Category Archives: Articles
Free articles that never saw the light – part of my portfolio.
Yesterday on Women’s Day I went on a Graffiti tour in the Maboneng, Jeppestown and Troyville suburbs of Johannesburg with some of my friends. It was led by a guide from “Past Experiences” – a company that organizes these kinds of tours and a local graffiti artist named George AKA Mars.
The history of modern graffiti is rather recent starting in the 1960’s in the USA by someone writing his name on public surfaces. But the need to imprint ourselves on things goes back even further – just think of the cavemen and their drawings.
A few things that I’ve learnt from the tour: not all graffiti is illegal. Some graffiti artists ask the owner’s permission first before they paint on the wall. Illegal graffiti is usually “tagging” where someone just put their name on a wall without the owner’s permission. These are mostly selfish acts. But even the most well respected graffiti artists will still throw in an illegal “tag” here and there. That is how most of them started out anyway.
Another surprising thing I’ve learnt is that there are a lot of graffiti artists from overseas that come to South Africa for the mere purpose to put their graffiti on a wall. On the tour they showed us a whole building done by a graffiti artist from Spain (I don’t know the name because I didn’t have a notebook with me and most what I’m writing here is from memory).
Most of the graffiti are done through free styling, but sometimes they will use each others input or sources. They showed us one done by Aiko: a Japanese female graffiti artist that loves to use stencils in her work.
Another local graffiti artist: Rasty
Every graffiti artist have their own motive: doing it for the sake of art, politics, some see it as their careers, for others it’s just a hobby.
There are different categories of graffiti: legal vs illegal, creation vs destruction, street art, tagging, etc.
There is also a code of conduct or graffiti ethics between different artists. It is seen as disrespectful when you paint or tag over another artist’s work. Some of them will even become cross if you paint next to theirs and touch it in any way.
If you look closely you’ll see a Kong character on the above picture – that was not part of the original painting.
Some more awesome pics:
I can’t for the life of me remember who painted these characters though (see above)
Sadly not all will last forever. The following graffiti wall is already 6 years old. Eventually the paint will fade and crumble away.
Latest developments of the Academy since the interview:
The Academy might be in danger in that the Department of Infrastructure wants to develop at Roodeplaat Dam and asked the Academy to leave. Roodeplaat Dam may be the only perfect setting to train for the Academy. There are rumours that some of the Department employees will change their mind and not take the dreams away of these kids. Let’s hope they do.
Fouché van Tonder is one of the directors at the Academy for Canoe Development at Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria. He is a former Springbok rower, but gave it up last year to focus more on coaching children from local townships. Sulet Linde talked to him to find out more.
Van Tonder has been rowing for 10 years and has represented South Africa in various international championships and World Cups.
Tell me a little bit more about the Academy:
We teach children from nearby townships (plot 175 in Kameeldrift) how to row. We have a Development Program and a High Performance program.
How many of you are involved?
We are three directors: my dad (Philip van Tonder) runs the Development Program , I run the High Perfomance program and we have a social worker who handles the welfare part of the business. We have a group of teachers and psychologists who helps with the children.
What exactly does the Development programme involve?
We get children from the townships and teach them how to row (for free). We have an After School program (three days a week) where we give extra classes in school subjects and we also have a Food program (three days a week) where we give them something to eat.
What do you do exactly?
I am the director of the High Performance program. I coach the children and top athletes in sprint kayaking.
What is sprint kayaking?
It’s when you sprint down in a straight lane within 200 m, 500 m or 1000 m distance in a single, double or a four-man kayak (K4).
Are there mostly just boys at the Academy?
No, we teach rowing to both boys and girls. The girls are actually better rowers.
At which age do you start teaching them?
We have an U/8 team, so we start at 7 years old.
How many children are involved?
We have about 60 children that are part of the Development Program and 20 in the High Performance program .
How successful is the Academy?
Very successful. The kids are performing on a National level. One of them, Carlton Tshantsa was chosen to be a part of the U/18 South African team. There is a possibility that he could get chosen to go to the junior world cup.
What are your goals for the future?
We want to send the children and athletes from the High Performance Program to the next Olympics (most of them were too young to go last year). Our juniors and U/23 team will be participating at the World Cup in Canada and the African Championship.
I am coaching my sister and our goal is to win a medal at this year’s U/23 World Cup.
The ultimate goal for the children in the Development Program is to get them into the High Performance Program.
Christal van Tonder, owner of Mix and Match Studio and clothes designer about her business and her collaboration with Nea Foundation:
When did you start with Mix and Match Studio?
It opened in 2010.
Apart from your clothing, how many other designers’ clothes are for sale in your shop?
There are 5 other designers whose clothes are in my shop. We are slowly busy to expand the shop and I’m planning to use the space just for events such as photography exhibitions and to sell the interior decorating products by the women I have trained.
When did you start training the women?
I started to train the women from 2009, but I started working with Nea Foundation for the past year.
Who or what is the Nea Foundation?
They are a NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) who works with children from townships. They identified a need for the mothers to learn skills like sewing. I trained the women and I’m helping them to find jobs. They have a series of interior decorating products I market and sell in my shop.
Did you have a good financial year?
I’ve decided to focus more on the training part. I’ll still open my shop once a month, because it has become too expensive to try keeping it open every week.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to make changes in my business and to supply the products to other shops in the future. I would really like the women I’ve trained to earn a more stable income out of their sewing.
For the following few posts I’ll post some interviews I did while I was a freelancer for Spotlight newspaper:
The CRIMON Monash society is hosting a Handbag and teddy bear drive in collaboration with the Jes Foord Foundation’s Handbag project. They call on all to collect new or used handbags and fill it with necessary items that rape survivors crave for immediately after being attacked.
Sulet Linde conducted an interview with the Vice President of CRIMON: Nandhi van Tonder.
1. Who or what is CRIMON MONASH?
CRIMON is the Criminology Society of MONASH University South Africa (a branch of MONASH Australia).
We are open for all students at the University, and we focus on all things criminology related. We take the students to morgues, do self-defence courses, learn about DNA testing, and we work with pre-schools during our “stranger danger week”, teaching the youngsters about the dangers of trusting strangers and who to talk to if somebody makes them feel uncomfortable. We also have an ongoing project to collect handbags and teddies for rape crisis centres and are going to start working with Anti Drug Alliance South Africa in order to help students with drug-related issues.
2. Why did you decide to start the project?
We decided to do the handbag project because we wanted to partner with the Jes Foord Foundation and help those who are rape survivors. We decided to donate handbags filled with toiletries and teddies, not only to the JF Foundation, but also to other rape crisis centres. The handbag thing relates to the way rape survivors feel after the attack. Many women (and men) feel dirty and the first thing they want to do is wash all the ‘ugliness’ away. Therefore, the handbags will be filled with toiletries and things which will help make every survivor feel clean and fresh.
3. What is the duration of the project?
The project is an ongoing thing for this whole year, and we have two major collection dates in the final weeks of semester 1 and 2. Alternatively, donations could be brought to our office in the Allan Finkel Vonlunteer Space at MONASH.
4. Are you going to donate the teddies and handbags to a certain support group of rape?
The donations will go to the Jes Foord Foundation and also to other rape crisis centres which do not get as much publicity as the JFF.
5. What kind of items should people put into the handbags? Toiletries?
The best thing to put in a handbag will be a nice soap, cream, shampoo, or anything which will help make the rape survivor getting that bag feel clean, fresh and beautiful. Unfortunately, for practical reasons, clothing cannot be donated.
If you wish to contact Monash you can email them at email@example.com. They are also on Facebook: Crimon Monash.
The Monash university is situated in Ruimsig North-West.
The Jes Foord foundation opened its doors in 2009 following the brutal gang rape of Jes Foord by four men while her father was forced to look on. Their main aim is to restore lives after rape and educate people about the realities of sexual assault in South Africa.
Jes Foord started the handbag Project, because she realised that the handbags (filled with goodies) help rape victims feel special and restore their dignity. “It’s the first step towards claiming her body and her life back.”
The majority of rape victims come from underprivileged areas. They often don’t have access to running water and bathing supplies.
The foundation’s goal for 2013 is to collect 10 000 handbags in total. They have collected 930 bags so far.
If you want to become involved or donate to the foundation you can contact them by sending an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Association of Arts Pretoria celebrated World Art Day with their Engage II exhibition on 15 April 2013. It follows on their Engage I exhibition of last year.
The director of the gallery, Pieter van Heerden, welcomed the guests. “We, the art lovers and artists, belong to a world family and that is an exhilarating thought.”
“Last year we asked 15 sculptors and 15 painters to work together in groups of two in tandem to see if a ‘visual and intellectual synergy could be established’. It was a huge success and we decided to make our celebration of World Art day a annual institution.”
This year 46 artists worked together in groups of two to continue the experiment. Here follows the groups: André Prinsloo and Jahni Wasserfall; Rina Stutzer and Angus Taylor; Annelize Bowker and At Smit; Erna Bodenstein and Annette Pretorius; Anton Smit and Corné van Eck; Avitha Sooful and Linda du Preez; Craig Muller and Izanne Wiid; Rozan Cochrane and Daandrey Steyn; Debbie Cloete and Carroll Hamman; Martin de Kock and Erica Schoeman; Frikkie Eksteen and Bevan Thornton; Johan Conradie and Zelda Stroud; Diek Grobler and Karin Smith; Amelia Malatjie and Lwandiso Njara; Celia de Villiers and Elfriede Dreyer; Retha Buitendach and Marinda du Toit; Tanisha Bhana and Uwe Pfaff; Wilma Cruise and Karin Lijnes; Magda Joubert and Zach Taljaard; Christiaan Diedericks and Johann Nortjé; Alet Swarts and Michaella Jansen van Vuuren; Monica-Helena de Klerk and Malose Pete; and Peter Binsbergen and Andre Otto.
Background of WAD
In 2011 the International Arts Association (IAA) unanimously proclaimed the 15th of April as World Art Day. In 2012 the first WAD were celebrated.
“The idea behind the World Art Day is to help spread ‘art awareness’ throughout the globe. The day is to underline the importance and value of art regarding world peace, fraternity, freedom of expression and multi-disciplinary dialogue.” (World Art Day, 2013)
The date is also significant because it falls on Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday.
“Leonardo’s stature as painter, sculptor, writer, engineer, innovator, mathematician and philosopher still remains a guiding light in our contemporary world.” (Press release)
Pieter van Heerden introduced Prof. Ronel Rensburg, an international academic, as “truly also a Renaissance person.”
Prof Ronel Rensburg explains the theme “Engage”
“My field of experties lies in communication and that is why the word ‘engagement’ rang true to me. Why do we engage and what is engagement?
We engage by incorporating and communicating art experiences. The message of art can be communicated through art objects and even across time.
The value of art in general or any particular art object can change from space to space, place to place and time to time.
We can also engage by means of social commentary… Through their art, artists are speaking to social change and bringing about public awareness of a variety of social, political and environmental issues.” Rensburg referred to the Spear painting as an example of debating and engaging.
We can engage through our senses: all five of the human senses (and sometimes the sixth).
Art can bring people together. Art more than often leaves us in awe. All art must engage!
Prof Ronel Rensburg opened the art exhibition with these words: “I entice you to engage with one another, with the artists, with their work and your own senses to enjoy the oppulence of South African art.”
Some of the collaborations
Tanisha Bhana in collaborartion with Uwe Pfaff:
Tanisha’s work called “Mortal Remains (1)” contrasts between things that are living and dead. “The geckos and the doll are dead. The rose petals are in the process of dying. The reflections in water of the trees: they’re symbols of living things. The doll is a commentary on the masks we wear everyday.”
Uwe Pfaff’s explanation of his work: “striking the metal man ‘future tense’ with a metallic object will release. That sound which we hear, not recognise and connects in a unique way of Tanisha’s work.”
Debbie Cloete in collaboration with Carroll Hamman:
Carroll Hamman explains her sculpture of the priest and the prostitute entitled Nothing is as it seems: “Usually people think of priests as good. I wanted to show that priests aren’t always good. That’s why the priest is painted in black.” It comments on the fact that we put so much trust in an uniform, but we forget that inside every uniform is a human being struggling with all the same issues thrown at us.
Debbie Cloete’s speech bubbles entitled It is what it is relates to the marriage equality debate that is currently so prevalent in the media. “Marriage equality should not even be a debate, it is what it is, a human right”.
Photos of other collaborations:
The Association of Arts Pretoria is a voluntary non-profit organisation. It is governed by an executive committee, members of which include well-known artists, art teachers and academics and patrons of art. Director: Pieter van Heerden. Gallery manager: Nandi Hilliard.
It has more than 800 members and is one of the founding members of the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA). SANAVA is a member of the IAA.
The exhibition will run until Friday 26 April 2013.
A big cloud of black smoke is whirling up in the air at the back of Zambezi Mall. The mall is not burning down. The source of the black smoke is from one of Spar’s generators. It has been more than two months since the mall has been left in the dark. Literally.
The owners of Zambesi Mall are currently being liquidated, because they owe approximately R11,6 million allegedly to the municipality for electricity. The municipality decided to shut the electricity down on the 15th of February and nothing has been done since.
According to Jan Boshoff, the DA ward councillor, the municipality says they can’t help the tenants because of a certain bylaw. “The bylaw states that a contract can only be held between the owner of the shopping centre and themselves. But now, the owners are being liquidated. The municipality states they can’t enter into a contract with the tenants, because the bylaw that already exists, prohibits it.”
“Usually the municipality and owner enter a contract. The tenants get their power from the owner. The tenants pay the owner and it is the owner’s responsibility to pay the municipality. But somehow, this didn’t happen,” says Boshoff.
Boshoff is concerned about the negative impact it has on the tenants and their workers. “If Zambezi Mall should close, these people will lose their livelihood. A lot of the workers at the Zambesi Superspar live in townships nearby.”
Most of the tenants closed up shop and moved away. Those who have stayed behind had to find their own means of survival.
Four shops decided to share a generator. The owner of the Zambezi hair studio, Adéle de Bruyn, had to get help from her husband (who is an electrician) to install the generator. They had to buy a R52 000 generator (20 KWA) at their own expense. The hair studio shares the generator with The Brooklyn Biltong, Eluri Properties and Excellent Cell & Sound shops. The four shops share the running expenses at R250 per day.
“The generator isn’t supposed to be working [all day long] every day. The alternator broke and we had to fix it,” says De Bruyn.
At first they had nine generators that stood before the shops, but it created such a noise that it became impossible to help their customers. “It also scared our customers away,” says Willie Lubbe, owner of Eluri Properties.
“The electrical costs has increased from R1000 per month to R6000 per month,” says Lubbe. He is even open to getting pre-paid electricity meters.
Boshoff and the tenants has sent a petition to the municipality voicing their concerns. In this they urged the Executive Mayor to urgently intervene and arrange for the provision of pre-paid electricity meters.
Zambezi Mall has become a ghost town especially at night, because the lights cannot function without electricity. The tenants are scared for their safety when they have to shut up every night and walk to their cars. The customers don’t come at night any more.
“This place is a ghost town. We are afraid of our own safety. The alarms can’t work without power. Anybody can come here and break in,” says De Bruyn.
“I am a mother of two young children. I work until five, go pick up my children and then I have to hang around the shops until dark just so I can switch the generator off.”
“The worst part of it is, our customers are blaming us. I have to keep running around, making sure the generator has diesel to work; I have to keep the other three shops happy. And I’m losing customers because of it. Why do I even have a business? Right now it feels like I’m doing the municipality’s work for them,” says De Bruyn.
“I am so fed up about this whole situation. It has been two months. There were three meetings, but nothing ever happens. No one knows what is going on. We keep hearing rumours.”
The only way Boshoff sees a way out of this is to pressure the municipality to review and change the current supply bylaws so it can also accommodate the tenants.
In Chapter 2 of the “Standard electricity supply by-law” regulation 3 states:
“If, in respect of any premises, an applicant, occupier or consumer is not the registered owner of the premises, an agreement in writing between the owner of the premises and the consumer for the rendering of a connection is required beforehand. The agreement reached binds both the consumer and the owner of the premises.”
Several teams battled it out in a trolley race held at Kolonnade Retail Park’s parking lot on the 18th of May. It was part of a project by the final year students of the Inscape Design college to raise funds to upgrade, revamp and assist two charities of their choice.
“The funds will be used to upgrade and “make-over” learning and play areas for children in the care of the Christian Social Council as well as Dynamic Women for Children,” said Biance Lance, Inscape’s marketing coordinator.
Four student and four corporate teams raced against each other in rounds of 10 minutes each. The team who could make the most rounds in 10 minutes were crowned the winners. The public was also invited to compete in teams.
The trolleys were sponsored by local businesses: Mr. Price Home, Sportsmans Warehouse and PicknPay Hyper.
Miss SA, Marilyn Ramos (an ex-student of Inscape), handed the trophies over to the winning teams.
The winning Teams:
Team Bazinga won the prize for the best dressed student team
Team South Africa Ice Hockey won the prize/trophy for most laps done (they are the actual team that represents South Africa in Ice Hockey)
A third year Inscape team won Best spirit team of the day
Pink ladybirds was the best dressed corporate team.
Team Strategic McCain won best spirit
The Inscape project
“Our final year Graphic and Interior Design students have a subject called LP (Leadership Program), whereby they were given a task of selecting two charities and finding out how they could assist them within their field,” Lance, The two charities they decided to support are: Dynamic Woman for Children and Christian Social Council located in Roodeplaat.
“This is not only a social development and outreach project, but the students will also be graded on their performance,” explained Lance.
The students to-do list is to stock the Kameeldrift Early Learning Centre (Christian Social Council) with educational goods, tables and chairs. For the Quest Kickboxing Development Academy (also in Kameeldrift) they need to create “a cosy nook complete with an entertainment area for a group of underprivileged kickboxers.”
For Dynamic Women for Children, the students need to design, paint, decorate and furnish a study for three Grade 10 learners who are doing the Future home-schooling program this year.
The two charities
Beánca du Toit, community developer of the Christian Social Council, was the representative of the day. They have two projects of which the Inscape students will be helping them with:
“The Kameeldrift Early Learning Centre cares for 100 pre-school children. The CSC supports the centre with food, getting their vegetable garden up and by paying two of the teachers’ stipends monthly.
The Quest Kickboxing Development Academy is a way/tool to teach children essential life skills through kickboxing. Children participate in events and have the opportunity to participate on national and international level. The academy currently has 30 students.”
Marleen van der Walt was the representative of Dynamic Women for Children. “We go to white informal settlements in Kameeldrift and support the children. We have an after school centre with 35 children: the ages ranges from 11 months to 16 years. We pick them up from school, give them food twice a day and help them with their homework. At 6 (pm) we take them home.”
Why a trolley race?
“A Trolley race is a fun and engaging way to raise funds and is used nationwide by most universities as a team building activity amongst theirvarious residences and also as a means to raise funds for charities,” said Lance.
According to Ina Kotze, the marketing manager of Kolonnade Retail Park (KRP) [we have] “allowed Target life students in the past to have their team bulding trolley races at the mall. When this joint venture came along and KRP had to be involved in some way, this idea was adopted.”
The trolley race/day were made possible by the Inscape Design College and The Fortunate Foundation.
The Fortunate Foundation (Section 21 not for profit company) is a network that connects charities to businesses and the public.
It’s my 90th post and I found out I have 50 followers. It feels so surreal!
I just want to say:
I just wish every one of you could tell me why you liked my blog so much that you want to follow it? It would be nice to know.
That was the day when I stupidly forgot my camera in my car! The photos in this post is from Auto Alpina’s Facebook page.
For those who don’t know: Worker’s Day (1st of May) is a public holiday in South Africa.
Worker’s Day: Hard work p(l)ays off
Damelin Centurion were crowned victorious as the most Not Normal team in the Paint your MINI competition held at Auto Alpina Boksburg’s annual market day and fundraiser. The day also included a Cram a MINI competition.
It was all for a good cause, because the proceeds that Auto Alpina and Damelin raised will be donated to St Francis Day Care Centre.
The winning team from Damelin Centurion decided that because the day was held to aid the children at St Francis, to decorate and paint their demo car with cartoons.
Seventeen orphaned children from St Francis Day Care Centre were transported in MINI’S to the event. “There are currently 29 children at the day care centre,” said Ms Francina China, a secretrary/administrator at the centre.
In the Paint your MINI competition twenty MINIacs team competed against each other to create the most outrageous and colourful designs in alignment with this year’s theme: Not Normal. Some of the competitors were customers and brought their own private MINI’S along to paint on them. The rest were demo models sponsored by Auto Alpina. They also sponsored watersoluble paint and brushes for the contestants.
The contestants were judged on the following categories: Not normal, originality, creativity and design. The Judges were Robin Cadle representing Damelin, Thulie of St Francis, Kobus Muller (singer) and Maggie Goetsch, from Auto Alpina Boksburg.
Three teams of the Damelin campuses then competed in a nail-biting event to see who can fit the most members into a MINI under one minute.
The day was made possible by Sales Manager Jacques Roux from Auto Alpina Boksburg and Robin Cadle from Damelin Boksburg. They are very closely involved with the St Francis centre. The idea conceptualised six months ago when planning the Paint your MINI competition. “I love doing events,” said Roux.
Kerry Staples (Academic Co-ordinator of Damelin Centurion) received the trophy and first prize on behalf of the Damelin Centurion team. First prize included a weekend for two at Leopard Song Golf Estate and a hamper consisting of goodies from Coke, KMS California, Emperors Palace, MINI, Cappello and Nestle to the value of R10 000.
Hugo’s car’s theme was Red bull and was decorated with little monsters, because he said that “they are the little monsters in your Red bull drink that makes you jive.” He was in the top three and finished as first runner up. He walked away with the second prize: a hamper valued at R4000.
Shanté with her “weird and abstract car” was second runner up. She received a hamper to the value of R2500.
Some of the other contestants:
Odette’s MINI’S registration plate reads: “I’m free” and that is how she decorated her car. “MINI is life” was written across the wind-screen and she used paper stencils to decorate her car.
Manuela was there with her daughter, Monique, and her grandson. Monique’s car was painted with an old school theme in mind and Manuela’s grandson helped her decorate her MINI: “by Nana and Grandson”.
Other activities that day:
There was also a Craft Market, a stage with a range of entertainment including Morgan Beatbox, prize giveaways every 15 minutes, a Lucky draw, winning clothes, jewelry etc., food stalls and entertainment for the kids. Red bull gave out free drinks.
The craft market included interesting stalls such as Pick and Paint Ceramic, Hirsch’s Homestore competition, Sand Art Witbank and Dejavu Designs to name a few. Dejavu Designs held a modelled their clothes for a photo shoot.
Pick and Paint Ceramic supplied interesting sculptures of different shapes and sizes. It is Johan and Madeleine Nel’s local starter business has been operating for four months now. They make the ceramic sculptures at home.
DJ Kyle (Kyle Cassim) was the host and kept the audience entertained with local acts such as Morgan Beatbox who showed off beating 5 sounds at once,
Kobus Muller (who won the Super Stere competition) and 3D Band among others.
ER 24 was there for medical emergencies and to change the public’s perceptions about their work. ER 24 is a privately owned company which transports ill patients to the nearest hospital. They don’t work directly for any hospital. Francois Cohn (a basic medic) and Gerard Dreyer (an intermediate medic with 22 years’ experience) explained the difference between basic, intermediate and advanced care.
A basic medic can apply basic first aid or oxygen but no medication and must work under a supervisior. An intermediate medic can put in IV-lines or drips, apply ECG (shock therapy to traumatised patients) and some medication. An advanced medic may make use of more medicines and drugs, apply tubes and adrenaline. Both intermediates and advanced medics can work independently.
A portrait entitled “Paragon for humanity” by a first year engeneering student at Damelin Boksburg, Samuel Mofokeng, was also auctioned off to raise money for the day care centre. Paragon means “perfect example”. Samuel explained the meaning of the portrait: “A woman is portrayed with a chain around her neck. She represents the human race. The chain is a symbol of the ‘mundane society’ and the things that can pull us down such as pain and heart ache. At the bottom of the portrait a light can be seen that breaks the chains. The light represents the children or love. Love breaks all chains.”
I’ve decided to post my articles which I have written for Spotlight (and never saw the light) on my blog.
It doesn’t look like Spotlight is going to work out.
At least I can count it as experience and I have some great pieces for my portfolio (I think).
I also had the privilege to see some awesome people in action. Here are their stories…