Showing posts from 2013

Siyakukhulula Madiba, Aah! Dalibunga!!

I would like it to be said that, "Here lies a man who has done his duty on earth". That is all.

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.


Portrait photograph (#337) of Chief Maqoma courtesy of Gustav Theodor Fritsch Collection

Harold Strange Africana Collection

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.

African Dinner with Introduction into Storytelling

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!

Madosini, A Music of Life

Interview: Oom Bolo, Life in Kliptown

Vuyo, The Dreamer

The Radium Beerhall

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.

Savanna adverts shot at this bar This Bar's a Joke ( Band( Peanuts (
Unhappy Hour (

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...

All Is Love


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 –…

Acrylic On Canvas, My Right Brain

This is one that I did back in 2007, I was with how the candle texture came out.

"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 tempo…

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

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

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 rel…

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

The Sound Of Open Roads

Some of our trusted travel companions..

Debe Nek

On the foothills of iNtaba ka Ndoda, along route R63, you'll find a very small town of Debe Nek.
The name refers to the channel through which the Debe River flows.
This is where giant earthworms can be found. These creatures can grow up to 3m in length.

The town itself consists of a defunct hotel, trading store, a post office and a recently built police station.
You can traverse the whole town in  less than 3 minutes :-)
I didn't have time to interview the current store owner though. 

This is where Ngqika and Ndlambe's troops took to battle in the Batlle of Amalindi.
In October 1818, the long standing rivalry between the senior Chief of Xhosaland, Ngqika, and his uncle, Ndlambe, erupted in a battle of epic proportions that was to go down in Xhosa tradition as the battle of Amalinde. This exceptional battle lasted from midday to nightfall, and was fought with such unusual ferocity that it takes a special place in the history of Xhosa warfare. It resulted in the defeat of Ngqika an…

Xhosa Gallery @Amathole Museum

Today we'll start looking at Sandile Heritage Route
Nalo ke uhambo lomhambi ...
Sunny 39°C e-Qonce, scorching, blazing hot. I had a few places of interest I planned to visit, so it had to be done.

First on the list was mam'uNontetha Nkwenkwe's statue. I was sadly disappointed to learn that it  was stolen just a few weeks ago from this spot (in front of the Magistrate's Court). Apparently two guys claiming to be from the National Heritage/Arts & Culture Office came and uprooted it :(

As former president Zizi put it in his 'I Am An Afrikan' speech - On an occasion such as this, we should, perhaps, start from the beginning.So let me begin...Here's the Xhosa genealogy tree, starting from the house of Phalo.

Remember the Cove Rock post a few days earlier?

Then there was Africa's 100 Years War; kuzoqhaw'kunobathana, zizolima z'yometyeni!

Maqoma's seal, one of the very last prized possessions of the chief.

Enkosi mhlekazi.  Visit @ Amathole Museum