DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "apartheid"
The Life of Steve Biko Chronicled Through Google’s Cultural Institute.
The brilliantly compiled Google Cultural Institute website offers a unique interactive and in-depth view into the life of Steve Biko, complete with timelines, photographs and important documents, compiled and archived from various sources include the Steve Biko Foundation, the South African History Archive, Africa Media Online and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.
Check it out here.

The Life of Steve Biko Chronicled Through Google’s Cultural Institute.

The brilliantly compiled Google Cultural Institute website offers a unique interactive and in-depth view into the life of Steve Biko, complete with timelines, photographs and important documents, compiled and archived from various sources include the Steve Biko Foundation, the South African History Archive, Africa Media Online and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

Check it out here.

"Black man, you are on your own" - Steve Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977).

September 12th, marks the day South Africa anti-Apartheid activist and Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko was killed in police custody in Pretoria. Biko had been arrested a month earlier in Port Elizabeth where he had been detained and tortured, resulting in him falling into a coma.

Nearly dead and suffering a serious and untreated head injury, Biko was transported to Pretoria by car and died shortly after his arrival at the prison there. Police at the time would claim and broadcast to the world that Biko died due to a hunger strike but an autopsy and photographs taken of Biko postmortem, exposed with the help of journalists Donald Woods and Helen Zille, revealed that he had died as a result of the injuries he sustained whilst in police custody.

Today, nearly 40 years after his death at age 30, we remember a man that fought for an end to the brutality he and countless others suffered and still do today. The fight is far from over.

A luta continua!

As South Africa marks its annual commemoration of the tragic Sharpeville Massacre that occurred on March 21st, 1960, as Human Rights Day, we remember a more recent event that shocked the nation and has caused a series of uproar and protests as a result.

The Marikana miners’ strike took place at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area, close to Rustenburg, in August 2012.

What resulted was a series of violent incidents between the South African Police Service, Lonmin security, the leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and strikers themselves, which resulted in the deaths of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers killed on 16 August. At least 78 additional workers were also injured on 16 August. The total number of injuries during the strike remains unknown. In addition to the Lonmin strikers, there has been a wave of wildcat strikes across the South African mining sector. [x]

Above is a clip from the recently released ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ that partially demonstrates what took place in Sharpeville on this day in 1960.

In this video, Archbishop Desmond Tutu discusses his reaction to the heinous event that took place 54 years ago at one point saying, “I remember it as a moment where you realized that black life was cheap”.

Further reading & viewing: Robert Sobukwe - founder & leader of the Pan-African Congress in South Africa that led the march against Pass Laws in Sharpeville.

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All Africa, All the time.

24 years ago today, on February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl.

He had served a total of 27 years behind bars, most of it on the infamous Robben Island, after being convicted of treason during the Rivonia Trial in 1964 for his involvement in Umkhonto we Sizwe - the ANC’s armed wing.

Both before his sentencing and upon his release, Mandela made two iconic speeches. The first, delivered during the Rivonia Trial, lasted three hours. Referred to as the “I Am Prepared to Die" speech, it was inspired by Fidel Castro’s "La historia me absolverá" (History Will Absolve Me) and is considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century. 

After his release from prison in Paarl, Mandela delivered another iconic speech that began similarly to Mark Antony’s equally iconic speech in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, but with a vastly different message: Friends, Comrades and Fellow South Africans....

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All Africa, All the time.

Silicosis: The curse of Lesotho’s miners

Al Jazeera reports on the decades-long injustices against gold mine workers from Lesotho, working in South African mines, that have gotten ill as a result of their exposure to silica dust. There are currently as many as 2,000,000 former gold miners suffering from silicosis, according to the South African Department of Labour.

As with other mining industries in the country, South Africa’s gold industry was founded on the migrant labour system that was solidified through the racist system of apartheid. Black men from various parts of Southern Africa were often cheaper to employ than locals, a factor that still stands to this day. More than half of the total workforce in the mining sector is recruited from neighbouring countries. Because of this, many often “disappear from the radar of the occupational health institutions and the mining houses” once they retire or leave the mines to return home. This has meant that those who become gravely ill, as in the case of the gold miners who’ve contracted silicosis, they are unable to claim health insurance benefits if at all they are covered.

During apartheid, black mine workers were not covered despite making up up to 90 percent of mine workers in the country. Despite reformations made to the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (ODMWA) after 1994, which for a long time “only served the white and coloured workers”, the implementation of these amendments have not been efficiently and adequately carried out.

Above are images of mine workers from Lesotho who have been affected by the silicosis outbreak in Southern Africa, photographed by Felix Karlsson:

  • Maphatsoe Kompi is a former miner who contracted silicosis during nearly 40 years working deep underground in South Africa’s gold mines.
  • Lebina Liphapang worked without adequate breathing protection in South Africa’s mines for 29 years, and left when he realised the work was making him severely ill.
  • Liphapang has found himself unable to work. Suffering from silicosis due to the tiny particulates he inhaled while working in the mines, he can rarely afford medication and faces a bleak future.
  • Silitosis sufferer Litabe Litabe spent 30 years  toiling in South Africa’s gold mines, where he describes conditions as “harsh”. He says the ventilation systems didn’t reach all underground areas and often failed.
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As we commemorate and celebrate what would have been the 67th birthday of South African anti-apartheid human rights activist and Black Consciousness leader and founder Steve Biko, we’re putting a focus on his ideals and objectives by listening to this rare interview with Biko that took place shortly before he was assassinated by apartheid police in 1977.

In this crucial and definitive exchange between interviewer and interviewee, Biko clearly outlines and defines what the foundation of Black Consciousness is, the importance of socialism, wealth distribution and its relationship to the distribution of wealth in the country, the argument of human rights vs minority, what non-racialism means in this context, and reorganizing the mentality of a broken society.

He also touches on his stance concerning non-violence activism, what the oppressors fear most about the oppressed - their vengeance, the unfoundedness of racist logic, and makes an eerie prediction on the handing over of power to ‘black faces’ operating within the realm of a petty bourgeoisie sector that are puppets of progress. 

Postage stamps commemorating the controversial independence of the Transkei region of South Africa in 1976.

The Transkei was made nominally independent in 1976 in order to serve as a legal homeland for millions of Xhosa-speaking black people who had lost their South African citizenship under the apartheid system of racial separation. However, upon the creation of a (nominally) independent Transkei in 1976, all black South Africans with language ties to Transkei (whether or not they lived there) lost their South African citizenship and became citizens of the new country. As a result, 1.6 million Xhosas living in the Transkei and a further 1.3 million non-Ciskei Xhosas living in South Africa lost their South African citizenship - something they had no say in as under the apartheid system, both racial and ethnic classification was ultimately decided upon by the apartheid government. Dual citizenship at birth was not permitted, and renunciation of one’s citizenship was legally possible, but rendered the individual stateless in most cases.

The Organization of African Unity urged the world to shun Transkei on the grounds that recognition would constitute acceptance of apartheid, and the United Nations supported its view.

On October 26th, 1976, the Transkei - a Xhosa region (known then as a Bantustan) that lay between Natal and the Kei River in the Eastern Cape - gained complete independence as an autonomous republic under the policy of separate development. South African prime minister B. J. Vorster justified the declaration of Transkei as an independent republic by referring to “the right of every people to have full control over its own affairs” and wished “Transkei and its leaders God’s richest blessings on the road ahead.” A press release by the African National Congress at the time rejected the Transkei’s independence and condemned it as “designed to consolidate the inhuman policies of apartheid”.

Furthermore, the Transkei could never be an economically self-sufficient nation as it would be financially dependent on the white South African government , and the majority of its citizens would have to migrate into South Africa to find work.

At its opening session the Transkei National Assembly elected Paramount Chief Botha J. Sigcau as the Transkei’s first President and Kaizer Matanzima as Prime Minister. The new republic did not incorporate the apartheid ideology into its constitution, but became a multiracial state in which all citizens had the franchise.

The Republic of Transkei was not recognised beyond South African borders. The General Assembly of the United Nations rejected the declaration of independence as invalid, and called upon all governments to deny any form of recognition of the Transkei and other Bantustans as a direct result of the ANC’s condemnation of the state as a means to reaffirm apartheid policies of separate development.

In 1994, following the dismantling of the apartheid regime, the Transkei was incorporated into the Eastern Cape province.

(sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

In Africa, as our contribution to peace, we are resolved to end such evils as oppression, white supremacy and racial discrimination, all of which are incompatible with world peace and security. We are encouraged to know, by the very nature of the award made for 1960, that in our efforts, we are serving our fellow men the world over. May the day come soon, when the peoples of the world will rouse themselves, and together effectively stamp out any threat to peace, in whatever quarter of the world it may be found. When that day comes, there shall be peace on earth and goodwill between men.

An excerpt from Chief Albert Lutuli's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

10 December 1961, Oslo, Norway.

Portrait taken of Zimbabwean-born, South African leader and activist Chief Albert Lutuli who served as president of South Africa’s African National Congress party from 1952-1967, and in 1960 became Africa’s first ever Nobel Peace Prize winner for his role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid. He was also the first person from outside of Europe and the Americas to be awarded this prize.

Although serving a ban which confined him to a 15km radius from his home, the ban was lifted for 10 days (probably due to intense international pressure) in order to grant Lutuli and his wife permission to attend the Nobel ceremony in 1961. An Afrikaans South African newspaper, Die Transvaler, describe the award ceremony as “an inexplicable pathological phenomenon”, which is, ironically, a pretty good descriptor of what apartheid was. The South African Minister of the Interior at the time told Lutuli that he do not deserve this prize.

In this photograph, taken by South African photographer Ranjith Kally, Lutuli is standing at the window to his spazza shop in Groutville, soon after being told that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

On July 21st, 1967, Lutuli was killed as he was struck by train whilst crossing railway tracks - an explanation for his death that many believe to be false.

September: Highlighting African Photographers

Man, you are okay as you are. Begin to look upon yourself as a human being" - Steve Biko (18 December 1946 - 12 September 1977).

Design by Jerome Williason Jr.

Anti-apartheid activist, student leader, writer and Black Consciousness Movement pioneer in South Africa - Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977).

(source)

WOMEN’S MONTH ICON: Albertina Sisulu

The late anti-Apartheid and human rights activist Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was born Nontsikelelo Thethiwe in the village of Camama in the Tsomo district of South Africa’s Transkei region, on October 21st, 1918. Both Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, who she married in 1944, were born not to far from Albertina’s birth place. Like Mandela, the name ‘Albertina’ came about as a result of Sisulu attending a colonial missionary school

Affectionately referred to as ‘Ma Sisulu’ or ‘Mother of the nation’ by many South Africans, Albertina Sisulu trained as a nurse - one of the few means of employment for African women outside of domestic work. In 1940, she left the Transkei for Johannesburg to begin her training as a nurse at a non-European hospital. It was in the highly segregated and fast-paced urban ‘City of Gold’ that Albertina Sisulu experienced racism for the first time. It was also here that she would meet the man who would become her life-long partner, and the man that would introduce her to politics and the anti-apartheid struggle, Walter Sisulu.

Albertina Sisulu would go on to be involved in many anti-apartheid groups, movements and events, such as the ANC Women’s League, the Defiance Campaign against pass laws for women, and the Pietermaritzburg Treason Trial. Her husband Walter Sisulu was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the anti-terrorist armed wing of the ANC co-founded by Nelson Mandela, and would later be imprisoned at Robben Island in the mid-1960s up until 1989. She would also, along with Communist Party member John Nkadimeng, set up an underground cell to help ANC members leave South Africa for training and education in other parts of the continent and the world. Her incredible instincts also helped the ANC weed out informants such as John Mavuso who had been leaking information about the ANC and this underground cell to the apartheid police.

From her political involvement in the ANC that began in the late 1940s, and despite being served several banning orders throughout her life, up until her in 2011, Albertina Sisulu would serve as a prominent leader in the anti-apartheid struggle and the women’s liberation movement in South Africa, winning several humanitarian awards. In 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, both her and her husband served as members of parliament, and in the same year the pair celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly, in 2002, Walter Sisulu passed away after collapsing in Albertina’s arms.

Albertina passed away at the couple’s Linden, Johannesburg home on June 2nd, 2011.

(read more about Albertina Sisulu)

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

WOMEN’S MONTH ICONIC PHOTOGRAPH: Albertina Sisulu (seen in the middle) celebrating with friends after her release from 90 days in a detainee’s cell.

Albertina Sisulu, wife of Walter Sisulu, was held after the sensational Rivonia raid in July 1963. By imprisoning leaders of MK and the ANC, the government was able to break the strength of the ANC inside South Africa. The ANC however also succeeded in increasing international criticism of apartheid and the United Nations condemned the trial and started steps to introduce sanctions. Over the next few years there were few acts of sabotage. Without an internal structure the ANC had great difficulty in planning and executing infiltration into South Africa.

The late 1960s turned out to be very quiet as black people tried to reorganise themselves both inside South African and in exile. It became so calm that some people even began to think that they had accepted their position and that the government had managed to suppress oppression.

As the ruling party, the NP government went about strengthening their position inside South Africa and improved the economic position of white people. The government’s strategy was quite effective, until 1976 when mass resistance began again.

(source)

AUGUST: Highlighting African Women

Happy Women’s Day South Africa!
Designed by South African graphic artist Sechaba Paneng, the above poster features Women’s Rights leader Sophia Williams-De Bruyn - one of the leader’s of the Women’s March held on August 9th, 1956, in Pretoria where over 20, 000 women staged a collective individual protest by making their way to Pretoria’s Union buildings with signed petitions against restrictive pass laws to be handed to Prime Minister JG Strijdom.
The heading at the top means “you strike women, you have struck a rock” - lines from a song the women sang in protest as they marched through the streets of the capital.
AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

Happy Women’s Day South Africa!

Designed by South African graphic artist Sechaba Paneng, the above poster features Women’s Rights leader Sophia Williams-De Bruyn - one of the leader’s of the Women’s March held on August 9th, 1956, in Pretoria where over 20, 000 women staged a collective individual protest by making their way to Pretoria’s Union buildings with signed petitions against restrictive pass laws to be handed to Prime Minister JG Strijdom.

The heading at the top means “you strike women, you have struck a rock” - lines from a song the women sang in protest as they marched through the streets of the capital.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women