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Tag: apartheid

Unity in diversity, een fabel of een feit?

Door Jorien Janssen ‘Is there a game going on?’ vraagt de taxichauffeur aan  ons, nadat ik hem verteld heb dat de bestemming van onze rit het Athlone stadion is. Vandaag, 21 maart, is het Human Rights Day, en een van de georganiseerde activiteiten is een bijeenkomst in het stadion, waar president Zuma zal spreken. De reactie van onze taxichauffeur bevestigt nogmaals wat ons al bij eerder rondvragen duidelijk werd, deze event is bij weinig mensen bekend, of slechts bij een zeer selectief publiek. Maar, zo verzekert hij ons, het zal een interessante dag voor ons worden, want in het Athlone stadion zullen we omringd zijn door de echte Cape Flat bewoners  (met de Cape Flats wordt de hele uitgestrekte vlakte ten Zuidoosten van het centrum van Kaapstad bedoeld, die voornamelijk bestaat uit townships en huisvesting biedt aan de zwarte en gekleurde bevolking).

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Reading a Post-Apartheid Memorial

Photo by April Killingsworth

Duane Jethro Sunday 8 August, 2010: I am on an expedition to find an elusive Sunday Times memorial in Soweto, Johannesburg. On the way, I drive through Vilakazi Street, passing by Nelson Mandela’s former home. It has been transformed into a museum. The precinct surrounding his former domicile is teeming with tourists and a host of locals plying a range of different commercial strategies aimed at cashing in on the spoils of the heritage venture. Further along the way, I pass the monumental Hector Pieterson Memorial and Media Centre, another heritage project erected during the post-apartheid era dedicated to the memory of the first student to have died in the 1976 student uprisings. Soweto seems to be brimming with new, rich heritage ventures mapping the formerly hidden histories of its former residents. The memorial I am in search of is not very different, having been dedicated to another forgotten memorable moment in time.

I perform a radical driving manoeuvre having suddenly spotted the artwork. The wheels churn up a cloud of dust as I swerve into the open plot of ground opposite Morris Isaacson High School in Jabulani section.

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World Cup Mania: Talking about Culture

Dutch Fan Culture

By Duane Jethro Culture is on everybody’s lips. Another game at the fan park: Spain vs Switzerland, if I remember correctly. Cold beer in hand, I am engaging in conversation with a middle-aged gentleman about the World Cup vibe. It’s a chilly, grey day and the sparse crowd is quiet, subdued, passively absorbing Spain’s demise. Minutes later, a group of about 10 or so excited Bafana Bafana supporters congregate in my vicinity and start generating some gees. They sing popular local songs in isiXhosa, and blow their vuvuzelas in time to the tune, all the while drawing foreign bystanders into the enticing rhythm.

The scene is priceless and I remark that once people get hold of vuvuzelas they go mad. “Ja, ma wat kan jy doen is os culture”, [Yes, but what can you do, it’s our culture], he replies curtly. “A culture van geraas maak en tekeere gaan?” [A culture of making a noise and showing off], I cheekily quip. “En Party” [And partying], he adds, and we both laugh.

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