot he always wanted to be

Following ‘Themba’s dream’ many schools showcased their plays. The prevalent themes in these educational drama stories, was facing rejection from society and family because sexual orientation. Also, not getting approval from parents because they feel you’re not doing enough – which results in the loss of self-confidence, leaving home and trying to support yourself in harsh environments. And in in essence experiencing domestic violence and teenage pregnancy. These children truly showed what true talent is.

Speaking with one of the drama organizers and drama facilitator, Xabiso Zweni. He expressed how the concept (Themba’s Dream) came about, it was when he was talking with these children from Walmer Township, asking them about what is different about their township and they said it is the Airport. But they just saw it from afar and had never been into it. They wanted to portray the emotion behind a young boy who sees a plane and wants to be in it but never gets the opportunity.

YSC was also celebrating the success of the musical Themba’s Dream at National Arts Festival. Mr. Zweni explained that it was not easy, but they managed to push through. When Mr. Zweni was asked as to what plans they have for these children who are part of the YSC and Masifunde he said: ‘’there is a youth summit end of this month and about 300 scholars gather for a weekend in willows resort to plan for their future next 2 years with YSC and Masifunde’’.

‘Themba’s dream’ showed that even if one grew up under unbearable conditions, he/she can still make something beautiful out of it. Townships may be surrounded with many challenges or the highest percentage of crime, but something beautiful can birthed from there. The Masifunde youth choir closed off the play with such beautiful that received a standing ovation from the audience.

   Nosipho Keuti

 

TEDxPortElizabeth : Youth shape your future.

Port Elizabeth – TedxPortElizabeth hosted a salon talk themed #ShapingTheFuture at Art on Target in Newton Park on August 9th.  Ted had three local activists speaking at the event which are proceeding the main event later next month.

The Three activists namely Rushka Johnson, Sakhumzi Nyendwana and Councilor Samantha Beynon all spoke under the same theme but in relation to their causes. Rushka Johnson who is an environmental activist spoke on protecting the seed to protect farmers’ freedom and the safe food production. Johnson said: “genetically modified foods are important if they increase the production quantity, improve the nutrient levels of food but they are also dangerous as they can be cacogenic.”  At the end of her talk Rushka then gave away seeds to everyone in the audience to serve as metaphor of the talk that she had given.

Following Johnson was Sakhumzi Nyendwana who is a local Visual Artist based in Motherwell working under company named Hand in Hand which he co-owns with his brother. Although very nervous, Nyendwana treated audience to not only a speech but also drew an African Hut as he spoke to give to a lucky member of the audience.

In his speech Nyendwana described how he did not let his dyslexia deter him from achieving his dreams. Nyendwana added that “in all my art I incorporate the Xhosa culture and by doing so I remember where I am come from so I can shape the future being rooted in who I am.”

Last speaker for the day was  political activist Samantha Beynon who serves as a PR Councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. Councillor Beynon’s topic was ‘choices, chances and changes’- she delved into her personal lived experience to show how she dealt with the changes in her life to get to where she is today.

She spoke about the death of a parent and how that made her make a choice to deal with the changes so she can keep and pen more chances to elevate where she was. Councillor Beynon encouraged audience members especially the youth to use this kind of approach to life’s challenges to ensure that they shape their futures well.

Nelson Mandela University student who is a singer and songwriter, Lesedi Milongo, performed some of her own works just after the interval which had a stall from Death by Coffee which is owned by Rushka Johnson.

Earlier in the week the three activists visited Madibaz Radio to talk promote their event.

Naziziphiwo Buso

 

UMZIMVUBU HONORABLE MAYOR CONDEMNS THE UNFORTUNATE ACT OF CANNIBALISM.    

 

Umzimvubu Local Municipality has learnt with great sadness of the unfortunate act of cannibalism in KwaBhaca formerly known as Mount Frere.

The Honorable Mayor Cllr Bulelwa Mabengu strongly condemns the inhumane act and calls upon the South African Police Service and the Justice system to strengthen their visibility in the area while also ensuring that the alleged perpetrator faces the full might of the law.

 According to the Honorable Mayor, Bulelwa Mabengu,” We have visited the family of the victim earlier today (Monday) and wish to plead with the media to provide the family enough space to deal with the matter.

The municipality is in the process of facilitating an awareness campaign together with sector departments in the area. This is to ensure that all of our residents are much more vigilant and proactive towards such unfortunate incidents.”

 “I also believe that drugs and substance abuse was a major contributing factor and yearn to call upon law authorities to show a more proactive visibility in our area. The municipality will however be having more private consultation sessions with the family of the victim and the alleged to assist them in dealing with the ordeal” she concluded.

                                                                                                  Umzimvubu Local Municipality

46 Year- old- male arrested with 26 bags of marijuana

krush

Port Elizabeth- Police have arrested a 46-year-old man in possession of 26 bags of marijuana in Kwadwesi location on Monday.

 This follows after a combined operation was conducted by the Motherwell Operational Command Centre, Crime Intelligence, Flying Squad and the K9 Unit. The information crime Intelligence gathered lead the operation to Govan Mbeki and Kwadwesi, where a white Mazda Drifter bakkie was found and searched. The 26 bags of dagga, with a weight of almost 500 kilogram and with an estimated street value of about R1,2 million was confiscated from the bakkie and the 46 year- old male arrested.

The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie welcomed the huge drug bust.

“Illegal drug traders, drug posts and drug transporters will be facing further clamp downs and perpetrators will face the full force of the law at our courts.” Described Major General Rabie.

The suspect is due to appear before the New Brighton Magistrates Court on today on a charge of dealing in marijuana.

Lwando Nomoyi

Isaac Wilson’s single release party closes off women’s month

single

Port Elizabeth – As women’s month was coming to an end on the 31st of August, Isaac Wilson decided to close it on a very high note with his “show love” single release party.

The single party was held at the Tramways building, with heavyweights in attendance such as: Prince Infinite, AJ and Mo Mahashe. Also performances from Azi and Wilson’s cousin were enjoyed.

The single, “show love” is about people who went through abuse in their lives and those who are still going through abuse, especially women and children. Wilson gave his painful and educational story before his performance of how, he and his mother experienced the abuse in the hands of his father, but through all of that he still show love.

He performed his first song titled ‘Higher’ which officially opened the party and brought the house down. Prince Infinite later then performed four songs that spoke about love, and dedicated to women that played a role in his life and showing love to all the women out there. AJ concluded the first half of the performances with two awe-inspiring poems and the cover of the Destiny’s child song called ‘love’.

After the interval, a dialogue about the issue of abuse in homes, and how the term of “trash” was derived when referring to men was opened. One lady who was a member of the audience explained that the term is not about men who cheat, but about the ones who badly treat women and the men who stand on the sidelines and not speak against their friends who are culprits of abuse.

Mo Mahashe entertained the audience with his performances were inspired by the beauty of women. Wilson then closed the show by performing his latest single ‘show love’ featuring with Mo and then another a song titled ‘pain’ with his cousin B-alone.

The song ‘Trend’ featuring Azi speaks to people who suffer from low self-esteem, it encourages them to love themselves. Those who were at the single party can say that Isaac surely did close women’s month on a very high note.

Nosipho Keuti

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS TO IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

ironman

Port Elizabeth – The countdown has begun, in exactly 365 days, on the 1 September 2018 Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will be the proud hosting city of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The Initial countdown

 The 1st of September 2017 marks exactly 12 months to go before the first race is held in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2018. The City has been hard at work behind the scenes putting together a multidisciplinary team consisting of City officials, Municipal entities, Provincial Government representatives and IRONMAN South Africa.

During the countdown gathering, among the delegates of the Municipality were Councillor MMC Andrew Whitfield, project manager Beck Gatangi and Chief of metro police Yolanda Faro.

Speaking on economic benefits and all the spin offs from an event of this calibre, Member of the Mayoral Committee Councillor Andrew Whitfield, who also chairs the high level committee responsible for this strategic event said: “This event could not have come at a better time, a time when our economy has gone through serious contraction especially in the automotive sector. What this event does is to offer us the opportunity to capitalize on our latent potential in tourism”.

“This event will see more than four thousand athletes racing over two spectacular days in our City; nearly thirty thousand international visitors will descend on Nelson Mandela Bay over a period of at least ten days. The direct spend over that period is estimated at an impressive R300m in Nelson Mandela Bay” concluded Whitfield.

Chief of Metro police Yolanda Faro added that safety of the athletes on the roads is their number one priority for the upcoming event, in ensuring that the event is a success and crime-free.

“we are well aware of the incidents that we have to plan for, therefore we are prepared for anything, we are also in partnership with the South African Police Service in order to ensure more safety and security for the IRONMAN World Championship” described Chief Yolanda Faro.

The City was announced as the successful bidder in September 2016 largely due the City’s impressive history in hosting major international sporting events including the award winning IRONMAN African Championship.

Lwando Nomoyi