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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Thando Mgqolozana’s A Man Who is Not a Man Described as “A Searingly Powerful Novel”

A Man Who is Not a ManChris Dunton has written to The Guardian in response to an article titled “The Future of South African Literature” by Stuart Kelly, commenting that the article focuses too heavily on an older generation of writers especially as, “there is a real sense that younger writers have been liberated to address any aspect of experience in their immensely complex society that they wish.”

Dunton refers to Thando Mgqolozana‘s book A Man Who is Not a Man to prove his point, noting that it is “a searingly powerful novel that tackles the persistence of cultural practices such as ritual circumcision.”

Though headlined “The Future of South African Literature”, Stuart Kelly’s piece (Saturday Review, 13 December) focuses almost entirely on authors whose careers are drawing to a close and whose overriding preoccupation in their writing was the workings of apartheid and of resistance to it. In the years that have followed the demise of apartheid, South African literature has continued to address apartheid and the oppressions that have survived it, but from fresh perspectives. More especially, there is a real sense that younger writers have been liberated to address any aspect of experience in their immensely complex society that they wish.

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Henk Pretorius, Director of Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, Discusses the Movie’s Break from the Norm

Fanie Fourieâ��s LobolaHenk Pretorius, the director (who also serves as the co-producer and co-writer) of the film based on the book Fanie Fourie’s Lobola by Nape ‘A Motana, talked to the Citizen about the response the movie has been getting around the world.

Pretorius seems deservingly proud of Fanie Fourie’s Lobola. He said: “Borders are for scared people. Fanie Fourie and Dinky Magubane are brave enough to break through those perceptions, deal with the consequences head-on and overcome these obstacles in a fresh and honest way.” The movie, about an interracial South African couple dealing with the ups and downs of a cross-cultural relationship, is being released in South Africa today.

Pretorius also spoke about his current and future plans, including one that will see him setting up “an international movie franchise in the next three years” which will “be responsible for creating the content for a major distribution company abroad”.

Henk Pretorius is one of the co-writers and co-producers, as well as the director of Fanie Fourie’s Lobola. It tells the story of an ordinary Afrikaner who falls in love with a black woman and the consequences their actions have on both their conservative families and friendship circles.

How did you manage the mindshift from Bakgat [on which Pretorius served as writer, co-producer and director for the first two films] to Fanie Fourie’s Lobola?

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Podcast: Denis Hurley Remembered on SAfm

Denis Hurley: Truth to PowerSAfm has shared the podcast of a show that commemorated Denis Hurley’s life. The show took place on the occasion of what would have been his 97th birthday. Bishop Rubin Phillip was in the studio to talk about Hurley’s life, and Dr May Mkize, a trustee of the Denis Hurley Centre was on the phone with SAfm to share her memories.

His biographer Paddy Kearney, who wrote Denis Hurley: Truth to Power, was also in studio to answer questions from listeners, and others who knew him, who called in to share their memories of the beloved archbishop of Durban.

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Gisele Turner Reports on the Launch of the Updated Marabi Nights by Christopher Ballantine

Marabi NightsGisele Turner from Going Places SA attended the recent launch of the updated and expanded second edition of Marabi Nights: Jazz, ‘Race’ and Society by Christopher Ballantine at the UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

Turner describes Ballantine’s address at the event in which he talked about his “long and sometimes fraught journeys tracking down recordings, on old 78 rpm’s gathering dust in small shops or lying forgotten in cupboards in township homes.” She says of the book that Christopher Ballantine “followed his heart and his head” and has created something that is both informative and engaging.

The updated and expanded second edition of Christopher Ballantine’s seminal book on South African Jazz from the 1920’s to the 1960’s Marabi Nights was launched in appropriate style at UKZN’s Centre for Jazz & Popular Music. Dr Sazi Dlamini played acoustic guitar and was accompanied by his brother Njeza on that rare home-made instrument, the T-Box Bass. Dr Nishlyn Ramanna – a jazz pianist, composer and educator, gave a breezily eloquent address and Christopher Ballantine’s speech was clean, informal and interesting.

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Christopher Ballantine’s Marabi Nights Launched at UKZN’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

Christopher Ballantine

The launch of esteemed musicologist Chris Ballantine’s Marabi Nights: Jazz, ‘race’ and society in early apartheid South Africa (second edition) took place, appropriately, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, last Friday night.

Christopher Ballantine Marabi NightsIntroducing the book to a relaxed and receptive audience, publisher Debra Primo from UKZN Press said that it was important to them to publish works that uncovered, or recovered, previously ignored histories. She thanked Ballantine for bringing his manuscript to them, saying they were glad to have it on their list of scholarly titles.

Nishlyn Ramanna, a lecturer in jazz music at Rhodes University, took over from Primo; describing Marabi Nights as “the seminal work in SA jazz studies”. He said that Ballantyne’s book was “compellingly deft”, noting the enclosed CD which takes you into the world of South African jazz. He explained that the author has meshed the theories of renowned European intellectual Theodor Adorno with those of South African scholars to develop a “post-colonial take on an irrepressibly African proletarian consciousness”. Ramanna described Marabi Nights as epistemologically pioneering, saying it was a blend of humanities and social science thinking. He added that because it is “empirically rich, adroit and elegantly written”, it makes an excellent teaching resource. He also praised Ballantine for his deep commitment to transformation.

Following on from Ramanna, Ballantine said he begs to differ from US trumpeter Duke Ellington who said, “too much talk about music stinks the place up”. When focussing on oral history (as Ballantine’s book does), he says, “one must talk about music”.

He explained that, when writing the book, he had to do a lot of sleuth work in order to find disappeared musicians. He said sometimes he was massively disappointed when people died before he could talk to them. “Spending long hot afternoons scouring the intestines of Boksburg, Benoni or Mooi River was depressing,” he said, “but sometimes on a cupboard would be a few priceless recordings from the thirties or forties, which the proprietor would let you have for next to nothing”.

He noted that his book was a collective endeavour, in that it could never have happened without the collaboration of music lovers here and abroad. He noted with sadness that many involved in creating the book have died since the launch of the first edition. He explained the motivation for publishing a second edition thus: firstly, due to his ongoing research, he was in a position to tell a much fuller story than the first edition does, writing about SA jazz right up to 1960 – the “darkest years of apartheid”; secondly, the demand for the book has not diminished; and thirdly, “post-apartheid SA has not met expectations, and we need to refocus attention on the social claims that the first edition of Marabi Nights makes”.

He quoted renowned author Milan Kundera who said, “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” saying he hoped his book would help people remember a lost time. Ballantine thanked Debra Primo and her “excellent staff” for publishing his book, as well as Raymond Suttner, a friend who pushed him to consider writing a second edition. He also expressed gratitude to esteemed jazz singer Sibongile Khumalo for writing the foreword to the book; Sazi and Jeza Dlamini for providing music at the launch, and Nishlyn Ramanna for travelling up from Grahamstown to attend the event.

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Launch of Marabi Nights by Christopher Ballantine at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

Invitation: Launch of "Marabi Nights"

Marabi Nights: Jazz, 'Race' and SocietyUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal Press cordially invites you to the launch of Marabi Nights: Jazz, ‘Race’ and Society in early apartheid South Africa by Christopher Ballantine.

The event will take place at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on Friday 30 November at 5:30 PM for 6 PM. Dr Nishlyn Ramanna will be the guest speaker and music will be performed by Dr Sazi Dlamini.

See you there!

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Lesego Rampolokeng Discusses Past Collaborations and His Thoughts on Performing

Head on FireTs’eliso Monaheng caught up with Lesego Rampolokeng for an interview on Mahala. Rampolokeng discussed his work with the Kalahari Surfers and his appearance in Aryan Kaganof’s Giant Steps, a 2005 documentary that featured him and other revolutionary poets. He also spoke about South African musician Zim Ngqawana and the impact that his death had on him:

Papa Ramps speaks in trailing sentences, interjecting himself as though his other self were in a parallel universe, feeding him endless stream-of-consciousness ideas. He says ‘whatever’ a couple of times, oftentimes neglecting to pass the fully-formed meaning of his words to the listener, opting rather to let that listener make up their own mind. He is the hip king whom Abdullah Ibrahim wrote about; the orator in a diviner’s ceremony orchestrated by Zim Ngqawana; the vibration oozing out of Johnny Dyani’s rapturous bass. He was in town to partake in a part-sermon, part-toyi toyi, part-national intervention organised by the good folk at Chimurenga. His sharp tongue, coupled with an uneasiness on-stage (perhaps a meditation on this country’s state of uncertainty) surpassed only by his rancid critique of the shitstem, made for a great night of listening.

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Lesego Rampolokeng Shares His Poem “Bantu Rejex” on SLiPNet

Head on FireLesego Rampolokeng has shared one of his poems, “Bantu Rejex”, on SLiPNet.

Rampolokeng published a collection of his poems, titled Head on Fire: Rants / Notes / Poems 2001-2011, earlier this year.


Camera: have you memorized all your battles?
Lights : how profound do you look in your fights?
Mic : how you sound in the skull cracking deep nights?

anger in a tin-can
obscene Silicone wrath
The palace’s synthetic message
The rape of celebrity worship
Names written in neon-semen
stuffed animals on a spirit-quest
tongues twisted in sick-speak
like the Lindela mystic sees life as economics
& the foreign label attracts profiteer tics
descend from the skies of class…to suck

Human definition of domesticated beasts
eradicated cysts
book-spines break
(another fire over Rostock)

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Video: Jill Nudelman Explores the Themes of Inheriting the Earth with Samm Marshall

Inheriting the EarthJill Nudelman was recently interviewed on SABC2′s Weekend Live by host Samm Marshall about her debut novel, Inheriting the Earth.

Nudelman spoke about her interest in white identity in post-apartheid South Africa and explained how hearing a true story about a mother dying and leaving her young child behind led her to write this novel:

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New and Updated Edition of Marabi Nights by Christopher Ballantine

Marabi NightsThe second edition of Christopher Ballantine’s classic Marabi Nights: Jazz, ‘Race’ and Society presents a fascinating view of the marabi jazz tradition in South African popular music to a new generation of music fans and scholars of cultural studies, politics and music.

Based on conversations with legendary figures in the world of music as well as a perceptive reading of music, its socio-political history and social meanings, Ballantine’s project is one of sensitive and impassioned curatorship. An accompanying CD of recordings from the 1930s and 1940s yields almost forgotten treasures. A selection of archival images gives the narrative further resonance.

The second edition contains a new chapter on the Manhattan Brothers and singing groups’ adaptation of the American close harmony tradition. Through the prism of popular music, the new edition also goes further in its discussion of gender in the context of forced migrant labour in the 1950s.

About the author

Professor Christopher Ballantine is Emeritus LG Joel Professor of Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a Fellow of the University, and an internationally acclaimed researcher and writer on music. A graduate of the universities of the Cambridge, Cape Town, and Witwatersrand, he occupied the LG Joel Chair of Music until the end of 2007.

Professor Ballantine’s research explores the meaning of music, its social implications, and the forces that shape it. His publications tend to be both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, and cover a wide range of issues in the fields of musicology, the sociology of music, popular music studies, and ethnomusicology.

The author of three books (Marabi Nights: Early South African Jazz, Vaudeville; Music and its Social Meanings; and Twentieth Century Symphony), Professor Ballantine has also published extensively in a range of leading scholarly journals (including Popular Music, Ethnomusicology, African Music, Opera, Musical Quarterly, British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Journal of Southern African Studies, Critical Arts, and Music Review). He has contributed chapters to books and scholarly encyclopedias (including the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World), and he serves on numerous international editorial boards. He was winner of the Top Researcher Award from the Centre for Science Development (Human Sciences Research Council) in 1996, and is currently ranked in group of ‘Top 30 Researchers’ at UKZN.

Professor Ballantine’s current research principally concerns the relationships between music on the one hand, and ‘race’, gender and politics on the other, in the making of identity in post-apartheid South Africa. It is supported by a long-term research grant from the National Research Foundation. The University honoured Professor Ballantine in 1995 with an appointment to a lifetime Fellowship.

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