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ANC Councillor in KwaZulu-Natal killed at his home, motive unknown
25 May 2020, 7:00 PM
An African National Congress (ANC) Councillor from the Mtubatuba Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has been shot and killed at his home in Mvuyana village, near St Lucia, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. It is believed that two men arrived at his home, pretending to need proof of residence documents.
KwaZulu-Natal Police Spokesperson Thembeka Mbhele says the motive for the killing is unknown. Mbhele says the suspects also stole two cellular phones, believed to belong to the victim.
“It is alleged that around about 11, two males came to the deceased’s home and requested the proof of residence and while he was speaking to them they shot him several times all over the body. He died at the scene. It was also established that two cellphones belonging to the deceased have been taken but police are still busy at the scene. The motive of the killing is still unknown and it is subject to the investigation.”

Police are yet to confirm the identity of the deceased.

Preserving African culture: focus on traditional healing in western environments
25 May 2020, 3:40 PM
As the continent celebrates all things African, some believe more needs to be done to promote African spirituality, history and science in modern society. They insist that while great strides have been made to preserve African culture, many have disconnected from their roots and customs.

Gogo Keagile Kamo Malatji and her husband Ngaka Mpho have been practicing as traditional healers for over a decade.  SABC News reporter Sellwane Khakhau visited them at their home in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Gogo Malatji is also a remuneration and benefits specialist, entrepreneur and psychologist. She says practicing as a healer in traditional and western environments, reveals how the indigenous African way of healing is undermined.

“The health science portion of traditional healing has been neglected. We need to be in a space whereby our people are allowed an alternative method of healing, that in hospitals we are not just allowing western doctors, but we also allow traditional healers. Also, I feel as though, as Africans, we need validation from outside. If an African traditional herbalist says ‘I’ve got this herb. This herb can heal this ailment.’ A lot of people will question them. But if a scientist from abroad says the very same plant heals that ailment, they’ll believe that scientist, because our credibility is always being questioned.”

Her husband Ngaka Mpho Malatji says a wealth of knowledge from the gifts and wonders of mother nature still needs to be explored.

“This is a wood that just comes out of the veld. This gives us what Africa is to us – a sculpture. It sculpts these things for us and we find them there, but they talk to us. They pull you closer to it. It tells you news. It tells you all those kinds of things. They prophesy.”

As a Quantitative Specialist, philosopher and traditional healer, Ngaka Mpho Malatji says it is time the stereotypes surrounding African spirituality and knowledge are dismantled.

“If you go in religious books like the Bible, it goes through the whole lineage of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the son of Joseph, Joseph the son of David – it goes all the way. They acknowledge that in there. However, when you see me going to the graveyard just to clean, it’s like, ‘oh no, that is demonic. That’s satanic!’ When I say ‘Ke nna Kgashalane la bo mamatepa, kenna morwa…..’ I’m literally bringing that lineage to say listen, this gene that is in here has been carried by this lineage.”

African history undermined 

In the dusty streets of Klipgat in North West, we found an African Shaman, Shobel’khulu ka Simelane, who has been a healer for over 24 years. He says African history is undermined and regarded as a myth as it is not being properly preserved.

“We are from oral tradition … oral meaning. It was mouth to mouth history and not a documented type of history. Therefore, automatically, it’s easy for people to undermine something that they don’t know because there is no scientific analysis. Therefore, I understand that people undermine it because they don’t know what they are dealing with. If we are talking about spirits, for example, because most of the knowledge as Africans emanates from the spirit beings, which we call ancestral spirits/amadlozi/amathongo. In that sense, it becomes harder for people to believe that these things do actually exist.”

Spiritualist Thembi Nyathi says spirits come to her wherever she goes.  Nyathi’s gifts are compelling. She seems to be able to connect with the other side … even over the phone.

Speaking to someone consulting over the phone:

Thembi: “I want you to confirm a few things for me. Were you cleansed after your mother’s passing or both your parents’ passing?”

Client: “No.”

Thembi: “Is there a child who died in your hands?”

Client: “Yes, my little brother.”

Thembi:” You will cleanse the way your mother is instructing. She says you must cleanse for 15 days.”

Nyathi had this to say about how her gifts manifest.

“In most cases, people think that I see ghosts. Well, that is not the case. I see spirits as normal human beings like you would see them in a dream. Whenever I connect with spirits they come in different emotions. Many would come cold which represents the lack of a tombstone. Many will come emotional which represents the feuding among those who are living. Many will come quiet, which represents the relationship with their lost children or their living children. So, they differ. They come in different emotions and with different messages to offer the living.”

Nyathi says neglecting culture and tradition has consequences.

“My major concern is what’s going to happen to the colonised minds? Because at the end of the day, when life ends for you, that very same person you call a demon will have to come to collect you, and guide you through their world. Now, luckily, spirits are not in the world where they hold grudges. But spirits are also in an environment where they can question and say ‘now look, Thembi, in your life, you were calling me a demon. Today, I need to walk you through so that you are able to be a spirit and help your children.’ ”

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, a renowned African Shaman, once said, “History should not be thrown away like an old pumpkin. History should not be scoffed on. History should not be mocked.”

Below is the history of African Day : 

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Makhanda small businesses feel the pinch of the lockdown as business dries up
25 May 2020, 2:26 PM

It is no secret that the lockdown has negatively affected businesses and the economy as a whole. However, small businesses in smaller towns are feeling the pinch.

Rhodes University is the engine of Makhanda’s economy in the Eastern Cape and with the 7 000 students having gone home, no revenue is coming in.

The Chisanyama in Makhanda was a safe haven for students as they got a taste of a home-cooked meal away from home. Now, due to lockdown, it stands closed and empty.

The owner of the Chisanyama, Simphiwe Xako, says his business is suffering immensely.

“We did try to do deliveries, two Fridays back when the President announced Level 4, which means that restaurants can open but only do deliveries. But look, it’s very different. You do two or three deliveries a day. You spend about R300 on electricity. At the end of the day, you go home with R120. So, it is a massive loss.”

Some businesses even opted to close and leave the city.

Makana Municipal Mayor Mzukisi Mphahlwa says that delivering services has become a major issue.

“If the business can’t operate that means the business can’t get revenue, and if we can’t get revenue that means we can’t deliver the services. For example, we have been having a collection rate of 75% before lockdown. In April alone, it went to 55%. So, we lost a lot of revenue from the business during lockdown whilst we are expected to deliver services at 100%, which means more people are now unemployed. It means more people are hungry. So, while we have to deal with businesses losing out financially, we also have to deal with a municipality that doesn’t have resources.”

Various business forums have drawn up key tools that small businesses can use during this tough economic period.

Chairperson of the Makhanda Circle of Unity Local Economic Cluster, Graeme Holmes, says their best advice is for businesses to lean on and learn from each other.

“What I’ve found, observing different businesses in town, some have reacted very quickly. They have been able to transform themselves and be able to not thrive but certainly, get through this tough time. But many people are battling to adapt. But pre-COVID, we are never going back there. So, it is important that businesses draw upon others and have the necessary information.”

Business relief has been made available by government. However, the process is very long and tedious. With the help of the municipality, so far, 60 spaza shops and small businesses have received relief funds.

Below Economist Ndumiso Hadebe dissects the importance of the reopening of the economy:

Below are some of the regulations under Level 4: 

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FEATURE: Uzalo’s Wiseman Mncube shares his journey
23 May 2020, 12:12 PM

Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature that focuses on the impact of coronavirus on the lives of people in the arts and entertainment industry. This week, actor Wiseman Mcube shares his journey of being part of the drama series Uzalo.

Wiseman Mncube plays Sibonelo in the drama series,Uzalo. Intagram@Wiseman_Mcube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sibonelo is one of the captivating characters in SABC 1’s leading drama series, Uzalo. Played by Wiseman Mncube, the character takes the audience on a journey into the world of crime. After finishing his medical studies in Cuba, Sibonelo comes back to his home town of KwaMashu for his practical work. His life takes a turn when it is revealed that his biological father is KwaMashu’s most notorious criminal.

“He now started to adopt a new way of living, getting to understand that uNkunzi is his father, knowing that uNkunzi is this big criminal in KwaMashu. And now he is kind of living under his father’s shadow, living his father’s life. Now he is a criminal, stealing cars and all those things he is taught by uNkunzi. But Sibonelo, as a person, is just a quiet person and a truthful person. He is an honest person. He loves his mother very much and he loves Nonku,” says Mcube.

Currently Sibonelo’s time is invested in planning a heist while enjoying some romance with the love of his life, his fiancé, Nonku.

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa earlier this month announced that the drama series is the most-watched in South Africa, boasting 11.4 million viewers.

Mncube says while he is proud of how far the drama series has come, being part of the cast comes with a lot of pressure.

“I’m excited it is the number one show in the country. But at the same time it comes with a lot of pressure. You are not living your life the way you want to live it anymore.  So now you have people who look up to you. Young people, you need to inspire all the time. So the way you carry yourself emgwaqeni (in public), where you are all the time, really inspires other people, it teaches other people. As much it is a fun thing to do, at the same time it comes with a lot of pressure. There are places you can’t go anymore because people will be all over you.”

Impact of coronavirus lockdown 

The show’s viewers took to social media to raise their frustrations when the soapie went off-air during the week of 11 May. The Stained Glass TV production ran out of episodes after shooting was halted because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Although they have now been given the green light to resume shooting, the permit comes with its conditions.

“It affected us a lot because if you look at Uzalo, it is not like other soapies where we have Generations shooting from studios. Particularly, we shoot on streets, chisanyamas, salons and so on. Now we have to change the whole script, now we are no longer shooting on the roads because of this pandemic lockdown and everything that is happening right now. So, now we are forced to shoot indoors, now we have to change the whole feel of the show.  We are going back from one studio to the next. It is going to be different for the viewers because they are not used to that but there is nothing we can do. “

Mncube says people in the creative industry have been negatively affected by the lockdown. The lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus has left some jobless.

“As actors, it affects us a lot, as freelancers,  I will put it that way because, I will talk for myself and for everyone else who is in the same industry, which is acting. We have theatre shows that we were preparing to do for Play House. At the Market Theatre, I was called by Bab James Ngcobo who runs the Market Threatre back in Joburg for a show, now it has been cancelled.  We can’t do it anymore. It (Market Theatre) has shut down for the rest of the year until next year which is quite sad because, the people I work with, we are affected because what do we do now? We live out of theatre; we live out of shows, out of making stories. Now we are very affected. It is a sad reality but there is nothing we can do about it. “

SAFTAS 2020

While 2020 has been a difficult year because of the virus, it has brought some joy to Mncube. The actor bagged the South African Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a TV Drama Award for his role as Jama in another drama series.

“I am very happy about this award. Every actor wants a SAFTA. I really wanted the SAFTA and to be honest I believed that one day I will win a SAFTA award. If you follow my social media pages, last year in March, I posted something.  I walked in a friend’s house and he has it, I took it and wrote a post, that ‘If you believe and if you see it, you will achieve it and one day I know I will own my own.’ So what I did last month and it is actually exciting and it tells me that for that particular role I did justice. “

Born in Ulundi and raised in Durban, Mncube is no stranger to winning awards. He won several awards for his work back at the Play House Theatre in Durban.

Interesting facts about Wiseman Mncube

Q: Why did you choose to be an actor?

A: It is because when I was doing Standard 8, I have a brother, my older brother he is also in the same industry. He is an actor. He was studying at DUT back then, doing his first year. He invited me to a show he was doing at school, a theatre show that he was doing. I was not used to theatre. I wasn’t used to shows, I wasn’t used to anything.  And I was like ‘ okay let me go and watch’ and when I got there, it was a show, Sophiatown, when I walked in, I watched the show.  From then on I was like ‘this is where I belong.  This is what I want to do’ and I never looked back.  I was very inspired by my brother and from then.”

Q: Your social media is filled with pictures of you and your daughter?  What does fatherhood mean to you?

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Everything I do, I do for you. MY LIGHT & MY JOY 🥰

A post shared by Wiseman Mncube (@wiseman_mncube) on

I spend a lot of time with my daughter because I am a single parent, umawakhe (her mother) passed away two years ago. I get this question a lot because people are inspired by this father and daughter relationship.  I don’t even know how to explain it, it is your kid at the end of the day and you want to do good. You want to teach your child to grow up respectful, so you need to love your kid.  I learnt from mistakes I saw growing up.  I grew up with my parents there, now I want to teach my kid how I was taught. “

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

A: I listen to everything but mostly I play gospel and Vuyo Mokwena is still my legend until today.

Q: What book are you reading at the moment?

A: I am not a reader but at the moment I am reading, “Drama for Life” is a book with a lot of different theatre shows.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I just spend a lot of time with my daughter, I just play with her. That’s what I do .

Related : Part 1 :Starving artist’ a more meaningful phrase amid lockdown

Related : Part 2: ‘I don’t know myself outside my world of acting’

Related: Part 3:  Letshego Zulu on fitness under lockdown 

Matriculants concerned about 2020 academic year
21 May 2020, 9:56 PM

The 2020 academic year has no doubt been the most difficult to date for pupils across South Africa. Pupils have already missed 46 days of school because of the COVID-19 lockdown. However,  it is the matric class that has been really affected.

Psychologists are advising that pupils’ mental health must be prioritised.

Matric is the culmination of 12 years of schooling. It marks the end of an era and the beginning of the next chapter in a young person’s life.

But with all the joy it brings, it is undoubtedly the most stressful year for pupils.

There are pressure, anxiety and endless learning. The matriculants of past decades may have thought it was tough, but nothing can compare to what the class of 2020 is going through.

They have lost crucial tuition time and face an uncertain road ahead. While some have been fortunate with resources to make up for a lost time, for others it has been a major setback.

This week, teachers return to schools to prepare for classes. For schools in urban areas this may be easier than those in far-flung areas.

Pupils’ views on their return differ. Some are excited to reunite with their teachers and peers.

“I am looking forward to going back to school and meeting with friends again after a long time. It feels being back at school will help and make catching up easier,” says one of the pupils.

Others are dreading going back to school, raising concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Psychologist Dr Akashni Maharaj says the 2020 matric class has been put under immense pressure like no other class before them.

She says as much as their safety and catch-up programmes are important, their mental well-being is crucial. She has cautioned against unnecessary additional pressure.

Despite the challenges the class of 2020 faces, many are grateful for the support so far. As government and parents continue to prepare and debate their future, they are asking teachers to commit themselves to help them.

Below is government’s back to school plan:

 

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