News Brief

R20 Million Rand Statues to be Erected in Durban to Encourage 'Black Unity'

The pricey statues are of the late Apartheid struggle veterans Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

The local eThekwini Municipality in the city of Durban is set to erect bronze statues of the late Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo on one of the city's major highways. The statues are the work of artist Lungelo Gumede and will be placed alongside the statues of current president Cyril Ramaphosa and former president Jacob Zuma.


South Africans have expressed considerable criticism after the news of eThekwini Municipality having struck a "two for the price of R20 million (approximately $1.4 million)" deal with Gumede for his bronze statues of the two late Apartheid struggle veterans. The statues are going to be placed along Durban's M4 highway.


The municipality has already begun to receive backlash for what can only be termed political buffoonery on their part. In an interview with the eNCA below, the head of parks and recreation Thembinkosi Ngcobo speaks of how the municipality views the acquisition of the statues as being essential to political identity as well as black unity.


R20 million for two statues youtu.be

Ngcobo goes on to say that:

"The triumph we had over the apartheid system also forced us to be together, and because of that we gained our identity and in politics, there is nothing more important in my view than the politics of identity. Whoever will oppose this is someone who is going to be benefiting if black people were to be less united than they are now, because obviously for them they will have some benefits out of those divisions."

Owing to the scourge of Apartheid, the country has rightly set about a transformation and decolonization project which sees the reclaiming of spaces that intentionally excluded Black South Africans. This project has included the renaming of roads after struggle veterans, the renaming of universities and spaces within them, the removal of symbols of colonial oppression such as the Cecil John Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town and yes, the erection of statues of the many heroes of Black South Africans.

South Africans on Twitter expressed how they feel about the steep price of the two statues.





(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

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