south africa

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( Second photo) This is by far my favorite shot of Black Panther so far! My love for Angela Bassett is endless but I do want to take a minute to share a quick history of the Zulu inspired headdress she’s wearing:


The flared shape of these Zulu women’s hats (isicholo), dyed with red ochre, reflect the original design of the hairstyle on which they are based. Originally a mother would sew her daughter’s hair into this complex design for the initial stage in the series of ceremonies associated with her daughter’s marriage. The hats are a relatively new aspect of Zulu traditional dress that were developed in the late 19th or early 20th century and are based on the cone-shaped hairstyle that indicated the wearer’s maturity and marital status. Marriage and its affirmation of maturity is one of five key rites of passage in the life of a Zulu woman alongside: birth, naming, death/burial and ukubuyisa, “bringing home of the spirit”.


Once Zulu culture accepted hats as an alternative to the hairstyle, a young bride-to-be would begin sewing her hat as soon as she knew to whom she would be married. They are made by overlaying dyed string on a basketry foundation. Isicholo play a role in the ukukhehla ceremony, the second ceremony in which the future bride and groom exchange gifts and thanks before the actual wedding. For the majority of the ceremony the hat (or originally the bride’s hair) would be protected by a wrap of white fabric. At the appropriate moment in the wedding songs, the groom-to-be removes the wrap and pins a note to the headdress. Once married, a Zulu woman would wear this hat on a daily basis to signify her married status. The hat was one of very few adornments worn by married women, who, although part of a culture where beadwork plays an extremely significant symbolic role, wore nearly none.

Today the isicholo is no longer worn on a daily basis, but it continues to be used on special ceremonial occasions, when it is commonly worn with an imported scarf tied over the hat to keep the read ochre pigment from rubbing off on the wearer’s clothes.

(Side note: I am literally securing my wig because I am NOT ready for how great this movie will be!)

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all 23 countries where nationwide same-sex marriage is legalised. #LoveWins

update 30.6.2017: Germany votes to legalise same-sex marriage, coming into effect later in 2017.
update 13.7.2017: Malta votes to legalise same-sex marriage, coming into effect later in 2017.

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Dolphins in False Bay, South Africa

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Baby elephant enjoys a river bath, South Africa

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Incredible stills from South African Western “Five Fingers for Marseilles

It’s premiering at tiff (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017.

Watch the Teaser Trailer HERE.

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Yossel “Joe” Slovo was a Jewish South African revolutionary. Born in Obeliai, Lithuania in 1926, he spoke only Yiddish until his family fled from the growing Nazi threat to South Africa when he was 8 years old. When Joe was 16 years old, he joined the South African Communist Party, of which he would later become General Secretary. After volunteering in the fight against Nazism in Europe, he returned and earned a law degree, in the same class as Nelson Mandela. After a short series of stints in prison for communist activity, Joe emerged as a leader in Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC, which he led from exile in Britain, Zambia, Angola and Mozambique from 1963 to 1990. After waging war against the apartheid system for decades, he briefly served as Minister of Housing in Nelson Mandela’s new government before passing away in 1995. Many streets and buildings in South Africa are named in his honor. May his memory be a blessing! zt’‘l

The Mponeng Gold Mine in South Africa is the deepest gold mine on Earth.

That unholy mess of a pit runs up to 2.5 miles deep, and its 236 miles of tunnels house a ridiculously massive underground complex. Every day, 4,000 workers are lowered into the mine in giant, three-story, 120-person cage elevators. Due to geothermal heat, the temperatures in the lower levels of the mine can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

This Mordor hellpit is already surreal enough, then you factor in the hordes of “ghost” miners – criminal miners who have managed to enter the pit and set up shop for their share of the gold. These illegal workers have created their own shadow economy deep within the confines of the earth, trading everything from bread to sex (add “underground hell-mine prostitute” to the list of most terrifying professions on Earth). They live there, eat there, and keep their own peace … with AK-47s and improvised beer-bottle grenades. As for the mining company’s security guards, they mostly leave the ghost miners be, because the place is far too vast to police efficiently, and also … well, we did mention the beer-bottle grenades, right?

This little shadow society is coming to an end, though: The mine is due to run out of gold in about 7-8 years. So there’s nothing left to do but return to the surface … right?

Nope.

6 Mind-Bending Places Where Humans Somehow Have To Work