A wrap of arts happenings in Makhanda
If you appreciate political satire, visit an exhibition by Ghanaian artist Bright Ackwerh at the RAW Spot Gallery, 5 Rhodes Avenue (corner Lucas Ave).
Through his sharp and unrelenting wit, Bright Ackwerh turns the tables on global leaders who have treated Africa and Africans with disregard, have positioned themselves as Messiahs, or have colluded with African elites. “Everyone wants to be the King or Queen,” says Ackwerh, who places characters such as Robert Mugabe, the Queen of England, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump or Nana Akufo-Addo in funny situations in order to imagine how they would react.
The title of the RAW Spot exhibition, “Where de cho dey?” is Ghanaian Pidgin for “Where is the food?” and the works on show grapple with contemporary geopolitical crises through an analysis of food.
Reddits this Friday
Back again this Friday 26 October, 6pm to 8.30pm, is Reddits Poetry at Café D’Vine in New Street. Open floor poetry, spoken word and occasional music – “Come and join us at the most welcoming poetry event in the Eastern Cape (if not the entire world!),” says organiser Harry Owen.
Kwantu Choir kaleidoscope
To mark the end of an exciting and experiential year , Makhanda Kwantu Choir will having its final concert this Saturday at NELM, 7pm-8.30pm, to celebrate the strides and outcomes the choir has produced throughout the year.
A relatively new choir to Makhanda, Kwantu has found a unique place into the hearts of the people of Makhanda through its heartfelt approach and dedication towards a united people.
Conductor Kutlwano ‘Kepa’ Kepadisa says, “Through its music, it embraces the essence and commonality of humanity. Music has the power to unite people, provide a space for healing and a commonality from which people can engage. Hence its name: “Kwantu” – A place of gathering, a place of the people.”
The choir will be presenting a vibrant programme in six languages, featuring 21st century compositions, choral works from Russia and Norway and a number of South African compositions and traditional works.
“It will be a kaleidoscope of cultures and diversity,” says Kepa. Tickets are R40 and are available from Fusion Specialties Food Shop at Pepper Grove mall or at the door.
Fresh voices wanted
Tuesday is the deadline for entries for the Distell National Playwright Competition. The National Arts Festival and Distell have joined forces to seek out and showcase fresh storytellers and new voices. Full details here:
Two writers with local connections will launch their new books in the city next week.
Rhodes University alumna Briony Chisholm will launch One Night Only at the National English Literary Museum (NELM) on Tuesday 30 October, 5.30 for 6pm.
One Night Only, set in Cape Town, chronicles the life of 33-year old Sarah Trafford, who has sworn off committed relationships after her last failed affair.
“In the book exists a familiar world of lascivious bosses, heartbreakers and clingers-on,” the description says. “While we are asked to consider the meaning of ‘ever after’ within the levity provided by Sarah’s antics, the story is fun, humorous and entertaining; it allows us moments of letting go with the comfort of an exit.”
In 1996, aged 21, on her way home from finishing her degree in pharmacy at Rhodes University, she was involved in a car accident outside Cradock that left her quadriplegic. She took nine months out to recover and get used to life in a wheelchair and then dove straight back in to do her pharmacy internship at the hospital on the goldmine that she grew up on. With that in the bag she flew the coop and moved to Cape Town, where she works at the Medicines Information Centre and National HIV and TB Hotline as an information pharmacist.
Soweto born poet MakManaka will launch his collection “Oncoming Traffic” at 5.30 for 6pm on 1 November at the Eastern Star Gallery.
The 46 poems (mainly in English but with some in Setswana and isiZulu) reveal a maturing 35-year-old Manaka and articulate his tormenting insecurities and confusions about disability and manhood: “The poems in my collection mainly reflect the silence in my personal conflict, meaning, writing what I cannot say… what it means to be a man when raised by a woman, secondly my relationship with myself as a man with a physical disability, and lastly, as a black man dealing with the reality of living in a dysfunctional/disabled society.”
The collection was his thesis at Rhodes University where he recently completed his Masters degree in Creative Writing under the supervision of veteran poetry editor and teacher, Robert Berold, and the rhyme master himself, Lesego Rampolokeng, who is set to speak at the launch.