Zulu Wedding by Dudu Busani-Dube

Dudu Busani- Dube’s Zulu Wedding  tells the story of a choreographer named Lungile. She lived a content life, up until the day she discovered a letter detailing how her parent’s relationship was never approved from her mother’s side of the family.

The families made a deal with the ancestors that Lungile would be betrothed to a Zulu king. Lungile, however ran away from home (South Africa) shortly after her parents died in a car accident. She never knew that her life was meant to be paid back to ancestors, in order for the families to live peacefully together.

On her 21st birthday, her uncle Phineas sent her on an overseas on a trip and she used that opportunity to deal with her loss and find ways to get in the dancing industry.

The author shows the reader that the current generation does not believe in forced marriages. The older generation learnt to love their partners, unlike the current generation who refuse to do thing according to older traditions.

The writer also offers a glimpse of the Royal house (the Mzimelas) that Lungile was meant to marry into. People from that village were worried about their future as a drought came upon them. They are caught between selling the land and find means of survival because the land is a legacy to them.

Conflict arises when the King try to convince his people to sell the land. Most of them refuse to sell their legacy – the land.

The author is well-known for the Hlomu The Wife story series that follows the lives of 7 Zulu brothers from KwaZulu Natal and came to Johannesburg to being feared taxi owners. In all Busani-Dube’s writing, she uses a relatable subject surrounding African tradition.

The author once said that she is a creator and none of the books are based on her life.

By Ntsiki Ntsibande



International community ready to invest in SA

South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, ended off his Canadian business trip by attending the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Summit held in Quebec City, Canada. Also in attendance was Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa and other business delegates. The theme of the Summit was “Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities.”

President Ramaphosa participated in the two-day session by invite of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Engagements were held with the business community regarding attracting investment in South Africa, growing country’s economy and creating jobs in the hopes of reducing poverty and inequality.

According to the presidency, President Ramaphosa is excited about the interest by the international community and stated that it shows that the international community recognises South Africa’s new dawn – a period of renewal and rebuilding.

(Source: Africa News Agency)

Foreign Ministers in preparatory meeting in Pretoria ahead of BRICS Summit.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu opened up the second meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers. She shared that forums of this nature strengthen the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation. 

The meeting is in preparation for the 10th BRICS Summit that will take place in South Africa from the 25th to 27th July 2018.

Sisulu stated that ministers are making further concrete contributions to BRICS cooperation through deliberations. 

“There can be no doubt that our shared commitment to BRICS will bear fruit and we will make  advances in confronting our common challenges and realising our common objectives for  peace, harmony and greater representation in global governance institutions.” she said 

The Minister added that “ the current global geo-political realities make a meeting of this nature, not only necessary but timely. We meet in the face of multilateralism under siege; when the integrity of international agreements can be hastily and expediently compromised; when more and more countries take an inward-looking position at the expense of others.” 

South Africa is fortunate to host a number of BRICS related event this year. 

“It is fortuitous for South Africa to hold the Chairship of this august Forum, and to have the responsibility of hosting the 10th BRICS Summit in this year that coincides with the Centenary commemoration of a world icon, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Throughout the year, we will honour the life and legacy of our leader, a distinguished global statesman and father of our nation. 

“We are excessively proud that out of a deplorable inhuman system, we produced one as he. The life of this remarkable human being urges us to recall that nothing is impossible to achieve, no matter the magnitude of the task and irrespective of how daunting it may seem at the time.” 

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

OPINION : Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu’s duties in the new era.

South Africa’s new minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, promises to breathe new life into the country’s foreign policy posture if her early moves are anything to go by. She has displayed a steady but firm hand, a quality that’s needed to navigate the tricky international relations in the era that features the likes of Donald Trump.

Sisulu’s main strength is her seniority in South Africa’s ruling party; the ANC. Life can be easier in the international relations era if you do not have to second-guess your bosses. Diplomacy can be smoother if you are not a lackey of the president and as such you do not have to consult all the time because you’re watching your back, because you know that there are people in your party who are more qualified to hold your position.

You can do what appeared to be unthinkable by your predecessors. You can recall the country’s ambassador to Israel without blinking even though you know that this has the potential to disturb your other interests.

Sisulu has wasted no time in stamping her authority on the world stage. A few days after she took over the new office in early March, Sisulu displayed a firm hand in dealing with the Australians.

An Australian minister of home affairs, Peter Dutton, made nauseating comments about South Africa’s land redistribution policy in March this year. Influenced by neo-colonialist views Dutton said Australia would consider offering refuge of sort to white South African farmers who according to the neo-colonialist view are facing persecution. This view comes to counter South Africa’s newly found sense of urgency to redistribute land to the dispossessed indigenous black majority.

She wasted no time in issuing a diplomatic démarche to the Australian High Commissioner in South Africa, Adam McCarthy. A démarche is a diplomatic petition or protest reserved for extremely serious matters. And she complemented the démarche with a strong public statement. South Africa, said Sisulu, demands a retraction. All indications are that she’s managed to discipline the Australians.

Sisulu made the situation look easy to handle but it was actually a tricky space for Sisulu. She had taken over the international relations’ reigns a few days earlier. She needed time to figure out the system. This could have easily rendered her indecisive. It’s almost certain that an inadequate leader would have staggered around Australian case and its timing. A dangerous vacuum could have developed if Sisulu deferred action, if she had opted to go into consultation with seniors in the ruling party the ANC.

Sisulu comes with an advantage of being a senior herself. As such she probably doesn’t suffer from the weakness of second guessing what her party is about. She’s one of the longest serving executive members of the post 1994 government. And she’s key positions like being minister of intelligence, housing, defence and public service administration.

And Sisulu’s name was strongly considered during the race for presidency in the run up to the 2018 ANC conference which elected Cyril Ramaphosa. Her seniority in the ruling party should make for a huge advantage. Presumably she doesn’t have to second guess her party’s needs.




BRICS Embassies’ meet for Football Tournament ahead of Russia World Cup

With only a few days to the kick off to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) hosted the BRICS Embassies’ Football Tournament on Friday in Pretoria, South Africa.

Six teams from the 5 BRICS (Brazil, India, Russia, China and South Africa) countries participated in the tournament that is aimed at strengthening friendship and unity between these countries.

The countries’ representative showed appreciation to the Russian Embassy for bringing everyone together.

Russian Ambassador Mikhail Ivanovich Petrakov said: “This tournament is dedicated to two major events, one the World Cup which will be in Moscow, and 11 other cities and the second is the 10th BRICS Summit that will take place in South Africa.”

The ambassador also stated that the countries are trying to strengthen cooperation, not only on the politics front.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) said it was an honour for the South African Football Federation to work with the BRICS embassies in this tournament

By Ntsikelelo Kuse


Rich Mnisi is making his fashion’s voice heard

South African contemporary fashion designer Rich Mnisi is a force to be reckoned with. This designer attributes his inspiration to film, music, art and nature.

His love for fashion started at a very young age, where he used to play around with fabrics with his sister. As a teenager, he between studying law, architecture and fashion.

Mnisi decided on fashion and got his BA in Fashion Design from LISOF. He is now the founder of a brand called OATH that was established in 2014 that he uses to make his fashion voice heard. 

He is best known for his extremely androgynous style of design on the runway and has collaborated with local celebrities such as actor and musician Nakhane Toure’ and TV personality Maps Maponyane.

Mnisi has already featured in both local and international media such as Marie Claire, ELLE, GQ Online, Mail and Guardian and Vogue Italia.

In 2014, he was named the winner of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg AFI Fastrack and AFI Young Designer of the Year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa.

This year, he introduced the “Africa Explosion” collection at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Russia in Moscow. His collection was a mix of contemporary pieces infused with bright colours and had an over-the-top hat as a signature finish.


Source: Design Indaba

BRICS Academic Forum tackles peace & security and gender relations

The 10th BRICS academic forum got underway on Monday the 28th of May, 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The four-day BRICS Think Tank Council and Academic Forum brings together the educational leaders of the bloc, to discuss topics ranging from peace and security, energy, gender relations and regional integration.

Chaired by Diane Parker, she shared that the aim of the forum is to build greater co-operation and better understanding of public policy, which will result in the needed change in the BRICS nations, to better the lives of the economic bloc’s citizens. This will help BRICS have a larger reach on the global stage and strengthen the relationship between member states. The other goals of the forum are to engage, network and try to find opportunities that can be collaborated on.

In attendance on the opening day of the forum was South African Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor, who spoke about the genesis of the BRICS think tank, reflecting on the challenges facing the academic forum and how to bring together the intellectual capacity of the BRICS nations.

Chair of the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) Ari Sitas, discussed how to advise over our BRICS leaders, how do we think, how do we create change, how do we view the world, how does the world view BRICS, how do we change perceptions and how do we build knowledge and take it forward.

From Brazil the Director of International Studies, Institute for applied economic Research (IPEA) Ivan Oliveira, spoke about how we institutionalise our ideas and take them to the people.

Executive Director of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research Georgy Toloraya, challenged us to do more, to start asking difficult questions, acknowledging where BRICS came from, to how do we then raise problems and find solutions for them, to use our intellectual capabilities to be more critical thinking.

From India Samir Saran the President of the observer research foundation (ORF) detailed the three key areas challenging BRICS at the moment: identity, inequality and prosperity, how do we take on these challenges globally and on a local level as well.

The final speaker was from China, Dong Weihua the Deputy Secretary General of CCBTC, Deputy Director General of IDCPC, who spoke about action, what we need to do as BRICS to succeed, new ways to think about BRICS, how to use the various Think Tanks in each nation to draw out their usefulness and how do we take that to our leaders.

Parker closed out the day summarising the key talking areas of the opening and adding that, the next few days, different academic leaders from different backgrounds will divulge in greater detail the main topic of the forum.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene named new Chairman of NDB Board

On the 28th May 2018, the New development Bank (formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank) held its 3rd Annual Meeting of the board of Governors. At the meeting South African finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, was elected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors. Minister Nene will serve in this post until the end of the next Board of Governors meeting which will be held in South Africa in 2019.

The mandate of the New Development Bank is to mobilise resources for BRICS, emerging economies and developing countries infrastructure and sustainable development projects. This is to complement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

The BoG also approved six projects from all the BRICS countries of the NDB with loans aggregating $1.6 billion.

That was highlighted that in 2018 the Bank has significantly strengthened its project portfolio, and the total amount of approvals in 2018 has reached $1.7 billion.


Additional reporting: Business Tech

Bassline celebrates Africa Day

Bassline Live will be bringing a two-day event to Johannesburg to celebrate Africa’s diversity through music and food.

This year’s event marks the 14th year of celebration alongside the Nelson Mandela Foundation to promote the #BeTheLegacy theme.

The line-up will include South African artists such as Nakhane Touré and Azah, and international acts such as Mozambican marrabenta band Ghorwane, Guinea’s Sekou Kouyate and Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho.

Africa Day is commemorated annually for the continent’s independence, freedom and liberation strife from colonial imperialists.  The reinforcement of this liberation was the first union of African countries on African soil; the foundation of the regional integration body; the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, which 38 years later, evolved into the African Union (AU). 

Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa had this to say: “As we celebrate our Africanness, let’s work towards African integration and reflect on how far we have come, in order to map the road ahead. At the heart is a quest for economic and political co-operation as well as unity.

“Let’s promote our African stories, African content and African history, as this will enable us to assert our African identity.” Mthethwa added.



#LocalFindsWednesday: Gert-Johan Coetzee thinks ahead of the threads

South African fashion designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee has always been a fashion-lover. By the age of 6,  he was already taking sewing classes and dressing his pencils up in tissue paper.

GJC launched his label at 23 when he showed at SA Fashion Week in 2010. He is known for his red carpet hits, dressing the likes of Bonang Matheba, Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Pabi Moloi, Tamara Dey, Lira, Liezel van der Westhuizen, Cindy Nell and Terry Pheto.

During his second year at North West School of Design (2004), Gert won the High Fashion Award at the annual Vukani Awards ceremony.

His first commercial venture was as partner in the Diamond Face Couture label with businesswoman Uyanda Mbuli which launched in 2006. In that same year he won the SA’s Most Promising Young Designer award.

Gert is committed to developing the local fashion industry and decided to launch the GJC fashion bursary programme that includes personal mentorships and internships at his studio.

In April this year during SA Fashion Week, he showcased the golden 50th anniversary of the iconic Big Mac® burger with Big Mac® Fashion line.

Coetzee was chosen to mentor contestants, who will be competing to create clothes with different themes at a certain period, for a fashion TV series called Project Runway.