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Serious Flooding Has Submerged South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province

At least 32 people have died with many others injured and numerous houses destroyed by mudslides.

Just after Cyclone Idai brought destruction to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, heavy rains in South Africa's coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) have resulted in disastrous flooding. Houses have been destroyed by mudslides and swept away in the raging waters whilst bodies are continuously being retrieved from the rubble of collapsed structures.


According to News24, the death toll has risen to 32 people. The rains show no signs of slowing down and an even heavier downfall is still expected in the days to come. Rescue workers are doing their best to ensure the safety of those who are still in inaccessible parts of the province.

Speaking about the current provincial crisis, member of the Executive Council (MEC) Nomusa Dube-Ncube said:

"Last night, the weather conditions worsened significantly across KZN and the heavy rain culminated in various parts of the province, claiming at least 21 lives and 32 patients in and around Durban. Over 2 000 emergency calls were logged last night."

Social media has been in a frenzy with every emerging detail from the crisis. Unlike the flooding which occurs in the city of Johannesburg and often only affects those living in townships especially close to rivers, the KZN floods have affected almost everyone—from the townships to affluent suburbs.

One Twitter user lamented at how climate change is not being taken seriously whilst its deadly effects are clearly there for everyone to see whilst another pointed out that the crisis is not being taken seriously by other South Africans in the rest of the country.


Many South Africans on social media have expressed their distress and issued condolences to the families affected.







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Culture
Photo (c) John Liebenberg

'Stolen Moments' Uncovers the Namibian Music That Apartheid Tried to Erase

The photo exhibition, showing at the Brunei Gallery in London, highlights artists from Namibia's underground scene between 1950-1980, a time of immense musical suppression prior to its independence.

Before its independence in 1990, a whole generation of Namibians were made to believe that their county had no real musical legacy. Popular productions by Namibian artists from previous eras were systematically concealed from the masses for nearly 30 years, under the apartheid regime—which extended to the country from South Africa following German colonization—depriving many Namibians of the opportunity to connect with their own musical heritage.

"Stolen Moments: Namibian Music Untold," a new exhibit currently showing at London's Brunei Museum at SOAS University of London, seeks to revive the musical Namibian musical traditions that the apartheid regime attempted to erase.

"Imagine you had never known about the musical riches of your country," said the exhibit's curator Aino Moongo in a statement of purpose on SOAS' site. "Your ears had been used to nothing but the dull sounds of country's former occupants and the blaring church and propaganda songs that were sold to you as your country's musical legacy. Until all at once, a magnitude of unknown sounds, melodies and songs appear. This sound, that roots your culture to the musical influences of jazz, blues and pop from around the world, is unique, yet familiar. It revives memories of bygone days, recites the history of your homeland and enables you for the first time to experience the emotions, joys and pains of your ancestors."

Photo (c) Dieter Hinrichs

The 'Stolen Moments" project began in 2010 in an effort to champion Namibia's unsung musical innovators. For the collection, Moongo and Assistant Curator, Siegrun Salmanian—along with a group of international scholars, artists, photographers and filmmakers—curated a large-scale photo exhibit that also features a 120-minute video projection, focusing on the dance styles of the era, along with listening stations, a sound installation that features "100-hours of interviews with musicians and contemporary witnesses," and displays of record covers and memorabilia from the period between 1950-1980.

The musicians highlighted, produced work that spanned a number of genres—a marker of the country's vast and eclectic underground scene. Artists like the saxophonist Leyden Naftali who led a band inspired by the sounds of ragtime, and the psychedelic rock and funk of the Ugly Creatures are explored through the exhibition, which also centers bands and artists such as The Dead Wood, The Rocking Kwela Boys, Children of Pluto and more.

"There are many reasons why you've never heard this music before," Moongo continues. "It was censored, suppressed, prohibited and made almost impossible to listen to. Its creators are either long gone or have given up on music making, by reasons of adversity, death and despair. And yet this beautiful music exists with a liveliness, as if it had never stopped playing. It is still in the minds of the few who can remember, with the ones who played it, and on those rare recordings that have survived in archives and record collections scattered around the globe. Allow me to share these stolen moments with you."

Photo (c) Dieter Hinrichs


Photo (c) John Liebenberg

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"Stolen Moments" is now showing at the Brunei Gallery in London and runs through Sept 21.

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