March 21st 1960: Sharpeville massacre

On this day in 1960, police opened fire on peaceful anti-apartheid protestors in the South African township of Sharpeville, killing 69. The over 5,000 strong crowd gathered at Sharpeville police station to protest the discriminatory pass laws, which they claimed were designed to limit their movement in designated white only areas. The laws required all black men and women to carry reference books with their name, tax code and employer details; those found without their book could be arrested and detained. The protest encouraged black South Africans to deliberately leave their pass books at home and present themselves at police stations for arrest, which would crowd prisons and lead to a labour shortage. Despite the protestors’ peaceful and non-violent intentions, police opened fire on the crowd. By the day’s end, 69 people were dead and 180 were wounded. A further 77 were arrested and questioned, though no police officer involved in the massacre was ever convicted as the government relieved all officials of any responsibility. The apartheid government responded to the massacre by banning public meetings, outlawing the African National Congress (ANC) and declaring a state of emergency. The incident convinced anti-apartheid leader and ANC member Nelson Mandela to abandon non-violence and organise paramilitary groups to fight the racist system of apartheid. In 1996, 36 years later, then President Mandela chose Sharpeville as the site at which he signed into law the country’s new post-apartheid constitution.

“People were running in all directions, some couldn’t believe that people had been shot, they thought they had heard firecrackers. Only when they saw the blood and dead people, did they see that the police meant business”
- Tom Petrus, eyewitness to the Sharpeville massacre

anonymous asked:

South Africa is known as The Rainbow Nation. Giving him a rainbow cake is one of many ways South Africans welcome people. It's a goodwill gesture.

“Rainbow nation is a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa’s first fully democratic election in 1994.

The phrase was elaborated upon by President Nelson Mandela in his first month of office, when he proclaimed: ‘Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world..’”

🇳🇱 een fijne Koningsdag voor allemaal in de Nederlanden en gelukkige Vryheidsdag aan alle Suid-Afrikaners 🇿🇦

27 APRIL is a national holiday in the Netherlands and also in (it’s former colony*) South Africa. it’s a coïncidence, yet kinda ironic

KONINGSDAG (King’s day) is the birthday of the reigning Dutch monarch, king Willem-Alexander (celebrated since 2013). FREEDOM DAY commemorates the first democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa in 1994, when people of colour could vote for the first time


“Exploring the construction of identity within post-apartheid South African society, [Mary] Sibande’s work probes the stereotypical contextualization of the black female body.

The imaginary life of ‘Sophie’ is collated through a series of human scale sculptures – moulded on Sibande herself – appearing to be the genomics avatars of the artist psychosis….

By the magical intervention of some fairy Godmother, ‘Sophie’ transforms into a myriad of epic characters. A lady heading to a ball, a Victorian queen riding her horse, a general leading an army towards victory, a Pope blessing a congregation of fictional devotees or a conductor waving his wand to the beat of a muted symphony. There’s even a hint to modern day fictional heroes the likes of Superman.

Confronting the very inkling of a disempowered African female entity, her work aims to crack the morse code associated to western ideals of beauty and how they can appeal to black women.”

White UCT students form a human shield between the police and the peaceful black student protesters. The police stopped arresting, attacking, stunning and tear gassing students as soon as the protective barrier was formed. This is white privilege in South Africa in the midst of a stand against university fees increase, a nationwide protest to emphasise that education is a basic need and not a privilege. However it is a beautiful thing to see the unity of South African students against the government, something like the stand against the apartheid government before 1994. To paraphrase the late Nelson Mandela “if the ANC (African National Congress) does to you what the apartheid government did, do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government”. This is a revolutionary time, history is being made in South Africa and I am proud to see the strength of our youth in the midst of an injustice.

Black History Month

“C.C.H Pounder” (Carol Christine Hilaria) (born 1952, December 25) is an elite black actress finding success in both movies and television appearing in 34 movies and 49 t.v. series so far.

Early on in her career she found that work for black actresses was scarce. She wanted roles that were well-rounded, fully fleshed out and meaningful. She decided to play it smart, she started auditioning for roles originally meant for white men, but was so great they changed the race and gender of the role just for her.

As one of the founders of Artists for a New South Africa, Pounder has energized awareness of post-apartheid and HIV/AIDS issues. In an interview, she said about the pandemic: “When it’s this massive disease, and it’s affecting things in five thousand different ways, it requires great strength and power—and there is power in numbers. So we need to involve as many people as we can, like we do with ANSA. I call it my little engine that could. It is a remarkable, tiny organization with a huge outreach. We use actors and artists with the biggest voices so they can use every opportunity to talk about AIDS.”

Penelope Heyns (b. 1974) is considered one of the best breaststroke swimmers in the world. She is the only woman to have won the Olympic gold medal for both the 100m and 200m events, which happened at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She was the first gold medalist that South Africa had after their post-apartheid readmission to the games.

She broke the Olympic and world records for breaststroke swimming multiple times in several events. At one time, she held five of the six possible world records in the sport, a feat never before achieved by anyone in the history of professional swimming.


Profile of Khaya Witbooi, South Africa’s political pop artist

Khaya Witbooi was born and grew up in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Witbooi uses a combination of stenciling and oil painting to express his observations, usually of socio-political nature. The result is edgy and urban with an African relevance. Topics like the seeming failure of democracy to provide solutions to problems related to post-colonial and post-apartheid South Africa, human behaviour in this context and the effects of globalisation are dealt with regularly. It provides valuable insight into a world the viewer seldom had the opportunity to experience first-hand.

“I’ve taken it upon myself to make a statement of a concerned citizen. I’m not expecting people from around the world to do it before I do. If there’s any person to make the first comment, it is the person who feels it immediately, and I’m that person.” – Khaya Witbooi

Maya Angelou’s poem for Madiba

His day is done.
Is done.
The news came on the wings of a wind, reluctant to carry its burden.
Nelson Mandela’s day is done.
The news, expected and still unwelcome, reached us in the United States, and suddenly our world became somber.
Our skies were leadened.

His day is done.
We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of that final door through which no traveler returns.
Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer.
We think of you and your son of Africa, your father, your one more wonder of the world.

We send our souls to you as you reflect upon your David armed with a mere stone, facing down the mighty Goliath.
Your man of strength, Gideon, emerging triumphant.
Although born into the brutal embrace of Apartheid, scarred by the savage atmosphere of racism, unjustly imprisoned in the bloody maws of South African dungeons.
Would the man survive? Could the man survive?
His answer strengthened men and women around the world.
In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, in New York City’s Times Square, we watched as the hope of Africa sprang through the prison’s doors.
His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty.

He had not been crippled by brutes, nor was his passion for the rights of human beings diminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonment.
Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom.
When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride, as we saw Nelson Mandela’s former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration.
We saw him accept the world’s award in Norway with the grace and gratitude of the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts, and the confidence of African Chiefs from ancient royal stools.

No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn.

Yes, Mandela’s day is done, yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation, and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet.
He has offered us understanding.
We will not withhold forgiveness even from those who do not ask.
Nelson Mandela’s day is done, we confess it in tearful voices, yet we lift our own to say thank you.

Thank you our Gideon, thank you our David, our great courageous man.

We will not forget you, we will not dishonour you,
we will remember and be glad that you lived among us,
that you taught us,
and that you loved us all.

While on missions trip to Uitenhage, Port Elizebeth we ran a holiday club for the one local charities supported children of +- 200 in a local township. (informal settlement) Sadly this picture was one that impacted me most about the trip which when asked what happened a young boy told me that the elder of the two in the picture’s brother was killed by a white policeman and he was pulling his young friend away because it was not safe to trust the white people. In my mind, this is what is really happening in South Africa. Not racism, but incident based hate for your fellow man. We all seem to have our demons. 

It concerns me that it has become such an issue for people that Nelson Mandela is dying. The man is 94, he has lived a long and brilliant life. He does not deserve to become an insect under the microscope if this it is for him. He is not the only thing in this world maintaining the post apartheid South Africa. When he passes the world will not revert into what it was because we have been educated to move forward with ourselves as the human race. He helped educate us much in way other great men have, but also our parents and other elders. One man does not maintain an ideal.