Lerato la Mmino wa Setšo – An Autobiography of Mashegoane Molepo

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Traditional Communities who still very much rely on oral culture to transmit Information and Knowledge are at the risk of being left behind by a rapidly changing society. In these communities, word of mouth is everything while residents seldom capture important events in their daily lives. Documentation is a problem and it is often difficult to verify sources of information. One can say for instance; that “the world is coming to an end tomorrow” and people would believe them to a point where the story can circulate or “trend” for months in community social discourse.

As a traditional community,  Mankgaile village, Ga Molepo shares the attributes and characteristics above. We live in such closely related families we frequently have to contend with issues of love, betrayal, scandals, jealousy, character assassination, competition and sometimes even death among residents. Ba re gona le “go welwa ke phoko”. This happens when there is a topical issue that has drawn the attention of the majority of residents on either one individual or a particular family. When this happens, residents often have nothing else to talk about except that which is seen as the top story in the community’s news circuit.

Often times, the top story will circulate at community gatherings like weddings, mephaso, manyalo, at taverns and everywhere else imaginable; including in the homes of residents – where love, laughter, lies, treachery, suspense and gossip fills the private spaces. The dialogue is often vertical(i.e. Community<——–>Royal Family) or horizontal(i.e. Community Member<———>Community Member).

The year 2015 has been both interesting and challenging for me and my family. At the center of it all, the issue of Mmino wa Setšo or Dinaka/Kiba in the village has been trending throughout the twelve months. More so because on arrival from Gauteng, my father; who is now a pensioner, decided to put into effect the decision he has always warned some of the practitioners of Dinaka/Kiba Music and Dance he would do on his return home: to deal with the rotten apples among members of Boramaga Traditional Group. This decision became unpopular among those who felt they had lost the war of distraction they have been waging on the group for years. After everything that has happened, i decided, together with my father, to write an auto-biography that will capture the incredible musical journey he has walked since childhood up until old age. What came out of the interviews and research i conducted was a short text of 20 pages titled Lerato la Mmino wa Setšo written in Northern Sotho of course, not English.

I felt it was time to write down the details so as to inform my fellow community members about the story of Dinaka/Kiba in my village. I am hopeful the few that will be able to locate and read the facts in the text will be able to see the issue from a different perspective altogether. That still, i am aware the text will be critiqued since i am his son. What i want to make clear is that my writing the text has less to do with my relationship to him and more to do with the professional commitment i have as a qualified Information Scientist. That’s what i do on a daily basis: to research, evaluate, create, organize, store and disseminate information. Therefore, my appeal to anyone who comes across the text is: read with an open mind, criticize constructively, give facts and lets all contribute positively to a balanced social discourse which can help our community of Mankgaile and Ga Molepo in general to move forward and not to degenerate and stagnate into oblivion and reckless conversations which have a potential to cause serious conflict.

 

For any queries and comments relating to this text send an email to mahlaga@molepotraditionaldance.com. I am also on Facebook, and Twitter.

 

DOWNLOAD A PDF version of the text here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>http://wp.me/a2ne71-ea

Moshate!

 

 

Kgoro ya Ga Makhudu: ke seo sa moselana a seripa?

Pharela ke ye. Ka nako ya go ngwalwa ga pukwana ye e bitšwago BANA BA MALAHLELA(ngwaga 2012), Kgoro ya gaMakhudu e na le mathata ao a hlotšego  hlakahlakano setšhabeng. Mohumagadi wa Sekate Mankgatleng e sa le a re go boa ka gae go tšwa ga Mogano, a napa a thoma go se sa rerišana le bakgomana ba kgoro bao e lego ditlogolokhukhu tša mokgalabje Malahlela jwale ka ge go hlalositšwe.

Bothata jo bongwe jo bogolo ke gore gona le bakgomana ba Kgoro ya ga Makhudu bao ba tsejwago ka baga Makgaritša(e lego bakgomana ba kgoro ya gaMakhudu baga rangwanea tšona) bao ba bonalago ba huetša Mohumagadi wa Sekate Mankgatleng ka moya wa go se nyake go rerišana le bana ba mokgalabje Malahlela ba mosadi wo mogolo jwale ka dihlogo tša Kgoro ya gaMakhudu. Gona le mathata a go fana ka dijarata tša bodulo mafelong a mabenkele le a dipapadi, batšofe ba motse ba tshwenyega ka ditšhelete tša bona tša mphiwafela, ofisi ya motse ga se ya agiwa, masogana a motse a lla ka go segiwa ga dijarata Mmašalang, noka yeo e fetago kgauswi le motse e tšhilafetše, go na le mortuary motseng, badudiba ga kgone go hwetša ditirelo tša magwalo, bohodu le dipolayano di a atile, kgoro ga e sa tsena ka disontaga, mohumagadi wa Sekate Mankgatleng o dia dilo a nnoši ka ntle le go rerišana le bakgomana gammogo le setšhaba – ga go sana molao motseng.

Ka go le lengwe, mokgalabje Mankgatleng o boloketšwe Sebetiela diplotong gomme moya wa gagwe ga se wa robala ka ge a nyaka go boa gae. Potšišo ke gore naa mokgalabje o tlo tsenela ka ga mang gore a se no boa gae kage e le kgale a hlokofetše? Lapa la gabo, e lego lapa la mokgalabje Malahlela tatagwe, ke ka ga Mashegoane phejane ya gabo.

Potšišo-kgolo ke gore: naa kgoro ya Ga Makhudu e sa le gona goba go jo šala fela leina?

 

Profiling Molepo Traditional Dance

Preview Dinaka Booklet

The art form:
Dinaka/Kiba music and dance or mmino wa setšo as is known among rural communities in Limpopo province, South Africa; is an important heritage from pre-colonial Southern Africa. Our explanation of the art form is twofold: Firstly, Dinaka/Kiba music and dance as cultural expression – an aesthetic which has survived marginalization and misinterpretation through colonization and apartheid times. Secondly, Dinaka/Kiba music and dance as an oral teaching instrument central to Indigenous Knowledge Institutions of Southern Africa and the role it plays in knowledge sharing.

The Group:
Molepo Traditional Music and Dance is a group that performs traditional Northern Sotho music and dance also known as Dinaka/Kiba or simply put mmino wa setṧo; which is predominantly found in Limpopo province and can be found in different regions. The group is originally from Mankgaile village, Ga Molepo – a rural town located along the north eastern outskirts of Polokwane City under the current chieftainship of Kgosi Maisha III of the Molepo Traditional Authority. The group has 22 members in total, 15 elderly and 7 youths(below the age of 35). As a result of cross-gender influences, out of the 22 people membership, we have three females who play the drums or meropa. The rest of the members are males who play the instruments also known as dinaka.

Originally the group wore selected pieces of animal skins(those of the Bush Buck, Concubine etc depending on the individual’s taste, tribal totem and spiritual inclination) and colourful beads made up of white, orange, blue and black as costumes. Again, as a result of cross-tribal influences the current colours of the costumes worn by the group during live performances are black inter mingled with purple, powder blue, white and red costumes, white takkies and socks often times complimented with animal skins and colourful beads. These colours reveal a great deal about the presence of some members from now defunct Dinaka/Kiba groups from other regions in Limpopo such as Ga Dikgale

Core services and products:

We compose, produce and perform Dinaka/Kiba Music and Dance through invite from clients such as traditional weddings and ceremonies as well as events organized by ourselves such as festivals, workshops and film exhibitions. We also sell studio recorded Compact Discs and DVD’s, books, merchandise etc.

“African Customary Law: Contemporary Issues” and the launch of the Center for Indigenous Law

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On receiving the news of the upcoming conference organised by the Department of Public Constitutional and International Law; on “African Customary Law: Contemporary issues” and the launch of the Center for Indigenous Law at the University of South Africa i became so interested in African Customary Law as a discipline.

With so much being debated around the Traditional Courts Bill as an attempt by the state to address the gaps in the traditional sector, i wonder if the launch of the Center for Indigenous Law was a precursor for probable solutions for the now defaced Traditional Sector. How would the center help our Indigenous Knowledge Systems find their place in the predominantly Northern Hemispheric knowledge contained in records used in mainstream education?

Its really disturbing to note locally, people find cracks in the education system but seldom engage on Indigenous Knowledge Systems as crucial in addressing same. Where IKS are spoken about, many reduce them to smaller aspects like African herbs and healers. There is a need to dymystify this differential ignorance and promote the ideal of including IKS into mainstream education to a point where learners in schools do not think of school subjects as abstract but content with social and cultural relevance. For instance, the indigenous game called morabaraba contains geometrical symbols and theory which is an indication our forebears were aware of Mathematics way before colonisation and apartheid put a dent on our Indigenous Knowledge.

No wonder pupils in schools see maths and science as abstract monsters which prey on human minds. Many teachers still go with the notion maths, science, astronomy etc are only found in other knowledge systems which have thus far succeeded in destroying the psyche of the lay man and woman.

We need to start promoting Indigenous Knowledge in mainstream education so as to allow our children from the family level up to school level, to understand most of the subjects taught at school are not foreign to our Indigenous Knowledge System. That they are in fact part and parcel of the knowledge. Thus, this responsibility rests on both parents and teachers to not only teach but teach using practical examples found within our communities. 

 

Watch out Chief Molepo and Chief Mamabolo, the government isnt really your friend.

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Tomorrow is the deadline for public comment on the Expropriation Bill, which would give the minister of public works sweeping powers to expropriate private property – ranging from homes to business premises, and even shares and other investments – “in the public interest”.

Critics of the proposed legislation say it is vague and could severely damage the country’s investment credentials.

But yesterday Deputy Minister of Public Works Jeremy Cronin told The Times that the bill “makes sense” in the context of South Africa’s “historical reality”.

Part of that reality was revisited yesterday when tens of thousands of Zion Christian Church members gathered in Pretoria for a prayer meeting to mark the centenary of the enactment of the 1913 Land Act.

The act is widely regarded as the trigger of a series of laws of dispossession that later became the apartheid system, which limited black South Africans’ fixed property purchases to “scheduled black areas”.

Cronin said the bill would be better suited to land reform than the current Expropriation Act, which dates back to 1975.

He said the government would not “whimsically” expropriate once the bill was enacted.

But Manus Booysen, a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel, warned that the bill, if enacted in its current form, would “have severe implications for property rights”.

Respect for property rights and intellectual property protection were listed among the country’s strengths in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2013.

South Africa came 26th among 144 countries on protection of property rights and 20th on the protection of intellectual property, the report showed.

Property, Booysen said, was so broadly defined in the bill that it would include movable assets such as vehicles and works of art. It also refers to “a right in, or to, property”.

“This means that shares in a company, as well as various rights in property – including intellectual property rights and incorporeal property – could be expropriated under the bill,” said Booysen.

On compensation, Booysen said “there is no guarantee that you will get market value”.

The bill lists several factors that a court should take into account when considering the validity of an expropriation – and market value is just one of them.

The list is not exhaustive, meaning that “any other factor” could also be taken into account.

This, Booysen argued, would create uncertainty and was “a deterrent to both foreign local investment in this country”.

The bill does more than merely empower the minister to expropriate property for a “public purpose”, as provided for in the current act.

It also allows the minister to expropriate property in the “public interest”.

Though this is in line with the constitution, Booysen said the bill did not provide additional criteria to help in the assessment of what would be in the “public interest”.

But Cronin downplayed this, saying expropriation could still be challenged in court “if [the expropriation] is just to enrich somebody’s cousin”.

Cronin said the definition of property was deliberately kept “general” and that the bill was drafted on legal advice “to not get trapped into a definition”.

The DA’s spokesman on public works, Anchen Dreyer, said she was concerned that the bill, if it became law, would undermine security of property ownership.

“Security of ownership is essential for investment, foreign as well as domestic, and for starting or expanding businesses. If this right is tampered with, there will be little growth, with an adverse effect on job creation,” she said.

The bill succeeds a 2008 version, which was withdrawn towards the end of that year because of concerns in the consultation stages that it would severely damage the property market and discourage investment.

Cronin said that the bill was still being discussed by the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/04/29/threat-to-property

‘Evil forces against Christian holidays’

After listening to the discussion on SA FM’s morning talk with Vuyo Mbuliand and his panel, it was decided that we post it here.
The debate was then taken to social networking site Facebookin a group called New Political Forum 2.0 Khuluma Afrika and the following was the post and subsequent responses:
Mahlaga:
If i said: “Remove some known Christian holidays from the calendar for more representation because they mean nothing to me, religiously “. A lot of people would freak out simply because issues of religion and culture are sensitive ones, right? The irony is that other linguistic, cultural and religious communities respect and accept Christian holidays as, just normal?

What i find amazing is that every effort to try and be inclusive in representation is met with a brutal attack. Like err…”but this holidays are linked to economic activities or if we remove them things wont be the same” That sort of lame excuse.

Why cant i go to the bank wearing my Isphandla, Afrikan Religion & Cultural symbolism or dreadlocks on Christmas day?

And this is called a democracy?

Benedictus Mahlangu:

Ask my African brother ask?

Mahlaga:

‘Evil forces against Christian holidays’ http://www.crlcommission.org.za/latestnews.php

David Robert Lewis:

What is worse, the National Holiday guidelines favour Christianity over all other religions.

Mahlaga:

?. We need to question this dominance. The last time i checked there was Hunduism, Shembe, Rastafarism, Judaism and Islam. And this is what is referred to as “diversity in unity” in the constitution? Even shocking to note the San people of Southern Afrika have nothing to celebrate except the ‘Ike Xarra ike” slogan in our code of arms.

Traditional Courts Bill via the provinces: Lets get talking.

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There has been much debate around the traditional courts bill for the best parts of 2012. In 2013, the bill will circulate via the provinces to gauge whether provinces accept or reject the bill. In recent debates, the bill has been heavily criticised for excluding women in traditional courts and was rejected outrightly by the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Diabilities. How potent is the ministry’s stance on the bill?

Since this bill relates to the primary objectives of this blog(to debate traditioonal issues of governance), we have decided to repost an article titled “Traditional Institutions, Leadership, marginalisation and the shame of the South African Constitution” in order to bring forth our argument for the passing of the bill. The reader will note that amongst those who support the bill are traditional leaders and traditional communities. In this article we highlight the plight of Traditional Leaders, Institutions and Cultural Communities in a country where it is claimed that democracy is fledging an all is well. Reading the article will indicate to the reader there are numerous challenges faced by Traditional leaders, their Institutions and Communities and hence our conviction that, if applied correcty, the draft bill will see to it that these and more challenges are addressed.
The article can be downloaded from here: http://wp.me/a2ne71-1w

In addition, we have included some review of the bill by journalist Siyabonga Mkhwanazi for reference and futher debate below:

Siyabonga Mkhwanazi @ The New Age; http://thenewage.co.za/90037-1007-53-Traditional_Courts_Bill_to_via_provinces

The contentious Traditional Courts Bill faces the test of whether it has the support of provinces or not.

Chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development in Parliament, Tjetha Mofokeng, on Tuesday said provinces had to decide whether they backed or rejected the Bill.

Following the public hearings on the draft law the committee had sent the report to all the nine provinces to determine whether they supported the Traditional Courts Bill or not, Mofokeng said.

“They (provincial legislatures) must give us a mandate on whether they support or reject the bill. Based on the majority of the provinces (who support one position) the committee will take a decision,” he said.

“We don’t want to pre-empt what the provinces will say, but we are aware that some people say it (the Bill) must be scrapped (while) some people say it must be retained,” he said.

The committee will take a decision on the way forward depending on what the provincial legislatures want.

The National Council of Provinces held public hearings on the Bill late last year where various stakeholders criticised it.

However, the Bill received support from traditional leaders.

Even the Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana had called for the government to scrap the Bill.

During the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders last month President Jacob Zuma urged all South Africans to participate in the discussions on the draft law.

The Bill has been criticised for being oppressive against women and taking the country back to apartheid days.

However, Zuma had said that it would be important for all stakeholders to take part in discussions on the Bill.

The Bill has been called unconstitutional, criticised for excluding the participation of women in traditional courts and for giving traditional leaders more powers.

The Bill offered the prospect of access to justice to 18 million of the citizens who reside within the ambit of the traditional system.

Whats your take on the bill?