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Showing posts from April, 2015

Reader's Cafe: Why my story/her-story matters in Africa

Last week Friday I was invited to speak at Reader's Cafe, a student society at the University of Pretoria. There were four other speakers who had written about the issues facing the continent. The other pieces can be read on the website:
http://readerscafeafrica.com/2015/04/why-my-storyher-story-matters-in-africa/

Growing up I often heard my mother say the words “ukuza kukaNxele”. She would say this in relation to something that might never happen, the idea of waiting in vain. A translation of the expression is quite difficult to come by and I can’t think of an equivalent in English but the title of Samuel Beckett’s aburdist play,  “waiting for Godot”, comes close. In order to explain the expression, I’ll tell the story. There was once a man named Nxele, or as some might say,uMakana kaNxele. He is something of a legend amongst Xhosa people. He was a prophet who became notorious or famous for rebelling against the English in the frontier wars. He lived around the place that was to …