Race, Identity and the Making of Hashim Amla

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, South Africa on 2017-01-13 02:15Z by Steven

Race, Identity and the Making of Hashim Amla

Africa Is A Country
2013-07-20

Niren Tolsi

Hashim Amla has arrived. His back-lift to gully now appears the sort of lazy flourish that bored twelve-year-olds develop because they are staggeringly superior to their opposition, rather than the defect that presumed he wouldn’t cut it at international level early on in his career. That twirl of a back-lift is now brought down to defend, flick, drive and reduce Test bowlers into looking like schoolboys. He is silky and elegant in a manner that compelled Richie Benaud, the former Australian captain–and one of the most knowledgeable, and least myopic, of that country’s commentators–-to describe him as “an artist in a team of artisans” during a solid first tour Down Under in 2008.

At the time of writing (after the Wanderers Test match against Pakistan in early February) he was the International Cricket Council’s world number one ranked Test batsman. En-route to overtaking Australian captain Michael Clarke to assume that apex he had struck an unbeaten 311 against England at The Oval–becoming the first South African to score a triple-ton and the 22nd person in the history of Test cricket to do so.

His batting is eye-catching. As is the shaggy square beard that marks him out as a devout Muslim in a team that has traditionally traded on what Jesus would do, Castle Lager, jock-of-the-establishment-school-tie posturing and a gritty approach to the game that melded the conservative, dour and tragic elements that reside inside the Afrikaner and the Rooi-neck. If Jacques Kallis, the darling of the South African (white) cricketing media corps, represents the establishment with his hair implants, demeanor as wooden as his “big bat” and tweets calling for the return of the death penalty, then Amla, all leg-side flicks as luxurious as his beard, imperious punches off the back-foot and mere physical manifestation represents its anathema–almost. In the chaotic, overlapping and contradictory world of South African identity politics even that would be too reductionist. Too simple…

Read the entire article here.

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Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise

Posted in Africa, Census/Demographics, Economics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, South Africa, Videos on 2016-12-12 19:59Z by Steven

Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise

Chace Studios
South Africa
2016
Color
Running Time: 01:13:00

Kiersten Dunbar Chace, Producer, Director, Editor

David Grant, Consultant/Writer

In 1997, just prior to his departure from politics, President Nelson Mandela delivered an informal speech to a predominately mixed-race Coloured community in the Western Cape. He reassured them they had nothing to fear from the ANC government once he left office… that his dream of a free and equal society for all South Africa’s citizens would continue in the hearts and minds of his successors. Now, twenty years later, with discriminatory practices affecting their economic, social and cultural rights, Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise, illuminates the story of a people questioning the fate of their Coloured identity in the new South Africa.

From the Director of the award winning historical documentary, I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured: Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope, Kiersten Dunbar Chace blends poetry, landscape imagery, and rare archive footage with a collection of powerful, indigenous voices who share their insight and experience regarding the issues facing their respective communities. Presented as regional vignettes, Word of Honour is an introspective look into South Africa’s young democracy as well as a meditation on what may be looming on the horizon. In order to weave this rich tapestry of post-apartheid conversations, Chace traveled 5,000 miles across South Africa with an all-South African crew to the townships of Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and the rural desert village of Riemvasmaak. Cast members include retired High Court Judge Chris Greenland, photojournalist and HipHop promoter Rushay Booysen, former ANC freedom fighter Danny Brown, poet Khadijah Heeger, comedian and founder of Bruin-Ou.com Charles Ash, elder Anna Davids, community activist Jerome Lottering, and Elsie’s River resident Chantay Haynes.

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‘Born a Crime,’ Trevor Noah’s Raw Account of Life Under Apartheid

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-12-07 02:43Z by Steven

‘Born a Crime,’ Trevor Noah’s Raw Account of Life Under Apartheid

The New York Times
2016-11-28

Michiko Kakutani, Chief Book Critic


Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show,” in 2015. His memoir provides a harrowing look at life in South Africa under apartheid and then after that era.
Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times

As host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah comes across as a wry, startled and sometimes outraged outsider, commenting on the absurdities of American life. During the presidential campaign, the South African-born comic remarked that Donald J. Trump reminded him of an African dictator, mused over the mystifying complexities of the Electoral College system and pointed out the weirdness of states voting on recreational marijuana.

In the countdown to and aftermath of the election, Mr. Noah has grown more comfortable at moving back and forth between jokes and earnest insights, between humor and serious asides — the way he’s done in his stand-up act, and now, in his compelling new memoir, “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Trevor Noah on Growing Up in South Africa Under Apartheid

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-12-03 23:22Z by Steven

Trevor Noah on Growing Up in South Africa Under Apartheid

Literary Hub
2016-12-02

Trevor Noah

“Where most children are proof of their parents’ love, I was the proof of their criminality.”

When the doctors pulled me out there was an awkward moment where they said, “Huh. That’s a very light-skinned baby.” A quick scan of the delivery room revealed no man standing around to take credit.

“Who is the father?” they asked.

“His father is from Swaziland,” my mother said, referring to the tiny, landlocked kingdom in the west of South Africa.

They probably knew she was lying, but they accepted it because they needed an explanation. Under apartheid, the government labeled everything on your birth certificate: race, tribe, nationality. Everything had to be categorized. My mother lied and said I was born in KaNgwane, the semi-sovereign homeland for Swazi people living in South Africa. So my birth certificate doesn’t say that I’m Xhosa, which technically I am. And it doesn’t say that I’m Swiss, which the government wouldn’t allow. It just says that I’m from another country.

My father isn’t on my birth certificate. Officially, he’s never been my father. And my mother, true to her word, was prepared for him not to be involved. She ’d rented a new flat for herself in Joubert Park, the neighborhood adjacent to Hillbrow, and that’s where she took me when she left the hospital. The next week she went to visit him, with no baby. To her surprise, he asked where I was. “You said that you didn’t want to be involved,” she said. And he hadn’t, but once I existed he realized he couldn’t have a son living around the corner and not be a part of my life. So the three of us formed a kind of family, as much as our peculiar situation would allow. I lived with my mom. We ’d sneak around and visit my dad when we could.

Where most children are proof of their parents’ love, I was the proof of their criminality. The only time I could be with my father was indoors. If we left the house, he ’d have to walk across the street from us. My mom and I used to go to Joubert Park all the time. It’s the Central Park of Johannesburg—beautiful gardens, a zoo, a giant chessboard with human-sized pieces that people would play. My mother tells me that once, when I was a toddler, my dad tried to go with us. We were in the park, he was walking a good bit away from us, and I ran after him, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” People started looking. He panicked and ran away. I thought it was a game and kept chasing him…

Read the entire excerpt from Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood here.

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, South Africa on 2016-11-25 17:34Z by Steven

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Spiegel & Grau (an imprint of Random House)
2016-11-15
204 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0399588174

Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

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How Trevor Noah went from biracial youth in S. Africa to leading light on U.S. TV

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2016-11-13 22:20Z by Steven

How Trevor Noah went from biracial youth in S. Africa to leading light on U.S. TV

The Washington Post
2016-11-12

Karen Heller, National Features Writer


Daily Show” host Trevor Noah has a new memoir about growing up mixed race in apartheid South Africa. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

NEW YORK — Trump. Trump. Clinton. The Obamas dancing like dorks.

Such is the stuff of a recent pre-election morning meeting at “The Daily Show” headquarters. Trevor Noah enters, water bottle and orange in hand, and wedges himself in among the writers, his back never pressing against the sofa.

“Can we talk about Brexit?” he asks. “I find Brexit fascinating, because in the U.S., people see it as done and dusted.”

They talk of Brexit, how British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resembles a Muppet. But then the discussion swiftly returns to the steady drip of Trump, Trump, Trump.

You may hire a guy for his global perspective, but comedy comes back to the familiar fast.

Last year, after a 16-year reign, Jon Stewart was replaced by a young comedian who is nothing like him: foreign, biracial, cool, GQ-photogenic and utterly unknown to Americans, having appeared on the show only three times before being tapped as the successor….

Read the entire article here.

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Trevor Noah Wasn’t Expecting Liberal Hatred

Posted in Africa, Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, South Africa, United States on 2016-11-03 01:20Z by Steven

Trevor Noah Wasn’t Expecting Liberal Hatred

The New York Times Magazine
2016-11-02

Ana Marie Cox

Your memoir, “Born a Crime,” is a striking depiction of your life in South Africa both under and after apartheid. How has that experience formed your perspective on the divisions we’re seeing in America because of the election? America is the place that always seems to treat the symptoms and not the cause. In South Africa, we’re very good at trying to go for the cause of racism. One thing that really never happened here, which is strange to me, was a period where white America had to reconcile with what it had done to black Americans.

I wonder if one difference is that in South Africa, no one could deny that the root of it all was racism, whereas here, people think there’s more ambiguity. What’s scary is how many people don’t realize that racism is written into your system in America. We had a very simple, blatant system. You could see where the tumor was, and you could cut it out. In America, the tumor masquerades as an organ, and you don’t know which parts to cut out because it’s hard to convince people that there’s a problem in the first place…

Read the entire interview here.

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Trevor Noah: The First Time I Drove a Car. (I Was 6.)

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-10-30 16:16Z by Steven

Trevor Noah: The First Time I Drove a Car. (I Was 6.)

The New York Times
2016-10-25

Trevor Noah


Trevor Noah, at 3 years old, with his mother.

Trevor Noah is the host of “The Daily Show” and the author of “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood” (Spiegel & Grau). This is an edited excerpt from the book.

When I was 5 years old, we moved to Eden Park, a neighborhood adjacent to several black townships on the outskirts of Johannesburg — half-colored and half-black, my mother figured, like us. It was me and her, alone. There was this sense of the two of us embarking on a grand adventure. We weren’t just mother and son. We were a team.

Eden Park was one of those “suburbs” that are actually out on the edge of civilization, the kind of place where property developers have said: “Hey, poor people. You can live the good life, too. Here’s a house. In the middle of nowhere. But look, you have a yard!”

It was when we moved to Eden Park that we finally got a car, the beat-up, tangerine Volkswagen Beetle my mother bought secondhand for next to nothing, which was more than it was worth. One out of five times, it wouldn’t start. There was no A-C. Any time I made the mistake of turning on the fan, the vent would fart bits of leaves and dust all over me.

Whenever it broke down, we’d catch minibuses, or sometimes we’d hitchhike. My mom would make me hide in the bushes because she knew men would stop for a woman but not a woman with a child. She’d stand by the road, the driver would pull over, she’d open the door and then whistle, and I’d come running up to the car. I would watch their faces drop as they realized they weren’t picking up an attractive single woman but an attractive single woman with a fat little kid…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed race children celebrate their ‘cultural cocktail’ heritage

Posted in Africa, Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, South Africa on 2016-09-30 19:23Z by Steven

Mixed race children celebrate their ‘cultural cocktail’ heritage

Times Live
Johannesburg, South Africa
2016-09-23

Nomahlubi Jordaan, Courts and Law Reporter

Food‚ language and tradition of diverse cultures are the essence of the heritage of children born from multiracial families.

Mark Andrew Sunners‚ a hip hop producer‚ was born in Liverpool in England from a white English father and Xhosa mother from Grahamstown. He was raised in Gaborone in Botswana.

He describes himself as “a bit of a cultural cocktail”.

“I follow both sides. When my mother was still alive I would go to umgidi [traditional celebration of a rite of passage] and imisebenzi [traditional ceremonies] with her as often as she asked. I do from time to time now‚ but definitely not as often.

As a “multicultural” Sunners says he celebrates “typical Western holidays”‚ “but I don’t celebrate a lot of my Xhosa practices as much as I did growing up”.

“I don’t feel I belong to just one culture because I don’t. I belong to both. It is difficult to celebrate Heritage Day purely from a Xhosa or from an English perspective.

“I celebrate Heritage Day with those who mean the most to me‚ family and friends alike. We are all South African‚” says Sunners.

Born from a Xhosa father and English South African mother‚ Cayla Zukiswa Jack‚ 20‚ a University of Cape Town student‚ says a mixed race woman she prefers being in a “diverse” atmosphere.

“That is where I feel comfortable.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, South Africa, United States on 2016-07-18 23:26Z by Steven

Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2016
pages 182-204

Desiree Valentine, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Philosophy; Department of Women’s Studies
Pennsylvania State University

This article is motivated by a concern about the increasing embrace of apolitical and ahistorical notions of racial “mixedness” and “impurity.” It draws on recent examples from the United States and South Africa in order to direct attention to the difficulties of identifying logics that, on the face of it, seem to evade conventional claims of racism, but nevertheless, as it will argue, rely on racist notions that must be challenged. These include examples in the United States and South Africa of individuals self-identifying as a stand-alone mixed race category (and furthermore espousing this as a “pure” category of belonging) as well as white Afrikaners in South Africa uncritically appropriating claims to mixed heritage. This article is critical of these phenomena because of what it finds to be a lack of politically and historically situated understandings of the notions of purity and impurity and their relation to racism.

Read or purchase the article here

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