KwaMashu

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5min760

The prehistoric battle of iSandlwana is often misunderstood for as a Zulu moment, when in truth it should invoke unity amongst different cultures.

Ahead of iSandlawane Lecture by Mbuso Khoza featuring iJadu Le Africa hosted at the South African State Theatre from the 24th to the 26th of February 2023. It will be one of those lecture series one will regret missing out on or not being part of.

Mbuso Khoza is a breath of fresh raw talent, born and bred eShowe, one of the oldest towns of the European settlement in what was Zululand kingdom. He is an award winning vocalist, song writer, radio presenter for uKhoziFM, columnist for IsoLezwe newspaper, university lecturer and the founder for the Afrikan Heritage Ensemble established in the year 2016.

Khoza is a very knowledgeable man about cultural heritage and has hosted a series of iSandlwana Lecture, this one comes after the Isandlwane Lecture: The musical. Which is described as time capsule that captures the emotions and issues that faced southern African communities in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This upcoming event of iSandlwana lecture seeks to teach more than bring the musical feel compared to last year’s musical series on the battle of iSandlwana.

Historic events like these are usually shared or written by non-African, therefore missing the feel of what may have transpired on that day if told by the west. Now, is an opportunity to feed from Khoza’s lecture and learn what can today’s Africans apply on their daily lives from the prehistoric war of iSandlwana. Where Africans are made to feel inferior because of their tortoise technological advancement compared to the east or west, but it should be highlighted how the yesteryears Africans were still able to defeat the Great Britain riffle armed army with just mere spears and cow shields. The selflessness of the fallen heroes must be taught and sang to echo even to the next generations of young Africans.

As young man who grew up post-apartheid in a small township of KwaMashu, away from the indigenous knowledge of the rural areas or walk the landscape and hills where historic wars like these happened let alone drink the rivers that our fallen heroes drank after defeating the British army. Like many in township schools and urban schools we grew up being taught African’s history at the top end. But, now is an opportunity to cut deep into our history told by a man whose heroic fore fathers’ genes runs through him. One could only hope that the spirits of the fallen heroes will engulf him to deliver this key note lecture to note for many more year to come.

Tickets to iSandlawana Lecturer at the State Theatre are available HERE

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6min28825

KASI lama kasi can never be a hood’s nickname. Everyone rightfully punts their neighbourhood as the coolest black area. But each township in South Africa has a nickname, approved by its people, which sometimes ties to the history of the place.

I was chilling with a fella this past weekend who told me he was from Vutha. You know when you’ve heard something before, but don’t know exactly know what it is. I went blank and asked where that is. “It’s Daveyton,” he said.

“Because it was the first township in Gauteng to get electricity,” he said. I thought he was bullshitting me, really. I’ve met many people who’ll talk-up their hoods, to a point of which they get frustratingly economical with the truth. But after doing some research, I found that, what he said is true.

Established in 1952, after about 151,656 people were moved from Benoni, to what we know today as Vutha or Etwatwa. It was indeed, the first black area to access ugesi.

The president of the Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce (Galxcoc), Mpho Motsumi last year bemoaned to the media, while taking them around the construction site of the R500-million Alex Mall in Tsutsumani Village. What got the business man cranky, was that people still call Alex, Gomorrah- ‘Sodom and¬†Gomorrah’ a biblical reference of place linked to hell because of the prevalence of debauchery in the area.¬† Rappers like Flabba popularised the name in recent times, but it’s been a name associated with the township for decades now. There was a time when Alex had a high crime rate, a coupled with the lawless gangsterism that was in the area-despite political movements happening there.

Some nicknames aren’t linked to the township’s past, but are just tweaked so to make the place a tad bit cooler. I’m not certain whether it was a collective agreement but, shortening hood names seems to be the winning formula in most parts of Pretoria. For Mamelodi there’s Mams, Soshanguve which is situated on the north is commonly known as Sosha, even to us who don’t call it home. While the ‘Ga’ in Ga-Rankuwa seems a waste of two precious seconds, so Rankuwa is the more efficient one for residents.

Sowetans have also opted for something similar. Calling the south western townships Sotra. While the number of townships within that area, have nicknames of their own. Guguletu in Cape Town also just switched the swag and just called it, Gugs.

In KwaZulu-Natal, KwaMashu is nicknamed Es’nqawunqawini while Clermont is known as Es’komplazi. Ekurhuleni Township Tsakane, which is a Tsonga word for happiness and joy, is nicknamed Mashona.

If Tembisa was a gang, those thugs would tattoo 1632 on their bodies. What is it? Tembisa’s postal code my friend. Insipid as a postal code is, the youth in Tembisa, particularly those in the Hip Hop community, popularised it in the mid-90s. Tembisa’s older generation and also those who aren’t in the Hip Hop community,still prefer to call it Mambisa. Other hoods that have gone with the number are Kagiso with 1754, Thokoza 1421 or Vosloorus’s 1425. I’ve found that this is a trend, also adopted by Hip Hop heads in other hoods. A random person doesn’t say they are from 1563, they simply say they are from KwaThema, or just Thema.

The common thread in all these townships, sadly is that they were formed after black people were forcefully removed from some areas, to be crammed in one place right near their modern day fields of slavery. But black people have taken what was meant to trap and prison them, and found the beauty in it.


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