Author: Siyamthanda Pongco

By SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO and NAOMI GREWAN Standard Bank announced shortly before the start of the National Arts Festival (NAF) that they would be pulling out as the main sponsor of the National Jazz Festival. The withdrawal of funding undoubtedly dampened some of the bunting, glitz and ‘gees’ previously associated with the jazz festival. And this year, some performers have played their hearts out to tiny audiences. Despite this, the 2022 jazz program has an impressive lineup of national and international acts, and NAF CEO Monica Newton was upbeat about future sponsorship. “Some of the wonderful opportunities for branding that come…

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Cue

By SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO Stage 4 load shedding, caused by Eskom strike action, adds an extra layer of complexity to the National Arts Festival programme. Some venues are equipped with generators, and some without generators will work with emergency lighting where possible. As a last resort, some shows are being rescheduled. Cue will issue rolling updates. In an official statement, Eskom said due to “ongoing unprotected labour action”, the company had been “compelled to implement Stage 4 load shedding. “While exploring possible solutions to unlock the deadlock with the unions, Eskom appeals to its labour partners and striking employees to embrace…

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BY SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO Recently, South Africa’s Defence Minister Thandi Modise lamented the low level of public trust in law enforcement agencies in the country. In particular, the minister drew attention to a persisting legitimacy problem in the relationship between the police and the public. In Makhanda, many residents have turned to private security companies like Hi-Tec and Schmart – as the city’s de factor police force – for protection and law enforcement. Hi-Tec operations manager Kenny Knoetze has almost 20 years of experience in local law enforcement and has witnessed the evolution of crime in the city since 2002. Cable theft Knoetze…

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BY SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO Inkondekazi, Mama Afrika. This year, The Black Power Station is honouring Miriam Makeba on the 90th anniversary of her birth as part of an ongoing initiative to celebrate and embrace fallen struggle heroes from an artistic perspective. In 2021, The Black Power Station celebrated Charlotte Maxeke and next year, they are looking to honour Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The Black Power Station’s Xolile Madinda said art was a vital model for commemorating icons like Mama Afrika, who have given so much to the art production of the country. Miriam Makeba grew up singing in a choir in Sophiatown,…

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By SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO “The era of action is upon us,” said ActionSA Eastern Cape chair Athol Trollip, the guest speaker at a recent gathering of party enthusiasts in Makhanda. Trollip said Makhanda should be the Stellenbosch of the Eastern Cape. Both are educational centres of excellence; both are historic towns. “My son went to Rhodes, but the deterioration in Makhanda over the last 27 years has been very marked,” Trollip said. “Infrastructure has collapsed and decayed in Makhanda because of a lack of mundane routine maintenance – there is no political accountability, no leadership. “What I see happening in this…

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BY NOLWAKHE YVONNE SEWELO We live in times where cruelty, evil, corruption, disruption, and turmoil are experienced even within the borders of the house of God. But, we shouldn’t hold back or fold our arms. The upcoming generation carries solutions within them – with the proper foundation, they can rightsize the future. Extramural activities and spiritual education are vital supplements to school. Through our initiative, Ikusasa lase-Makhanda (the future of Makhanda), we have discovered just how amazing young Makhandans are. They are filled with conviction and commitment – many are willing to travel miles to their music and chess lessons.…

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By CHESLEY DANIELS Powerful eighth-man Brian Buys was in devastating form scoring four tries as St Mark’s Alicedale secured a 39-10 bonus-point win over Ndlambe Tigers in their EPRU SEDRU Regional League encounter Alicedale on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Train enjoyed a comfortable 17-5 lead at changeover. Buys is also now the leading try-scorer in the competition with nine tries behind his back and the win put St Mark’s in the second position on the overall log standings behind Klipfontein United. Brian Buys St Mark’s Man of the Match. The battle was contested upfront as both teams possess big powerful…

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BY SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO Khutliso Daniels High School’s highly-anticipated music concert finally arrived on 8 May at the Indoor Sports Centre. The Makhanda community showed its support by turning up in numbers at the sparkling concert organised by Lonwabo Sandi. Audiences joined the choir during the Khutliso Daniels High school music concert. Photo: Siyamthanda Pongco There were lively scenes and huge smiles from the audience. The Khutliso Daniels concert proved yet again that electrifying music forms a fundamental basis for this town. The concert rekindled the excitement and goosebumps of Masicule!, which arose from the ashes of Covid-19 in March, setting…

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By SIYAMTHANDA PONGCO What is freedom? Are we free? What is it we are free from? How do we exercise it? What is it for? On Wednesday, Freedom Day was observed under the theme “Consolidate our democratic gains” at The Black Power Station. When a group of young people gathered under the Drostdy Arch waiting for their transport to the venue, the mood was lively as they chanted songs. But, by the end of the day, they were also speaking about astronomical youth unemployment, inequality, and gender-based violence. Are we able to change our education system? How do we foster…

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