Rainbow Concert performed by African Artists and Diplomats
The Diplomatic Corps in Pretoria is organising a charity concert on Saturday 28th of May, 2016.
The goal of the concert is to support young musicians from townships around Johannesburg and Pretoria to acquire musical instruments so that – after the finalization of their studies – they can start to earn a living by teaching music or performing at concerts and other public and private events.
The different music schools in the townships (beneficiaries) shall be supplied with musical instruments that can be handed out on loan (free of charge) to these musicians who have completed their studies and had to return their instruments (e.g. to the UNISA Music Foundation). The instruments are meant as a start up and have to be returned to the music school they come from as soon as the young musician has earned enough money from his/her trade to buy an instrument himself/herself.
Carnival Time in Seychelles
29 April 2016
People from all over the world converge on the Seychelles every year for the cultural event they have themselves named as the United Nations Gathering of Culture. The latest edition of this carnival in the tropics took place from the 22nd to the 24th of April 2016 and 23 International Delegations joined the proud Seychellois people to walk alongside delegations from seven of the top and most popular carnivals of the world.
It was a colourful celebration from the community of nations. The theme for this year’s carnival was unity and peace and this message was echoed by the island’s Minister Alain St.Ange in his opening remarks. The Minister emphasised that the Community of Nations should not only work together, but to get to know each other in cultural events such as the Carnaval in Seychelles where everyone is treated as children of the world immaterial of the colour of their skin, immaterial of their religious beliefs and immaterial of political affiliation.
British High Commission partners with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to distribute Tutudesks at Zakheni Secondary School
28 April 2016
British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith Macgregor, accompanied by Mrs Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, Tutudesk Chief Executive Officer today donated over 800 Tutudesks to schoolchildren at Zakheni Secondary School, Leratong, Kwamahlanga, Mpumalanga.
The British High Commission supported the TutuDesk campaign through funding these desks which profiled the Bloodhound programme in South Africa. The Tutudesk Campaign provides infrastructure support, in the form of Tutudesks, to schools across South Africa who are affected by classroom desk shortages.
TutuDesk Campaign is a globally recognised social development programme and has recently partnered with the Global Education First initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Special Envoy for Education.
Get closer to KOREAN FILM
20 April 2016
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea (Ambassador Yeon Ho Choi) organized the first Korean Film Night for 2016 in the Events Hall of the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria.
Since October 2013, the South Korean Embassy has organized KOREAN FILM NIGHTS once a month and attendance has been steadily growing.
An estimated 100 people, including members from the diplomatic corps, fans of K-POP & K-Drama, students of Korean language & the martial art ‘Taekwondo’ as well as neighbours of the Korean Embassy watched the Korean action film called ‘A Hard Day’ in the series of films to be showcased.
Korean Film Nights introduces not only Korean film but also Korean culture through diverse events, including serving Korean food, exploring a photo exhibition of Korean beauty and experiencing Korean royal costume.
The Ties that Bind the Long-Term USA – Sri Lanka Relationship
By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
Geography has gained renewed importance in international affairs in the past few decades. Sri Lanka, at the crossroads of both east and west sea routes is strategically located. The Island nation has been maintaining a moderate economic growth since its economic liberalization in 1977 and has shared cordial political and strategic relations since Independence.
The year 2015 can be regarded as a turning point to develop close relations with US and Sri Lanka after undergoing some important changes in recent years.
Photo: US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Washington DC on 25 February2016
After President Maithripala Sirisena's surprise victory at the 2015 presidential polls, Sri Lanka turned its attention towards the USA.
Mandela's statue unveiled in Ramallah
26 April 2016
Palestinians inaugurated a giant statue of Nelson Mandela donated by the city of Johannesburg to Ramallah, the political capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The 6m 2-ton bronze statue was a gift from the City of Johannesburg with which Ramallah is twinned.
"I think that Nelson Mandela himself would have been extremely proud of what has been done today," said Parks Tau, the mayor of the Johannesburg.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas also attended the ceremony at the renamed Nelson Mandela Square in the Al-Tireh district.
Mandela, who died in 2013, was South Africa's first president after the era of apartheid, a regime of segregation that the Palestinians accuse Israel of also imposing.
He was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause and a champion for Middle East peace.
Ramallah several days ago installed huge posters celebrating the South African leader bearing his comment: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
Ramallah mayor Mussa Hadid said the statue "symbolises the shared suffering" of the South African and Palestinian peoples.
Papa Wemba: musical king of the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People
Thomas Salter, University of Edinburgh
Sadly, we have lost another great of Congolese music – Papa Wemba.
Papa Wemba was born Shungu Wembiado in 1949. He came to musical prominence in the great beating heart of Congolese popular music, Kinshasa’s famous district of Matonge in the 1970s during the belle époque of Congolese popular music. The people of the capital, and especially its musical heart, are now mourning one of their musical heroes. Oh Kinshasa! Oh Matonge!
I never met Papa Wemba, but I did meet many of his colleagues and contemporaries. When I did my research on the spread of Congolese music in Africa between 1945 and 2000 I found the Congolese, whether from one side of the river or the other, were people who really knew their music and its history. It never ceased to amaze me how anyone I talked to could narrate a shared musical narrative, a kind of creation story, a history in which four generations of Congolese musicians marched through the years after 1945 spreading Congolese music all over Africa in a way no other African country could rival.
Each of these four generations was identified with a particular set of dances and with a particular formative band. Papa Wemba played no small part in this unparalleled musical achievement as part of the third generation.
This was a continental achievement that stood in marked contrast to the degradation of domestic political life, the gradual collapse of the national economy and the crushing of hopes fired by the country’s first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, after independence.
It was not South Africa and Nigeria – the African countries with the largest economies, populations and music industries – that spread their music in Africa between 1945 and 2000. Instead it was the country with the beating heart, le grand tam tam d’Afrique, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Greater collaboration and cooperation between Africa and Belarus
Minsk, Belarus – 25 April 2016
A bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Belarus, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holding talks with the Board Chairman of the Belarus National Bank and delivering a lecture at the University of Belarus. These are highlights of the maiden official visit of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to Belarus. The visit took place from 21-24 April 2016.
In her meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Andrei Kobyakov, the AU Commission Chairperson made a case for greater collaboration and cooperation between Africa and Belarus. She recalled the historic relationship that existed during the days of the Soviet Republic, and invited the Government of Belarus to create favourable conditions for Belarusian businesses to invest Africa at national, sub-regional and continental levels.
“We will never forget the support that Africa got during that time,” said Dr. Dlamini-Zuma. “That is why today we are urging the people of Belarus to invest in Africa as it implements its 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.”
German Ambassador Lindner visits green housing project
April 25 2016
The German Ambassador Walter Lindner visited the green housing project in Boksburg, Johannesburg. The Ravenswood housing complex forms part of the support of the German government for energy- efficient housing in South Africa. The German contribution of 267 million Rand will enable the nationwide construction of 5,000 green housing units for recipients of low and middle incomes in the coming months.
The green units are expected to save over 1.3 billion kg of CO2, 34 billion liters of water, and 2.1 billion Rand in utilities spending. The project is an important part of South Africa’s and Germany’s development cooperation in the focal area of “Green Economy“.
“Germany and South Africa have the common goal to reduce carbon emissions”, stated Lindner during the visit and argued that “the severe consequences of the drought in Southern Africa highlight the need for swift action to combat climate change.”
Prince's gift was that he stepped right out of racism's symbolic logic
Vashna Jagarnath, Rhodes University
One of the most influential modern artists, Prince, died on Thursday April 21 2016 at the age of 57. The genre-busting pop-funk-R&B-rock singer/songwriter sold more than 100 million records in his extraordinary music career, which spanned nearly 40 years. But his influence stretched way beyond just music. Dr Vashna Jagarnath of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, explains to The Conversation Africa’s arts and culture editor Charles Leonard why she teaches her history students about Prince.
Why does Prince matter?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because there are so many reasons why Prince matters. Prince not only matters for all the apparent reasons – his musical genius, his ability to fuse a range of sounds and create something magical – but also for the cultural work, the political work, he did for so many of us.
At the heart of imperialism and colonialism has been the project of dehumanisation – of what philosopher Lewis Gordon, drawing on Latin-American historian and theorist Enrique Dussel, argues pushes most of humanity to the underside of modernity. Colonial subjects were produced as “natives” and locked out of the modern. Vital to this process of reification and exclusion was the right of the powerful to continuously define and determine the humanity of the powerless.
As a result, black people globally have always been defined, and their identity limited and read, through a variety of discriminatory lenses. But Prince as the body, the spirit and the artist, like his music, has always been indefinable. This inability to define him, to box him up, meant that it was impossible to limit him and his full humanity. Prince took a position at the cutting edge of the contemporary, of the modern.
Promoting France to South African learners
The South African Department of Basic Education and the Embassy of France in South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding on 25 April 2016 in Pretoria.
Ambassador of France to South Africa, HE Elisabeth Barbier, and the Director General of the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE), Mr HM Mweli, signed a memorandum of understanding to reinforce the cooperation between the DBE and the Embassy, and its cultural agency, the French Institute of South Africa.
The agreement aims to develop an understanding of cultural diversity and the teaching of French through a collaboration on nutrition education and gastronomy and on the promotion of French language in schools.
The South African Department of Basic Education has agreed to facilitate the implementation of the So Chef project - which takes place within the National Nutrition Week programme of the DBE.