They call It jazz

alice-3

They call it jazz but this music is much bigger and broader than any definitions.

Miles Davis called it Social Music, Nicholas Payton calls it BAM (black american music) but the closest description has to be Wayne Shorter’s “I Dare You” music.

Call It what we may, this phenomenon known as jazz is fun, intricate, witty and full of whimsical freedom and wisdom; It is music at its most sincere, although often highly enigmatic.

As Amiri Baraka poetically stated “jazz listen to it at your own risk”.

It can literally either heal your soul or blow your freakin’ mind .

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RJbGQ2wWSR8&sns=fb

 

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poetic reflection: thaka

IMG-20170508-WA0036ngiyabuvuma ubuthakathaka bami

Kanti futhi nobubi bami ngibubonile

Ngibuthaka ngimubi ngijalo nje

Angiyigqizi qakala inkulumo yabangibandlululayo

ngiyishaya indiva imicibilisho yabangizondayo

eminye sengenze ngayo imbuthuma yomlilo esithangamini lapho sesiyoxoxa khona sidingide umsuka nesisombululo sengxabano yethu …

For the Love of African Writers Series

One of my favourite book titles must be Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood. It speaks poetically of the existential position of an embattled and suffering humanity. Ousmane deals most creatively with the lot of Afrikan people and the struggles we go through under various forms of colonialism.

I have read this novel, a very long time ago, during my formative years of being introduced to the awesomely endowed African Writers Series, a trademark of Heinemann, a division of Reed Publishing ( USA) Incorporated. To say that the African Writers Series and the Caribbean Writers Series is a treasure-trove would be an understatement, but I have yet to find the words to describe the wealth of knowledge and joy I have found in exploring all those stories from all over the Afrikan and Diasporic world.

I am about to re-read Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood, ( I aim to write at length about the literary and film works of this great Afrikan artist and prophet -)  and I am so excited. The blurb at the back reads:

“‘Eversince they left Thies, the women had not stopped singing. As soon as one group allowed the refrain to die, another picked it up, and new verses were born at the hazard of chance or inspiration, one word leading to another and each finding in its turn, its rhythm and its place. No one was very sure any longer where the song began, or if it had an ending. It rolled out over its own length, like the movement of a serpent. It was as long as a life.’

In 1947-8 the workers on the Dakar-Niger railway came out on strike. Sembene Ousmane, in thhis vivid and moving novel, evinces all of the colour, passion and tragedy of those decisive years in the history of West Africa.”

 

 

Apply Now: MCF@RUFORUM Scholarships 2018

RUFORUM

MCF@RUFORUM

Deadline Extension: 31 March 2018 

The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 85 universities in 35 African countries. The partnership focuses on ‘Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development’.

The aim of partnership is to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation.

Under this partnership, 110 Bachelor and 110 Master scholarships will be provided over a period of eight years. The scholarships target; academically deserving yet economically disadvantaged, marginalized communities and those coming from conflict and post conflict areas of Africa. The scholarships are tenable at Egerton University in Kenya and Gulu University in Uganda.

Students enrolled under this program will receive comprehensive scholarships, leadership development, life skills support, entrepreneurship training and…

View original post 52 more words

Rastafari Trade Routes: Part 1

I have been a Rastafari devotee for more than a decade, like many brothers and sisters in the movement/faith/lifestyle, I have faced many challenges and weathered many storms. The most difficult battles have been wither within the family institution and the state.  The difficulties that one experiences from society in general are negligible compared to the amount of pressure that one faces from loved ones as well as the state institutions such as the Legal system, the Police as well as Government and the Health systems.

It is difficult to maintain a state of objectivity or academic detachment from the subject when one is writing about ones own life. But this is what I have attempted to do at various times when writing or speaking about the enigmatic global as well as personal Rastafari Movement. Suffice to say, I still believe that there is so much opportunity for Rasta’s to channel the world towards Peaceful and Equitable co-existence, and that this can be done from within any sector, from the Cultural to the Business levels.

One only has to look at the foundations and the progress of the movement since its inception to realize just how pertinent I and I are to global progress. It is also obvious that there is always room for improvement because Rastafari is also not a homogeneous cult, but a diverse and dynamic movement and lifestyle made up of individuals with multitudinous goals.

Let us deal with the various aspects of Rastafari:

1. Spirituality

2. Culture

3. Global and Local Scope

4. The Music

5. Economic Power

6. Present, Future Visions and Ways of Being Rasta

7. A S.W.O.T. Analysis

 

Conclusion:

 

 

 

References:

 

 

 

 

 

WORDS INSIDE: Books, Marginalia and Technology

Dr Shawn Naphtali Sobers' blog -------- thoughts, images and things.

Civil Society

Notes by the photographer
Reason: Studying for PhD
Published 2008, notes in same year

=====

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Notes by photographer
Reason: Studying for PhD, logging quotes
Book purchased second hand, already contained some notes (not shown)

=====

Of Mice and Men

Inscription: ‘From Wendy, Christmas 1963′ (unknown)
Published 1963
Book owned by photographer
Found in parents’ house, presumed purchased second-hand

=====

Social Problems: A Modern Approach

Highlighted by unknown person
Published 1967
Book owned by photographer
Purchased second-hand circa 2004

=====

Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass

Inscription – 50p and 3/12
Book owned by photographer
Purchased in second-hand shop for 50p
Published 1963, purchased circa 2001

=====

The Doodle Book: Draw! Colour! Create!

Drawing by Mahalia Sobers, aged circa 3 years old
Reason: Fun

=====

Westward with Columbus

Scribble by unknown child
Published 1906
Owned by photographer
Purchased second-hand for 5p, circa 2002

View original post 704 more words

Dick Gregory – Nigger

Dr Shawn Naphtali Sobers' blog -------- thoughts, images and things.

In 1993 when I started my degree in Newport, I visited the university library to find some interesting books. This one caught my eye straight away. Seeing the title, I couldn’t believe it even existed, let alone be in my university library. Shock and awe is an understatement. I took out the book and must have renewed it about ten times.

A few weeks later I visited Bristol and went to a Black Writers meeting for the first time, run by Bertel Martin (the first time I met him and Edson Burton) at Kuumba Centre. I went for a drink with them and some of the others after the meeting in The Bank, (Stokes Croft), and I remember talking manically about this book like someone possessed. I guess I was possessed, as it was the first time I had read a book like that. It inspired me in more ways…

View original post 25 more words

Ancient Future Sounds

Knowledge production in Afrika is second-nature. We make stories, images and music as if by default, or is it all by design? Within the Afrocentric school of thought there are as many artists, orators and researchers as there are scientists, designers as there are technocrats. The celebrated writer Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie is absolutely correct when she says that we should into the danger of ‘the single story’, you know -? Those stereotypes and generalizations that enforce narrow perceptions of the world we all co-exist in. Similarly, there is a misleading narrative that has been set, where Africa/Afrika is cast as simply a Cultural, Traditional and somewhat backward space of underdevelopment. Yet there have been scientific, and leading edge ideas developed by Afrikans for many centuries, it is simply the fact that many minds are yet to be decolonized that allows for the stereotypes to become self-fulfilling.

Rediscovering the works of the Cameroonian musical Griot, Manu Digango reminded me of this fact. His work, his sounds and design ethic reminded me that we are not a static people. Manu Dibango reminded me that we are as dynamic individually as we are multifaceted communally. There are Afrikan people all over the globe making remarkable contributions in every conceivable field of endeavor, from engineering, astrophysics, to arts and other sections of knowledge production. the world may still be biased towards white skins, and Ethnocentrism may still be far from over, but each project that shifts the mind towards progressive thought is a step in a positive direction.

This is part of what I wish to communicate to the world through various projects, ranging from workshops, installations and contributing to facilitating a new Afrikological curriculum in all Afrikan learning spaces. Towards this end, I am currenlt studying Communication Science at the University of South Africa, and in one of the subjects ( Projects and Programmes As Instruments for Development), I found this :

Each project is a social experiment, generating important new knowledge about what works and what does not in a specified cultural context. Assessment is, therefore, a crucial part of project development. ( Nolan 2000:200)”

I highlight this quote because, for the longest time I was frustrated by mostly United States and United Kingdom awards ceremonies that seemed to not recognize Black peoples contributions in any given field; but then again, when there are Black run awards ceremonies they also seemed to follow the template or formats of the Eurocentric ones. It became simply a matter of white supremacy re-asserting and perpetuating itself. Again we return to Music and its power. We shall extend this essay further and discuss how the same amount of creativity has been exerted by Black people or people of Afrikan descent in various fields.

For now, please enjoy Mr Soul Makosa’s tunes:

My People and Water

AmaReflections

MY PEOPLE AND WATER

Like all kids growing up in a semi-rural space, most of our games took place by the river. This is quite evident in most of our repertoires and river songs. Alongside us playing by the river, we were also told numerous stories about gigantic creatures that lived in the river, most of our cleansing rituals took place by the river and even the famous ‘ukweshela’ took place by the river.

During the mid to late 80s violence in KwaZulu Natal my family moved from Emaqongqo to a village called Emgodini in Pietermariztburg.

Emgodini literally looked like a hole between mountains, there was a special presence in this village. Our temporary home was built not far from the river banks of Umsunduzi which meant as children we would be spending most of our playing time by the river.

On a beautiful summer day, I thought I had…

View original post 144 more words

Rastafari Trade Routes: Part 1

I have been a Rastafari devotee for more than a decade, like many brothers and sisters in the movement/faith/lifestyle, I have faced many challenges and weathered many storms. The most difficult battles have been wither within the family institution and the state.  The difficulties that one experiences from society in general are negligible compared to the amount of pressure that one faces from loved ones as well as the state institutions such as the Legal system, the Police as well as Government and the Health systems.

It is difficult to maintain a state of objectivity or academic detachment from the subject when one is writing about ones own life. But this is what I have attempted to do at various times when writing or speaking about the enigmatic global as well as personal Rastafari Movement. Suffice to say, I still believe that there is so much opportunity for Rasta’s to channel the world towards Peaceful and Equitable co-existence, and that this can be done from within any sector, from the Cultural to the Business levels.

One only has to look at the foundations and the progress of the movement since its inception to realize just how pertinent I and I are to global progress. It is also obvious that there is always room for improvement because Rastafari is also not a homogeneous cult, but a diverse and dynamic movement and lifestyle made up of individuals with multitudinous goals.

Let us deal with the various aspects of Rastafari:

1. Spirituality

2. Culture

3. Global and Local Scope

4. The Music

5. Economic Power

6. Present, Future Visions and Ways of Being Rasta

7. A S.W.O.T. Analysis

 

Conclusion:

 

 

 

References: