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Posts tagged "zulu"

MORNING MUSIC: Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Nomathemba.

It’s never to late to say congratulations! Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the legendary South African a capella group won their fourth Grammy at this year’s ceremony held this past weekend. 

The collective took home the award for ‘Best World Album’ for ‘Live: Singing for Peace around the World’, an award they shared with French flamenco group Gipsy Kings.

Founded by lead singer Joseph Tshabalala, the all-male choral group has been making music since the 1960s. Singing in the Zulu vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube, the group first gained worldwide prominence after collaborating with US artist Paul Simon on his hit album Graceland in 1986.

They received their first Grammy nomination in 1988 and, altogether, have been up for a Grammy a total of 13 times. The group have also been nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy for their short documentary film On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | YouTube | Soundcloud | Mixcloud

All Africa, All the Time.

A Zulu man pulls his employer in a pedicab in Durban, South Africa.
Photograph by Melville Chater, National Geographic
October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

A Zulu man pulls his employer in a pedicab in Durban, South Africa.

Photograph by Melville Chater, National Geographic

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Ms. Tholi M, and a woven Zulu basket she made by hand.

As a child, Whitaker’s character Ali narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid ANC. Now, as chief of Cape Town’s homicide branch, his quest to bring the perpetrator to justice leads him on a path that uncovers the unhealed wounds of post-apartheid South Africa.

“Zulu’’’s explicit, and, at times even gratuitous, depiction of violence and inter-human relations, paints a highly cynical picture of post-colonial Cape Town, one in which authorities are corrupt and vigilante justice is king.

Whitaker won the Oscar for his mesmerizing portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland,” and is known for adopting a method-acting approach to his roles. In preparation for “Zulu,” he met with real-life Zulu gang members — some just out of prison — and went inside local communities to immerse himself in the character who suffers personal tragedies both in childhood and as an adult.

“I met the actual gang members from the different communities: the Zulu gang leaders, and the different members out of the prisons… I find that it helps to find the source of the character,” the actor said.

“The violent crimes unit took me around quite a bit … which helped me understand what it was like to be around the townships,” he said, adding that he also learned Zulu and Afrikaans in the weeks up to filming.

Though the film’s barbaric depiction of torture and murder has been panned by some critics as too showy — severed heads, rapes and graphic mutilations — Whitaker said the film is accurate in its portrayal of gangland violence.

J. E. Middlebrook (attr.), inscribed:
A Zulu girl. Hair strung with beads
South Africa, late nineteenth century

Gray Brothers (Diamond Fields), inscribed:
Zulu / Young Warrior in fighting order, and in skin Kaross. Armed with hatchet and assegai
South Africa. c. 1870s
Carte de visite

Samuel Baylis Barnard, inscribed:
Zulu Kaffir*
South Africa, late nineteenth century
Albumen print

*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’.


Zulu women in traditional headdress

(via endilletante)

Harsh world, this world.

This past weekend the small town of KwaDukuza, in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, was set abuzz as a young couple said “I do” in what has been marked as the area’s ‘First Traditional African Gay Wedding’, taking place between a Zulu and Setswana man.

Both men’s families were actively involved in the ceremony, and the couple plans on having a ‘white wedding’ later this year.

Dudu Mkhize as Nandi, Queen of Zululand in the Shaka Zulu TV miniseries, which I’m currently re-watching.

The History of Zulu Ricksha Puller’s (1892 - 2000)

The first ten Rickshas / Rickshaws imported to Natal arrived in 1892, imported by sugar magnate Marshall Campbell from Japan.

The ‘Ricksha’ became Durban’s main mode of transportation, both in the city centre and docks. By 1902, 2170 Rickshas crowded the streets, pulled by a small army of registered ‘natives’.

Because of the money offered by this occupation at that time, pulling a rickshaw a highly sought after and competitive means of employment. It is said that in two days a puller might earn a shilling, equal to what a ‘head boy’ working in a home might earn in a month.

Soon after their introduction in South Africa, the British proposed that rickshaw drivers wear uniforms. This was partly done so that police could identify ‘pullers’ from other ‘natives’ who were most likely bound by a strict curfew that restricted their movements after a certain time.

The uniform was an ordinary unbleached calico suit, trimmed with a single band of red braid. Pullers were allowed to dress their hair in a traditional manner and opted to walk barefoot. The feathered tufts (as seen above) were called ‘Isiyaya’ or ‘Isidlukula’.

As time went by, these Zulu pullers began customizing their uniforms by adding extra braids and wearing bangles of plaited reeds with seeds which rattled upon their white washed lower legs. Fierce competition developed among the pullers to design the most original and elaborate costume, giving rise to the elaborate aesthetic now associated with them today.

By 1904 there were over 2000 rickshas trekking around the city. It became fashionable to own your own private ricksha. Durban’s steepest roads had notices stating ‘Dangerous to Rickshaws’. Because of this, overweight people would often employ two pullers, adding to uphill power prowess and downhill breaking.

Durban rickshas became so popular that its imagery was used internationally by the government to lure pith helmeted travellers to the country (centre). Collectable ‘cigarette cards’ (left) were produced as well as large paper fabric labels (right). The labels were used in the UK to visually identify a type of export fabric.

By 1918, horse drawn rickshas had also become popular, but the increasing popularity of the motor vehicle created a traffic problem in Durban.

By 1930 it became unbearable, with over 9000 motor vehicles and an excess of 10000 horse drawn vehicles on the city streets. Increasing numbers of trams and buses added to ricksha competition. Even so, the convenience of short journeys in and around the city centre kept rickshas somewhat popular. However, by 1940 less than 900 were left to ply the streets.

According to public records, by 1968 there were only 260 rickshaw’s left in operation. In 1970 there were one hundred eight six registered pullers and in 1971, ninety. At that moment, the very last of the Mpondo pullers working around the market area were seen. By 1975 there were only twenty nine rickshas working the beachfront. By 1980 - 10 remained, these in poor condition.

(information lifted and partly edited from this source)


Images and an interview from Kushay’igagasi - the first surfing event to be conducted entirely in Zulu, featuring kids from the Umthombo surfing program (via mahala.co.za).

(via justabandwidth)


Today in History: Jan 12, 1879, the Anglo-Zulu War begins

The Anglo–Zulu War was fought between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.

Following a campaign by which Lord Carnarvon had successfully brought about federation in Canada, it was thought that similar combined military and political campaigns might succeed with the various African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa.

In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring the plans into being, however, there were many obstacles. Frere, on his own initiative, without the approval of the British government and with the intent of instigating a war with the Zulu presented an ultimatum to the Zulu king Cetshwayo with which the Zulu king could not comply.

Cetshwayo rejected the British demand that he disband his troops, and in January British forces invaded Zululand to suppress Cetshwayo. The British suffered grave defeats at Isandlwana, where 1,300 British soldiers were killed or wounded, and at Hlobane Mountain, but on March 29 the tide turned in favor of the British at the Battle of Khambula.

At Ulundi in July, Cetshwayo’s forces were utterly routed, and the Zulus were forced to surrender to the British. In 1887, faced with continuing Zulu rebellions, the British formally annexed Zululand, and in 1897 it became a part of Natal, which joined the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Sources: 1, 2

(via collectivehistory-deactivated20)