Schlagwort-Archive: culture

Ubuntu in Germany Column

Doggygate bites Zuma

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

President Jacob Zuma has caused a furore in South Africa after his speech in Impendle,  KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Midlands on Wednesday, where he spoke of people who loved dogs more than people as “having a lack of humanity”.

© President Jacob Zuma said that dogs are belonging to white culture. A new generation of young black Africans is trying to adopt white lifestyles. Black people should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, said Zuma. (flickr/ Jimmy Rehak)

© President Jacob Zuma said that dogs are belonging to white culture. A new generation of young black Africans is trying to adopt white lifestyles. Black people should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, said Zuma. (Source: flickr/ Jimmy Rehak)

Weiterlesen

Designer Craig Native in interview

The world doesn´t need more glamour brands if there are children living on the streets

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Craig Native ist ein Modedesigner mit internationalem Ruf. Dem in absoluter Armut aufgewachsenen Modefan ist es gelungen, sich kreativ zu entfalten  und zur südafrikanischen Identität beizusteuern. Anfänglich interessierte sich dieser als Kind für Gebäude, Autos und Menschen, die er in eigene Zeichnungen untergebracht hatte. Mit zunehmendem Alter entwickelte sich seine Vorliebe für die Mode, welche mittlerweile verbunden mit südafrikanischen Elementen einen besonderen und vor allem einmaligen Touch erhalten hat. Mit der Kollektion „Native Clothing“ verfolgt der Designer einen sportlich-afrikanischen Style, welcher in der Zielgruppe der 18 bis 38-jährigen Südafrikaner große Resonanz erfährt. Glamour und Eleganz, welche vom renommierten Johannesburger Modelabel „Black Coffee“ vordergründig verfolgt werden, lehnt Craig Native vehement ab. Er untermauert, dass Eleganz immer dann überflüssig ist, solange Kinder in ärmlichen Verhältnissen auf den Straßen leben müssen. Mit dem deutschen Modeunternehmen OTTO konnte Native bereits zusammenarbeiten, indem seine Klamotten auch in Deutschland erhältlich sind. Grundsätzlich verbindet er die deutsche Mode mit Individualität und Kreativität. Sein größter  Traum wäre es, wenn er mittels seiner Fashionkreationen zum Wohlstand auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent beitragen könnte.

© South African street style by fashion designer Craig Native

© Craig Native, one of the most popular fashion designers from South Africa

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, the fashion designer from Cape Town, Craig Native. Mr. Native, you are originally from Cape Flats, the poor side of Cape Town. How did you come up with fashion?

Answer: I drew or sketched pictures to keep me occupied at home. It was not fashion but buildings, cars and sports people. In my teen years when you got more fashion conscious clothing design became interesting, especially sportswear.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: „Native Clothing“ is your fashion label, that was launched in 2000. Your collection is combining African elements, socio-political messages and sportive attributes. Who is your target group, what is „Native Clothing“ standing for and how many creations do you have realized this day?

Answer: Target group is 18- 38 years predominantly but it has not been a rule. I like making clothes for those who want to spend time thinking about their world around them being more conscious rather than not questioning choices one makes.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In the past, we have interviewed the designers from Johannesburg label „Black Coffee“, who are working very striktly on the basis of fashionableness. Do you think, that elegance could take a bigger emphasis in your style?

Answer: Growing up in poorer areas in Africa, makes me not worry about glamour and elegance. Fashion is not only about that. I would rather use fashion as a avenue to spread messages of social and environmental development of 3rs world countries. The world doesnt need another glamour brand if there are children starving and living on the street .

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known for your interest in political matters. The African National Congress (ANC) celebrated his centenary on 8th January 2012. The ANC has been criticized many times by media. What do you think about the current developments in South Africa?

Answer: The world loves negative press it causes more sensation.  Any one who runs South Africa will have a difficult time because you cant wipe away 40 years of negative history is just over a decade. Every country will have their issues. It could be a lot worse in South Africa so I choose to look at what our government are getting right rather than what they getting wrong. The future generations I believe will help paint a different picture for South Africa.

© A model is wearing clothes designed by Craig Native

© A model is wearing clothes designed by Craig Native

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: „46664Fashion“ is a brand, which has been designed by you and your South African colleagues Chris Vogelpoel and Barbara Tosalli. 46664 was the prison number of Nelson Mandela.
What would you say to people, who are expressing their discomfort, that Nelson Mandela´s life could be commercialised by this brand?

Answer: 46664 has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. It would not exist without their approval. Its a legacy of that represents itself through cloth.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which designers are your role models?

Answer: I dont really have favorites and many of them aren’t world famous. I admire creatives like artists, interior designers, african crafters.

Craig Native is participating in „Cotton Made in Africa“, an initiative to support African cotton workers. His fashion is based on African styles and identities. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are still working with German fashion retailer OTTO. What is your impression of Germany, German fashion and culture?

Answer: My impression that there is a lot of individual style. The street fashion is quite interesting. It´s certainly creative and experimental.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Native, which dreams would you like to realize in regard to your private and professional life?

Answer: If my clothing can contribute towards the development of the continent of Africa then I would be happy.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Craig Native, fashion designer, thank you very much for this interview!

Insight into Orania

1000 inhabitants, 10000 fellows and 70 businesses making Afrikaner homogeneity possible

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Exklusiv konnte „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ einen Einblick in Orania erhalten und mit dem Vorsitzenden der Orania-Bewegung ein Interview führen.  Bei Orania handelt es sich um eine nach außen abgeschottene Burengemeinschaft, die auf ihre eigene soziopolitische Souveränität beharrt. Bislang ist es nur Spiegel Online und NZZ Online gelungen, diesbezügliche Hintergrundinfos zu bekommen. Orania ist jener Ort, welcher als letzte Bastion der Apartheid bezeichnet wird und 1990 als privatrechtliches Unternehmen gegründet wurde. Einem Ort, in welchem keine schwarzen und farbigen Bürger wohnen dürfen, sondern nur weiße Afrikaner – die Buren. Einer Zuflucht für und von „Rassisten“, die über eine eigene Ora-Währung verfügt. Hingegen duldet die südafrikanische Regierung die Orania-Gemeinschaft und zeigte darüber hinaus bereits mehrfach die Gesprächsbereitschaft. Jacob Zuma und Julius Malema statteten dieser Gemeinschaft einen Besuch ab, welche sich selber auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht nach Artikel 235 der südafrikanischen Verfassung beruft. „Die Erhaltung der Afrikaner-Kultur“ und die Aufrechterhaltung einer kulturellen Mehrheit werden als oberste Ziele verfolgt, so der Vorsitzende von Orania, Jaco Kleynhans. 1.000 Afrikaner und 10.000 Oraniërs [Sympathisanten] bekennen sich zum eigenen homogenen Gesellschaftsmodell im heterogenen Staatsmodell Südafrikas. Rund 70 Geschäfte bestehen in Orania, so Kleynhans. Auf die Frage hin, ob Orania nicht gegen Artikel 1 der Verfassung verstoße, wonach nicht nach rassischen (non-racial) Kriterien diffenziert werden darf, erwidert er, dass Orania vielmehr eine Gemeinschaft mit kultureller Identität sei. Orania hat nach eigenen Aussagen nur Kleinkriminalität und keine Arbeitslosigkeit. Jedoch betont Jaco Kleynhans, dass zunehmend mehr Afrikaner dorthin ziehen möchten und die Gemeinschaft dementsprechend an ihre Grenze stößt. Verbindungen zur Rassistenpartei ´Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)´ von Eugène Terre’Blanche bestehen laut Kleynhans nicht. Die Anwendung von Gewalt, so der Interviewte, verstoße gegen die die Prinzipien von Orania. Hinsichtlich der Informationen, wonach verschiedene Parteien Südafrikas in Orania Wahlkampf betreiben, betont Kleynhans, dass in der Gemeinschaft solche Vereinigungen nicht zugelassen sind und vielmehr nach dem Verhältniswahlrecht gewählt wird. Denn Orania verfügt auch über eine eigene Volksvertretung; einem Quasi-Parlament. Zur abschließenden Frage, was der Vorsitzende vom deutschen Multikulti-Modell halte, lässt er diese im Grunde genommen unbeantwortet bzw. beruft sich erneut auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht und diesmal im Kontext mit der deutschen Minderheit im italienischen Südtirol. Die Veröffentlichung dieses Beitrages fällt bewusst auf den heutigen ´Internationalen Tag gegen Rassismus´ und soll verdeutlichen, dass weiterhin enormer Handlungsbedarf bei der Bekämpfung von Vorurteilen besteht – vor allem in Südafrika.

© Orania-Flagge - Selbstbestimmungsrecht in Form eigener Symbolik und unter der Duldung der südafrikanischen Regierung

© Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Mr. Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement.  The Orania Movement has been established in 1990. You are holding an enterprise character within South Africa. What does it mean, that Orania is an „Afrikaans cultural movement with the aim to restore Afrikaner freedom in an independant, democratic Republic“?

Answer: The Orania Movement believes that the future of Afrikaners in ‘n multi-cultural South African wil depend on our own efforts to preserve our culture in a part of South Africa where we can be the majority. The North West Cape is an area with a very small population and therefore we want Afrikaners to move here in larger numbers so that we can be the majority in the region and therefore control things like education, local government, etc.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How many Afrikaner and shops/ firms are placed in Orania? Is your community getting foreign investments? And what is about taxes?

Answer: Taxes in Orania is the same than in the rest of South Africa. There’s about 1000 people living in Orania with thousands more ‘uitwoners’ (people who call themselves ‘Oraniërs’ but who don’t live in Orania yet. There’s about 70 businesses registered in Orania and economic development is a strong focus.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Are blacks or coloured allowed to live in Orania and if not, isn´t transgressing the article one of the South Africa constitution: „The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values: … Non-racialism and non-sexism…“ ?

Answer: Orania doesn’t focus on race, but only on culture. We’re a took for Afrikaners – thus people adhering to Afrikanerculture.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How far is poverty, unemployment and crime facing Orania?

Answer: We don’t have much crime, only minor crimes from time to time. There is nearly no unemployment in Orania. There is an increase in poor Afrikaners moving to Orania and we are trying to find sustainable solutions for Afrikaner poverty. We do have a large worker class in Orania and people may sometimes view them as ‘poor’ as most Afrikaners still cant understand the need for a strong Afrikaner working class.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In German Media, the Orania Movement has been described as the last colony of racists in South Africa after Apartheid. Does relations existing between Orania and the by Eugène Terre’Blanche founded Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)?

Answer: Orania has no relationship with the AWB and we strongly differ in strategy from them. We don’t believe in the use of violence and strongly condemn the violent actions by right wing Afrikaner organisations in the past.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The South African government is toleranting your movement. Orania has been visited by coloureds and blacks; in 2009 by ANCYL president Julius Malema and in 2010 by president Jacob Zuma. What do you think about the reasons, that your project hasn´t been prohibited yet?

Answer: What we’re doing in Orania is in line with the South African government and specifically article 235 which give cultural communities the right too selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In 2004, Orania introduced its own currency, which called Ora. Which meaning has local money in a globalized world? And is the South African Rands accepted in Orania?

Answer: The Rand is accepted in Orania. The Ora is used to improve local trade and is an internationally recognised model of localization.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The Orania Representative Council is acting like a parliament. Is it right, that the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (COPE) competed in the election of 2009? Is it allowed to the ANC to participate in Orania elections?

Answer: Our local election isn’t based on political parties so no political party can take part in Orania elections. We vote for individuals. In the South African municipality around us any party can take part in that election and we also host an polling place in Orania.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What do you think about multicultural societes like Germany?

Answer: We simply believe in the right of all cultural groups to practice their own culture, language, religion and traditions in a fair way. We also strongly believe in selfdeterminination and therefore support the efforts by the Flemish people in Belgium , the German speaking people in South Tyrol (Italy), the Catalions in Spain and the French speaking people in Quebec (Canada) as they strive for greater selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement, thank you very much for this insight interview!

Johannesburg -The City That Never Sleeps

„The City of Gold“ is also known as Jozi, Egoli or Joburg

(Editor: Bruce Ncube from Johannesburg)

Deutsche Zusammenfassung:

Bruce Ncube berichtet für „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ aus der Goldstadt – aus Johannesburg. Eine riesige Metropole, die viele Probleme einerseits und Chancen andererseits aufzeigt. Während ein Spaziergang im Stadtteil Hillbrow, in der Orange Farm oder in Sebokeng lebensgefährlich ist, erweisen sich Sandton und Diepkloof als gegensätzliche teure Pflaster der  Johannesburger Mittelschicht. Zudem ist diese Stadt auch die Heimat von vielen afrikanischen Flüchtlingen und dementsprechend kulturell betrachtet äußerst heterogen.

© Jozi at night (Source: Chris Kirchhoff/ MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)

I have been a keen follower of how culture has an impact on a growing nation. We are naturally ignorant when it comes to how we want a nation look like in the future. We are all about the „now“ factor.

We forget that the foundation we lay is ours and for those to follow. Today’s society is that of a mixture of different races, mixed traditions and beliefs. Johannesburg, popularly known as Joburg or Egoli, The City of Gold is a pure of example of this. The world has become one big oyster. Johannesburg has been and continues to be, without doubt, a leader in this regard.

I’m not one to dwell on the past a lot. Yes, Egoli has seen its fair share of problems but it has also seen a great amount of change especially in terms of culture and the society in general. It has become a multicultural haven. From the dusty streets of Orange Farm and Sebokeng, the new middle class development of Diepkloof aka DK, the corner joints of Hillbrow, which has seen a great deal of development, the ever so cultural streets of Yeoville to the Poshy suburbs of Sandton.

Egoli, also known as Jozi Maboneng, which Joburg City Lights, has become a diverse nation on its own, multilingual and a bee-hive of activity. I will take you through the streets of Jozi, the culture it possess, the love it so longs to spread to the whole world, the food, the places, the music, the landmarks, the politics, the celebrated individuals and that ordinary man on the ground who has a better view of his surroundings.

Jozi has evolved. You will get to see the inside of the city that is widely regarded as the Diversity Capital of the World. On a regular basis, I will take you through an amazing journey of exploring and learning. We will go to different places and events and give a profile of each. Pictorial illustrations will also be included.
You will see what makes this city tick. The ever so rich history will get you thinking.
Egoli, Place of Gold, Jozi Maboneng, KwaNyama Kayipheli, kphela amazinyo endoda (meaning a culturally superior place). Are you ready?

Follow me on Twitter @brucencube and www.beedestiny.wordpress.com.

Interview with model Lee-Ann Roberts

„South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Lee-Ann Roberts zählt zu den erfolgreichsten Models in Südafrika. Sie hat es auf das renommierte FHM Magazin geschafft – ein Traum vieler Models. Als stolze Südafrikanerin aus Durban erläutert sie, dass sie vom Modelscout Leon Cloete aus Johannesburg/Pretoria endeckt wurde. Genauso wie Jo-Ann Strauss vertritt Lee-Ann Roberts den Standpunkt, dass die südafrikanische Modebranche national und global betrachtet relativ unbedeutend ist. Vielmehr folgt die südafrikanische Szene den Trends Europa´s. Auch hinkt Südafrika bedingt durch die umgekehrte Jahreszeit zwischen Nord- und Südhalbkugel den europäischen Modeideen hinterher. Gleichzeitig untermauert sie, dass ein Model für diesen Job folgende Eigenschaften aufbringen sollte: Leidenschaft, Selbstbewusststein und Enthusiasmus. Deutschland wird Lee-Ann Roberts in diesem Jahr das erste Mal besuchen. Sie schätzt die Professionalität und Höflichkeit deutscher Kunden; und vor allem die trendige deutsche (Damen-)Oberbekleidung.

© Lee-Ann Roberts, a proud east coast model from Durban (Picture source: http://www.leeannroberts.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Lee-Ann Roberts, model from Durban. Ms. Roberts, according to your website you are „a proud east coast girl“. What is South Africa standing for?

Answer: I am a proud East Coast girl indeed. I am from a small town Durban in South Africa, living along the sea side while growing up you cant get better than that. When i ask myself that question the first word that comes to mind is unity, how ever I love my country and I am proudly South African. Die Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) bewertet das Model als die kreativste Modeveranstaltung im Lande.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been discovered by Leon Cloete, a model scout from Johannesburg, who is known in South African media as „the Guy with the Eye“. When it happened and what was your first impression of this really unique situation?

Answer: Leon and I started speaking in about 2008, I flew up to Johannesburg to meet him and then things started happening from there. After that I went to Johannesburg for his Model Events at FTV where I was meant to be the draw card for the event at the time, was so much fun and so very new for me.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In an interview with us from March 2011, your model colleague Jo-Ann Strauss commented the fashion scene in South Africa. She said, that fashion in South Africa is still taking „a small role but it’s growing.“ Are you in the same opinion, that South African fashion is still relatively trivial in national and global view?

Answer: I definitely agree with Jo-Ann, South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends and we are a season behind.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which fashion week is in South Africa the most important one and why?

Answer: I would say Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) as its the more creative hub of South Africa.

© Lee-Ann worked for the famous magazine FHM South Africa (Picture source: http://www.leeannroberts.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been worked for/ with several influential clients like FHM Magazine, Elle or Nokia. Which characteristics is representing your profession as model?

Answer: With my bubbly personality, confidence and enthusiasm I am able to interact with the clients to get my job done to the best I can with everyone being happy in the end.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Have you been already in Germany and which perception do you have from German fashion as well as German culture?

Answer: Unfortunately I have not been to Germany. It is definitely a country I would like to visit this year. I have worked for German clients and the garments are always trendy and the clients are always friendly and professional.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which personal dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: I have been lucky enough to realize some dreams last year and I am very grateful and fortunate. I do have allot more dreams and goals on my list. My main dream is to carry on working hard, being successful, happy and make my mark in this world, as they say we all are here to do something.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Lee-Ann Roberts, model from the east coast of South Africa, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

For more fashion news from South Africa read the

Fashion and Lifestyle Column by Sam Pegg

Fashion and Lifestyle Column by Sam Pegg

Summer time in Europe is fashion time in Cape Town

Each month, Sam from Cape Town will let us participate in her life and South African lifestyle.
Take part and enjoy!

Summer Edition, Part VII:

LIEEEEEEEBLINGS….forgive me, I had writers block and I let you down and I am sorry

Anyway, how are you darlings! Summer fun in Europe and freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing cold in Cape Town. There was snow!!!!!!!! I’m in Africa ………can we sing global ….’Just a little bit hot, hot, just a little bit……it’s getting hot in here!!!!!!’…..just saying……use it…..Don’t…

I decided to visit Stellenbosch in winter and wow was it beautiful……this Cape Wine land has a majestic air to in when the vines are empty and the land is at rest……the town where our future doctors , lawyers etc are all learning their skills and their intellect, question the world with purpose ……where your waitron is a 3dr or 4 th year student and has a valid opinion ……where huge business men come to drink a coffee and get advice from the person who brings it to them……ahhhhh wonderful Stellenbosch . The town is old and somehow????? English /Europe/ in feel, buildings dating back to the 1700’S…..JA….poetry …….I popped into the bar, restaurant, chill lounge…. 5 on reinefeld st. Bumped into the one of the “blings”, dj chopper. This is a true e.g. of Afrikaner creative culture. she plays at all the cool spots and all the Afrikaans festivals….with bubble machines and a toy rabbit that sits and watches the crowd and a whole bunch of stuff I can’t even remember……… and comes to the decks with the theme song of the show ‘air wolf’….hahahhaahhahaha …. And 80’s styling all the way

I also spotted was Tina –Marie, singing sensation that has her song on some of our local radio stations at number 1. Gravity is the tracks name…. …..Check it out…Said she will be playing Glastonbury festival next year with the remix…..hot!!!!!! There is an ‘everything but the girl’ element to her sound….lovely……. And she writes and composes herself so the ‘music’ element is really present in her work but still can lend itself to a drum n bass or a jungle remix. Great to see proper talent that is received well in South Africa…

And then …….CAPE TOWN FASHION WEEK hit our shores like a whirl wind of fab clothing, fab dressed people and new street style sitting in the seats. I was asked to shoot reportage of the show ,Habits by Jenny Le roux……the show was filled with an extraordinary front row, ex supermodels, Josie Borain( yes , Obsession by Calvin Klein campaign girl and first model to be paid a million $$$$ back in the day ) Lady Victoria and Kitty Spencer( Princess Diana’s brothers ex wife and daughter ) Lady Sally Graaf and Dr Precious Motsepo(her husband in one of the richest men in the world according to Time mag) Shine model / creative, boss , Megan Kruger , ‘blood diamond ‘ writer /producer Gillian Gorfil…. just to name a few …..It was huge success and the collection was just, beautiful.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

The other thing, on a personal note, I am learning about one of the rulers of our country via my son, rugby!!!!! We are not joking, at all, in South Africa about this sport!!!! so, I’m on page 2 of the rule book and think it is oh so pretty when the boys run in the form of a wing in flight., I am so excited seeing my son play and knowing that he is being trained by the most extraordinary coaches and boys from the age of 13 are already ear marked to be watched by the pro teams…..I kid you not!!!!!!! Well, I clearly think my son will be the best player in the world and be a springbok one day, if he wishes………….. And I can say that……. cos I’m his mom… xxxx……hahahaha

The 9th of August is Woman’s day and I wish all you amazing woman of the world, HAPPY WOMANS DAY ……..YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!

SAY IT ……”I AM AMAZING!!!!! ………..SHAKE THE HAND THAT SHOOK THE WORLD ….I AM A STRONG, BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!!!!!!!’’ ….and yes, we are all worth it!!!!

I love you all more than all the world, God bless you and keep you

Love always, Sam Pegg

P. S ……. the very yummmmmmm La colombe, in Constantia uitsig, is holding a winter special of sampling menu. The only time my artist’s budget can afford it!!!!

Xxxx

Click on the following link for the

Fashion and Lifestyle Column by Sam Pegg

http://www.ecohealth.co.za/http://www.mylife.org.za/

http://www.sampegg.com/ http://www.universalcosmetics.co.za/

Andrew Brown – Südafrikas literarisches Sozialgewissen

Kapstädter Schriftsteller zu den Chancen und Risiken des Projektes „Regenbogennation“

(Autoren/ Editors: Anne Schroeter, Annalisa Wellhäuser, Ghassan Abid)

© Schriftsteller Andrew Brown

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Das südlichste Land des afrikanischen Kontinents konnte sich nach dem Ende der Apartheid in vielerlei Hinsicht kräftig entwickeln, unter anderem auf der literarischen Ebene. Mit Andrew Brown –  einem Juristen, Polizisten und Schriftsteller aus Kapstadt – verfügt Südafrika eine weitere Persönlichkeit, die sich mit sozialen Themen im Lande beschäftigt. Während der Apartheid wurde er von Polizisten aufgrund einer Freundschaft zu einem Schwarzen festgenommen. Nun thematisiert er als Buchautor die gegenwärtige und zugleich schwierige Lage von Flüchtlingen in Südafrika. Nigerianer sind oft der Willkür südafrikanischer Behörden ausgeliefert und müssen ferner die fremdenfeindliche Stimmung in den Townhships dulden. In seinem Buch „Würde“ geht er auf genau diese soziale Schieflage in Südafrika ein und verbindet die unterschiedlichsten Protagonisten miteinander: Richard Calloway ist ein weißer und erfolgreicher Anwalt der Kapständer Mittelschicht, der trotz Ruhm und sozialem Aufstieg ein tristes Leben führt. Doch eines Tages trifft er auf Abayomi, eine Immigrantin aus Nigeria. Schnell erkennt Calloway, dass er ihrem Wesen sehr aufgeschlossen ist und sich zunehmend in ihrer Welt verfestigt – mit ungewissem Ausgang. Das Buch ist deshalb so bemerkenswert, weil Andrew Brown hierfür umgangreiche und hintergründige Gespräche mit nigerianischen Einwanderern in Südafrika unternommen hat.

Zum Sinn und Zweck der WM 2010 für die Volkswirtschaft des Gastgebers äußerte sich Brown dahingehend, dass er grundsätzlich von langfristig positiven Effekten ausgeht, die vor allem dem Tourismus zugute kommen werden.  Der Kriminalität im Lande können man jedoch nur mit einer Ausweitung des gesellschaftlichen Bildungsstandes begegnen, so der Kapstädter Schriftsteller gegenüber dem Südafrika-Portal. Der aktuellen Debatte um die Regulierung der Medien durch die südafrikanische Regierungspartei ANC schaut Brown, auch ein ANC-Mitglied, jedoch mit großer Sorge entgegen, wofür man notfalls erneut auf die Straße ziehen müsste. Zum Abschluss äußerte er seinen Wunsch, noch ein weiteres Buch veröffentlichen zu wollen und öfters, vor allem nach Europa und Deutschland, zu reisen. Nachstehend ist das Originalinterview in Englisch als Text und als Video abgebildet.


2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Brown, you was born and raised in Cape Town / South Africa . You mobilized against the Apartheid and had been captured too. Which moment or occurrence has activate your mind for justice?

Answer: Probably when I was 17 years old and I was arrested simply because I was friendly with a black boy of my age.  I was taking him home after playing soccer and we were both arrested and held few a few days.  We were both interrogated because the police could not understand that we were simply friends.  That showed me how unjust the system was and that it needed to be changed.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are a really big performer in terms of profession. I noted you are actually and at the same time a police man (in reserve), an advocate and a writer. Which personal objectives are you following in each job and which one is your most challenging one?

Answer: They are all quite challenging, but in different ways.  I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of working as a policeman, because it feels like I am making a contribution to the society that I am living in.  Writing is something I do for my own enjoyment and I don’t feel pressure to write ‘for’ anyone.  If people like my writing, then that is great, but I don’t feel that I have to produce something for publishers or readers to read.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: During the World Cup 2010, you have untertaken as police seargent patrols in townships. Which benefits has the South African nation and the population, especially the township citizens, taken from this event? What is your mind in this matter?

Answer: I hope that there will be long-term benefits.  The focus of the world on us as a country, and the fact that it was a success, was really a big thing for us.  But that focus does not bring any benefit on its own.  Hopefully, it will result in more tourism, perhaps better trade and confidence in South Africa .  The World Cup did a lot to unite the nation and to build our sense of pride in our country, which is very important. The transport system was improved a lot before the World Cup, and I think that is one thing that we will definitely benefit from in the future.

© Cover von "Würde"

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In your new novel „WÜRDE“ (in English it means „dignity“) – the original title called „REFUGE“- you are writing about the two faces of South Africa; the rich and the poor one. On the one hand, we have the protagonist „Richard Calloway“ – a white, successful and in security living advocate. On the other hand, you have installed the character „Abayomi“, a native of Nigeria – an immigrant. Could you please give us a short summary of this novel and which social targets would you like to achieve?

Answer: The book is partly about the white middle-class in South Africa , which often shuts itself off from the real issues going on around it.  People protect themselves against the guilt and anguish that comes from seeing the poverty around you, by pretending that it doesn’t exist.  The book is partly about a successful middle-class man who starts to reach out to touch the ordinary people around him; he comes to realise just how small and isolated his life has been.  The other part of the book is about the immigrants, the other ‘outsiders’ of our society, who are there not by choice but because they are fleeing injustice or violence. It is about how we treat them and about how we stop seeing them as equal human beings.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: I have taken notice, that you have met with immigrants from Nigeria , in accordance with the preparation of your new book. Which impressions have you collected about the life conditions of these people in South Africa ?

Answer: I interviewed a lot of immigrants to hear their stories.  Once they realised that I was not a threat, they were very happy to talk to me and to share their stories with me.  I met incredible people who told me stories of great suffering, of courage and of humiliation at the hands of South African officials.  I have incorporated some of their stories into the book, to try and make it as realistic as possible.   I chose Nigerians in the book because they are the most stereotyped immigrants in South Africa: they are seen as all being drug dealers or prostitutes, and for this reason I wanted to show them as being human beings with their own special culture, language and lifestyle.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In these weeks, the African National Congress (ANC) follows up a regulation of commentatorship. South African and international media are still protesting against these plans to establish a „secrecy bill“ and „media tribunal“, which allows the government to increase their control over media. How would you like to evaluate these developments?

Answer: Because of our history, it is very concerning when government starts talking about controlling media reports and press coverage.  We are very sensitive to this kind of censorship, given what we experienced under apartheid.  People are opposing the bill and there is a petition signed by many writers and other people who are protesting against the bill.  Government has tried to explain the need for the bill, but so far we are not accepting that it is necessary.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: As „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa, we have interviewed the writer Roger Smith, who is denouncing in his novels the crime situation in South Africa, like you. What do you think should the government do to face this big challenge? Or rewording, how could South Africa solve this problem?

Answer: Crime is a problem in South Africa , but it should not be over-emphasised.  Our crime is a result of poverty, our history and poor education.  Of all of these, it is most important to address education, because literacy and numeracy continue to be problems, and we cannot advance our society unless we take care of these problems first.  Crime is not getting better, but it is not getting worse either.  It will not improve simply by policing, or introducing new laws.  You need to change the way that people think, about themselves and about others.  To do this, we need to concentrate on education.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Last but not least, which personal dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: There are many dreams I have – one would be to publish another book.  Another would be to travel more – I have travelled a lot in Africa, but not much in Europe and there are many countries and places that I would like to see.  I have so enjoyed being in Germany, and I would very much like to return to spend more time here as well.