DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

all submissions via email only


Recent Tweets @
Blogs We Follow
Posts tagged "lesotho"

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.

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: I Love Southern Africa

This blog first caught my attention perhaps a little over a month, or so, ago, and it’s safe to say it was love at first sight.

Dedicated to representing a total of 12 countries, from Angola to Zambia, Madagascar to Lesotho, the individual behind the blog manages to take it all in stride shedding essential knowledge on each country, posting incredibly thorough, diverse and in-depth content that’s is beyond enriching.

Having a thorough appreciation of this blog, and thus it’s curator, it seemed only right to feature them in this series of Dynamic Africans on tumblr. My interview only made me even more of a fan and I’m left even more inspired by the person behind I Love Southern Africa.

In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?

I’m a young woman from two of the countries I blog about, currently starting a new chapter in my life after having taken care of family for a while (the African immigrant’s story!). 

What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?

My main objective was to shine a light on everything time can permit to blog on Southern Africa.  Outside of the countries themselves, not much is known or spoken of Southern Africa other than HIV/AIDS, Robert Mugabe, Malawi as it pertains to Madonna, Namibia as it pertains to Angelina Jolie and Madagascar as it pertains to the animated movie of the same name. 

Southern Africa is also known primarily for our animals but not the people around them, their history, dreams etc.  It’s a region with a very rich and intense history which influences the vibrant culture and life today. 

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

I must admit I also didn’t know too much about the whole region and I feel like I am blogging for myself at times when I get excited about finding something I had never known. 

I am essentially motivated by my own ignorance about the area and my love for it as well. 

Other African diaspora blogs also inspire me to keep digging, sharing and finding what I would’ve never thought to look for.  I’m still stunned by the incredible history and roles played by everyone in shaping the region then and today. 

What do you love most about Southern Africa/being from Southern Africa, and in what ways are you able to connect with Africans from other regions?

Like all folks in the diaspora I love my people, culture, history, politics and self deprecating humour to name a few! I love watching us Southern Africans expand our Pan-Africaness (if there is such a term?) even though we are still unfortunately closed off from the rest of the diaspora in some ways. 

I always thought it would be politics that unite all Africans but I see how our current youth culture, specifically music brings everyone together.  I love reading comments under Youtube videos from people all across the diaspora showing love to a musician whose lyrics they don’t understand but they feel the music. 

I’ve been a wanna-be die-hard Pan Africanist since my early teens and I still fall in love with everything from the fashion from other regions to the literature and political heroes.  Oh and the food - I can finally make Egusi without following instructions on Youtube!

Being an African in the diaspora, what has been the most difficult and/or inspiring element of this experience for you? 

The most inspiring element has also been the most difficult:  Digging in the crates for photographs, books etc is worth every late night and eye bags. 

However, realizing how much of my own history I was never taught, how much of it exists in foreign institutions and not our own and how much of our history was recorded by others while our own methods of recording our history were forcibly wiped out, drove me to tears a few times.  

I’m reassured by current and past artists, musicians, writers, bloggers etc of the diaspora who have and continue to express our souls.

Lastly, where else can you be found online?

Twitter: @SouthRnAfrika - but I am rarely there.  Stuck on Tumblr!

 

A. James Gribble, inscribed:
Masupa. Kaffir* Chief & sons. Basutoland
South Africa, late nineteenth century
Albumen print

Basutoland or officially the Territory of Basutoland, was a British Crown colony established in 1884 after the Cape Colony’s inability to control the territory. It was divided into seven administrative districts; Berea, Leribe, Maseru, Mohales Hoek, Mafeteng, Qacha’s Nek and Quthing.

Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the United Kingdom on October 4, 1966.

*The word ‘kaffir’ is an derogatory slur that was used to refer to black people in South Africa. The original word is derived from Arabic and means ‘non-believer’.

iluvsouthernafrica:

 Lesotho court to rule on women’s rights

On 16 May, the Lesotho Constitutional Court will issue its decision on whether women in Lesotho can succeed to chieftainship. The ground-breaking case brought by Senate Masupha, the first-born child of a chief, challenged the Chieftainship Act, which only permits first-born sons to succeed to chieftainship.

“Denying all women the possibility of succeeding to chieftainship not only violates the right to equality under the Lesotho constitution but also reaffirms the notion that women are subordinate members of Lesotho society,” said Priti Patel, Deputy Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), who intervened as friends of the court (amicus curiae) in the matter. “We will see tomorrow whether the court will affirm the rights of women in Lesotho or further entrench women’s secondary status.”

In its submissions, SALC argued that the law is unconstitutional under the Lesotho Constitution as well as under Lesotho’s international and regional obligations. The submissions also document how laws that discriminate against women significantly harm the government’s ability to effectively respond to Lesotho’s HIV epidemic.

This case is part of a broader trend in the region to change or repeal laws which explicitly promote gender discrimination.

The Constitutional Court in South Africa has struck down laws which deny women the right to inherit or succeed to chieftainship. In Botswana, the High Court recently struck down a customary law which denied women the right to inherit.

Courts in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania have also all struck down laws which deny women the right to inherit due solely to their gender.

From: osisa.org

‘Mme Senate Masupha, you (and all qualified African women) deserve your place in African leadership and I sincerely hope the court rules in your favour.

thesmithian:

…presented, with subtitles, in the African dialect of Sesotho—follows [main character] Mokoenya from the crime-riddled streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, to the homeland, Lesotho, from which he was plucked by his father as a young boy…

more. and more, plus a trailer, here.

peopleofthesouth:

Maseru, Lesotho.

© Willem de Lange

Happy Independence Day to all of our readers from the Kingdom of Lesotho!

Formerly known as Basutoland, Lesotho gained its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho on October 4th, 1966.

Lesotho women protesting violence against women at a National Women’s Day protest at National University of Lesotho.

Roma, Maseru, Lesotho.

September 1993 

OLYMPIC  FOCUS: Lesotho’s athletes hope Olympics will put kingdom on the map

Pictured: Tsepo Ramonene, 21, a Lesotho athlete who will run only his second marathon at the London Olympics: ‘The Olympics could change my life.’

(Read more about the Lesotho athletes participating in this years’ Olympics)

OLYMPIC  FOCUS: Lesotho’s athletes hope Olympics will put kingdom on the map

Pictured: Tsepo Ramonene, 21, a Lesotho athlete who will run only his second marathon at the London Olympics: ‘The Olympics could change my life.’

(Read more about the Lesotho athletes participating in this years’ Olympics)

Mahala’s Ts’eliso Monaheng interviews Sotho artist Kommanda Obbs to discuss the artist collective 'Ts’epe' movement he is a part of and the influence of Pan-Africanism on his lifestyle.
Excerpt:

Kommanda Obbs’ strategy to sustain himself – and his crew in the long-run, hopefully– is simple: “I’m business-minded, and do not expect to live off of performances alone. I’ve teamed up with people who share a common vision, and we are now on the verge of establishing a record label. That’s where our money’s at: organising events, promoting artists, and getting endorsements.” 
And on those endorsements they’ve just landed a three-month deal with a Lesotho-based mobile phone operator. Obbs tails off the discussion by observing that, “artists need to be business-minded about the entertainment industry at large, not just the ‘performance’ part of it.”
Ts’epe, the concept, seems to be centred around a singular vision, and Kommanda Obbs serves as the poster-child as well as chief architect of that vision in Lesotho. Entire civilizations have crumbled due to their leaders’ insistence on sticking to the ultimate goal, regardless of challenges that may ensue. So I ask him about how he manages to keep the ship from sinking.
 “I share a lot, and really believe in the power of sharing. I believe in such things as karma – as far-fetched as that may sound. I also read books to check for which strategies work, and which ones don’t. Theoretically, they are fairly simple concepts, but it gets really tough when putting them into practice with an entire team of people,” he says, before adding: “to be a team player is not easy!”
(read more)

Mahala’s Ts’eliso Monaheng interviews Sotho artist Kommanda Obbs to discuss the artist collective 'Ts’epe' movement he is a part of and the influence of Pan-Africanism on his lifestyle.

Excerpt:

Kommanda Obbs’ strategy to sustain himself – and his crew in the long-run, hopefully– is simple: “I’m business-minded, and do not expect to live off of performances alone. I’ve teamed up with people who share a common vision, and we are now on the verge of establishing a record label. That’s where our money’s at: organising events, promoting artists, and getting endorsements.”

And on those endorsements they’ve just landed a three-month deal with a Lesotho-based mobile phone operator. Obbs tails off the discussion by observing that, “artists need to be business-minded about the entertainment industry at large, not just the ‘performance’ part of it.”

Ts’epe, the concept, seems to be centred around a singular vision, and Kommanda Obbs serves as the poster-child as well as chief architect of that vision in Lesotho. Entire civilizations have crumbled due to their leaders’ insistence on sticking to the ultimate goal, regardless of challenges that may ensue. So I ask him about how he manages to keep the ship from sinking.

“I share a lot, and really believe in the power of sharing. I believe in such things as karma – as far-fetched as that may sound. I also read books to check for which strategies work, and which ones don’t. Theoretically, they are fairly simple concepts, but it gets really tough when putting them into practice with an entire team of people,” he says, before adding: “to be a team player is not easy!”

(read more)

Lesotho election workers count ballet papers in Tsereoane on May 26.

The votes are in and ballot counting is underway in the Kingdom of Lesotho’s general elections. Many speculate that these elections could produce the southern African nation’s first coalition government.

(read more)

The assertion of a public gay identity is particularly problematic in an African context. To illustrate, Kendall found that the notion of “lesbian” was not helpful in understanding female–female relationships in Basotho. She found widespread, apparently normative erotic relationships among Basuto women, but this (including instances of cunnilingus) was not defined as sexual, and not a single Mosotho—to Kendall’s knowledge—defined herself as a lesbian. Kendall concludes that “love between women is as natural to Southern Africa as the soil itself, but that homophobia is a Western import” (Kendall, 1998, p. 224). She emphasizes that Basotho society has not constructed a social category “lesbian.” Basotho women define sexual activity in such a way that makes lesbianism linguistically inconceivable. As one informant told Kendall, “You can’t have sex unless somebody has a koai (penis).” Kendall comments,” Lillian Faderman’s observation that ‘a narrower interpretation of what constitutes eroticism permitted a broader expression of erotic behavior (in the 18th century) since it was not considered inconsistent with virtue’ makes sense here’ (Kendall, 1998, p. 233) “No koai, no sex means that women’s ways of expressing love, passion or joy in each other are neither immoral nor suspect” (Kendall, 1998, p. 233). “The need for legitimacy only arises in cultures (like my own) in which love between women has been pathologized or made illegitimate” (Kendall, 1998, p. 237). This implies a very different form of sexual politics to that of “the North.