23 June 2003The stirring account of the struggle against racial oppression in South Africa cannot be told without the role of music in that struggle, and that’s the context and subject matter of Lee Hirsch’s documentary film, Amandla!.For every song, there was pain, for every tune there was joy and heartbreak as South Africans at home and abroad sought solace and encouragement. Amandla! is an impassioned chronicle of the role of music as a means of protest and survival through more than 40 years of struggle against apartheid.Directed by Lee Hirsch, co-produced by Hirsch, Sherry Simpson and Desiree Markgraaff, the documentary took 10 years to make and features well-known political figures, former exiled musicians Hugh Masekela, Vuyisile Mini, Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, Sophie Mgcina, Duma ka Ndlovu and Vusi Mahlasela, and former Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) guerrillas Thandi Modise and Lindiwe Zulu – as well as numerous unsung heroes.Subtitled “A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony”, Amandla! It is a poignant portrayal of the triumph of spirit, through song, against one of the world’s most repressive state apparatuses. “The apartheid government took everything away from people, but it couldn’t stop them from singing”, says Hirsch.In song lay the resilient spirit of an oppressed people. Also in song could be found that rare ability of South Africa’s people to find humour and creativity in impossible conditions, in abject poverty – and in battle.When the first victims of apartheid brutality died protesting against the pass laws in the 1960s, they were singing. When innocent students were fired on by police with live ammunition during their protest against the use of Afrikaans in black schools in 1976, they were in song.As Masekela amiably puts it: “We will go down in history as an army that spent a lot of time singing, rather than fighting”.Legend has it, according to Masekela, that before the first shot was fired in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, the British commanders ordered their regiments to let the approaching Zulu impis finish the song they were singing – before war broke out in earnest.Amandla! is a typically South African story that begins with the exhumation of Vuyisile Mini’s skull and bones, to be reburied in his home in the Cape. Credited with writing the ominous song “Bhasobha iNdoda eMnyama Verwoerd” (Beware the black man, Verwoerd), which became a rallying cry for many liberation army soldiers, political activist and songwriter Mini was hanged and given a pauper’s burial by the apartheid government.The documentary also captures the archetypal South African war dance, the toyi-toyi. While a marvel to watch, as throngs of “comrades” charge forward chanting slogans, the toyi-toyi could strike fear even in the most menacingly armed forces of the land.Former riot police commanders, interviewed in the film, admit as much: “I can tell you that most of the riot police and soldiers who had to contain those illegal marches were shit-scared of the chanting blacks confronting them. But they had to stand their guard. Here was an unarmed mob instilling fear just by their toyi-toyi!”Over and above the toyi-toyi, there are heart-rending moments in the documentary, accompanied by intensely moving songs such as Vusi Mahlasela’s ballads, Masekela’s “Stimela” and the works of “People’s Poet” Mzwakhe Mbuli.Amandla! also features the music of Vuyisile Mini, Mbongeni Ngema, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sibongile Khumalo and Sophie Mgcina. Mahlasela, Masekela, Makeba, Rathebe, Ibrahim, Khumalo and Mgcina are all interviewed in the documentary.“The film has been an emotional journey for us as filmmakers, and we hope it will be for the audience that come to watch. It is the history of a voice that gave courage, hope and comfort, and will be an important historical reference for future generations”, says Markgraaff.Winner of the 2002 Sundance Festival Documentary Audience and Freedom of Expression Awards, the film’s only weakness is by omission. Time and the constraints of making a film could not possibly do justice to half a century of song in South Africa. Equally, the film could have interviewed a more varied range of musicians, activists and ordinary people.However, the power and the urgency of freedom music lives on in the documentary. An inspirational call to arms, “Amandla!” (power) – followed by the retort “Awethu!” (ours) – means power to the people, and the documentary is testimony to that powerful triumph of spirit.Amandla! runs for 102 minutes and is currently showing at selected cinemas across the country.Click here to watch the Dave Matthews interview on Amandla!The soundtrack to Amandla! which includes pre-recorded masterpieces from legendary South African musicians, new voices from South Africa, as well as amazing never-before-heard field recordings and performances recorded exclusively for the movie. One dollar from every record sold will be donated to the Vusi Mahlasela Foundation, a music resource centre for young people in Pretoria. More info, orders
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has reportedly been seen by a specialist pulmonologist, who treats respiratory systems. His respiratory problems date back to when he was imprisoned on Robben Island, where he suffered from tuberculosis. (Image: 46664) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zizi Kodwa Special Advisor on Communications The Presidency +27 82 330 4910 • Thabo Masebe The Presidency +27 82 410 8087 • Ndivhuwo Mabaya The Presidency +27 83 645 7838 • Sello Hatang Information communications manager Nelson Mandela Foundation +27 11 547 5600Following a health scare that has gripped the world, former South African President is to be released from hospital to receive medical care at home, it was announced at a news conference on Friday.Speaking at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where Mandela was admitted for an acute respiratory infection on Wednesday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe thanked well-wishers at home and abroad for their messages of support for the 92-year-old former statesman.Also at the press event, Lieutenant General Vejay Ramlakan, Surgeon-General of the South African National Defence Force, said he is satisfied with Mandela’s recovery. “He will be discharged to receive home-based care at his home.”On Thursday night Motlanthe issued a statement that speculation that Mandela’s health had seriously deteriorated was unfounded and that he was in high spirits.“We wish to confirm that Mr Mandela is in Milpark Hospital undergoing a few specialised tests and investigations,” Motlanthe said. “Given the medical history of our former president, his health over the last few years and his age, these tests are necessary in order to provide optimal health care.”The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon confirming that he had been admitted, issued no further comment on Thursday, leading to speculation that his health had seriously deteriorated.On Thursday, high-profile government officials, politicians, friends and family members were seen going in and out of the hospital.According to some media reports, Mandela has been seen by a specialist pulmonologist, who treats respiratory systems. His respiratory problems date back to when he was on Robben Island, where he suffered from tuberculosis.“Mandela suffers from ailments common to people of his age, and conditions that have developed over the years,” Motlanthe said. “We may recall that he suffered from tuberculosis while on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections.”The South African National Defence Force is responsible for the medical requirements and care of the country’s current and retired presidents. Motlanthe said that he had tasked the Defence Force with ensuring that all necessary support was provided to the former president and his family.“I can assure all South Africans and the world that Madiba is in good hands,” he said.On Thursday the presidency urged restraint in the face of growing international media frenzy over Mandela’s health and the horde of journalist camped out at the Milpark Hospital.“We urge the media to afford him the dignity and respect that he is entitled to as the country’s founding democratic president, as a national hero and also as a citizen of the republic,” presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.“The media should balance the quest for stories with acting within the bounds of human decency and ensuring the respect for human dignity. The doctors also need to be allowed to do their work without undue pressure.“President Zuma wishes former President Mandela well and requests that the family be accorded space to support him in privacy and dignity.”
Lucille DavieUnisa has a proud list of illustrious alumni.(Image: Unisa)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nancy-Anne AndersonManaging Editor, department of corporate communication and marketing, Unisa+27 12 441 5631.RELATED ARTICLES• Mandela’s ‘classrooms for human beings’• A winning open education system• SA prioritises quality education• Education in South Africa Unisa – the University of South Africa – has seven graduates in the Constitutional Court, six current and former presidents of the High Courts and heads of special courts, and a significant number on the boards of JSE listed companies.The university celebrates its 140th birthday this year, and can proudly notch up an illustrious list of alumni – with Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu leading them, as well as Judge Dikgang Moseneke, deputy chief judge of the Constitutional Court; the late Professor Kader Asmal, one of the country’s most respected cabinet ministers; Ahmed Kathrada, former Robben Island prisoner and human rights activist; singer and humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka; and Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe, among others.The theme for the anniversary is “140 years of shaping futures to highlight how the university has helped ordinary South Africans achieve their dreams of obtaining quality education”.Its alumni work around the world, and since 1951 it has conferred over 400 000 degrees and diplomas. Today, it has 400 000 students from 130 countries and accounts for 12,8% of all degrees conferred in South Africa. Its black African student numbers are close to 70%. Its enrolment comprises 91,3% South Africans, 8,2% other Africans, and 0,5% from the rest of the world. It has close to 60% black African staff, 55% of whom are women.Significantly, it has always been a non-racial institution, providing a means of study for thousands of South Africans who would have struggled otherwise to get tertiary education.“Unisa students are typically people who in their studies have succeeded against many odds, improved their place in society, enhanced their chances of success in securing employment if they were not already holding down jobs, continued their career development if they were already employed, and pursued a process of lifelong learning,” says Nancy-Anne Anderson, the managing editor in the department of corporate communication and marketing at Unisa, which is based in Tshwane, South Africa’s executive capital city.Vice-chancellor Mandla Makhanya believes Unisa sets itself apart. “In a country of opposites, disparity and diversity, Unisa has perhaps been the single constant. Unisa and those who have worked for her have served South Africa and its people as well as our continent, irrespective of their circumstance, faithfully for 140 years. I can think of no other institution that can make that claim.”Of his studies at Unisa, Moseneke says: “Two numbers [his Robben Island prison number and Unisa student number] were vital for my continued survival and yet they served divergent and often paradoxical ends. The one was the ultimate symbol of deprivation of liberty, repression and human futility. In sharp contrast, the student number served as an icon of goodness. It represented a fountain of knowledge that was life-giving and liberating.” He spent 10 years on Robben Island as a political prisoner of the apartheid government.His feelings are echoed by Kathrada: “Unisa and I both have a strong belief in opening doors, especially to people who have been disadvantaged in the past. Other universities have had a limited access in terms of what they can offer. Unisa has made a big difference in this in that it appeals to students not only of South Africa, but also to those outside the country.”HistoryUnisa was founded in 1873 in Cape Town as the University of Good Hope, and operated as an examining body for the Oxford and Cambridge universities, receiving its Royal Charter in 1877. In 1916, it changed its name to the University of South Africa, and in 1946 it became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively through distance education, using study guides, cassette tapes and limited face-to-face tuition. In 1918, it moved to Pretoria, and in 1972 it moved to its present campus on Muckleneuk ridge.Ten years into democracy, in 2004, it merged with another distance learning institution, Technikon Southern Africa, and also incorporated the former Vista University’s Distance Education Campus to become the largest university in South Africa and Africa, making it one of the world’s mega universities. It has seven regional offices, including one in Ethiopia, and 28 learning centres countrywide.It offers a range of study choices, from short courses and certificate programmes to three- and four-year degrees and diplomas, and doctorates, in the humanities, business and management, law and criminal justice, agriculture and environmental sciences, and science, engineering and technology.Unisa’s mission is to be a “comprehensive, open distance learning institution that produces excellent scholarship and research, provides quality tuition and fosters active community engagement”. It is guided by the principles of “life-long learning, student centeredness, innovation and creativity”, and hopes to “contribute to the knowledge and information society, advance development, nurture a critical citizenry and ensure global sustainability”.Various initiativesIn 2005, Unisa launched an integrated learning management platform called My Unisa, an open distance learning initiative. It introduced its first signature courses, fully online modules to ease learning, in 2013. Other initiatives include the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, which is dedicated to investing in new thought leaders for Africa’s renewal. It is supported by the Brigalia Bam/Wiphold Chair in Electoral Democracy in Africa, which facilitates the training of electoral officers and commissioners from selected countries in Africa in democratic election procedures.In addition, in 2013 the Thabo Mbeki Foundation at the university hosted some of Africa’s intellectuals at the Thabo [email protected] Colloquium, which discussed 50 years of the Organisation of African Unity, and key concepts for Africa’s future. “Unisa is an African university and its identity informs its core business areas of teaching and learning, research and innovation, and community engagement. For example, in its curriculum policy, Unisa undertakes ‘to promote African thought, philosophies, interests and epistemologies through inquiry, scholarship and partnership,’” explains Anderson.Regarding community engagement, it has 157 projects that are “aligned with the socio-economic imperatives of the country and continent”. One such initiative is the Bright Site Project, set up in 2009 by the department of social work. A project of “mutual service” in the Pretoria suburb of Sunnyside, here students are encouraged to serve the community. Other departments are also involved in the project, through community-based research and applied research responses.As part of its 140th celebration, in July this year Unisa hosted the world premiere of Credo: a Musical Testament to the Freedom Charter, a multimedia oratorio to honour Mandela and other struggle veterans.In August, Dr Mo Ibrahim, the mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire, and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, delivered the 11th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at Unisa. Other lectures to be given as part of the celebrations include African Intellectuals and Knowledge Systems, Africa Day Lecture, Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture, Steve Biko Memorial Lecture, Es’kia Mphahlele Memorial Lecture, and Founders Lecture.Also this year, in July, Unisa launched its Science Campus in Johannesburg. A green campus, it is built on energy-efficient design principles with a focus on sustainability. “It is an environment that meets the educational and training needs of its distance learning science students, something not usually associated with open distance and elearning institutions,” says Anderson.High-end equipment and facilities give researchers and students in molecular biology, engineering, physics and chemistry the chance to match theory and practice. And the Horticulture Centre, which was opened recently, gives students the opportunity to undertake a range of programmes including agriculture, ornamental horticulture and nature conservation.Chairs and institutesThere are several:• The Archie Mafeje Research Institute aims to promote indigenous and pan-African research in resolving Africa’s social challenges.• The South African Research Chairs Initiative Research Chair in Development Education seeks to bring indigenous knowledge systems into university curricula.• The Unesco-Unisa Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology operates within the framework of the Nano-Sciences African Network and endeavours to harness these key multidisciplinary driving forces in the interests of developing emerging economies. In December 2012, Unisa filed its first patent, involving a novel method for the use of magnetic nanoparticles to remove contaminants from water.• Unisa also funds research chairs in the key areas of high-performance scientific computing, ecotoxicology, macroeconomic policy analysis, superconductivity energy technology and topology.Unisa has a healthy and growing community of researchers comprising more than 10 000 master’s and doctoral students, and 1 850 academic staff, which includes close on 130 researchers with National Research Foundation ratings, including a significant number of young academics and two A-rated researchers.Flagship projectsUnisa has identified research priority areas that involve all colleges of the university community:• In the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences the focus is on research into the environment, health and sustainable livelihoods. One study is the Fog Harvesting Project, where ongoing research provides a lifeline to rural communities with little or no access to clean and pure water.• In the College of Economic and Management Sciences, the Micro- and Macroeconomic Modelling Project provides methods to research current trends and predict important future trends.• In the College of Education is the Unisa Centre for Childhood Education which acts as a major research site for improving early childhood education in South Africa and the rest of the continent.• In the College of Law, the Biotechnology and Medical Law flagship project provides expertise and undertakes research on medical law issues.Makhanya is concerned that future goals are important to Unisa. “It is Unisa’s performance as a graduator of quality graduates that will ensure its continued excellent reputation. Let us not falter in ensuring that we build on the wonderful legacy that has been left to us. Let us make our contributions to shaping futures.”
producerMumbai, Aug 13 (PTI) Producer Prerna Arora, who is backing a biopic on Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, says it is a difficult project as the makers have to be cautious while presenting the story in an honest way.It is the first time Prerna is working on a sports biopic, and she believes a lot of responsibility comes with such films.”With this project we have to be accurate, we cant afford to make mistakes with the content. The scripting is still on. It is in development stage. It will go on floors either December or early next year,” Prerna told PTI.Recently, the biopic on flight attendant Neerja Bhanot was embroiled in a controversy after her family locked in a battle with the producers of the film “Neerja” over its box- office profits.Earlier, legendary sportsman Milkha Singh had accused director and co-producer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra of not fulfilling his commitment of sharing the profit of his biopic “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”.However, Prerna says she will make sure her film does not face such issues.”Today, taking the rights of the person for a film, on whom it is based, has become essential. We have to respect this collaboration. We will be making sure that nothing goes wrong.”We want to give credit to every person who is attached to the film personally as well as professionally.”Prerna says Bindra is helping makers in understanding and bringing his life story alive to the big screen.Prerna, who spearheads Kriarj Entertainment Pvt Ltd, made her debut in Bollywood as a producer with Akshay Kumar- starrer “Rustom”.advertisementShe has three films lined-up, including John Abrahams “Parmanu”, Anushka Sharmas “Pari” and Akshay Kumar-starrer “Padman”.Prerna is also set to back Sara Ali Khans debut film “Kedarnath”, which also features Sushant Singh Rajput and Vishal Bhardwajs next starring Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan.Her latest released “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” stars Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar.”The biggest challenge in such films (of social cause) is reaching out to a wider audience and trying to understand how many people are taking the film and the subject seriously.”Also, promoting the film in the right manner possible plays a major role and making sure it (film) passes the right message.” PTI KKP JUR SSN
WINNIPEG – There were 20 allegations of sexual harassment and hundreds of accusations of other misconduct among Manitoba civil servants in the last fiscal year, the Progressive Conservative government said in a report released Tuesday.Seven of the sexual harassment allegations were substantiated, although the government would not say how many people, if any, were fired.“We know it took tremendous courage for each and every one of these complainants to come forward, and so we were very grateful … that we could get a snapshot of what we were dealing with,” said Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women.The report is the first time the province has released statistics on the number of complaints related to harassment, bullying and misconduct among the 14,000 members of the civil service, political staff and politicians. The data did not include areas of the broader public sector such as hospitals and schools.The Tories announced in February the new attempt to track and report complaints after female staff came forward with allegations that Stan Struthers, a former NDP cabinet minister, had tickled and groped them.The women alleged that their complaints about Struthers, who left politics in 2016, were never addressed by senior political staff at the time.The province has hired an outside law firm to recommend improvements to its harassment policies.A report is expected this summer. The government has also made it mandatory for managers to forward any complaints of harassment to the civil service commission.“We want to make sure that people throughout the civil service feel confident that they’re in a workplace that’s protective and secure,” Premier Brian Pallister said.The report also said there were 105 allegations of bullying and non-sexual harassment in the last fiscal year, of which 63 have been substantiated so far.There were another 351 allegations of other forms of misconduct — everything from conflict of interest to potential fraud — of which 300 have been substantiated to date.The NDP, now in opposition, accused Pallister of engaging in harassing behaviour in the legislature chamber.The premier often responds in intimidating ways when asked questions, NDP house leader Nahanni Fontaine said, by looking angrily at his opponent.“Imagine from a woman’s perspective, when you have the premier of Manitoba, that is directing his questions to you in a very aggressive and threatening manner. It makes it increasingly difficult to do your job,” Fontaine said, surrounded by other female legislature members from her party and the Liberals.“I just feel so threatened and so intimidated,” added Liberal member Judy Klassen.Several women from the Tory caucus quickly fired back at an impromptu news conference, pointing out it was two NDP members that were chastised by the legislature Speaker in 2016 for targeting them with cries of “shame” during a vote in the chamber. Male Tories were not subjected to the cries.Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said heated words and pointed fingers are an every day experience in the legislature.“There are members of the opposition as well who don’t put their questions directly through the Speaker and who do look over at us … it’s part of the job that we do in the legislature.”
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code FiveThirtyEight The Hot Takedown crew gathers this week to discuss March Madness upsets and the first few MLB games. Over the weekend, Michigan State clinched a spot in the Final Four with a 1-point win over the pre-tournament favorite, Duke. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo lauded the top seed, calling the Blue Devils arguably “the best team in the country.” We look at whether Duke is worthy of the praise and what we can expect going into this weekend’s games. Also, Neil has a perfect bracket and we’ll never let it go.Our second segment takes stock of MLB’s opening weekend, including which teams faltered and which are surging. With the season barely underway, what warrants concern and what’s an overreaction? Could the Braves’ lackluster start have been predicted? Andy Bunker of Atlanta’s 92.9 “The Game” sure seems to think so. Using our Elo model, we discuss whether other weekend surprises and uproars deserve our attention — or if it’s still too early to tell.Finally, our Rabbit Hole of the Week takes a look at the youngest athlete in pro baseball. There’s a lot of, “He was born when?!” “Gen Z?!”Here’s what we’re looking at this week:We can’t take our eyes off the FiveThirtyEight March Madness interactive.FiveThirtyEight’s MLB predictions are also demanding our attention.Revisiting Travis Sawchik’s analysis of Christian Yelich feels particularly relevant after his opening weekend performance.
Perhaps the typical first question – why the pseudonym/pen-name? Why not just be co-authors?We like to keep our fiction separate from our non-fiction. We weren’t originally intending that anyone should know who Alex Rutherford is. Also, we understand that publishers prefer a single name on the cover but you’d better ask them. We’ve now got very used to ‘Alex’ who’s a real person to us.What inspired you to write Empire of the Moghul series? Our travels in India first sparked our interest in the Moghuls as well as the country’s other cultures and dynasties. We’ve spent over 18 months of our lives in India at different times. It inspired us, among many other things, to start reading the Moghul chronicles and then to write a non-fiction book on the Taj Mahal (under our real joint names!) before embarking on the Empire of the Moghul series. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Since it is history you are dealing with – whose side are you on? The victors as always or do you have some sympathy for the losers as well (in this case the rest of India that the Moghuls conquered)?It’s true that history favours the victor because that’s who generally writes the history. Victory often goes to the strong, not to the best or nicest people, so, of course, we have sympathy for those who do not win and have to live with consequences and still preserve their culture, which the Indian people did magnificently. Even within the Moghul hierarchy, there are winners and losers. We have great sympathy for Dara and Jahanara for example. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWho is your favourite Moghul and why? Gosh, that’s a hard one. We liked Babur for his determination to succeed in the face of all the odds and for writing such frank memoirs, even though Baburnama now only exists in parts. We also have huge admiration for Akbar for trying to make his empire inclusive of all peoples and all religions – something very rare for his time anywhere in the world, especially when different sects of the Christian religion (Protestants and Catholics) were killing each other in Europe and fighting cruel wars. Why write about the Moghuls and not go further back in time and write about the Guptas? Or Ashoka? (Alternately – would you ever write about another dynasty?) We are currently thinking of going back further – with the encouragement of Hachette India – perhaps to Ashoka, but first we still have one more Moghul book to write, about Aurangzeb.Does the fact that the dynasty had Islam as its religion give it a more global appeal than writing about a Hindu dynasty or one Hindu ruler with a glorious career?That wasn’t a factor in our choice. We chose the Moghul dynasty for its richly-textured story. We hope the books are about characters and universal themes, such as love and ambition.From a publisher’s point-of-view, how feasible is historical fiction? We think historical fiction is still very popular and we’re very grateful to people in India for reading our works and hopefully enjoying them. The question about how marketable historical fiction is really should be aimed at the publishers.Is it harder to write historical fiction than a mythological one?Never having tried to write a story based on mythology, so this is hard to answer. But perhaps historical fiction imposes more constraints, particularly where there are detailed chronicles and other sources to which the writer has to have access.In The Serpent’s Tooth, your sympathies tend to lie with Shah Jahan and not with Aurangzeb. Will the loyalties shift by the next book to Aurangzeb?Aurangzeb is a complex character who had problems in his personal life – imprisoning and fighting several of his children as well as killing some of his brothers. In his public life, he alienated by his actions the majority of his subjects. We will try to understand what in his character and early experiences led him to do these things. For example, in a letter he wrote that his father never loved him. Perhaps, there lies a clue.There have been problems with revisiting Mughal history, as there is a rise in Hindu nationalism at present in India. Does that bother you?We always try to be true to what happened. We try to look at people’s characters and hopefully to cause offence to no one. We want people to enjoy our books and not be offended by them.