Schlagwort-Archive: environment

NGO-Direktor Braam Hanekom im Interview

Polizei in Südafrika ist von Rassismus gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge befallen

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Südafrika hat ein großes Rassismusproblem im Zusammenhang mit afrikanischen Flüchtlingen. Insbesondere die Behörden des Landes, allen voran die Polizei und die Einwanderungsbehörden, sind von xenophoben Strömungen gegen Afrikaner betroffen. Ermittlungsverfahren im Hinblick auf die Misshandlung von Ausländern durch Polizeibeamte werden all zu oft erst gar nicht betrieben. Zu dieser Erkenntnis kommt auch Braam Hanekom, Gründer und Direktor der NGO PASSOP. Der gebürtige Simbabwer versucht mit seiner in Kapstadt ansässigen Organisation die Grundrechte von afrikanischen Flüchtlingen, Immigranten und Asylanten durchzusetzen. Denn nicht jeder, der Recht hat, kriegt auch sein Recht. Vor allem dann nicht, wenn diese keine Aufenthaltspapiere bekommen. Nur hochqualifizierten Afrikanern steht der legale Aufenthalt am Kap offen. Vor 2009 sind pro Jahr rund eine Viertelmillion Simbabwer abgeschoben worden. Trotz der Einheitsregierung in Simbabwe von 2008, welche aus den Parteien MDC and ZANU-PF zusammengesetzt ist,  machen sich – bei einer Arbeitslosenquote von 85 Prozent durchaus verständlich – weiterhin viele Simbabwer auf dem Weg in das südafrikanische Nachbarland. Diese erwartet nicht nur eine fremde Umgebung, sondern auch Fremdenfeindlichkeit durch Staatsdiener sowie Township-Bewohnern und ein unsicherer Rechtsstatus.  Flüchtlinge, so Hanekom, werden in der Regenbogennation als Gefahr wahrgenommen. Einige Hilfesuchende stellen einen Asylantrag, die anderen leben illegal im Untergrund. Bei absoluter Armut, hoher Arbeitslosigkeit und unzureichenden Schulplatzkapazitäten mündet der Wettbewerb um die begrenzten Ressourcen in einen Hass gegen Afrikaner ein. Der NGO-Direktor spricht in diesem Kontext von der „Afrophobia„; einer Xenophobie, die sich ausschließlich gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge richtet. „Die Armen greifen die Armen an„, hält Hanekom mit Bedauern fest. Solange in Südafrika die Ungleichheit bestehen bleibt, wird die Fremdenfeindlichkeit fortbestehen. Hanekom erwartet in naher Zukunft die nächsten Ausschreitungen gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge. Im Mai 2012 jährt sich zum vierten Mal die Gewaltwelle gegen Flüchtlinge im Johannesburger Stadtteil Alexandra.

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/ PASSOP)

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Mr. Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO „People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP)“.  You are originally from Zimbabwe and assisted the most important oppositon party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by president Morgan Tsvangirai. How would you describe the actually situation in your native country, if you are hearing the government hasn´t money to finance elections?

Answer: Thank you for giving me this opportunity – it’s great to see people in Germany taking such an interest and caring about issues in South Africa and the region. To answer your question, the situation in Zimbabwe remains much unchanged since the formation of the unity government in 2008. There is a still a political deadlock between the MDC and ZANU-PF. While Mugabe has been pushing for early elections this year – probably because he currently has the finances to run a big propaganda campaign through the diamonds that were recently uncovered, as well as the fact that he is not getting any younger – the MDC and regional partners have maintained that the preconditions for fair and sound elections outlined in the Global Political Agreement have not yet been met. It is clear that although there has been a minor economic recovery in Zimbabwe, it has been the rich who have prospered while the vast majority of the population is suffering in poverty and have to cope with a 85% unemployment rate. Therefore, the situation remains precarious and we are trying to push the South African government to take a more active and assertive foreign policy approach towards Zimbabwe to ensure it’s stability. 

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. There are estimates that 5 million African refugees living in South Africa, mostly from Zimbabwe. Which are the biggest problems for these humans?

Answer: Immigrants that come to South Africa find it extremely difficult to get documentation. Only people who have advanced degrees are able to get work permits. All others, including teachers or nurses, for example, are unable to get work permits. As a result the only chance immigrants have to document themselves is to apply for asylum. The vast majority of applicants are however rejected, and are forced to live in South Africa without documents. This has negative implications for the realisation of their basic rights. They are often exploited, discriminated against and left in vulnerable positions. They are also often faced with a hostile and xenophobic environment in South Africa, and are subjected to verbal threats and physical violence. To put it simply: people come here fleeing hunger and conflict, but once they get here, life does not get much easier for most of them. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Several South African communities are strucked by xenophobic violence such as Du Noon in 2008, Imizamo Yethu in 2008, De Doorns 2009, Masiphumelele in 2009, as well as Mbekweni in 2010. What are the factors for these hate outbreaks?

Answer: There are many theories. I guess this ‚hate of foreigners‘ is common in countries around the world, including the States and Europe. Like in other regions, hence, xenophobic tension here is essentially the result from the competition for scarce resources, like jobs or access to schools, and many South Africans feel that foreigners are making lives more difficult for them in these ways. The difference in South Africa compared to other parts of the world is that the tensions here more often turn violent. This excessive violence here is the result of a number of factors, including that the scars from the Apartheid regime have not yet fully healed in South Africa, there are deep inequalities and frustration across the country, and the media is making it worse by being flooded with gruesome images of murders or crime, which perpetuates the ‚culture of violence‘.  By the way, it is probably more appropriate to call this ‚afrophobia‘ rather than xenophobia, because you don’t see any Europeans being attacked, just other Africans.  It is the poor attacking the poor, fighting over the crumbs left behind by the (mostly white) elite and rich. It’s very sad.

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe's political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/  Sokwanele - Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe’s political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/ Sokwanele – Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Would you agree the opinion that the South African police is afflicted with racism against African refugees?

Answer: Yes, and even if it is not just racism, it is definitely a very clear apathy or indifference towards foreigners, which means that in practice, many cannot access their rights. We constantly hear cases in which police officers refuse to open or investigate cases for foreigners, as stipulated by law. This police apathy is in fact what makes outbreaks of xenophobia possible. If the police doesn’t protect vulnerable foreigners, then who will. It is a major problem, but it is acknowledged by political leaders. I recently laughed when I had a debate with a police chief on the radio about this, and he admitting that it was a massive problem but that there were ‚pockets of excellence‘ in the police force.  

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think xenophobic violence could arising in the near future again?

Answer: Definitely. We are now coming up to the four year anniversary of the major outbreak of May 2008, but the tensions are still boiling right under the surface because the preconditions have remained the same. As long as South Africa is plagued by the current levels of inequality, they will keep resurfacing. I am not saying that the majority of South Africans are xenophobic at all, but there is a certain group of frustrated young South African men across the country that are prone to violence. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What should the South African government and first of all the Department of Home Affairs undertake for avoiding xenophobia?

Answer: The government needs to create more jobs and work harder to reduce the inequality. The Department of Home Affairs should give foreigners a chance to document themselves by issuing temporary work permits, rather than forcing them to be undocumented and then deporting them in their thousands. This deportation of foreigners is an important issue. The deportation of Zimbabweans was stopped between 2009 and 2011 – prior to 2009 about 250,000 Zimbabweans were deported every year. Going into communities doing immigration raids and targeting foreigners was one of the key factors that triggered the xenophobic violence, because it legitimized the mistreatment of foreigners in the eyes of many in the townships („if the government can kick out foreigners, so can I“) and it also led to huge instability. Five months ago deportations of Zimbabweans was resumed, and already 20,000 have been deported and immigration raids have started again. This is dangerous for stability and needs to handled very differently. 

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“ (Source: PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We took notice that with your programme coordinator David von Burgsdorff a German citizen is engaged in your NGO structures. Is PASSOP maintaining relations to Germany and if yes, which ones?

Answer: Yes, David is my right-hand man who has helped me build up this organisation. He embodies the classic stereotype of ‚German efficiency‘ – it’s amazing how he gets things done. In fact, he is the only of our 11 full-time staff members who is not African, although I suspect at heart he is by now more African than German…  We don’t receive any funding from Germany, nor have any formal relations with the German Embassy at this point, but what is certain is that through David our staff have become big admirers of your country and it’s people! 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Braam Hanekom, PASSOP director, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Werbeanzeigen

From styling to singing

Lindiwe Suttle – singer, songwriter and model – in interview

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

© Lindiwe Suttle, model and singer

Lindiwe Suttle ist eine US-amerikanische und südafrikanische Bürgerin, die einen äußerst bunten Werdegang vorzeigen kann. Die  Stylistin arbeitete anfänglich mit mehreren Superstars wie Beyoncé and Ciara zusammen. Ihre Arbeit war durchaus herausfordernd – sagt sie – da nicht viele VIPs ihre Person in punkto Make-up und Haare verändern woll(t)en. Denn Styling kann letztendlich als Kritik zum eigenen Stil aufgefasst werden. Und dennoch verspürte die Tochter einer südafrikanischen Mutter den Drang nach  kreativer Selbstverwirklichung. Sie arbeitete einige Jahre im US-Modemarketing, kündigte ihren Job und wanderte nach Kapstadt aus, wo sie den Modeeinkauf ausübte. Im Anschluss lebte sie im Rahmen einer Beziehung in Hamburg, welche zerbrach. Diesen Schmerz verarbeitete sie in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Produzenten Benni Dernhoff auf künstlerischer Weise – beginnend als Leadsängerin der Jazz-Hip-Hop-Band „The Collective Imagination“, dann mit Unterstützung des Düsseldorfer Rockmusikers Marius Müller-Westernhagen als Solokünstlerin.

Mittlerweile konnte sich Lindiwe Suttle – eine Powerfrau mit afrikanischen Werten und amerikanischer Prägung – als Sängerin, Songwriterin, Artistin und Model etablieren. Vor allem die Musik, welche sie seit 2007 professionell betreibt, bedeutet ihr sehr viel. Diese bezeichnet sie als „Kern für alles“. In bekannten Magazinen wie Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan oder GQ wurde Suttle abgebildet. Genauso warb sie für die Marke Frazer Parfum, worüber sie sehr glücklich ist. Lindiwe Suttle betont, dass sie eine große Bindung zu ihrer südafrikanischen Heimat hat. Dementsprechend kooperiert sie bewusst mit südafrikanischen Designern wie Lara Klawikowski, Kutloano Molokomme und Cleo Droomer. Auf diesem Wege trägt sie zur Internationalisierung der südafrikanischen Fashionszene bei. Auf die Frage hin, wie man die gesellschaftspolitischen Probleme Südafrikas angehen sollte, beantwortet die Sängerin diese mit einem Angebot an guter Bildung. Für 2012 steckt sich Lindiwe Suttle große Ziele, nämlich die weltweite Aufführung von mindestens 40 Shows zu ihrem Debütalbum Kamikaze Art.

Lindiwe Suttle’s „MAN MADE MOON“ (debut single)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Ms. Lindiwe Suttle, model and singer. May you please inform the readers where you come from and where you are based at the moment?

Answer: I was born and raised in USA to a South African Mother and an American Father. I was raised with traditional African values in a very American surrounding. I lived a very different lifestyle than my American friends. My mother taught me the values she learned from her grandparents.

I have lived in Cape Town in South Africa for the past nine years. Cape Town is an important city to me and I consider it my home. It is dear to my heart because this is where I launched my music career, which is significant in my life.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You worked in the fashion industry with superstars like Beyoncé and Ciara. Which moment has changed your mind to switch over into self-expression? 

Answer: Being a stylist is a hard job. At the time many films were coming to Atlanta, my hometown. I was lucky singer Beyonce was the first big star I worked with, she was kind and humble to me even with all my beginner mistakes. I worked with other celebrities after her that were a little less forgiving.

The job of a stylist is challenging because everyone thinks they have great style. A makeup artist or hair stylist is seen to have a professional skill but style goes deeper it touches ones character. Not many people are open to changing their personal style like they would a hairstyle or wearing a different shade of lipstick.  Style suggestions are more personal, almost like a criticism to their character. In the end, I realized I excelled best at expressing my own personal style. I use fashion on stage in my theatrical shows, elaborately styled music videos and photo shoots. I love playing with fashion, it’s an expression of all my characters. The music is the core of everything and everything else is just extra to make it more visual.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known as model, especially in South Africa. Magazines like Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan or GQ have reported about you. What does the South African fashion style represent?

Answer: I have been lucky to model for brands like face of Frazer Parfum and I was the face of the Woolworths beauty campaign. I never took the job as a model serious till I was in front of the camera. I give respect to models, it’s a tough job knowing the right angels for your face.

There is an abundance of talent in South Africa. The challenge now is getting the designers international exposure. I have been a big supporter of local talent since I have lived here. I credit them for getting my into Vogue Italy and helping me win style awards like Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year – Style Icon and the 2010 SA Style Award. I have a great relationship with many South African designers, Lara Klawikowski, Kutloano Molokomme, Cleo Droomer all create costumes for my shows.

© Lindiwe Suttle as part of the Frazer Parfum campaign „Ambassador for Nature“

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Additionally to your model job, you are performing as singer. Isn´t it an unusually combination? How could you combine both professions?

Answer: I have been a singer, songwriter and performance artist since I began my music career in 2007. I started out in business and after my MBA I worked in the fashion industry in fashion marketing, merchandising and eventually styling celebrities. I moved out of the entertainment business and moved to SA wanting to focus on my own goals. I worked in fashion buying in Cape Town for a couple of years and I learned a lot about the retail but felt too restricted in the corporate environment. I quit my job and that was when I found music again.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We took notice, that are you in contact with Germans in artistic matters. Which impression do you have of Germany?

Answer: After I quit my corporate job I moved to Hamburg Germany for a relationship that eventually went bad. This relationship was a catalyst for me to starting writing lyrics all inspired by this love gone wrong. I worked in studio for the first time with Hamburg producer Benni Dernhoff. We created me first demo that I took to SA.  I auditioned as lead singer of The Collective Imagination, a jazz-hip-hop band and performed for one and half year with them. I launched my solo career end of 2009. I was discovered by German legend, Marius Mueller-Westernhagen and his wife Romney. They have been my big support in my music career. One year later, Marius connected me with Tim Renner and Motor Music, my management company. Motor Music introduced me to producer, Ivan Georgiev. Ivan and I worked on my debut album, Kamikaze Art all of 2011.

Lindiwe Suttle and the jazz-hip-hop band „The Collective Imagination“

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is in German media mostly in context with negative headlines. Which are the biggest problems of this young democracy and what should politics and society do?

Answer: I think it is important to redesigning the current educational system to better prepare our youth for a prosperous future in the global market. I would love to  build a free skills training school in each community for all ages. There would be a variety of free classes offered like leadership classes for adults, arts for children, cooking, and sports. I think a good education is the first step to a better South Africa.

© Lindiwe Suttle: „My music comes from the heart and I feel it is the most open and honest I have been about the experiences in my life.“

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which dreams in private and professional view would you like to realize?

Answer: My biggest goal in my life is to stay healthy and happy without these two things nothing else can happen in your life. In music, I want to perform worldwide and tour my debut album, Kamikaze Art. My goal is perform at least 40 shows in 2012. I want  to take Kamikaze Art to audiences around the world and have them experience my live shows with me. My music comes from the heart and I feel it is the most open and honest I have been about the experiences in my life.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Lindiwe Suttle, model and singer, thank you very much for this interview.