Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Ridge Road, from eDutywa to eDwesa, via Nqabarha

Shixini River. The old bridge on the right and the newer on the left.
Crossing Shixini River.
26 KM's, on the banks of Nqabarha River, that's where King Hintsa's resting place is.
A Xhosa chief, Ewindla Badi, who was a Tshawe and therefore of Royal descent, resided
in close proximity to where the trading station was established in Gcalekaland.
The designation of Badi was derived from his name.
Ngqondela Trading Store, later called kwaNocwane after C.W. Haselau's son,
Charles Alfred (Nocwane), took over.

Previous traders here were Phillips, Wood & Co (applied to occupy a trading site here in 1903),
Emil Haselau in 1908, Dan Durrheim ( an assistant) 1928 and C.W. Haselau (Ngqondela) in 1935

The Walls of the Old Nqabarha High School

uMthombe tree growing through walls
The inside one of the class rooms

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Siyakukhulula Madiba, Aah! Dalibunga!!

The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat players pay the tribute to Rolihlahla Mandela before their NBA
basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.

Read more here:
I would like it to be said that,
"Here lies a man who has done his duty on earth".
That is all.
Arriving with my young ones at East London Airport, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

People wave at an aircraft carrying the casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela 
as it takes off from Waterkloof Airbas, going home to Umtata. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013

Local women sit on chairs at a public viewing point near the burial ground of late former
South African President Nelson Mandela ahead of his funeral in Qunu, December 15, 2013
Picture: Reuters / Yannis Behrakis


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Ah! Jong'umsobomvu!

Early Sunday morning of the 8th December 2013, I took a long ascent up iNtaba kaNdoda to visit chief's burial site.

The mirror of Nothonto
For his mother's likeness
The black water snake from Xhukwane
Sharp eyes daring the red dawn
Learning lifelong lessons here
At the Mngcwangeni foot of this Ntaba kaNdoda
During the Thuthula moment of the war of Amalinde

The black water snake who crossed famed rivers
Who fought in valiance in the waterkloof
And Amathole stirring Jingqi's passions
All the way to the island

Mover of people, patriot, hero, strategist
Eloquent intellect
Ngqika's beloved son
The whole nation salutes you.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Harold Strange Africana Collection

Doing some crate-digging of my own.
The beautiful story of abeNguni, abaMbo namaLala

The Harold Strange Library of African Studies 
is one of South Africa’s major collections 
of Africana, concentrating on material south of the Zambezi River. 
Attracting researchers, authors, historians and genealogists from around the world, it is named after the Africana collector Harold Strange, 
whose collection was purchased as the nucleus of the library in 1913. 

The collection includes material on every conceivable aspect of Southern African social 
and political history and comprises manuscripts, private papers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, 
maps, newspapers and newspaper cuttings, photographs and theatre programmes. 

Strong points of the collections include African languages, literature and ethnology, Xhosa people, African mythology, Afrikaans language andlit erature, South African English literature, Anglo-Boer War (including original diaries), history of the Witwatersrand and especially Johannesburg and original maps of Africa from the 15th to 20th centuries.

Eternal voices

Thursday, 25 April 2013

African Dinner with Introduction into Storytelling

All Eyez On Me

The theme on the night of 25th April 2013, at Oom Bolo's home, was "African Dinner with Introduction into Storytelling". This formed part of What is Poetry Festival staged at different venues around Jozi, Mahikeng, Polokwane and Harare.
Oom Bolo's museum-cum-café set the stage for this evening's star, Mama Madosini , who flew in from Cape Town to share her storytelling through music.

We could not miss an opportunity to witness the sounds of uhadi, istolotolo and umrhubhe from the world renowned Manqina Madosini Latozi from Mqhekezweni, just outside Umtata in the Eastern Cape.

Under the full African moon, scrumptious dinner of mgqusho and chicken/mutton, with steady flow of wine supplied by the Hartenberg Wine Estate. Kumnand'ekhaya!

Thando, Mama Madosini and Sylvia
A snap with Vuyo
With Samar Gantang, an Indonesian elder and poet.

What time is it, Mr. Policeman?

Madosini, A Music of Life

Interview: Oom Bolo, Life in Kliptown

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Radium Beerhall

"Poilitics & Religion NOT To Be Discussed In This Bar"

After  five hours of queuing at Montrose Primary, it was time to grab some lunch. I visited a joint that has long been on my to-do list, The Radium in Orange Grove.

As soon as you enter you're greeted by a scent of history, of long forgoten conversations and deferred Jozi dreams.

This is the second oldest surviving bar and grill in Johannesburg, after The Guildhall Pub & Restaurant.
The first thing I wanted to see was its original bar counter, that has apparently survived the Rand Revolt of the early 1920's was given to The Radium from the demolished Ferreirastown Hotel in the Joburg city centre. 

In the 40's it was notorious for illegally selling alcohol to black patrons in a white district.

My order : T-Bone, prime beef grilled to perfection in Radium basting source
Savanna Ad Filmed Here

Savanna adverts shot at this bar 

This Bar's a Joke (

Unplugged Band (

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Besenza Inkonzo Bevuya Kunene...

The family project that we're busy with at the moment is of collating my grand's (Rev. S.M. Ntloko) sermons, family stories and general narrations through time.
To be self-published soon...

Priceless Scrolls

One Heart, One Way. Are You With Me?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sixty five years on ... they’re still doing everything together

Here's an old article that appeared in the Daily Dispatch(September 26, 2007) newspaper about my grands. They were celebrating 60 years then (Diamond). 
This year, on September 25th, it'll be their 65th anniversary (Blue Sapphire) and still going strong. These are our baobab trees, where our base camp is, our roots.
Whenever we go home, we like to think of it as 'reporting back to base'.


FOUND A DIAMOND: Kholeka and Mqambane Ntloko from Butterworth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary yesterday. Picture: ALAN EASON

‘I never use the word ‘I’ because we are one’

AN ELDERLY couple who celebrated 60 years of marital bliss yesterday said they were still looking at spending many happy days together.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch during a visit to their Butterworth home, Kholeka and her husband the Reverend Mqambane Ntloko said their secret to a long and successful marriage was remaining tolerant to each other.
“I never use the word ‘I’ because we are one – everything we do, we do together,” said Kholeka Ntloko.
The couple met at a high school concert in 1944 – she was 18 and he was a year older.
Three years later, they tied the knot in a private wedding in Johannesburg. They are now 82 and 83 years old respectively.
“I did not notice that he was interested in me at first.
“I (just) saw this dark and tall man following me. He asked to talk to me and then we started dating. He is my boyfriend and I call him dear,” said Kholeka Ntloko laughing.
She revealed that one of the things that has kept their marriage strong was doing things together as a couple.
“It is not easy, but we have to agree when we do something – that is the right way to do things. When we argue and one of us is wrong, we don’t point fingers; we just agree that we were both wrong. That is how a marriage should be,” Kholeka Ntloko said.
Her husband said he would not be where he is now had it not been for Kholeka, as she is always a source of strength.
“She is my supporter, she motivates me in everything I do. She does everything for me, she cooks very nice food and we have the best diet ever,” said Mqambane Ntloko.
“My wife and I even share a tea bag together, we are used to doing things together.”
They have six children, including one who is a doctor in Queenstown. Kholeka said she does not believe that woman should be servants for their husbands.
Lulama Ntloko, the couple’s youngest daughter, said she does not think there is any man like her father out there.
“I have decided not to get married because I could not find a man who is like my father.
“They are perfect for each other and I have never heard them argue or my mother saying she is leaving my father,” said Lulama. 

Acrylic On Canvas, My Right Brain

This is one that I did back in 2007, I was with how the candle texture came out.
The Praying Hands of Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu, Gandhiji

"Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well."

"As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it."

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

"Hate the sin, love the sinner."

"Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress."

"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress."

"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."

"I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life."

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

"I want freedom for the full expression of my personality."

"In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place."

"In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth."

"Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy."

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds."

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"

"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary."

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Then there was the myth of Mahatma Ghandi

Early European Traders West of The Kei River

“In 1826 a few temporary licenses were issued for 
 those wishing to trade beyond the Kei River. 
 The pickings were so rich that within a very short 
 time there were at least 20 traders operating beyond
 the frontier. In 1830 the border was thrown open 
 and trade beyond the Kei was legalised. 
 For the first time people living on the Wild Coast 
 were able legally to exchange their hides, cattle, 
 ivory and later tobacco, grain and wool, for blankets, 
 beads, agricultural implements, knives, horses and firearms, 
 and the settler traders found a ready market and eager customers.” 
                            – Hazel Crampton, The Sunburnt Queen

Toleni Trading Store
We'll start with Toleni Trading Store, about 17 kilometers from Butterworth, Eastern Cape.

The main house

According to the locals that I interviewed on today, this was once a living quarters for the family that once owned the trading post. I wonder if this house wasn't the original railway station hotel?

There was only one tomb in the backyard which, as related by one local, was of a young family member of the original family. Unfortunately the epitaph on the headstone was almost faded out. I could faintly see something like KJM Lucas...

As seen from the N2

Happy Days Store, Flagstaff, Transkei, Eastern Cape. 9 October 1975
I borrowed the The Happy Days Store photo above from David Goldblatt

Below is what's left of iBika Trading Post, Butterworth.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

AmaXhosa Cattle-Killing Mass Grave

Here rest men, women and children - innocent victims of the 1856/7 catastrophic cattle killing. 
'nuff said!

Please buy this book by book by Jeff Peires (The Dead Will Arise - Nongqawuse and the great Xhosa cattle killing movement of 1856/7), a rich read !!! Few prints in circulation, but worth the hunt, trust me.

The Central Beliefs Of The Xhosa Cattle-Killing

Saturday, 30 March 2013