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Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

Nomalanga Mkhize: “The Dept of Education is Very Bureaucratic in Its Approach to Black Children’s Education”

The Fate of the Eastern CapeDr Nomalanga Mkhize, history lecturer at Rhodes University and contributor to The Fate of the Eastern Cape: History, Politics and Social Policy, recently spoke on Power FM about the problem with the quality of children’s and adult literature in African languages.

Mkhize, who has written numerous children’s stories published in newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal, says that it is very difficult to get published in African languages in South Africa.

When it comes to reading material taught in public schools at foundation phase level, Mkhize says: “The Department of Education is very bureaucratic in its approach to black children’s education, they don’t think innovatively or out of the box.

“The kind of stuff that the Department of Education give to black kids, no one who is middle class and sends their kid to a model C school or private school would expect their children to read that kind of rubbish in English.”

Mkhize continues: “It’s shocking how much of the materials that are produced in African languages are not written by African-language speakers, particularly in the children’s market.”

She says there’s nothing wrong with translation of English texts to indigenous languages, but it is important to build up an organic reading culture in children’s home languages.

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Antjie Krog’s Poetic Capital gives Her “A Certain Kind of Power” – Anthea Garman (Podcast)

Antjie Krog and the Post-Apartheid Public SphereAnthea Garman, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, recently spoke to Corina van der Spoel about her book, Antjie Krog and the Post-Apartheid Public Sphere: Speaking Poetry to Power.

Garman says the first time she encountered Antjie Krog was at a workshop set up for journalists on how to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. At the time she was at odds with her news editor who didn’t think that the TRC was that important, while Garman viewed it as a watershed moment in our history.

When Country of My Skull was released, Garman interviewed Krog for the Rhodes Journalism Review and was struck by Krog’s freedom to ask questions that journalists were often unable to ask. “She was posing questions with a great deal of panache and authority.”

How was she able to do this? Garman, who’d never studied Krog at school, started to read all the media coverage of Krog since she was a 17-year-old poet in Kroonstad and was astounded by her long-established, extraordinary relationship with journalism, long before she became a producer of media.

“The media attention that she’s garnered over all those years of being a poet had actually given her a certain kind of capital, a certain kind of power.”

This power enables her to say things that create discomfort. Reflecting on Krog’s keynote speech at the 2015 Sunday Times Literary Awards, Garman says: “She is brave enough to say inappropriate things.”

Another factor that motivated the study was the question of who is allowed to speak in the current race debate. “How does an Afrikaans white woman of this particular age keep on speaking and keep on speaking and keep on speaking and people keep on paying attention?”

Garman discovered that Country of My Skull is a prescribed text on the post-apartheid space in history classrooms around the world: “She speaks for us as South Africans on a world stage.”

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South Africa Needs a Feminist President – Nomalanga Mkhize (Podcast)

The Fate of the Eastern CapeWould having a woman as president change the fundamental nature of our society?

This is the question that Stephen Grootes recently put to Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, a history lecturer at Rhodes University and contributor to The Fate of the Eastern Cape: History, Politics and Social Policy edited by Greg Ruiters.

“It would certainly go a long way in giving a different image of what leadership can be or should be,” Mkhize says, adding however that from the corporate sector one can see that the rise of female power does not “necessarily translate into the changing of traditionally masculine culture or approach to leadership”.

“We do need to see women physically rising up to the highest office of power in South Africa, but that woman will also then have to be quite feminist to advance anything.”

Mkhize continues: “It’s very important to see women doing things that were traditionally reserved for men, in particular on the African continent where there are very few high-profile women leaders.”

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Nomalanga Mkhize: Just Stop and Think About How the Term “Tribalism” is Bandied About (Podcast)

The Fate of the Eastern CapeNomalanga Mkhize, one of the contributors to The Fate of the Eastern Cape: History, Politics and Social Policy edited by Greg Ruiters, was recently called upon by Aphelele Somi on her Power FM show to speak about the concept of tribalism, and rampant misconceptions about the label.

Mkhize says that people need to “be careful about how they invoke the term”, because it carries important meaning and is sometimes applied hypocritically. She says to understand this, you need to go back to the roots of the notion of tribes and tribalism.

To explain her view on this, Mkhize refers to how people adapt tribal allegiances and identifications based on fluctuating circumstances. She urges people to think about the pitfalls of putting people in boxes, and bandying the word tribalism about.

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How to Defamiliarise Fact to Cast it as Fiction: An Interview with Nthikeng Mohlele (Podcast)

Rusty BellNthikeng Mohlele, author of Rusty Bell, was recently interviewed by Nancy Richards on SAfm.

In the interview, Richards asks Mohlele about his Literary Crossroads talk with Helon Habila and The Brilliant Novel Opening Lines Facebook Page that he operates.

Mohlele starts off by speaking about how the facts of reality are “rewritten, recalibrated and realigned and given shades on unfamiliarity” in literature. All novels are based on some sort of reality, but Mohlele tries hard to avoid autobiographical work; he prefers “observation in social spaces.”

The interview with Mohlele starts at 24:17 of the podcast:

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Steven Friedman on Racism: South Africa Dropped the Ball in 1994 (Podcast)

Race, Class and PowerSteven Friedman, author of Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid and senior analyst at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, was interviewed by Xolani Gwala for Talk Radio 702 about the prevalence of race rows at present.

In the interview, Friedman comments on the recent spate of racist incidents on social media, and says he believes South Africa dropped the ball in 1994. The country overcame an enormous hurdle with the first democratic election, he says, but there is still a long way to go. He believes that racism has a great cost in economic and political spheres.

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Speaking to Xolani on 702 about the recent racially charged incidents such as Zelda la Grange’s twitter rant and the reaction that followed, Political Analyst, Steven Friedman said that the ‘rise’ in race related cases is not a rise at all but rather he has a hunch that the racially charged events have been happening all along.

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