fyeahjazzmusic:

Kaffir Song - The Don Burrows Quartet

Australian jazz at its best. Circa 1966.

As a Black South African, I’m never sure how I’m supposed to feel about this song title.

Last week a journalist friend, knowing my interest in the oddities of post-Apartheid whiteness, pointed me in the direction of the website of Red October. I was surprised to find that it’s neither a Bolshevik uprising nor a tribute to the late lamented thriller writer Tom Clancy. Rather, Red October seems to be a campaign aimed at ending the persecution of white South African people, apparently the only demographic in this country that´s more endangered than the rhino.

'Join us,' exclaims the site inclusively, clearly assuming that there’s no need to specify what the entry criteria are. 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.' Well, quite.

Part of Red October’s plan is to raise awareness by instituting a day of action on 10 October in which supporters ‘across the globe’ – by which they mean the bits of the UK, US and Australia where embittered former South Africans live – release red balloons into the sky in protest. Those of you who are in Pretoria on Thursday might want to keep an eye out for a march on the Union Buildings. Unsurprisingly the campaign boasts the involvement of Steve Hofmeyr, who has truly shed his previous incarnation [Jason Donovan + Bon Jovi - charisma x Broederbond] to become the Great White Hope of his people.

I wouldn’t usually waste your valuable time or my own with this sort of twaddle. In the case of Red October, though, there are certain things about the campaign that merit a closer look.

In her book The Aftermath of Feminism, British cultural theorist Angela McRobbie dissects the way in which Tony Blair’s aggressively neoliberal government co-opted the language of feminism in the late 1990s. Part of the New Labour establishment’s strategy, she argues, was to draw on a vocabulary familiar from feminist speech and writing but to convert it into something much more individualistic, creating a sort of deluded substitute for feminism and other liberatory forms of thought, which now pervades the media and popular culture as well as the state. Words like empowerment and choice, which once suggested radical notions like economic equality and reproductive freedom, have been chewed up and spat out to the extent that empowerment now means pole dancing and choice means dismantling the National Health Service.

And this, I think, is why Red October is worth paying a little more attention to. Of course the people who put their material together don’t have the media savvy or, indeed, the grammatical skills of UK spin doctors, but the website is striking nonetheless in its relatively ineffectual attempt to utilise the language of human rights.

According to Red October, white South Africans are an ‘Ethnic Minority’ who are experiencing ‘inhumane Slaughter and Oppression’ (yes, the caps are in the original). In phrasing that could be lifted directly from the liberation years, the ‘people of South Africa’ will ‘no longer be silent’. ‘Other minority groups’ (one wonders which ones) will join ‘in a show of solidarity’ against the government’s failure to enforce our ‘rights’ and provide all citizens with a ‘free, fair and safe country’. Not only that, but they’ve exhumed poor Edmund Burke’s aphorism about evil flourishing while good men do nothing, a somewhat ironic choice for a demographic that spent the worst years of the struggle braaiing by its pools and inspecting its maids for signs of communism.

This claim to oppression becomes hollow fairly quickly once the site starts ranting about ‘the destruction of our infrastructure, our filthy government hospitals, our pathetic educational system, dirty dams and rivers, uninhabitable parks and public areas, dangerous neighbourhoods and filthy streets’. I can think of a few oppressed minorities that would be very enthused by the thought of access to a government hospital, even a filthy one, never mind a park or a bit of infrastructure.

This ham-fisted attempt at adopting progressive discourse continues in the images. The picture at the bottom of the website places itself firmly within a visual language that’s familiar from adoption pamphlets, local government advertising and mainstream gay rights literature. It emphasises diversity: Old (white) people! Young (white) people! Blonde (white) people! Brunette (white) people! All the different types of (white) people one could possibly imagine!

I doubt that this embarrassing rhetoric will convince anyone but that small group of white folk who honestly believe that their skin tone should make them immune to the problems that affect most people in this country. Indeed, what Red October has done is to ignore all the implications of the term ‘oppressed minority’, which any media-literate reader will be perfectly familiar with, in favour of the depressingly simplistic view that numbers matter more than economics. Which is a little bit like saying we should raise money and awareness to protect the numerically tiny group of billionaire CEOs from the teeming mass of everybody else.

No, the point is not that Red October will actually achieve anything, which I can’t imagine happening. The point is that this sometimes hysterical, sometimes hegemonic co-optation of progressive language can have consequences, as has become brutally clear to feminists who have to listen to endless dispiriting arguments about why teenage Miley Cyrus licking a wrecking ball is ‘empowering’ for girls. Words and ideas like diversity, minorities and rights may be extremely problematic, but they have their uses. Those of us who genuinely care about social justice need to be certain that they aren’t so diluted by the lunatic fringe that they become meaningless, empty and useless.

 - Nicky Falkof via Daily Maverick

South African Punk: National Wake 1979 - 1981 Re-issue 

…the important (but in the U.S. previously unknown) South African punk band National Wake, a band Czech State Radio called “perhaps the most dissident music scene of the 20th century: a multi-racial punk band in a fascist police state,” is issuing a new album of the band’s songs, including six that made it to tape but never to wax. The band’s sole released record, 1981’s eponymous National Wake, sold only 700 copies before the band broke apart under the pressure of relentless police harassment, the restrictions of race laws, and eventual blacklisting.

I’m interested in the relationship between the Black and white band members. Couldn’t have been easy at all.

South African Punk: National Wake 1979 - 1981 Re-issue 

…the important (but in the U.S. previously unknown) South African punk band National Wake, a band Czech State Radio called “perhaps the most dissident music scene of the 20th century: a multi-racial punk band in a fascist police state,” is issuing a new album of the band’s songs, including six that made it to tape but never to wax. The band’s sole released record, 1981’s eponymous National Wake, sold only 700 copies before the band broke apart under the pressure of relentless police harassment, the restrictions of race laws, and eventual blacklisting.

I’m interested in the relationship between the Black and white band members. Couldn’t have been easy at all.

vicemag:

Uganda Is Taking Israel’s Unwanted Asylum Seekers to Get Cheaper Weapons
Earlier this month, it was reported that Israel was trying to swap Africans for arms. Or, more specifically, broker a deal with a number of unspecified African countries that would see thousands of African refugees included in lucrative deals for Israeli weapons and military training. If you take back these annoying, resources-sapping asylum seekers, the Israelis seemed to be saying, you can buy our guns for cheap.
The Israeli government is currently detaining thousands of African asylum seekers in desert prisons on the Egyptian border. Many of them now face being shipped off, against their will, to whichever African country will take them. Seemingly no thought has been paid to sending asylum seekers back to oppressive regimes they may have been fleeing in the first place.  
It seems that a deal has now been struck, as late last week Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced that he would start the process of deporting migrants to Uganda.    
The Israeli government already have strong relations with their Ugandan counterparts, with Israel currently “working to introduce sophisticated agro-technology" to the country. But it is newer support to Uganda’s military—weapons, training, fighter jets, and possibly drones—that many suspect to be behind the country’s decision to import asylum seekers from Israel.
"We’re hoping to operate in the coming weeks and months in a way that will make another exit for infiltrators in the country,” Sa’ar explained, “while trying to reach agreements with more countries.”
Continue


Wowwwwwwwww

vicemag:

Uganda Is Taking Israel’s Unwanted Asylum Seekers to Get Cheaper Weapons

Earlier this month, it was reported that Israel was trying to swap Africans for arms. Or, more specifically, broker a deal with a number of unspecified African countries that would see thousands of African refugees included in lucrative deals for Israeli weapons and military training. If you take back these annoying, resources-sapping asylum seekers, the Israelis seemed to be saying, you can buy our guns for cheap.

The Israeli government is currently detaining thousands of African asylum seekers in desert prisons on the Egyptian border. Many of them now face being shipped off, against their will, to whichever African country will take them. Seemingly no thought has been paid to sending asylum seekers back to oppressive regimes they may have been fleeing in the first place.  

It seems that a deal has now been struck, as late last week Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced that he would start the process of deporting migrants to Uganda.    

The Israeli government already have strong relations with their Ugandan counterparts, with Israel currently “working to introduce sophisticated agro-technology" to the country. But it is newer support to Uganda’s military—weapons, training, fighter jets, and possibly drones—that many suspect to be behind the country’s decision to import asylum seekers from Israel.

"We’re hoping to operate in the coming weeks and months in a way that will make another exit for infiltrators in the country,” Sa’ar explained, “while trying to reach agreements with more countries.”

Continue

Wowwwwwwwww

thepeoplesrecord:

More than 300 imprisoned African migrants go on day 3 of hunger strike in Israel prisonsJune 27, 2013
About 300 African migrants detained in the Saharonim facility in the Negev have refused their breakfasts for the third day, in protest of their arrest without a trial.
Due to this development, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) now treats their protest as a hunger strike. However, the IPS decided not to remove food products purchased by the detainees in the canteens from their cells in order to encourage the untried but imprisoned migrants to end their hunger strike.
Source
Here’s some context from The Guardian to illuminate further how Israel interacts with African migrants as a racist, colonial entity.
Zoom Info
thepeoplesrecord:

More than 300 imprisoned African migrants go on day 3 of hunger strike in Israel prisonsJune 27, 2013
About 300 African migrants detained in the Saharonim facility in the Negev have refused their breakfasts for the third day, in protest of their arrest without a trial.
Due to this development, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) now treats their protest as a hunger strike. However, the IPS decided not to remove food products purchased by the detainees in the canteens from their cells in order to encourage the untried but imprisoned migrants to end their hunger strike.
Source
Here’s some context from The Guardian to illuminate further how Israel interacts with African migrants as a racist, colonial entity.
Zoom Info

thepeoplesrecord:

More than 300 imprisoned African migrants go on day 3 of hunger strike in Israel prisons
June 27, 2013

About 300 African migrants detained in the Saharonim facility in the Negev have refused their breakfasts for the third day, in protest of their arrest without a trial.

Due to this development, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) now treats their protest as a hunger strike. However, the IPS decided not to remove food products purchased by the detainees in the canteens from their cells in order to encourage the untried but imprisoned migrants to end their hunger strike.

Source

Here’s some context from The Guardian to illuminate further how Israel interacts with African migrants as a racist, colonial entity.

dynamicafrica:

South African political activist of Indian-descent Ahmed Kathrada, author of No Bread for Mandela, speaks about his early life, his lifelong struggle against the Apartheid government, mostly through passive resistance, his imprisonment on Robben Island, and his involvement - particularly as a member of the Indian community in South Africa during this time - with the African National Congress (ANC).

In 1956, along with Walter Sisulu, Lillian Ngoyi, Alex La Guma, Chief Luthuli, Joe Slovo, Nelson Mandela, and a total of 156 people, Kathrada was accused of treason by the Apartheid government. The trial lasted until 1961 when all of the defendants were acquitted.

At the age of 34, in 1964, Kathrada stood trial again in what is known as the Rivonia Trial where, again with Mandela and Sisulu, he stood trial and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. Kathrada was eventually released in 1989 having spent 26 years in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island.

Really interesting conversation.

LOL! Watching “Kathy” takes me back to my childhood: He was one of my heroes, and I couldn’t say “Kathrada”, so I called him Ahmed “Katara”. In seTswana, we call a guitar katara, and so, I used to walk around the house singing the popular struggle song, “Ahmed Katara, haona ya tshwanang le yena” (Ahmed Katara, there is none like him” all the while air guitaring. 

dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info
dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zionists’ that ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind. 
x



I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope: "Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.
Zoom Info

dynamicafrica:

Images from Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau’s series ‘The Zioniststhat ‘documents the traditional religious rituals of Mozambique’.

As a photographer, I believe in the power of images and I’ve been exploring the relationship that exists between the environment, human beings, and time. Photography has connected me to incredible moments and experiences and all the places have taught me something valuable so I try to keep an open mind.

x

I remember, growing up in Soweto as products of the divide-and-rule system of Apartheid, there was a lot of “othering” of people. When it came to maZion, as we call them, I remember clearly a song kids used to sing while they jumped rope:

"Isonto la maZion, isonto la magwala, wa ke wayibonaph’indoda isont’ipheth’ nduku? Shayi’skhamaround, uguqe ngamadolo…"

It roughly translates to “the Zion church is one for cowards, where have you ever seen a man worshipping while holding onto a stick?”

Kids sang and played along to this tune for a long time - they probably still do in some places - and I only really understood its true meaning and broader implications of singing it when I was much, much older. It also explained why my Mom was so upset to hear me sing the song. Her anger alone was enough to wipe the song from memory until I was much older.

nevermindreal:

James Seipei (1974–1988), also known as Stompie Moeketsi, was a teenage African National Congress (ANC) activist from Parys in South Africa. He was kidnapped and murdered on 29 December 1988 by members of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards, known as the Mandela United football club.
Moeketsi joined the street uprising against apartheid in the mid 1980s at age ten, and soon took on a leading role. He became the country’s youngest political detainee when he spent his 12th birthday in jail without trial. At the age of 13 he was expelled from school.

Moeketsi was kidnapped on 29 December 1988 after a school rally, accused of being a police informer and murdered at the age of 14. His body was found in Soweto with his throat slit. Jerry Richardson, one of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards, was convicted of the murder. 

He claimed that she had ordered him to abduct four young men from Soweto, of whom Stompie was the youngest. The four were severely beaten and Stompie’s body was later recovered by the police.

"The truth shall set you free"

nevermindreal:

James Seipei (1974–1988), also known as Stompie Moeketsi, was a teenage African National Congress (ANC) activist from Parys in South Africa. He was kidnapped and murdered on 29 December 1988 by members of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards, known as the Mandela United football club.

Moeketsi joined the street uprising against apartheid in the mid 1980s at age ten, and soon took on a leading role. He became the country’s youngest political detainee when he spent his 12th birthday in jail without trial. At the age of 13 he was expelled from school.
Moeketsi was kidnapped on 29 December 1988 after a school rally, accused of being a police informer and murdered at the age of 14. His body was found in Soweto with his throat slit. Jerry Richardson, one of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards, was convicted of the murder.
He claimed that she had ordered him to abduct four young men from Soweto, of whom Stompie was the youngest. The four were severely beaten and Stompie’s body was later recovered by the police.

"The truth shall set you free"

peopleofthesouth:

Southern Africa’s first multiracial school celebrates 50 triumphant years
Waterford school in Swaziland reflects on its historic role with a series of parades and tributes from students old and new.
Russell Palmer, a journalist from South Africa, described it as like landing on another planet, a feeling of having suddenly arrived in an environment so different from what he has known that there is overwhelming bewilderment. The place was Waterford school, just 14 miles across the border in Swaziland, but a brave new world in its attitude to race.
The first multiracial school in southern Africa was born in direct opposition to the apartheid regime, which branded it “sick” and “unnatural”, and became a haven for the children of struggle leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Desmond Tutu. On Saturday it celebrated its 50th anniversary with colourful parades, performances and reflections on its courageous role in the continent’s history.
“We were here during the era of apartheid and this school was an absolute beacon of what was to come,” former student Amanda West, a last-minute replacement for Tutu as guest speaker after he withdrew due to illness, told a gathering of alumni, donors and teachers past and present. “As a student population we were wildly involved in the politics … This is an astounding place.”
Eighty-six nationalities have studied there over the years and most were represented in a sports field parade featuring students in national dress and speaking national languages. Although it ran the gamut from Angola to Zimbabwe, the biggest cheer was reserved for the Swazi delegation.

peopleofthesouth:

Southern Africa’s first multiracial school celebrates 50 triumphant years

Waterford school in Swaziland reflects on its historic role with a series of parades and tributes from students old and new.

Russell Palmer, a journalist from South Africa, described it as like landing on another planet, a feeling of having suddenly arrived in an environment so different from what he has known that there is overwhelming bewilderment. The place was Waterford school, just 14 miles across the border in Swaziland, but a brave new world in its attitude to race.

The first multiracial school in southern Africa was born in direct opposition to the apartheid regime, which branded it “sick” and “unnatural”, and became a haven for the children of struggle leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Desmond Tutu. On Saturday it celebrated its 50th anniversary with colourful parades, performances and reflections on its courageous role in the continent’s history.

“We were here during the era of apartheid and this school was an absolute beacon of what was to come,” former student Amanda West, a last-minute replacement for Tutu as guest speaker after he withdrew due to illness, told a gathering of alumni, donors and teachers past and present. “As a student population we were wildly involved in the politics … This is an astounding place.”

Eighty-six nationalities have studied there over the years and most were represented in a sports field parade featuring students in national dress and speaking national languages. Although it ran the gamut from Angola to Zimbabwe, the biggest cheer was reserved for the Swazi delegation.

Miners File South Africa's Biggest Class Action Suit Against Gold Giants

Four thousand former miners suffering from lung disease have launched South Africa’s biggest ever class action lawsuit against some of the world’s leading gold producers. Al Jazeera reports the miners have filed affidavits in the High Court of South Africa against Anglogold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), Goldfields (NYSE:GFI) and Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY). The plaintiffs claim they contracted severe occupational lung ailments, such as tuberculosis and silicosis, while working in underground mines, and are demanding millions of US dollars in compensation from the mining companies. Little research has been conducted into the incidence of lung disease amongst South African miners, and the few studies undertaken by mining companies so far have focused largely upon white workers. A 2011 article by Jill Murray and Tony Davies from the School of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand claims that the highest rates of TB in the world are to be found amongst South Africa miners, wit