The things I love

Monthly Archives: November 2012

South African singer Miriam Makeba dies at the age of 76 after a 30 minute performance for Roberto Saviano in the Italian town of Caserta. Nicknamed ‘Mama Africa‘ or the ‘Empress of African Song’, Makeba’s music transcended South African borders and entered the global stage. Makeba built her reputation in the music industry in the 1950s singing for the Cuban Brothers and the Manhattan Brothers and the Skylarks. In 1959 Makeba starred in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa which placed the apartheid government under the international spotlight. As consequence she was subjected to harassment by the apartheid government. Her passport was revoked and withdrawn while she was outside the country leading to her stay in exile in London. When her mother died in 1960 she could not return to her funeral because her passport had been revoked.

In 1963 Makeba testified before the United Nations (UN) of how the apartheid government had stripped her of her citizenship. After speaking out against apartheid in the United Nations her music was banned by the state broadcasters in South Africa. Makeba lived in numerous countries such as the United States of America, France, Guinea and Belgium. Makeba toured various parts of the world in the 1970s and 1980s and continued to speak out against apartheid in various forums. At the end of apartheid she returned to South Africa and continued with her singing career. In 2005, Makeba announced her retirement from the mainstream music industry but she continued to make appearances and to do smaller performances. Makeba died on 9 November 2008 while performing in a concert organized for Roberto Saviano, an Italian writer threatened with death by the Mafia after he exposed their underground dealings.


Alan Cowell,( 2008), ‘Miriam Makeba, 76, Singer and Activist, Dies’ from the New York Times, 10 November [online], Available at, [Accessed 26 October 2010]

Celean Jacobson, (2008), ‘South African singer Miriam Makeba dies’ from the UK Independent, 10 November [online], Available at, [Accessed 26 October 2010]

Anon, (2008), ‘South African icon Miriam Makeba dies’ from the BBC, 10 November [online], Available at [Accessed 26 October 2010]

Anon, ‘Miriam Makeba dies in Italy’ from the Mail and Guardian, 10 November [online], Available at [Accessed 26 October 2010]


Akin Omotoso (born 1974) is a Nigerian-born South African actor, writer and director best known for his role as Khaya Motene in the SABC1 soapie Generations.

He also had starring roles in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo and the sitcom Big Okes.

Born in Nigeria, Omotoso grew up in the university town of Ife where he found his first love, writing.

In 1992, his family moved to South Africa after his father (Bankole Omotoso) accepted a lectureship at the University of the Western Cape. Akin completed his A-levels in South Africa but struggled to get into university without a matric exemption.

He enrolled for the only course at the University of Cape Town that did not require a matric exemption, the Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama. He originally intended to do drama for a year, but continued with the course before launching into the acting profession.

His career plans were turned around after he was cast in Sunjata, a play directed by Mark Fleishman. He won The Fleur du Cap Award for Most Promising Student in 1995 for his role in the play and decided to pursue a career in the performing arts.

Using money he made from acting to subsidise his directorial feats, he completed three short films: The Kiss of Milk, The Nightwalkers and The Caretaker.

In 1999 he wrote his first feature film, God is African. He struggled to find funding and at the suggestion of his leading actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, he made it a low budget film. Shooting was done at night because everyone on set had day jobs.

When God is African premiered in 2003, Omotoso was struggling with personal loss after his mother died from cancer. He decided to reprioritise his life and started a production company, T.O.M Pictures with Robbie Thorpe and Kgomotso Matsunyane.

The company’s first project was producing Craig Freimond’s film Gums and Noses, which went on to win Best South African Film at the New York Independent Film Festival in 2004.

Akin Omotoso directed another short film called Rifle Road which was selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. He also made a documentary in tribute to his mother called Gathering the Scattered Cousins, selected for screening at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival in 2006.

He was awarded the 2007 Standard Bank Young Artist Award in the Film category.

Films he has acted in include A Reasonable Man (1999), Operation Delta Force 5: Random Fire (2000), Lord of War (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), The Three Investigators and the Secret of Skeleton Island (2007) and Shake Hands with the Devil (2007).

He is a familiar face on the South African small screen having starred in Isidingo, Generations, Double Shift and Big Okes.

In 2008 he joined the cast of the M-Net drama series Jacob’s Cross for its third season playing the role of Femi, a UK-schooled and educated ex-Nigerian who arrives in Nigeria with a major secret.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a Nigerian-born, English-raised South African actor now living in Los Angeles, California, who is best known for his role as warlord and terrorist Colonel Ike Dubaku on the television movie 24: Redemption (2008) and Season 7 of the action series 24, in 2009.

He also made a notable guest appearance as Emeka in the 5th episode of Season 3 of the television series Lost, entitled “The Cost Of Living”, in 2006 (see pics below).

In 2007 he was seen in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, The Jinn, Hurricane in the Rose Garden, and Big Fellas.

Kae-Kazim has appeared in numerous British, American and South African television shows, including Adventures of Sinbad, Grange Hill, Julius Caesar, Generations, S.O.S, Soul City, Madam and Eve, Mazinyo Dot Q, Justice For All, Fishy Feshuns, The Bill, Love Hurts, and The Canterbury Tales.

He has had roles in the made-for-TV movies Double Vision (1992), Hidden Empire: A Son of Africa (1995), Trial & Retribution (1997), Animated Epics: Moby Dick (2000), Die Wüstenrose (2000), King Solomon’s Mines (2004), and The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines (2006).

Additionally, Kae-Kazim has had roles in the television mini-series Human Cargo (2004), for which he was nominated in the category Best supporting actor at the 2004 Gemini Awards; and The Triangle (2005), which was shot on location in South Africa.

He has appeared in the feature films The Secret Laughter of Women (1999), God Is African (2003), Critical Assignment (2004), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Out on a Limb (2005), Othello: A South African Tale (2005), Slipstream (2005), and The Front Line (2006).

He has also had roles in the direct-to-video releases Coming to South Africa (2004) and Coming to South Africa 2 (2005), both of which he produced.

In 1952 black South Africans, slaves in the land of their birth, rose up to peacefully throw off their shackles – with fatal results. Following is a context of the Mayibuye Uprising of November 8 1952.

Getting rid of the Shackles, by Johlene Mary

THE MAYIBUYE uprising in 1952 occurred not as an isolated event but as a result of the culmination of oppressive activities against the African people of South Africa, through the legislated encroachment upon the property rights and citizenship of Africans, by the colonial or Union authorities.

These oppressive measures can be seen in the litany of wars that were fought and the mass of laws passed to bolster what would become apartheid. The discovery of diamonds in 1870 saw the British Imperial government embarking on a process of expansion, which resulted in the ‘Wars of Dispossession’ with many chiefdoms being overpowered: Hlubi 1873; Gcaleka and Pedi 1877; Ngita, Thema, Mpondo, Griqua, Rolong 1878; Zulu 1879; Sotho l880; Ndebele 1893.

The Glen Grey Act orchestrated by Cecil John Rhodes and Jan Hofmeyer resulted, in a progressive system of dispossession of the African majority in South Africa. This Act resulted in the establishment of the local administration under which Africans would be forced to concentrate on local matters. The establishment of the council system under this Act resulted in the provision of infrastructure and important services such as education being shifted to the inhabitants of the reserves, imposing a labour tax of 10 shillings on any African male who had not worked outside his district for at least three months in the year. The authors of the Glen Grey Act expected that poverty and starvation would force Africans from the reserves to seek employment in the white farms and mines.

In 1911 Sol Plaatje stated ‘Boers are now ousting the Englishman from the public scene and when they finished are with them, they will make a law declaring it a crime for a Native to live in South Africa unless he worked as servant in the employ of a Boer and from this it will be just one to step to complete slavery’.

During the years 1911 – 1913 the Union passed various acts which had disastrous consequences for blacks in South Africa. The Native Labour Regulation Act 1911 resulted in movement control and wage control of the African that essentially entrenched migrant labour and an average standard wage. The 1913 Native Land Act was born out of the idea that squatting on the farms resulted in an aggravated shortage of labour. It claimed that the presence of the settled African on the farms that led an independent life resulted in social contact between them and the whites, which was regarded as highly undesirable. These two Acts laid the basis for a race-based system of oppression and exploitation and led to various passive petitions to the King of Britain that were all unsuccessful. 1817 saw the Bucket strike followed in 1918-1919 by African and Coloured Dock workers’ strikes.

Both of these however were very passive. In 1921 the Stallard Commission established by the Hertzog/Smuts coalition government recommended that the Government consider that ‘the history of the races, especially having regard to South African history, showed that the coming together of black and white is undesirable’. The commission felt that Africans ‘should only be allowed to enter urban areas, which were essentially the white man’s creation, when he is willing to enter and attend to the needs of the white man and he should depart therefrom if he ceases to attend to those needs’. The commission also recommended firstly, influx control regulations; secondly the tightening of the pass laws; thirdly, the labour bureaux system of the 1950s; fourthly the ‘Dompas‘ which became the monitoring instrument which the every African over the age of 15 years had to carry, as mechanisms to achieve these aims.

The Poll Tax Act of 1925 was imposed on all African males between the ages of 18-65 years. Development services for the African were paid from the poll tax of (pound) one per head. One fifth was set aside of the African education and four fifths to develop the African areas.

In 1943 the Smuts government issued a White Paper in which it set out its scheme to rehabilitate the reserves. Among the major features of the rehabilitation and betterment scheme was the culling of stock to the carrying capacity of the communal pasturage and the removal from residential areas of those who had no arable allotments and placing them in various’ labour settlements.

The mass removal of people from areas they had occupied for half a century and more affected an estimated three million people. The land distribution in the various reserves became critical as millions of Africans were trapped between the grinding poverty of the reserves and the hammer of the laws that forced them put out of the urban and rural white areas.

Migrant labour became a way of life for the vast majority of able-bodied men. Before the formation of the Union in 1910 the need to unite in order to fight effectively against the determined attacks on the political rights of the Africans by the alliance of Britons and Boers had become apparent.

In 1950 the African, Indian, Coloured and white democrats realized that the fight against all the oppressive laws could not be fought by one section only. It was a total fight that required the mobilization of all the people. Also in that year the Suppression of Communism Act was passed and the next year the Bantu Authorities Act resurrected the chieftainships, which had been destroyed after the Wars of Dispossession.

The fifties saw the ANC going into action in the urban townships to organize workers and in the Bantustans to organize peasants in a peasant-led struggle against the racially inspired monster of Apartheid. People were mobilized to join trade unions. Scores of meetings took place in townships under the cover of darkness. It was a task carried out patiently and consistently.

On June 26,1850 a call was made to stay home. Exactly a year later the African National Congress, the Indian Congress, South African Coloured People’s Organisation and the White Democrats launched a joint campaign. A planning council was established and the Defiance Campaign started on June 26 1952.

As part of the Defiance Campaign in Kimberley Dr Arthur Letele organized a group of volunteers to defy the segregation laws by sitting on the ‘Europeans Only’ benches at the Kimberley Station. They were arrested and fined £3 or ten days imprisonment. They all opted for the latter.

In Kimberley on November 8 1952, years before the Sharpeville massacre, another massacre took place. A dozen people were buried in a mass funeral on November 12 1952, at the West End Graveyard. They were innocent casualties who had been coming home from work: At dawn the following morning the police detained Dr Arthur Letele, Sam Phakedi, Pepys Madibane, Olehile Sehume, Alexander Nkoane, Daniel Chabalala and David Mpiwa who were regarded as the ringleaders.

Dr Letele, John Rholeng, Khabi Khabele, Mosata, Mabemba, Qwetha Hulana and several others marshalled the African National Congress at the time. The Defiance campaign saw 8326 people volunteering to defy unjust laws and facing court imprisonment. The benefits of the campaign saw it giving African National Congress membership on the ground an opportunity to be practically involved in the struggle against oppression.

The people shed the fear of jail as they realized the way to freedom passed through jail. The campaign inculcated the idea of the spirit of sacrifice of personal interest for the public good. Out of the campaign came a disciplined volunteer corps of men and women who gave freely of their time and energy without any remuneration in order to build the African National Congress and Alliance.

The Defiance Campaign put an end to deputations pleading with the government to grant rights which it had deliberately, as a matter of calculated policy, taken away from the oppressed and exploited majority. Forty-two years later all South Africans, irrespective of race, creed or colour, would be able to go to the polls to elect their own Government and break down the edifice of apartheid.

Robben Island Mayibuye Archives


accessed on :

Ladies Indulge

Elba, an only child, was born Idrissa Akuna Elba, and shortened his first name at school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. His father, Winston, is Sierra Leonean and worked at a Ford factory, and his mother, Eve, is Ghanaian and had a clerical job. The two met in West Africa before moving to East London.

He grew up in East Ham and began helping an uncle with his wedding-DJ business in 1986,  within a year he had started his own DJ company with some of his best friends.

He left school in 1988 and won a place in the National Youth Music Theatre, thanks to a £1,500 Prince’s Trust grant, but later ended up having to do everything from tyre-fitting to cold-call advertising sales to pay the rent between roles in Crimewatch murder reconstructions.

He was working in nightclubs under the DJ nickname Big Driis in 1991, but began auditioning for television parts in his early twenties. After a stint in the National Youth Music Theatre, Elba worked the night shift at a Ford factory in Dagenham from 1989–90.  He  started his acting career while in secondary school with encouragement from his drama teacher.

Elba is currently single. He and his ex-wife Kim Elba have a daughter. Elba spends much of his time in London, but also owns a home in Atlanta, so he can be close to his daughter.

In April 2009, the Prince’s Trust, which Elba credits with helping to start his career, appointed him its Anti-Crime Ambassador, and in July 2010, he announced his support for Oona King in her campaign to become the Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London in 2012.

Elba is a fan of Arsenal F.C, while his father supports Manchester United


Avocado is a fruit with many health benefits, it is good for  preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease to name but a few.
I love avocado because you can use it in many dishes. salad, pizza, pasta, sandwiches etc.

I have discovered another way I can enjoy my avocado:

Avocado Milkshake

you will need:

1/2 avocado

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream( depending how thick you like your shake)

a glass of milk (also will depend on how you like your shake)


throw the ingredients into a blender and blend to your desire.


I love food and I have a weakness for anything new that comes my way. I can just about eat anything and everything.

Christmas is around the corner and I have a few recipes to share with you, I wont give them all away today but one that I have been dying to share with you guys…. A good friend of mine used to make this for me, and even though I have failed to master it, it doesn’t mean you cant do it.

I found this recipe online but it is the same as Aunty Zerinas.

here is how to make your own.

1 can Caramel condensed milk
500 ml Whipping cream
1 Peppermint Crisp bar
1 packet Tennis biscuits (shortbread cookies)

Beat the cream until stiff,

Fold in the condensed milk,

Put a layer of caramel on each tennis biscuit and layer in a greased dish,

Pour in the filling and grate the Peppermint crisp over the filling,

Repeat layer ending with the filling as last layer,

Grate a little chocolate over the top.

Leave in fridge for 2 hours before serving.