14 October 2011

Thomas Sankara- an African Revolutionary Leader

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara
(December 21, 1949 – October 15, 1987) was a Burkinabé military captain, Marxist revolutionary, Pan-Africanist theorist, and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987.

Viewed as a charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, he is commonly referred to as "Africa's Che Guevara."

Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power.

He immediately launched the most ambitious program for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent.
To symbolize this new autonomy and rebirth, he even renamed the country from the French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso ("Land of Upright Men").

His foreign policies were centered around anti-imperialism, with his government eschewing all foreign aid, pushing for odious debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. His domestic policies were focused on preventing famine with agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, prioritizing education with a nation-wide literacy campaign, and promoting public health by vaccinating 2.5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever and measles.

Other components of his national agenda included planting over ten million trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sahel, doubling wheat production by redistributing land from feudal landlords to peasants, suspending rural poll taxes and domestic rents, and establishing an ambitious road and rail construction program to "tie the nation together."

On the localized level Sankara also called on every village to build a medical dispensary and had over 350 communities construct schools with their own labour. Moreover, his commitment to women's rights led him to outlaw female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy; while appointing females to high governmental positions and encouraging them to work outside the home and stay in school even if pregnant.

In order to achieve this radical transformation of society, he increasingly exerted authoritarian control over the nation, eventually banning unions and a free press, which he believed could stand in the way of his plans and be manipulated by powerful outside influences.

To counter his opposition in towns and workplaces around the country, he also tried corrupt officials, counter-revolutionaries and "lazy workers" in peoples revolutionary tribunals.

Additionally, as an admirer of Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution, Sankara set up Cuban-style Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).

His revolutionary programs for African self-reliance as a defiant alternative to the neo-liberal development strategies imposed by the West, made him an icon to many of Africa's poor.

Sankara remained popular with most of his country's impoverished citizens. However his policies alienated and antagonised the vested interests of an array of groups, which included the small but powerful Burkinabé middle class, the tribal leaders whom he stripped of the long-held traditional right to forced labour and tribute payments, and the foreign financial interests in France and their ally the Ivory Coast.
As a result, he was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d'état led by the French-backed Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987.
A week before his execution, he declared: "While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas."

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sankara

03 October 2011

October Newsletter

Progressive greetings friends!

What’s new with the blog?

1. You can subscribe by email l to the blog so that when a new post has been made, you will be the first to receive it conveniently delivered to your personal email address. (Your email address will remain private; your details are secure and will not be shared.)

2. Some of you have been emailing me on the UWWUL gmail account, and I have taken long to reply to you, I apologise sincerely. Please do keep writing to me and sending your work through. Another way to contact me is through my Facebook inbox. Featured poem submitted by mail: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/10/paint-me-by-mo-punkrocker-tseko.html

3. Make sure to check out the poetry and events posted on the Afrikan Poets and Writers group wall on Facebook. The wall is open for you to share your work with us, and this is where I get the bulk of poetry that is published on the blog and AfroConscious journal contributions from. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65172951976

4. Xarra bookshop is moving from Newtown to Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. This is as from the 1st of October 2011. Your reliable store for African centred literature and music is also one of the stockists of the AfroConscious journal, self published in 2010. Xarra books is also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xarra-Books-Music-Books-Art/50655186127

5. Read more about the Kasi Times publication here: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/09/kasi-times.html and at the bottom appears the link where you can access their site!

6. Letter from the editor. Have you ever submitted your written work to a publication and received a regret letter. Why? Read here from an editor’s point of view: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/09/letter-from-editor.html

7. I have uploaded an excerpt from the I write what I like book by Steve Bantu Biko, it is titled “Some African cultural concepts” Read and be empowered: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/09/biko-some-african-cultural-concepts.html

8. Call for submissions 2012: Infecting the city: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/10/call-for-submissions-2012-infecting.html

9. My take on the Kenny Kunene reality tv show on Etv, So what: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/10/so-what.html

What are you reading? What are YOU reading? Do you have a book you would like to recommend to us? Share! I am currently reading the Steve Biko book, “I write what I like”.

What are you writing? If YOU are not reading are you atleast writing?

If you have any literature centred news/event/project you want to spread to many, you can post it to the Facebook group wall: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65172951976

YOU can also become a contributor to the UWWUL blog and share with multitudes, contact me for that.

Thank YOU all for the support on this blog, page views so far 4794 To the new members: I would like to welcome YOU home!

Literally yours,

'Paint me' by Mo PunkRocker Tseko

Paint me
Paint my soul…
Make me feel whole…
Do me justice with your hands;
create a masterpiece that feeds my cold dark being.
See the beauty where there isn’t...
Art in the form of imperfection…
Turn me into a beautiful mess….your beautiful mess

Mo PunkRocker Tseko

So What?

I am a young, patriotic South African. I am proud to be a descendent of this African continent.
The present state of affairs in South Africa and Africa as a whole causes my being to shudder.

Historically, we have been colonised, enslaved and oppressed. But our pride would not let us cower for longer. Many fought, and many laid their lives for the emancipation of oppressed citizens.
We followed democracy, and received the vote. But are we better off?

The new dispensation ushered forth the rise of the elite black, known as black diamonds. And the growing gap between the rich and the economically deprived. Ubuntu bethu is determined by your address, your Lambourghini and designer wear.

In the name of entertainment, We create senseless reality shows to glorify the lifestyle of excess. Eating sushi off scantily clad women, sitting in bath tubs filled with expensive champagne. We observe a young woman Ridiculing hard working women who wake up early to set up their trading stalls in the market, because they wont accept American currency and wont swipe your credit card. All in the name of entertainment the young woman disrespects women older than her, likening them to apes and Tarzan.

Darkies, have we completely lost the plot, our values, and sense of ubuntu?
Mr, Mrs, Miss Black Diamond, will it hurt to help build underprivileged communities.
Yes, you, Tendertrepeneurs. Will it hurt your pockets to dig down and donate to uplifting the area/community that is filling your coffers?
Mr, Mrs, Miss Politician will it hurt to try to bridge the gap of economic inequality?

Please wake up ubuntu benu. This is Africa!

Vuyokazi S Yonke

Call for submissions 2012: Infecting the City

Call for Submissions to 2012

The Africa Centre has begun preparation for Infecting The City Public Arts Festival that will be held in the first week of March 2012.

As you may be aware, the Infecting The City Festival offers a unique opportunity to bring music, dance and performance out of theatres and galleries and into the streets of Cape Town’s CBD. Its aspirations are to challenge audiences, breach boundaries, shifts perspectives and help make sense of the public spaces we occupy. The Infecting The City Festival’s vision is to develop a public art festival that grapples with the social issues pivotal to both the South African and, more broadly, human condition.

This is a call to visual and performing artists to submit works that have either been staged or are completely new. The work can be a full ensemble piece, an intervention, a live performance, a visual art installation or some other form newly imagined. All works should translate to or work within a public environment, and should actively engage intentional and incidental audiences. There is no specific theme, only the intention to ‘infecting the city with the awe, provocation and dynamism of art’.

If you or your company has an artwork in mind that fits with the Infecting The City Festival vision, please submit a detailed concept document (max. 500 words) and a one page C.V.

Please email all applications or queries to info@infectingthecity.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 6th October 2011.

For more information about last year’s Festival, please look at this site, view the Facebook page, view the YouTube videos, or contact Felicia on 021 422 0468.

16 September 2011

Kasi Times

Our Slogan: Motivate, Inspire and Empower

Launched in Gauteng on the 28th of May 2010, Kasi Times is a pioneering magazine that seeks to upend social stereotypes of young South Africa. Through business, career, fashion, lifestyle, art and culture, and success stories, we have reintroduced to new ‘young adult’ to South Africa in a vibrant form that had never been seen before: telling our own stories and presenting a colourful, more rounded view of what it means to be modern, forward-thinking and South African in the 21st century.

Kasi Times showcases success stories, aiming to motivate, inspire and empower a new generation of go-getters seeking to make their mark in business, in their careers, and in their lifestyles. It showcases trendsetters and the vivacious lifestyle of young South Africa with all its rich complexities.
Drawn to the notion that every black South African is connected to ekasi in one way or another; it’s one thing that binds us – a thread that grounds us and sets the benchmark of the heights we want to reach in our lives. Our pages reflect the diversity of the black South African, with contributions from all over the country and an inclusive audience that continues to grow exponentially.

Kasi Times lauds the urbanites, the kasi-rooted change-makers, visionaries and all the inspirational men and women who exemplify what it means to be proudly South African in an ever-changing global community.

Breaking the Mould
Unperturbed by globalisation, we are the cosmopolitan South African generation. Spurred on by creative prowess we are rapidly emerging as visionary entrepreneurs, firmly anchored in our culture. We uniquely embody a quiet sophistication, enriched by our shared historical traditions.
Masters on the edge of a cultural revolution, we move beyond a dictated destiny to reach deep within ourselves and cultivate a new generation.
Our new mould is undeniably dynamic, evolving and unequivocally South African without apology. We walk proud, optimistic, our future clearly defined, as South Africans, and burning bright.

We deliver cutting edge information on business and entrepreneurship, health and relationships, personal finance and careers, arts and entertainment, food, fashion and beauty as well as the personal challenges and achievements of young black people. We give our more than 150,000 readers all the information they need and want-from their perspective and in their own voice.
Yet KASI TIMES is more than a magazine. Young people look to us to help them enhance and transform their lives. The information that KASI TIMES provides is life-changing: young people are empowered and, in the process, they advance not only their individual lives but also the quality of life for others. For all these reasons, KASI TIMES has evolved into a publication that embodies the hopes and aspirations of young people.

Each month, KASI TIMES provides a diverse array of articles that offer an in-depth look at issues of particular importance to young South Africa. Our features cover careers, business advice, success stories love and family relationships, fashion, beauty, entertainment, finance, career issues, and personal growth. Each month we also feature YOUNG, GIFTED AND TAKING OVER, a profile of a rising star with an inspiring success story.

The Reader
Target Market: LSM 4 to 10
Age Group: 18 to 34
The magazine’s target demographic is predominantly young, urban followers. They are young, ambitious, professional, creative and entrepreneurial. They are determined to “make it”- with or without tertiary education. They are very aware of themselves and of the world around them and are determined to make a statement. They aspire towards affluent living as a reward for their hard work. They are black, literate and relatively comfortable with technology. This consumer segment is talented and has great potential. They have big dreams and see the world differently, and they believe they can be a success.


14 September 2011

Biko- 'Some African cultural concepts'

This is an excerpt from the I write what I like book by Steve Bantu Biko. This paper is titled: 'Some African cultural concepts'

Since that unfortunate date - 1652 - we have been experiencing a process of acculturation. It is perhaps presumptuous to call it 'acculturation' because this term implies a fusion of different cultures.
In our case this fusion has been extremely one-sided. The two major cultures that met and 'fused' were the African Culture and the Anglo-Boer Culture.
Whereas the African culture was unsophisticated and simple, the Anglo-Boer culture had all the trappings of a colonialist culture and therefore was heavily equipped for conquest.
Where they could, they conquered by persuasion, using a highly exclusive religion that denounced all other Gods... Where it was impossible to convert, fire-arms were readily available and used to advantage.
Hence the Anglo-Boer culture was the more powerful culture in almost all facets. This is where the African began to lose a grip on himself and his surroundings.

Letter from the Editor

1. I'm coming off a marathon editing binge; fourteen hours straight that lasted until the wee hours of the morning and began well before noon. Two vastly different writers, writing in vastly different completely distinct styles and genres. The words and ideas behind both are brilliant, informative and well thought out. Both are excellent writers. Both needed editing. Although, in this case, I am using a simplified version, writers tend to get a word or phrase stuck in their brain, usually something a bit out of the ordinary and then use it over and over and over again. It is a subconscious thing, and it is not intentionally done, but to fresh eyes reading a manuscript; it sticks out like the proverbially sore thumb. One had a character 'clearing his throat' before almost every comment. It was catching; soon most of the characters seemed unable to utter a word without 'clearing their throat.' There were no surrounding circumstances to necessitate said action, indeed, I think it was an effort to avoid saying 'said' or 'interrupted' yet again. It is one of those things where the author is simply too close to see the repetition. Even if writing a full blown novel, reading it aloud will help the writer to find these insidious little buggers and replace them.

2. Spell-check. I am not sure why this is even an issue. It would seem to me that a writer would run this as a matter of course, not unlike putting a period at the end of a sentence. It finds incomplete sentences --which the author may or may not choose to keep. But it also helps the writer see the mistakes where the brain moved faster than the fingers could keep up. After an edit is completed, an editor will run one to be sure that in the course of editing, words are notinadvertentlycombined, and as a last defense against those squiggly lines underneath words. It helps make sure punctuation (at least commas and the like) are used correctly.

3. Proofread. Spell-checkers are a computer program that runs on a computer. Proofing is done by a human, with a brain that (still) in many ways surpasses a computer. Its the proof reeder that will find the words that may be spelled correctly, but are knot the correct word in the situation. Their the won thing that is guaranteed to make an editor tare their hare write out of they're heads! Imagine reading 350 pages of the previous few sentences. Why won't editors say these things? It really is neither politic nor anything thing other than self-serving and tension relieving to do so and can get you fired.

4. . . .um... Ellipses. Those 'dot dot dot' pauses or periods of indecision. Here is a good time to remember the age old maxim: all things in moderation. The Chicago Manual of Style states, "Ellipsis points suggest faltering or fragmented speech accompanied by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty." The Manual contrasts ellipses with dashes, which it states should be reserved for more confident and decisive pauses. Ellipses are not. . . an excuse to write (or get away with) an incomplete . . . sentence; a thought, perhaps, but never . . . a sentence. To quote the book Grammar for Dummies, "Using ellipses in this way can get annoying really fast." Oh, and in a written one-sided phone conversation, it is actually four dots . . .three followed by a period.

5. With that then, they went and jumped off a cliff. Unless you are writing a 5000 word paper with a word count and you ran out of inspiration/time/or ideas, word combinations like the one starting this section, or 'to that then' are just empty words.

6. Editors won't tell you that you really are not as good a writer as you think you are because they know that encouraging you is the best way to get a writer to realize that, indeed, they do need to revise, rewrite, edit and revise again.

7. Editors also will not tell you that you are stupendous, phenomenal or excellent, because then you won't want to revise, rewrite, edit and revise again.

8. We won't tell you about the really funny mistakes that got by you because while we think they are hysterical, chances are, you won't and will feel insulted. Seems often times writers have a low threshold for being able to have a sense of humor about their mistakes.

9. We aren't trying to change your 'vision' when we suggest changes. You may have 'plotholes' littering your wordscape. You might have written a novel and then condensed a final fight scene into two paragraphs. You might have run on sentences that spiral around, going nowhere and be saying something in two hundred words that really can be said in fifteen and yet you are too close to see that and simply don't get that reading sentences that go on and on and on can lose a reader and totally turn them off to your book and besides reviewers will completely bash your book if you do it; so don't!

10. Chances are, they will not tell you when you are totally wrong about something, because most writers never think they are. Their mother, who is an English teacher, or their sister's brother-in-law's uncle's ex-wife's best friend said it was the best book in the world and they of course may be right, but they don't know what will sell, how to market it or have their reputation on the line. It doesn't matter to them.

Short, sweet and simple: if you are lucky enough to be in the position to be able to avail yourself of an editor's advice, give it a good hard consideration, think about it with an open mind and you just may find that they really do, in the long run, have your best interests in mind.

Review: Noise by Tsepo Gumbi

BOOK REVIEW: Noise by Tsepo Gumbi
Title: Noise
Author: Tsepo Gumbi
Genre: Illustrated Poetry
Pages: 33, A5 size
Publisher: Botaki Self-Publishing
Year of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-620-45117

Review by Fezekile Futhwa: Noise

Noise - Illustrated Anthology by Tsepo Gumbi

Noise is a self published work that is both art and poetry in one volume. Tsepo proves to be quite a gifted artist, having illustrated each poem in the book with wonderful art. The artistic side alone makes for a great work, well done.

Noise the poem is liberating, for it captures the essence of being an artist(or poet). We are reminded that thought is the most treasured gift a person has. An unthinking mind is a waste.

The Dream Is Not Dead veberates with hope. It is premised on the truth that the struggle for a better life continues, that the past is not yet dead, the people shall once again rise. For our collective dreams are a future upon which the hope for this country lie.

In Chained Brain, as phrophecising, Tsepo cries for freedom. With the Freedom of Information Bill looming, one wonders how long it is before we cry for freedom. Freedom to think, to express, to dream and to make noise. Freedom of expression must therefore be a basic human right!

Many of the poems in this anthology are captivating and provoking. Noise is indeed what poetry is about: entertainment, lucid, gripping, moving.

A revolution is the stuff born out of non confirming. Revolt urges the young of our society to take up arms, armed in thought. Thinking is the revolutionary engine. Zabalaza, for those on top can never keep us down. We are the uprising, we are the REVOLUTION.

As in Scars, start a new story. Write a new history.

10 September 2011

September 2011 Newsletter

Progressive greetings friends!

With arms open wide we welcome the regenerative season of Spring! Animals are coming out of hibernation, flowers blossoming decorating the soil in myriad of colour. Time to spring clean our homes and our hearts too by letting go of toxic relationships.

September in South Africa is set apart to celebrate “heritage month”. During these celebrations let us not forget the spirit, life and work of Steve Bantu Biko (18.12.1946 - 12.09.1977), the father of Black Consciousness. He was last seen alive on the 18th August, and was declared dead on 12 September 1977 whilst in police custody. One of my favourite quotes from this giant is: “in time, we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the greatest possible gift - a more human face”

And we have managed to show our human face, as South Africans, by collecting and donating food, supplies, human aid and money towards the famine relief in Somalia. Whilst we do good, let us not turn a blind eye towards the scourge of Afrophobia, disguised as xenophobia. Afrophobia is only destroying us as Africans, let us all unite as one people.

What’s new with the blog?

1. You can subscribe by email l to the blog so that when a new post has been made, you will be the first to receive it conveniently delivered to your personal email address. (Your email address will remain private; your details are secure and will not be shared.)

2. YOU have the power to make a change. Please check out the September National Imbizo (SNI), the first imbizo was held in September 2010. This year it’s happening on the 23-25 September 2011, in Durban.

What is the SNI? It is an active group of citizens based all over South Africa. Where individuals and groups are invited to participate in bringing about change in our beloved country, because the democracy we received in 1994 changed nothing. These discussions are held in person, at different regions, you can join the conversation on Facebook by searching “September National Imbizo”

The SNI is by the people, for the people, holding politicians accountable.

Read more on the People’s Manifesto here: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/tuesday-may-31-2011-peoples-manifesto.html! This manifesto is available in English/Zulu/Tswana/Afrikaans.

The registration period for the 2011 Imbizo is open, check this link out: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/sni-2011-registration.html

3. National book week is scheduled to take place at various spots around South Africa from 5 to 10 September. National Book Week aims to promote literacy and celebrate reading.

4. On the heritage month theme, Fezekile Futhwa in his piece explores the Sotho language, read more from him here: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-lesotho-lexicology-is-incorrect.htm

5. Peter Mahase reviews the AfroConscious Journal 2010: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/09/afroconscious-journal-review-peter.html

6. Make sure to check out the poetry posted on the Afrikan Poets and Writers group wall by Ohene Ampofo Anti: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/born-free-ohene-yaw-ampofo-anti.html

What are you reading? What are YOU reading? Do you have a book you would like to recommend? Share!

What are you writing? If YOU are not reading are you atleast writing? This month’s challenge is to pen a piece that is centered on HERITAGE and NATURE.

If you have any literature centred news/event/project you want to spread to many, you can post it to the Facebook group wall: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65172951976

YOU can also become a contributor to the UWWUL blog and share with multitudes, contact me for that.

Thank YOU all for the support on this blog, page views so far 4454. To the new members: I would like to welcome YOU home!

Literally yours,

AfroConscious Journal Review - Peter Mahase

I loved the journal in general. Beautiful peace of work! It is amazing how much you learn from just a few pages you read. Good African literature. It also opens a window for fellow African readers to know fellow African writers, well-known and unknown. Good connections can rise from these.

The introduction was quite relevant and eye-opening to any average reader. It made the whole journal worth the reading.

I personally enjoyed the poem, “Ke mo Bonetse”, I wouldn’t mind hearing it performed live on any stage. Even a youtube feature would be quite appeasing. I think it would deliver well in spoken word as much as it did it written verse, if not better. If the poet is a good performance poet, that is. Pass my regards to the poet. Same applies to your poem, Lest We Forget. Let me say, I just have a thing for poetry in vernacular and conscious writings in general.

The Rebirth of Ananse – another highlight! I love the story.

The skill of the writers as well as the authenticity (I believe), makes the journal worth reading. You look forward to the next story because you want to read another different mind. Which is what’s major, if you ask me.

The diversity of the general, also gives a broad selection for different moods/personalities and places.

The content in the journal is quite satisfactory. The major challenge in the journal is with the design and layout. Below I outline the key areas to revisit for the next issue.

Notes of Contributors: I believe it would be resourceful to have contacts (either facebook, twitter, or w-mail contacts of the contributors given there).

Personal: well, as my title says, this one is a bit personal. You may disregard it if you wish. I got the intention of “U Write What You Like” as being about being free to say whatever, whenever, so I didn’t go through Fezekile Futhwa’s poem/article on Christianity as to avoid being offended. I did skim through it though and came through lines such as those where he says Christianity is a commercial religion etc. With all due respect to his opinion, I thought I should say that some of this stuff may be offensive. But if that’s the intent, I have no problem. That means we should be open to take any other criticism of any other religion, race, etc disregarding who is in it. I think freedom of speech should be allowed but we should see the lines of offense as well. Like I said, it’s just my opinion.

The major suggestion I think would be to get someone to work on the layout and design of the whole journal. That is except if it is your field of focus and you want to take on the challenge. 

Why Lesotho Lexicology is incorrect

Why Lesotho Lexicology is incorrect Sesotho was largely an unwritten language in the 15th century, as most of its vocabulay was spoken and acted. Art was more in visual art than anything else. Oral literature was prominent and the large part of Sesotho literature was transmitted this way. Today, there are two versions of Sesotho, one used in Lesotho and the other used in South Africa. The issue with these variations has more to do with written literature than with Sesotho itself. The spoken Sesotho is exactly the same between Lesotho and South Africa. This has to be correct because Lesotho was larger than it currently is pre-colonisation. A large part of Lesotho was confiscated by South Africa, rendering Lesotho what it is today geographically and culturally. The phenomena of christian missionaries in Lesotho in the early 1800s saw the introduction of the written word to Basotho through the bible. It is the white missionaries who translated the bible into Sesotho, and it is the white missionaries who created the first ever Sesotho lexicology at Morija. It is important to understand the consequence of this orgin of written Sesotho as it directly affects how Sesotho is practiced in Lesotho today. The spoken Sesotho that the missionaries practiced was far below the required standard of a competent Sesotho speaker. And this incompetence is obvious in the way they pronounced Sesotho, resulting in how they later wrote Sesotho; which became the standard Sesotho of Lesotho. Their incompetence may be viewed as insignificant at first glance, but had larger than expected consequences for Sesotho. What makes their pronounciations wrong was their use of the following alphabets for things which the alphabets do not represent. For example, they used l instead of d. They used oa instead of wa. They used a instead of ya. The result of this error is that in Lesotho d has been completely phased out, almost. Meaning has also been compromised in particular contexts where it is not clear whether it is meant as a, wa or ya. They use ch to represent tjh, despite the fact that phonetically c does not exist in Sesotho. Phoenetically, Sesotho only has 23 letter of the alphabet, which omits the letters c, x and z. This is the Sesotho that is still used in Lesotho today, over forty years after independence. Since Lesotho and South Africa are so closely connected, for historical reasons including the fact that you families split between Lesotho and South Africa, you are faced with the challenge of fully understanding the written Lesotho Sesotho. People have argued that the Sesotho written in Lesotho should take precedence over the South African one, but how can a language whose founding assumptions are incorrect become standard? Why can't the language planners and practioners in Lesotho correct this obvious error? I am interested to learn what others think of this state of sad affairs. The fact that Sesotho is spoken in two countries by such a large population, this would mean that Basotho are much larger than accounted for presently. Sesotho must be standard all countries unless there are dialects of Sesotho, which simply do not exist. There are dialects of the larger language group called Sotho, but not Sesotho. Sotho as a language group includes Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi. And Setwana particularly has got many dialects. Should the Sesotho written in Lesotho be allowed to continue to exist in current form? I think not. Article by Fezekile Futhwa Email:fezekile@futhwa.org.za Web: www.futhwa.org.za Basotho Heritage: sesotho.nalane.org.za amaXhosa Heritage: xhosa.nalane.org.za amaZulu Heritage: zulu.nalane.org.za Arts:www.bhala.co.za

26 August 2011

SNI 2011 Registration

Hi All,

The 2nd annual September National Imbizo to be held from 23-25 September is only weeks away. After the success of the 2010 gathering we hope to host yet another important platform for blacks seeking real and meaningful change. This year, the conference will be in Durban and preparations are already underway for what will certainly be a crucial mark in the history of post-94 black resistance against ANC anti-black governance.

Below are the logistical details that you must please pay close attention to.


All people wishing to attend the conference must register. Registration will be open from TUESDAY 26 July 2011 and end on FRIDAY 2 September 2011. The compulsory registration fee is R250 for adults and R150 for students, pensioners and ALL delegates who currently live in and around Durban and will not require accommodation.

To register, fill in the registration form and email/fax it together with your proof of payment. Find the registration form on the SNI facebook page or email us on: imbizo.sni1@gmail.com for a copy.

SPECIAL OFFER: The first 25 people to register by 5 August 2011 will get FREE ACCOMMODATION so make sure you register within the said date to take advantage of this offer.

***Please note: Registration been extended to Monday 12 September and payments can be made until Friday 16 September. To get a form send an email to imbizo.sni1@gmail.com***


We encourage all delegates who live outside of Durban to stay with relatives or friends who live in the city. SNI has a simple policy regarding funding: the SNI is OUR initiative and we should fund it ourselves. This means that funds are very limited and those who are able to find accommodation with family or comrades must please do so. In the event however, that you cannot find someone to stay with, you will be required to pay R100 towards accommodation (in addition to the R250 registration). This must please be paid at the same time as the registration fee.


The SNI will provide 5 meals over the two days namely: Friday supper, Saturday: breakfast, lunch and supper and on Sunday a brunch.


All delegates are expected to fund their own transportation to and from the conference. You are encouraged, where possible; to travel with other delegates in your province as this may prove to be slightly cheaper. If you prefer to travel alone, then book early and watch out for bus and airline specials.


The exact details of the programme are being finalized by the content team. What can be confirmed at this stage is that the official opening will start on Friday 23 September at 18:00 and the weekends line up will end on Sunday 25 September at 13:00. The final programme will be sent as soon as possible but will include: a review of the last year, an international scholar who will engage us via Skype, a panel discussion on Black Consciousness, an evening of performances and much more.

Remember there are limited seats for the conference so book yours early!


SNI Logistics
Thami Mahlobo: 072 969 5803
Email us on imbizo.sni1@gmail.com

Born Free - Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti

Born free we are
Yet poisoned still
Born in peace we are
Yet our minds thirst for blood
Born in privilege
Yet envy cripples our direction
Birthed from brave souls
Yet our destinies are drenched in old fears
Indeed a coward nation.

New South Africa?
Over-concentration of colour
Or over-concentration of racism?

To vote is to:
Pledge one’s allegiance to dead struggles
To vote is to:
Pledge one’s mind to senseless paranoia
To vote is to:
Pledge one’s mind to war in a time of peace

Witgevaar? Of swartgevaar?
It makes no difference
To vote is to embrace
Australia or Tendermania?
It makes no difference
Escapism is our vice
Bravery we do not know
Indeed a coward nation.

Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti ©

19 August 2011

August Newsletter

Progressive greetings friends!

A special greeting to all the wonderful women who brought us all here. To all the mothers, sisters, friends, lovers and wives we lovingly salute YOU this women’s month.
In South Africa the month of August is set apart to celebrate the contribution women make in our lives, in communities and in the world. Phenonemal woman, that’s YOU!

What’s new with the blog?

1. There is a link that shows the 3 most popular posts on the blog. Scroll down the UWWUL blog page.

2. You can also subscribe by email l to the blog so that when a new post has been made, you will be the first to receive it conveniently to your personal email address.
(Your email address will remain private; your details are secure and will not be shared.)

3. The first leg winner of thewriting contest for Lesotho based artists has been chosen, the theme was Freedom/ Democracy.
The winning piece is by Sekete Lesoana, it is titled: Journey into a moment. http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/freedom-theme-winner-sekete-lesaoana.html

4. Are you an Lesotho based poet/ writer/artist?
Then get more info the writing competition by clicking this link: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/07/writing-contest-lesotho-based-artists.html
The theme for this month’s contest is centered around the 16 days of activism against the abuse of women and children.

5. Ivan “AfroIvan” Muhambe is introducing his range of quality t-shirts depicting some of his artistry. He is the artist whose craft appears on the front and back cover of the AfroConscious journal (2010). He's in Maputo, Mozambique, and you can get the copies of the journal from him if you are in his region. Here is a link to some of his creations: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/afroivan-arts-tshirts.html

6. The Grahamstown National Arts Festival is accepting proposals for the 2012 Festival, here is the link if YOU want to make your contribution. http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/grahamstown-national-arts-fest-2012.html
Our fellow sister, Sibongisiwe A. Sibeko, was a participant in this year’s festival. She appeared in the play: “Khululekani emakhaya” if you are in Cape Town you can check it out at the Magnet Theatre in Observatory.

7. YOU have the power to make a change. Please check out the September National Imbizo (SNI), its first conference was in September 2010.
This year its happening again, 23-25 September 2011, Durban.
I have uploaded the People’s Manifesto for your reading pleasure: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/tuesday-may-31-2011-peoples-manifesto.html!

What are you reading?
I’ve finished reading a story by a South African author, Dianne Hofmeyr, title The Waterbearer. It’s beautifully written piece of art.
Here is a profound quote by the character, Ingwe, “Our lives start before we are born. There is no beginning or end. We are bound by the Earth for some time and then our spirits are set free again.” What are YOU reading? Do you have a book you would like to recommend? Share!

What are you writing? If YOU are not reading are you atleast writing? This month’s challenge is to pen a piece that is centered around WOMEN.
For inspiration feast your soul on this piece by celebrated author, Maya Angelou, : Phenomenal Woman: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/08/phenomenal-woman-maya-angelou.html

Make sure to check out the poetry posted on the Facebook group wall by Charles Ayo Dada:

If you have any literature centred news/event/project you want to spread to many, you can post it to the Facebook group wall: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=65172951976

YOU can also become a contributor to the UWWUL blog and share with multitudes,contact me for that.

Thank YOU all for the support on this blog, page views so far: 4120. I would like to welcome home the new members of this fam!

Literally yours,

Grahamstown National Arts Fest 2012


The 38th edition of the National Arts Festival will take place from Thursday 28 June – Sunday 8 July 2012. The Festival call for proposals from artists, producers, presenting companies and / or galleries to submit proposals for consideration for performances and exhibitions to be presented on the Festival’s Main programme.

The Festival’s Main programme is renowned for premiering new work that celebrates artistic excellence, innovation and an exploration of intersections between various artistic genres.

Consideration will be given to previously premiered work if in the opinion of the Festival Director the work deserves an extended season at the Festival.

All proposals must be submitted as per the brief specified in this call of proposals.

Non-South African companies intending to submit proposals must read the sections relevant to their genre and the section pertaining to non-South African companies.

To submit proposals for projects not covered in this brief please consult with the Festival Director prior to submitting the proposal.

Correspondence to the Festival Director can be emailed to ismail@nationalartsfestival.co.za

Please address all proposals to:
Festival Director
National Arts Festival
P O Box 304
South Africa.

Please clearly mark “Main Festival Proposal” on the envelope.

All Festivals received by registered mail will be acknowledged. The Festival does not take responsibility for non registered mail which does not reach the Festival’s office.

All proposals must reach the office of the Festival Director no later than Friday 19 August 2011.

Specific guidelines are in place for different genres. Please read and follow the guidelines carefully.

Dance and Physical Theatre
Site Specific Performances
Public Art
International Productions

More info: http://www.nationalartsfestival.co.za/page/2012

At the Frontiers of war - Charles Ayo Dada


It was one of the weirdest battles
I had ever witnessed.
The battle line was drawn
And the foes
- A man and a woman -
Stepped up to the battle front.

The woman was wielding
A double-edged sword
And the man … a rose!

At the commencement of the battle
Their different weapons were raised
And on sighting the rose
The woman lowered her sword and wept.
Amidst her wails and sobs
She stretched forth her other arm
And cupped the rose in her palm.

There was jubilation…
The man erupted into a joyful dance!
On his return
He flung open his arms
Further bidding this loving woman into his embrace.

Just then her eyes glowed
With renewed determination!

She tightened her grip
On the hilt of the sword
And thrust it into the man’s heart!

“I must!” she cried
“I must!”

As the man fell to the ground
Clutching the handle of the sword in disbelief
She wailed out in a lonesome voice
“I love you… but I must!”

The people's manifesto SNI

TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2011

The People's Manifesto

We, the people of South Africa, hereby legislate a new law, titled:


This law compels all politicians, from the president to the local councillor, and all public servants, from the Director General to the sweeper and their families to use public utilities.

Starting with the following:

Housing (The same standard house given to citizens must be used by politicians and public servants)

Our politicians and public servants have, for the past 17 years, neglected public services Forfar too long because they know they can take their families to the private sector. We say, what’s good for you is good for us. Equality for all, for real!

Our hospitals are falling apart; doctors and nurses are overworked and underpaid. By and large, our public hospitals are places of death. Simply put, no one is safe in our public hospitals. Our leaders, politicians, senior public servants and their families use private hospitals and that is why they don’t care about public hospitals which are used by the poor.

Our public schools are in bad condition, teachers are underpaid and the government is not investing in their training with the result that after 12 years of schooling most children from public schools can’t read, write or count. This leads to a high unemployment rate amongst the youth who are trapped in hopelessness. Politicians and senior civil servants take their children to private schools. This explains why public schools are not a priority for them.

Our public transport system is appalling. Every morning and night our people are packed into taxis, buses and trains like sardines. The queues are long and the fares are high. Our leaders, the rich and senior civil servants have big subsidies to get private transport. Some of our ministers can buy cars worth millions with taxpayers’ money.

The townships are generally badly serviced. The houses are small and millions are forced to live in shacks. The RDP houses built by our black government are worse than the matchbox houses built during apartheid. Our leaders live in mansions, while the people are forced to live in rat-infested townships.

We hereby commit ourselves to struggle to realize this legislation to hold public representatives and servants accountable to the people!

Together let’s make this law a reality.

"The politicians have failed us. After 17 years of democracy, we see the great dream of Oliver Tambo, Robert Sobukwe and Steve Biko shattered. Our democracy is simply not working for the majority of its citizens. It's time to look for new solutions and new inspirations to lead our country out of the current political and economic impasse. We simply can no longer leave it to the politicians." SNI Team

The SNI is on facebook, search for: 'SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO'

23-25 September 2011 in Durban


Come on come on
I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,
"Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?"
I'm tired of bein' poor and even worse I'm black.
My stomach hurts, so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch.
Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he's a hero.
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.
First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers.
Give 'em guns, step back, and watch 'em kill each other.
"It's time to fight back", that's what Huey said.
2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead.
I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin' changes.
Learn to see me as a brother 'stead of 2 distant strangers.
And that's how it's supposed to be.
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that's the way it is

[Bridge w/ changing ad libs]
Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
aww yeah

I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace for races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place...
let's erase the wasted.
Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right.
'Cause mo' black than white is smokin' crack tonight.
And only time we chill is when we kill each other.
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.
And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain't ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact...
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks.
But some things will never change.
Try to show another way, but they stayin' in the dope game.
Now tell me what's a mother to do?
Bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you.
You gotta operate the easy way.
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way.
Sellin' crack to the kids. "I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is.


We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.

And still I see no changes. Can't a brother get a little peace?
There's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do.
But now I'm back with the facts givin' 'em back to you.
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up, crack you up and pimp smack you up.
You gotta learn to hold ya own.
They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone.
But tell the cops they can't touch this.
I don't trust this, when they try to rush I bust this.
That's the sound of my tune. You say it ain't cool, but mama didn't raise no fool.
And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped & I never get to lay back.
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs.
Some buck that I roughed up way back... comin' back after all these years.
Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That's the way it is. uhh

[Bridge 'til fade:]
Some things will never change

Freedom theme winner: Sekete Lesaoana


I search within the depths
Of my own to find
The grip of faith
Lost in the clinging tears
Of a black woman
Children halt frenzied expressions
Assert chasing dreams
Weary with moaning
Dusk till dawn
All in a moment
The woman
Infected by fear
Bed flooded with every tear
Couch drenched with her weeping
Sees damsel in distress
Grief wastes away eyes of her own
Sighs freed we are doomed
When at sunset
Matter of juvenile elections
Dreams are shuttered
Morals are scattered
Motives altered
Like birds they plucked
Pulse and rhythm not synchronized
Black woman weeping tears blood
It hit her
Her children drown in their own freedom
More than they learn to swim
©Sekete Lesaoana

Phenomenal woman- Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

07 August 2011

AfroIvan Arts: Tshirts

I had the pleasure of collaborating on the AfroConscious journal (2010) project with artist, Ivan Muhambe. He is commonly known as Afro Ivan, this artis is based in Maputo, Mozambique. He contributed his art to the creation of the AfroConscious journal logo, and the art appearing on the back cover of the journal. He has the journals for sale if you are in that region. Price: 125 meticals
Ivan is presenting his quality t-shirts which feature his artwork. See attached image.

You can contact Ivan directly, he is on facebook, username: AfroIvan Arts.
Muito obrigado!

29 July 2011

National Performance Poetry Challenge

National Performance Poetry Challenge

That rush, that moment when you choose…. Condom, no condom.

That split second that you make in-love, in-toxication, high on something, hopeful, wanting, needing to justify. Play it out, put it in, be wanted, be needed, be a man, be a woman.

And that’s just the sex. Just a few minutes, perhaps a bit of foreplay, maybe even an hour.
What about the build-up, move making, flirtation, infatuation, pull in and play this.

Pure potential

Her, him, them… at the same time?

And then look for love.

Cause that’s what we all want, right.


Enter the DFL Lover + Another Poetry Challenge
and talk about Sex, Relationships & HIV and AIDS…

No judgement

No restrictions

No pretence

Just you, the mic and the stage…

THEME: Lover + Another “multiple sexual relationships and HIV and AIDS”

Tell us what it’s about


The Lover + Another Poetry Challenge is an exciting and innovative performance poetry project which aims at empowering University students, youth and the wider community to confront their realities pertaining specifically to multiple sexual relationships and HIV AND AIDS. This is a project that allows the youth to talk about SEX, RELATIONSHIPS & HIV AND AIDS education in a space designed to fit their socio-cultural contexts. Through the spoken-word culture the youth is able to directly address the risks and cultural factors affecting their sexual behavior, values and attitudes towards SEX, RELATIONSHIPS & HIV AND AIDS.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcW-6u269km

and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js-NczP3eaA for a sample of performances from the final of The Lover + Another Performance Poetry Festival held on the 20th August 2009 at the UKZN.

The Lover + Another Poetry Challenge began at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Pietermaritzburg Campus) in 2009. The concept is truly an example of applied arts in HIV AND AIDS Education. The 2009 and 2010 extension of the project proved very successfully and popular at multiple levels, the competition saw regional finals in both Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg, culminating in a successful competition held at Wits University with 6 finalists from both cities, battling it out. The project had great support, with over 700 students in attendance. This was a competition between the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and University of Johannesburg (UJ). An extension of the concept and project for 2011 now sees the inclusion of youth in Cape Town.


The Lover + Another Poetry Challenge is targeted to University students, youth (17 –35 years old) in our community to produce and perform original pieces of performance poetry that speak to the social, psychological and physical correlates of multiple sexual relationships and HIV and AIDS.

06 July 2011

JULY newsletter!! Hot off the press =)

Progressive greetings friends!

Hope you all are keeping the arts and literature fires burning around the globe.
With each new year, without fail, some start off with that list of objectives to accomplish during the year ahead. Now, with the first half behind us, we can reflect upon what we have achieved and on some unfinished business that we must still attend to.

I hope you have entered into the second half of the year with all cylinders burning. We can start off this half with thanksgiving to every situation that has affected us, and hope that we are better people through overcoming those circumstances. Give thanks for the good and the not so flattering times, there often is a lesson hidden in-between. What are YOU grateful for?

I’m grateful for the people that I’ve crossed paths with and have touched my life. Grateful for the platform given through the Afrikan Poets and Writers Facebook group.
Thank you to its creator, Emmanuel Ekosse and the members who have been with the movement since day 1, thank you for the support. Thank you for crossing over to the U write what U like blog. Thank you to all who contributed their writings to the AfroConscious journal (2010) and to those who’ve bought the publication, I hope you enjoy the work put into it with love! http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

Thank you to Moses Shimo Seletisha for the translation of the short story “The rebirth of Kweku Ananse” by Kofi Anane Kyeremeh, into Sepedi. This will form part of the AfroConscious volume 2, COMING SOON! http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/07/pelego-ya-kweku-ananse-rebirth-of-kweku.html

What’s new with the blog
1. There is a link that shows the 3 most popular posts on the blog. Scroll down the UWWUL blog page.

2. You can also subscribe by email l to the blog so that when a new post has been made, you will be the first to receive it conveniently to your personal email address. (Your email address will remain private; your details are secure and will not be shared.)

3. Are you an Lesotho based poet/ writer/artist? Then get more info the the writing competition by clicking this link: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/07/writing-contest-lesotho-based-artists.html Thank you Sechaba Keketsi for you untiring work in the Lesotho poetry field and for your contribution to the blog.

4 Click this link for info on the Jozi Book Fair 2011: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/07/jozi-book-fair-2011.html

What are you reading? Here is the link to the book recommendation from Emma Arogundade, by author Ben Okri, titled A way of being free. http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-recommendation-ben-okri-way-of.html Thank you Emma! Have YOU read this book, do you want to share or recommend another book to us?

If you have any literature centred news/event/project you want to spread to many, you can become a contributor to the UWWUL blog and share it with multitudes.

Literally yours,

Pelego Ya Kweku Ananse/ The Rebirth of Kweku Ananse

Here is an excerpt of the short story by Kofi Anane Kyeremeh (Ghana) translated into SePedi by Moses Seletisha

ruri sa go makatša ke gore monna yo o tloga a bone ka maahlo a nama gore e tla tshwelatshela yona ya matlorotloro bošegong bja lehono, fela mogale a bona gore bokaone ke gore a iphe lešoka go ya go rema dikeketane, ka ge go be go tonya. mosadi wa gagwe yo mobotsana yoe ka seo sebaka a bego a ithwele, go be gole molaleng gore neng kapa neng a ka sahlelwa ke sesadi, yena o ile go gwelela ka ntšu la gauta a leka go mo kgala - eupša tšeo di ile tša fetošwa ditšiebadimo ke monna wagagwe. Phokgo e ile ya tloga e huna lehuto ya se rate lego tseba gore magadima a gadima goba tšona diphefo di tšutla bokgole bjo bokae, yena o be a gopola gore o dira toka go mosadi wagagwe gore bobedi ba tle ba kgone go gotša mollo gore ba tle ba kgone go ruthela ka ge phišo e be e se gona. Aowa ka go hlokega ga tsebe le tsebo phokgo e ile ya tšea lepaka leo a feditšego metsotso e se mekae a lotša a re go lephatega wa hwetša le benyabenya e ke legadima la mamašianoke. Goya go ile o ile a fegolla le lerumo la gagwe la morodi (sethunya) o ile a sefega legetleng goba wona mphapong wa tsogong la nngele... ya ba gona sebata se gopotše tsela... lešoka mphe batho!

Book recommendation: Ben Okri "A way of being free"

"Y'all, a serious serious recommendation - A Way of Being Free - Ben Okri. Its a MUST read, profound, moving, incredible. Its about writing, and its about life, and transformation, and philosophy and and and. Get a copy, however you can, get it and read it."
Emma Arogundade ‎

"It is not what you have experienced that makes you greater, but what you have faced, what you have transcended, what you have unlearned"

"We live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, or we are also living the stories we planted, knowingly or unknowingly in ourselves. We live stories that either give our lives meaning, or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives"

Writing Contest: Lesotho based artists

AFROCONSCIOUS, a South –African published art and literature journal featuring artists from parts of Africa presents AFROCONSCIOUS Poetry writing contest for LESOTHO based artists.

This competition which is strictly for Lesotho poets invites all interested poets to write a poetry under two themes and stand a chance of
1) Winning the first AfroConscious journal copy (published 2010),
2) having their poetry published on the Lyrical Bacteria blog [www.sechabalb.wordpress.com] and the U WRITE WHAT U LIKE BLOG [www.uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com]
3) as well as a chance to be featured in AfroConscious volume 2 (scheduled for 2011).

Two themes for the competition which will span Two months, with each month having its own theme are; FREEDOM (July) & ACTIVISM AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARDS CHILDREN AND WOMEN (August)

The theme for the month of July is: FREEDOM (what you think of freedom, your personal definition of freedom etc).
Entries will be accepted from July 1st to July 31st.

Poems can be submitted to following email: sechabalb@gmail.com or meet in person with the coordinator, SECHABA KEKETSI via the email given,
Twitter: twitter.com/bacterialyrical or
Facebook: www.facebook.com/skeketsi1 or contact telephonically: +266 6337 3926

Infinite Writing!

JOZI Book Fair 2011

Dear Readers, Writers and Publishers

The third edition of Jozi Book Fair will be held on 6, 7 & 8 August 2011. JBF 2011 promises to be one of the best and spectacular shows ever, with all its main projects including the Writers, Childrens, Readers and Small Publishers Projects playing an active and significant role through a variety of events and activities in the month leading to the annual event in August 2011 to make it a success.

The Small Publishers Project is planning to host a Roundtable focusing on Public Libraries Procurement processes on 01 March 2011. The Roundtable will also coincide with the official opening of registration for Jozi Book Fair 2011.

The Childrens Project will be opening a drop-in corner on 12 March 2011 which will be housed within the Setsi Sa Mosadi – Women's Advice Centre which will also be officially be opened on the same day at Khanya College's House of Movements.

The Writers Project will continue to run writing skills training workshops and encouraging emerging writers to organise themselves into writing circles, with the aim of creating and building a culture of writing throughout the country.

The Readers Project whose aim is to help create a culture of reading for leisure and pleasure will continue to assisting groups of organised readers in the form of Book Clubs, Study Groups and all forms of Reading Circles and enourage the formation of new ones where none exists.

It is the aim of Jozi Book Fair that the energy from all this four(4) projects feeds into the annual event in August 2011 and help bring the hundreds and thousands who participates in their activities and programmes to the fair to be held in Museum Africa.

The registration for Jozi Book Fair 2011 will open on the 1 March 2011.
Details will be available on the Jozi Book Fair website: www.jozibookfair.org.za, and in the press.

09 June 2011


Hatred be a train travelling on a rail without lubrication

If you travel in it, you loose your sense of being plus common sense

Before its abusive lips kiss the lips of its final destination

You live life constrained by conditions

Like a prisoner released on probation

Soak your heart in ice-blocks of retaliation

Such that the moon dances with the sun

Your world turns upside-down

As your self-inflicted misery rapes you all night(s) long

Impregnates you with brutal brutality of your home-brewed bitterness

You Gain Nothing by Hating People

08 June 2011

Encounters Movie Festival 2011

Back for our cinematic pleasure is the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in its 13th year. As always the festival shows an array of lifestyles and this year they have again splashed in two documentaries that will be of interest to queer cinema lovers.

G-Spotting: A Story of Pleasure and Promise looks at the mystery of the Grafenberg Spot and the debate about it's existence along with the expectations and controversy around the G-Spot.

Glitterboys and Ganglands gives us an intimate look at the Miss Gay Western Cape pageant and brings us into the lives of some of the contestants taking us onto a heart warming journey of the day to day lives of the lovely queens. Director Lauren Beukes has just won the Arthur C Clarke award for her scifi novel Zoo City too.

There will be panel discussions and question and answer sessions for both movies.

The festival kicks off on the 9th of June and rolls on til the 26th, so be sure to catch the above two and other offerings on the programme.
For more info visit www.encounters.co.za
and you can also check out trailers of the doccies on the Encounters facebook page, www.facebook.com/EncountersDocFest

Newsletter June/ Youth Month 2011

Warm greetings Poets and Writers and supporters of African literature!!

Hope you all are keeping the literature fires burning wherever you may be right now. It is June, and Winter has arrived – with a vengeance, in the South! It is also the month when we commemorate the brave students of the year 1976, they UNITED together against the enemy – an oppressive government.

What about us, the present day youth and future leaders? Can we shape the future in order to create a just and safe world for all humans, and the environment? Make your indelible mark visible through your words which will remain with the present and future readers. In other words, WRITE!
We remember the departed spirits of Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, and Gil Scott-Heron, most remembered for his poetic genius. One of his acclaimed works is: The Revolution will not be televised. (Yes, it was Tweeted.)

Poetry at the tip of your fingers: check out the newly launched Poetry Potion mobile site on your cell phone, www.poetrypotion.mobi Poetry Potion also has embarked on the daily writing prompts to flex your poetic muscle. Check out the site for further details.

For the New Beginnings theme for the upcoming AfroConscious vol. 2, Moses Shimo Seletisha has translated the short story: The Rebirth of Kweku Ananse by Kofi Anane Kyremeh.

The theme for June “youth month” is the YOUTH. Please click the link for a piece that was featured on AfroConscious vol.1: http://uwritewhatulike.blogspot.com/2011/06/lest-we-forget-vuyokazi-yonke.html

It’s always good to practice your skill and get critique on it to see your growth. The Afrikan Poets & Writers wall and discussion board are still open for YOU to share your writings/ ideas/ suggestions and rand thoughts! If you have any literature centred news/event/project you want to spread, paste it to the wall for exposure and it may get a mention in the newsletter.

What are you reading at the moment? Pick out from the wide selection of available African literature and curl up with a good book. READ, and WRITE what YOU like!

Yours in literature,

24 May 2011




The following poem has been extracted from the Boomslang Poetry Pack 1: SARIRA ( August 2000 – August 2007).

My admiration of nature in all her various forms
The thought of goodbye tyrannizes me
With a misery parallel to that which I have forever suffered
Watching John Q

On tranquil lands, beneath the galaxies
Of bliss
Under the peaceful palm trees’ shades
There is a mild pad of breeze
Soothing like the crack of dawn symphony
Love builds an empire, fixed in remembrance
Beyond price or value
My heart was perhaps the first to savour because it leapt
In seizure of desires

Basking the sun in freezing winter, with my heart far away
Beneath the lonesome murky nights
There lays a oasis
Bare thoughts stretch like horizons

As my psyche grew filthy opulent
My legs got caught up in a mortar and footprints were clearly evident
Only a blueprint of the mind, a symbol
Of an ample growth in the world like a baby opening its prisms


20 May 2011



Here we are...

Here we are...


Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê

Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kagni

Ni kêra môgô

[Verse 1]

Some of the smartest dummies

Can't read the language of Egyptian mummies

An' a fly go a moon

And can't find food for the starving tummies

Pay no mind to the youths

Cause it's not like the future depends on it

But save the animals in the zoo

Cause the chimpanzee dem a make big money

This is how the media pillages

On the TV the picture is

Savages in villages

And the scientist still can't explain the pyramids, huh

Evangelists making a living on the videos of ribs of the little kids

Stereotyping the image of the images

And this is what the image is

You buy a khaki pants

And all of a sudden you say a Indiana Jones

An' a thief out gold and thief out the scrolls and even the buried bones

Some of the worst paparazzis I've ever seen and I ever known

Put the worst on display so the world can see

And that's all they will ever show

So the ones in the west

Will never move east

And feel like they could be at home

Dem get tricked by the beast

But a where dem ago flee when the monster is fully grown?

Solomonic linage whe dem still can't defeat and them coulda never clone

My spiritual DNA that print in my soul and I will forever Own Lord


[Verse 2]

Huh, we born not knowing, are we born knowing all?

We growing wiser, are we just growing tall?

Can you read thoughts? can you read palms?

Huh, can you predict the future? can you see storms, coming?

The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off

Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh

The average man can't prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of

And still won't research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of

Scholars teach in Universities and claim that they're smart and cunning

Tell them find a cure when we sneeze and that's when their nose start running

And the rich get stitched up, when we get cut

Man a heal dem broken bones in the bush with the wed mud

Can you read signs? can you read stars?

Can you make peace? can you fight war?

Can you milk cows, even though you drive cars? huh

Can you survive, Against All Odds, Now?

[Verse 3]

Who wrote the Bible? Who wrote the Qur'an?

And was it a lightning storm

That gave birth to the earth

And then dinosaurs were born? damn

Who made up words? who made up numbers?

And what kind of spell is mankind under?

Everything on the planet we preserve and can it

Microwaved it and try it

No matter what we'll survive it

What's hu? what's man? what's human?

Anything along the land we consuming

Eatin', deletin', ruin

Trying to get paper

Gotta have land, gotta have acres

So I can sit back like Jack Nicholson

Watch niggas play the game like the lakers

In a world full of 52 fakers

Gypsies, seances, mystical prayers

You superstitious? throw salt over your shoulders

Make a wish for the day cuz

Like somebody got a doll of me

Stickin' needles in my arteries

But I can't feel it

Sometimes it's like 'pardon me, but I got a real big spirit'

I'm fearless.... I'm fearless

Don't you try and grab hold of my soul

It's like a military soldier since seven years old

I held real dead bodies in my arms

Felt their body turn cold, oh

Why we born in the first place

If this is how we gotta go?



Performing Arts Scholarship

Opportunity to win performing arts scholarships

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) invites the youth (younger than 25 years) to register for the ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships 2011.

Two performing arts scholarships to the value of R105 000 each are up for grabs. The registration closing date is 31 May 2011.

Participants are required to demonstrate competence in acting, singing and dancing with exceptional talent in at least one of the disciplines. Four regional audition rounds will be hosted in Cape Town on 24 and 25 June, in Johannesburg on 1 and 2 July, in Grahamstown during the National Schools Festival on 10 and 11 July and in Durban on 15 and 16 July 2011.

Sponsored by the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, the Scholarships Programme awards two scholarships with a combined value of R210 000 to students who wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the performing arts.

Individuals between the ages 18 and 25 who are not considered to be professional and who are not registered for an undergraduate performing arts course during 2011 are also eligible to enter. Scholarship winners will be at liberty to select their preferred performing arts course at any accredited South African tertiary institution.

Selected finalists must be available for the final round which will take place in Johannesburg at the beginning of October 2011. ACT will cover the costs of travel and accommodation for finalists.

For more information contact the ACT office on 011 712 8403 or e-mail Deidre Schoeman at deidre@act.org.za.
Web site: http://www.act.org.za/

02 April 2011

Fox-faced Lambs

The following poem was published under the Poets Paradise column in a free Lesotho Weekly tabloid; Weekly Mail newspaper. Poets Paradise publishes poems weekly under the coordinating eye of Sechaba Keketsi aka Lyrical Bacteria. http://sechabalb.wordpress.com

The oblivion of a mentality demonstrating diplomacy
As her shield what is to be classified?
Day time angel and night time community
Sexual satisfaction instrument,
Pure, Conservative and submissive as she move
With an upright posture and straight back,

If she had another choice she would actually
Seize it, there`s nothing she would love more
Than breaking out of the sordid, liquor fragranced
Cocoon that life tossed her into

To shut her ears away from the piggy gasps
And breathes attained from ghastly and clumsy
Thrusts of her big bellied filthy
Rich and in fact dirty clients
As most referred to them
She would occupy her mind with thoughts
Of how she wished that scuffing floors would
Make an adequate amount of money to
Feed and clothe her siblings
Nevertheless always managed to suppress the actuality
That she was compromising herself for their wellbeing
"In this agony stay emotionless, you ought to bear this" she would say.
The front was actually who she is
©Lineo Nt’sohi

22 March 2011

Chimurenga Chronicle - call for classified

Chimurenga Magazine’s next publishing project is The Chimurenga Chronicle - a once-off, one-day-only edition of a speculative, future-forward newspaper that travels back in time to re-imagine the present.

Produced in collaboration with Nigeria’s Cassava Republic Press and Kenya’s Kwani?, it is a multi-section broadsheet with news, long-form journalism, comics, sport, art etc. and 100-page books magazine to be released in September 2011, in numerous African cities.

The current tools we have at our disposal, particularly in the area of knowledge production and dissemination, don’t help much to grasp contemporary reality. What we need is a Time Machine! A device that will allow us to understand the numerous different temporalities, dispersed entanglements and overlapping time-spaces that define today.

The Chimurenga Chronicle is one such machine. Back-dated to the week May 18-24 2008, it’s situated during the first week of the so-called xenophobic violence in South Africa, two years ago – but it focuses outward, covering the events, scenes and situations around the world during this period.

As part of the project we view the newspaper classifieds section as a literary and art platform; a public space that delights in prescience, precision, and provocation and uses wit as a formidable weapon against the tyranny of everyday banality. Yes, it sells out – it sells out big. It sells everything from undying love to first editions of Fanon, from rhetorical job offers to shards of hope.

We therefore invite submission of nano-novels, micro-art works, flash poetry, philosophical aphorism, minima moralia, haikus of the heart, found objects and more, for sections including sales, wanted, services, jobs, personals and obituaries.

All classifieds submitted should be no longer than 50 words and should relate to the week May 18-24 2008.

Email chimurenga@panafrican.co.za for queries.


Chimurenga - who no know go know

23 February 2011

Battlefield Of Life


I send you out to battlefield of life
To kiss the lips of victory not defeat
First dine with me
Let your concentration
Be your fork and knife
Lessons from grandmother’s whipping
Be your table manners
As I serve you this meal of life
“Man’s greatest weapon remains his mind
But if polished with misconceptions, keeps him blind
Seek no path in dark forests of stereotypes
Feed your compass from the well of wisdom
Do not follow majority, even with their funky hairstyles
As they seek to brainwash you, “that majority rules”
Beware of the sharks of betrayal
Mount your surveillance cameras as your judgment
Set it to right levels sensitivity
Treat everyman’s existence with respect
But refrain from dancing to rhythm of fear
Fear no man but respect all
Survival is of those who dance tango with their minds
At the right pace
Let minds intertwine, combine forces
For no man is a repository of wisdom
Share with your brethren, when necessity rises
No man is an Ireland
Pay no attention as temptation
Sways her voluptuous hips
To the rhythm of your enemies’ footsteps
As they run to feed
On your soul and sanity
Now and then pay ciphers a visit
Drop a verse or two
Only when the beat boxer
Understands your goal and pace of life.
©Sechaba Keketsi

14 February 2011


TO HER - Fadil Ishak Dapilaa

My love
This is my life
It may not be the best
It may not be the worst
I wish I could change
But this is who I am
Accept me…

25 January 2011

New Contributor- Tallowah

Greetings all!

With Infinite FanFare, it gives me much pleasure to introduce you to our latest contributor to the U write what u like blog: Phindile Tallowah Suntsha.

Tallowah is the "Moral Regeneration Activist" and Executive Officer of Tallowah Productions.
Follow her personal blog: http://empresstallowah.blogspot.com for more inspiration.

She is also on Facebook and it was a blessed day when we became acquainted with each other through the Facebook Matrix this year. Her status updates are always geared to uplift you and inspire you to achieve and reach your greatness. You, as you are, are DIVINE, accept your divinity!

Below find her first contribution!

Love and Light!
Cape Town

It is time for us to re-assess where we are in order for us to be clear of where we are going. We need to understand where we come from and why we came from there and this will enable us to understand why we are where we are.
When we went through hardships in our past, we were troubled but when we re-assess, we understand that it all happened to train us for the present moment. The present moment is depended on the past. Whatever we are now, whatever we think and say will determine where we will be in future.
Now with this understanding, we can clearly re-assess our current situation. We will understand what kind of habits and thought patterns have brought us to this moment or situation. Are we happy about our current moment or situation?

It is the beginning of the year and this is a good time to assess ourselves because we know us better than anyone. It is a great time to start afresh, do things anew and gain new insights about ourselves.
The only time is now, the next second or breath is not guaranteed.


19 January 2011

January Theme- New Beginnings


Its Mid Month January 2011, how are you treating this year? Ready to make your mark, the time is NOW- This Is IT!
Its always a good time to create your resolutions, as its the time for new beginnings.

New Beginnings, is the theme for the month, get to writing and sketching for Volume 2 of the AfroConscious Journal.
For inspiration have a look at the First Issue, the story of Kweku Ananse- by Kofi Anane Kyeremeh (Ghanaian Folklore) appears under the New Beginnings theme.


Starting this month, for each month of 2011, I am giving away one copy of the AfroConscious Journal. How?
Submit your writings/sketches under the set themes for each month.

January- New Beginnings
February- Love, and Black History
March- Human Rights
April- Freedom
May- Africa Day
June- Youth
August- Women
September- Heritage and Nature
November- 16 days activism against women and children
July/ October/ December- FreeStyle

If you do not own a copy of AfroConscious, here's the list of retailers.

AfroConscious Stockists:
Xarra Books, Newtown, Jozi.
Clarke's Books, Long Street, Cape Town
AfroIvan Muhambe, Maputo, Mozambique
If you cant get to the above retailers, then get yourself a copy of AfroConscious from me (Inbox me) or email uwritewhatulike@gmail.com.

"Today is where YOUR book begins, the rest is still UnWritten" Natasha Bedingfield!

Write What U Like!

Love and Light!
Vuyokazi Yonke
January 2011

14 January 2011

2012 Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards

Are you passionate about theatre? Do you have a message for South Africa's youth?

If your answer is YES...
enter the 2012 Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards
What to Submit
Maskew Miller Longman invites you to submit your unpublished and original plays for children aged 12-15.

Entry Deadline: 30 April 2011


First prize: R7 500 will be awarded to the winner in each language.
The winning entry in each language category will be published by Maskew Miller Longman
Runners-up: R3 500 will be awarded to runners-up in each language.

. Entries are invited only in the category of drama.
. An official entry form MUST accompany all entries.
. The dramas should appeal to South African youth aged 12 to 15 and should be suitable for
performance and prescription at school level.
. The length of the plays submitted should be between 3000 and 10 000 words.
. Established and new writers may submit original manuscripts in any of the eleven South African
official languages.
. The work submitted should be original, unpublished and untranslated from any published material.
. The winning entry in each language category will be published by Maskew Miller Longman.
. Non-winning entries may also qualify for publication.

Contest Rules
. The competition is not open to MML staff members or their immediate families and the judges/
screeners of the competition.
. The judge's decision is fi nal and no correspondence will be entered into.
. Entrants MUST be South African citizens or permanent residents.
. Manuscripts MUST be typed on one side of unbound A4 page in double spacing with all pages
clearly numbered.
. Email entries will not be accepted.
. Authors are advised to retain a copy of their manuscript as submitted copies will not be returned.
. There are no restrictions on the number of entries.

Judging & Notification
. Entries will be judged by literature experts in each of our 11 official languages.
. Finalists will be notified in January 2012.

Entry Form
. For a copy of the printed entry form please contact antheav@mml.co.za or call 021 532 6181 / 021 532 6181 .

. Questions
. Contact Anthea Variend on Tel: (021) 532 6181 (021) 532 6181 or email antheav@mml.co.za.

How to submit
. Send your manuscript + entry form to:

MML Literature Awards
c/o Anthea Variend
PO Box 396
Cape Town, 8000

The Hall of Fame