News Brief

Why Were All Today’s Women’s Day Speeches Being Given by Men? South African Women Speak Out

This is what happened at today's women's day events in South Africa.

Various political parties in South Africa have been holding their rallies for women's day today, but as the familiar male politicians have been giving keynote addresses, people on Twitter have been asking when women will get their chance to lead.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the national women's day address in the Western Cape which was disrupted by protestors calling for an end to farm evictions. According to News 24, protestors carried placard written "We want our land back" and "This is our land."



In his speech, Ramaphosa responded to the protestors saying, "I have seen the posters. We will talk about it later." He then went on to speak about fighting against gender based violence, depression, and land distribution among women.

Ramaphosa's speech touched on issues that have prominent this month following the #TotalShutdown march where women gathered to protest, rape, gender violence, and femicide. South Africa's femicide rate is reported to be 5 times more than the global rate, making it a leading issue in the protests and the speeches given by political leaders in South Africa. The women at the protest had also asked the men to participate by staying away from economic activity on the day of the march, highlighting both the importance of having women at the forefront of the march and engaging economy as a key factor in discussions about gender.




"Our nation is hungry for the leadership of women and we must move in that direction," Ramaphosa also pointed out in his speech, unintentionally echoing people on twitter who were wondering the same thing.

The EFF also held a women's day rally, where Julius Malema gave the address accompanied by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. In his speech Malema confronted how the EFF has mostly appealed to men in the past, and how political parties must "start a culture of cultivating female leaders."



"Women follow things that make sense, it means as EFF we are not making sense. We must change that and appeal to women." Malema said.

While we all know that women leadership is important, people on twitter found it hard not to point out the irony of men taking over women's day.




Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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