South African rappers Slikour and Kwesta have remixed the massive hit Otis, a song originally done by The Throne duo Kanye West and Jay Z off of their new album Watch the Throne.
It takes a lot of guts to remix a Kanye West and Jay Z song, especially one like Otis . Naturally, the first thing anyone will do is compare the two versions.
Personally, I don’t believe they could ever match up to, let alone eclipse the original. They tried to escape this comparison to the original by attempting to localise the song making reference to Ekurhuleni and using vernacular language, I still don’t think it worked though.
One thing that hit me about the remix however; are Slikour and Kwesta trying to draw parallels between themselves and the American rappers Kanye West and Jay Z with the song? Are they trying to say they are South Africa’s version of the throne ? I am not sure.
Take a listen to the song here and tell me what you think of the song.
The document on organisational renewal prepared for the 2010 National General Council reads: “since its founding in 1912, the ANC has place a strong premium on the pivotal role of unity within its ranks. This unity was built on a culture of debate and discussion, and the commitment of everyone to implement decisions once they are taken. The unity of the ANC was also seen as important to the broader task of unity in action amongst the motive forces, in addition to pursuing the widest possible unity amongst those struggling for a better life.”
When President Jacob Zuma led delegates on a rendition of “Oliver Tambo lala ngoxolo” (Oliver Tambo rest in peace) in Polokwane 2007, pundits commented that the new leader was confirming that democracy and debate had prevailed and unity in the movement was cemented.
Many are not sure anymore because it would seem like both leadership of the ANC and the youth league, at some point, miscalculated the political fallout that could result from their latest public spat that involves disciplinary charges against Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu.
The incumbent leadership of both structures has failed to learn that the historically radical character of the youth league could be a double-edged sword if not handled correctly and with caution.
The manner in which both the party and the youth league reacted to their differences of opinion in the public arena has landed itself to a theater of speculations, bringing the party deeper into disrepute, while weakening the principle of unity.
Speculation is abound that at the end of the drama, Jacob Zuma would either be recalled or re-elected as party leader for the second term, while Julius Malema would either be gunning for presidency of the mother body or going straight to jail. So says the commentators and analysts across the mediascape, and it is undeniable that the rumour mill would be fed for a long time to come.
What is even more frightening is that Malema and Shivambu are dealt with as if they are factional leaders within the movement who were speaking on behalf of a faction, and not as elected leaders of an official structure which articulates the positions of a collective.
The secondary allegation that both Malema and Shivambu “sow divisions” within the party further attests to this observation. And even if such suspicions might appear to be valid, it would be shaky to take an official decision on those grounds.
A party document in 1997 reads: “The ANC has leadership collectives, instead of a single leader, at all levels of organization…The constitution sets out the powers of each of these structures and they are expected to operate as a collective…In addition, it means that all members must take responsibility to explain and ensure the implementation of decisions taken by these collectives.
I could be wrong but there seems to be no precedent of such an occurrence – where individual leaders are isolated from the collective – in the party’s 99 year old history, and the move projects the mother body leadership itself as acting in the interest of a faction that seeks to deal with another using organisational authority. At best it raises unavoidable questions about the motives behind the charges.
In Zuma and Malema the public sees two comrades who not long ago were willing to pay the highest price in the struggle for each other, but now find themselves in a difficult position as their opponents and detractors have succeeded to pit them against each other.
By Moyagabo Maake and Siphiliselwe Makhanya
Business heavyweights descended on Vodacom World in Midrand last week to witness two women being awarded the title of the Businesswoman of the year.
The award, which is a partnership between the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa and commercial banker Nedbank, has been honouring South Africa’s outstanding businesswomen since 1980.
Vying for the honours in the entrepreneurship category were:
In the corporate category were:
The judging was very difficult in the entrepreneurship category this year, according to judge Danisa Baloyi.
“All of them fought for survival through these difficult times and none of them are in the red. None of them are struggling financially,” Baloyi said.
The winners were announced after performances by poet Don Mattera and crooner Loyiso Bala, as well as speeches by Businesswomen’s Association president Kunyala Maphisa, Nedbank chief executive Mike Brown, and chief executive of headline sponsor Telkom, Nombulelo Moholi.
Nondumiso Mzizana took the entrepreneurship award, while Philisiwe Buthelezi executed a victory dance on her way to the stage – as her supporters cheered from the floor – to collect the corporate award.
On why Mzizana won, Baloyi said that she hated that the focus was on the winners that night, as all the women in the entrepreneurship category were exceptional and met all the criteria for the award. It came down to focus.
The problem with business people was that they want to be “all over the place”, Baloyi continued.
Mzizana was focused, which differentiated her from the other finalists.
“When asked what else she’d be doing, she said ‘this thing, because I’m experienced…this is what I know’,” Baloyi said.
On Buthelezi, corporate judge Boni Dibate said Buthelezi had created a lot of work for other women, appointing them as managers as well as board members.
“She does a lot of work in Africa, even in France. In fact, she speaks French fluently,” Dibate said.
While writing this piece, I racked my brain trying to think of some prominent South African female entrepreneurs. Powerful, wealthy women who have achieved immense success in the business world, but I struggled for the most part. It then dawned on me on how the vicious cycle just keeps repeating itself: our lack of female entrepreneurs is not motivating, encouraging and inspiring enough young women to pursue businesses. I could think of a lot of American female movers and shakers (thanks largely to reality television), but not enough female South Africans.
According to a “State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa” report released by Endeavor in conjunction with FNB last year, most female entrepreneurs in South Africa seem to be lifestyle and not high-impact entrepreneurs. The assumption that the report found is that men entrepreneurs can focus on their businesses more than women entrepreneurs who tend to have multiple commitments to balance in their lives.
Some of the reasons mentioned in the study for the gap between men and women in entrepreneurship are women’s propensities to: want to spend more time with their families, want to avoid the stress of employing too many people, have less education, and experience more difficulty accessing capital due to marriage contract formulations.
Dr. Joe Rubino, who is an internationally acclaimed self-esteem expert and success coach, believes that self-esteem could also get in the way of business success. He believes that self-esteem is the cause for success, although he does have dissidents against him who claim that self-esteem is the product of success – but that’s new-age rhetoric.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, I have to agree with Dr. Rubino to a certain extent. It takes a lot of courage and self-belief to start a business and keep it going, and living in a patriarchal world has robbed some women of their self-worth through the amount of emotional, physical and sexual abuse that women face every minute of the day.
Not to be a complete downer, females are making inroads – but is that enough? Earlier this year FNB and Wits Business School released a White Paper on female entrepreneurship and found that up to 38% of all established businesses are owned by women and that more than 25% of these are making in excess of R750,000 a year. The research also found that the general age of business owners was 35 and most of the start-ups businesswomen were black. The research also showed that a lot more women were choosing to start a business even though they had other options. So, clearly there is hope but there is still a lot more to be done.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – in Part Two of this piece, I look at my favourite female entrepreneurs. Who are yours?
Calls for an economic Codesa come at a time when business seems vulnerable to talks about the nationalisation of strategic economic sectors and the expropriation of land without compensation. A debate which many sought to undermine in its infancy had suddenly grown into an imposing giant, threatening to wipe out the interests of the economically powerful.
When Julius Malema first learnt to pronounce the word “nationalisation,” the captains of the industry looked the other way and asked: “What debate?” “There is no debate on nationalisation,” they said. A cabinet minister came out guns blazing. “In my lifetime there will be no nationalisation of mines,” said Susan Shabangu, “maybe when I’m dead, and rest assured I’m not dying next week.”
Since the ANC youth league national conference in June reaffirmed Malema’s leadership and support, business and its allies have been peddling hard to gain ground that was lost. Now we could all agree that business is on a back foot and it is from within this context that we should understand recent calls for an economic Codesa.
Empowerment charter policies are collecting dust in the large offices of big business and as Jimmy Manyi once observed, transformation could have for a long time been the last item in the agenda at board meetings, discussed when everyone is packing their bags to go home.
But some have said that the best way to defend a revolution is to deepen it. So, those who eye an economic Codesa as a means to mining historically unprecedented compromises out of enterprise capitalism and market fundamentalism are not entirely wrong in their view.
It is also true that this conversation should happen against the background of the recent failures of globalisation and capitalism, but my fear is that such arguments, while valid, would run into a train smash of ideological cacophony. Some amongst us would chant market fundamentalism even when the bullet that is about to rip through their skull had those words engraved on it.
The first question one may ask then is whether it would be reasonable to discuss economic freedom outside of the political freedom that was gained in 1994, when millions of our people won the privilege to determine and influence policy, including economic policy, at a party political level and within the ambit of the constitution.
It would be totally unreasonable to usurp the hard won privilege of the poor at the whim of a cosmetic talk shop likely to be dominated by the interests of the new and old elite and consequently render the poor spectators in their own struggle.
Seventeen years after democracy the poor of this country have learnt the hard way that the word “miracle” does not exist in politics, thus they have taken back to the streets in protests. It has been noted that a major weakness of the poor in SA has been their inability to harness the popular power that comes with an electoral majority and in the process ceded their rightful stewardship of political dialogue to proponents of elitism and pockets of turncoat revolutionaries.
Thus we have continued to experience in SA what could aptly be described as the “tyranny of an economically dominant minority,” and Julius Malema has brought with him the realisation of what popular power could achieve.
The late struggle stalwart, Harry Gwala, had warned that those who are enjoying the fruits at the top of the tree would always cry foul when those on the ground shake it. They would argue that the tree would fall and everyone would go hungry. Yet they would never admit that they know nothing about hunger or that the fruits could fall on the ground for everybody to share while the tree still remains to produce more.
To understand the reasons for the nationalisation debate presently raging in forums across the country, one need only read the Department of Mineral Resources’ Mining Charter Impact Assessment report, prepared five years after the adoption of the new Mining Charter.
The Mining Charter aims to transform the industry through, amongst others, skills development, employment equity and mining community development.
The “progress” reported in the impact assessment is laughable. Here are a few nuggets for your reading pleasure:
And you wonder why the debate has cropped up!
In a nutshell, the mining industry refuses to transform, and people are getting impatient. Finish.
I also find it curious that the nationalisation boxing matches don’t include a single mine worker or mining community member.
It’s the ANC Youth League and their political allies vs. the Chamber of Mines, big business and economists.
Where are the people who would be directly affected by this?
The politicians, chamber, businessmen and economists aren’t the ones who have to live with dust from nearby mines perpetually covering their furniture.
They are not the ones who have to beat out their carpets every morning.
They are not the ones washing dishes they haven’t used.
They are not the ones exposing their lungs to silicosis and asbestos and all the other lung diseases caused by mining.
What do mining communities have to say on the subject?
The Bench Marks Foundation, a corporate social responsibility watchdog, has community monitoring projects around the country, which “develop the capacity of local communities to monitor the actions of corporations and government as well as take action where they identify destruction of the environment and the undermining of community life.”
I found their Action Voices report very, very interesting.
One of the voices, Kgomotso Precilla Dimpeng from the Magobading platinum mining community in Limpopo, says: “When Anglo Platinum came to our community, we thought that now we are going to be rich and we are going to get jobs, but all of this was just an image that we created among ourselves.’
According to Dimpeng, Anglo moved the community from their previous homes to make way for their mining activities.
“These companies make promises to us and fail to deliver on their promises. They told the relocated community that they will provide bursaries, jobs and renovate the damage to their relocated homes, especially those caused by the rain,” Dimpeng says.
Another voice, Toto Nzamo from Katlehong in Gauteng, says his community is affected by pollution.
“I interviewed a community member, who told me that Zinco [Mine, in Springs] polluted the Blesbok River with sulphuric acid. He showed me a leaking pipe that carried mine waste into the river,” Nzamo says.
“The community was concerned that they can no longer fish in the river.”
For more tales of mining companies that extract precious metals and minerals without any benefit to the community, click here.
It would be interesting to hear their thoughts on nationalisation.
by Zwanga “Evans” Mukhuthu
Don’t get me wrong, I am FOR funeral services. But brief ones. And there lies the problem. There is no such thing as a brief funeral service; especially amongst us Africans.
I was reminded of this over the weekend when I attended a friend’s funeral. The service started at 07:30 at his home, dragging up until 09:15.
Since he died being popular in the community we went for another service at the community hall and it dragged until 13:00.
It took me almost six hours of gospel to finally put my friend to rest because the ignorant reverend thought he could convince every sinner present at that funeral to come to church the next Sunday and live happily ever after.
I say greedy because the funeral gospel is done under the pretence of giving the departed a clean way to heaven no matter how much of a sinner one was
Where did you ever hear of an African funeral that was hosted without a priest as a result of one having been a bad person in the community? Never! He or she might have been a rapist, killer or a common thief, but they all get decent funeral services presided over by decent reverends.
I’ll tell you; because it’s not in the dead ones’ best interest but the interest of those attending the funeral. And my people don’t know this.
Think about it.
Many people don’t go to church these days. And it is to be assumed that once a priest finds himself in a packed hall of different mix – believers and sinners – he gets a little excited (or maybe not so little.)
My reverend will tell you that no priest likes preaching in a church of 18 members. It is every priest’s dream to preside in front of hundreds of people. Also, the preaching that goes on in these services are not meant or intended for the dead one.
If the person who is dead did not get deliverance while they were still alive, it’s all over for them.
I remember once during a Sunday church ceremony. My reverend was at the altitude of his sermon when he said, “There is no God’s pardon beyond the grave. This (life) is the only chance you’ve got to clear things with God. Do it before it’s too late.”
But why is it that we are now spending long hours in funeral services in the guise that we are preaching for the dead ones, while we all know that their fate has already been decided upon?
There are people who have never set foot in a church building and the reverend knows this well. But what’s a reverend to do when he meets people he knows he will never live to see them in church? He grabs the opportunity with all his arms and legs (I mean he doesn’t preach sitting)
So there you go, my sinning friends
Next time you attend a funeral service and have a loud priest preaching in front of you know that he is talking to you not the guy in the coffin.
The guy in the coffin gave up listening to the reverend a long time ago.
WARNING! WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO READ IS A RANT.
On Saturday in a state of bliss I found myself cruising along 4th Avenue in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, looking for the new franchise of the Vevo Telo bakery. If you’ve ever been to Parkhurst you’ll know that the streets that cross the popular strip are neighbour-hoody, so parking is somewhat informal.
So I parked on one of these streets, in a way that didn’t block the driveway of any house – as most sane people would do – for about 15 minutes while I grabbed tea and a blueberry muffin from the bakery.
I returned to find a woman in her 50s approaching my vehicle in the fashion that parking attendants do so that you know that they were watching your car. But before I could step in it, she said: “Where’s my money?”
She went on to say that she, yes, SHE watches all the cars on that specific street.
“Well, good for you,” I thought, as I rolled my eyes.
I slipped into the car and she stood by my window, waiting for “her money”. I stared back in “fake” confusion (I was actually pissed). She crossed the road, sat on her chair and didn’t take her beady, tired eyes off me.
What is this entitlement? How am I held at ransom for not giving her some coins for “watching” my car?
If I had a choice I wouldn’t have parked on the street. I prefer to park in the basement or open parking of a building and pay the R8 flat fee. Instead of parking across the street from an entitled car guard. My car would probably be safer in there too
I pay guards in highly sensitive instances, like in Melville, Johannesburg. Not at shopping centres or car parks that have graced FREE parking upon me.
According to a report by the SA Journal of Human Resource Management, titled Informal Labour Markets as a Solution for Unemployment In South Africa, “the industry started as an alternative source of income for people who were not able to secure employment in the formal sector of the economy.”
Great, I always support economic freedom and the initiative to take the bull by the horns.
But do parking attendants really watch over vehicles, or are they just claiming to?
Exhibit A (and the only one):
“…Not liable for loss and/or damage…”
And then they give us attitude, demanding pay.
Follow Ayanda Mo on Twitter.
When it comes to jazz musicians, South Africa has produced some of the world’s greats.
Jazz drummer and composer Vusi Khumalo is no exception and he’s recently released his second album Reasons for Seasons, which not only speaks to South African jazz culture, but has taken a global tone.
The album’s release follows his SAMA and Kora-nominated 2000 debut album Follow your Dream. His band Dondo won a SAMA in 2004 for best contemporary jazz.
Khumalo has been hailed as one of the country’s most accomplished jazz drummers by critics. His musical verve is inevitably rooted in jazz music, but he experiments with other genres creating what can be described as world music.
The two-disc album opens with Africa unite, featuring Lebo Mashile with spoken word. In urban poetic prose she calls for Africans to assess their reality as a people, their leaders and to unite.
In the song, Mashile says: “If we knew who we were we’d know who we could be. We’d own the land we live on, our rands and royalties we’d grow the stars we need to guide us, they’d know when to lead and when to leave.”
The album is not solely steeped in jazz – it also borrows from other musical genres such as neo-soul and even Latin-American music.
My Rhythm is an upbeat, feel good track with a hint of salsa, the wind instruments − trumpet, trombone and saxophone come together to create a sound that is reminiscent of Café del Mar. Revered jazz musician Marcus Wyatt also features with an enchanting fugal horn solo.
The title track is rooted in sultry skatting – the story is told in very few words. Vocals by Sipho Nkosiyani and Siya Makhuzeni take the listener on a journey where the story of waiting for life to fall into place is told. The instrumental takes you through different shades − from an upbeat tempo and then back into a delicate mood.
As an album, Reasons for Seasons weds other genres with jazz creating a world music experience, with brilliantly composed instrumentals and vocals. It’s a great album to listen to if you’re looking for something mellow.
Introducing his presentation on financial reporting, mining journalist David McKay said: “the egos have landed.” Image after image, he showed face shots of mining magnates including Cynthia Carol, Brian Gilbertson and Roger Kebble.
I noted the following day that the seminar was partly an exercise by the mining giants to woo the media in preparation for a fierce nationalisation debate in the public domain as sparked by the ANC Youth League.
Why? Speaker after speaker, including Chief Economist of the Chamber of Mines Roger Baxter indirectly replied to arguments that had been made in favour of nationalisation with cautious effort not to even mention the word. But that is a debate for another day.
I think one need to look no further than the media sector and print media in particular, to see how big egos muddy the debate while substantial matters play second fiddle to their imaginary shadows.
For example, when one closely examines the Eric Miyeni-Ferial Haffajee saga, it becomes evident that to speak or write in defense of one or another is old news.
The biggest loser might seem to be Mr. Miyeni but whether or not he loses or keeps his job will not alter the fact that 1) there are sections of black people who are deeply suspicious about the media role in dealing with black leaders perceived to be speaking in the interest of black people, and 2) that media is overly intolerant to any voice of dissent among its ranks.
Both these material conditions have adverse implications for the general media fraternity. Surely the captains of the industry and general practitioners must be concerned about perceptions that the body is anti-transformation and intolerant.
It is also worth pointing out that these views are not only held by outsiders, but also people who slave for the media industry week in week out. You only have to listen to the talks in the corridors to believe what I tell you.
It is even more a cause for concern that these views are expressed in private conversations away from the powers that be, primarily due to the fear of structural isolation. This is further evidence that the media must create space to robustly engage with these ideas instead of dismissing them as red herrings propagated by delinquent militants.
At some point, I believe, sober people reach a juncture where they agree to disagree and begin to appreciate the valid and legitimate arguments put forward by their opponents, irrespective of entrenched positions.
That is a debate we need to be having!
Look at how the whole media tribunal exchange has turned out. One may ask: is the fact that one is a veteran journalist or a struggle veteran of impeccable credentials material to whether the arguments they put forth closely resembles the material conditions on the ground or not?
One such veteran journalist said in his column last week that commentators need to “set the agenda” in a particular way. But our national agenda is the daily reality faced by millions of our people so how could anyone “set” another agenda outside of these that? Little wonder people like Malema strike the chord because they do not respond to these real issues merely as inconvenient side talk.
There is, after all, a section of our society which does not entertain personalities and increasingly feel isolated when debates on matters of public interest begin to be shaped predominantly by the narrow interests of those who purport to be the voices of reason.
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