Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Once A Boxer Always A Boxer

David Once A Mdantsane Boxer - Today a bookkeeper

You are looking at David working in a container office in NU 1. David is the book keeper of the Ethembeni Old Age Home in Mdantsane. He has been doing this work on a voluntary basis for a long time until the NGO received funding and is now able to pay him.

David in "his" container office

But he had another big surprise for me that day. 
David has been dedicating his time to different things in his earlier years.
David was a boxer

Well, knowing this and looking at him now I can see that he is a boxer.
His whole personality speaks and breathes boxing.
Once a boxer always a boxer.

Even his hands seem now like a boxer's hands.
He smiles at me, seeing how surprised I am.

Did you win many fights, I ask?  Yes, many, he replies.
Are there photos? Yes, there must be some !
Meanwhile he starts "wiring" a lamp, that is intended to hang from the ceiling of the container once he has finished. 

The thing is you have met me in an Old Age Home, as a book keeper, he reflects, that is how you see me!
And that is why you are surprised now! Truly Spoken.
South-Africa and specifically Mdantsane have produced and grown some of the finest world class boxers. The talent is still here but the problem at the moment is that there are not enough trainers and not the right trainers in the township. All the young boxers move away to the bigger cities, like Pretoria, and get trained by others more affluent trainers and promoters, he says.
Local talent must stay here and we must train here and take care of our young boxers !
We have a great boxing heritage ! 

But just recently an association of former and old boxers has been created of which David is a member, and was launched in June 2011 in Mdantsane with the aim to promote and take care of young upcoming boxing talent and to train them in Mdantsane.

" The problem is, when it gets dark, it gets really dark in here," David says.
Not anymore !

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Dig You Most My Sista

Hi-way is a good place as well to meet up with people.

Pelisa and New York City Style !

Send In The Troops - It's Cleaning Time

It is not an unusual sight to see whole battalions of women on the streets of Mdantsane and Buffalo City in general who are cleaning and sweeping the gutters and the roads with brooms. Their activities are part of a job creation program initiated by the South African Government to battle unemployment and that stretches right down to the different municipalities in each province.

And what applies to women all over the whole world is also guaranteed here !!

Nothing is done by half measures, all or nothing, and full attention is given to the detail.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Eyona Nto Siyifunayo Luthando - All We Need Is Love

You might have found out already that this is not Mdantsane but one of our breath-taking beaches surrounding Buffalo City.

The opening words of the Freedom Charter became widely known in South Africa’s political discourse: 

“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.” 

The Charter was adopted by 3000 delegates at the Congress of the People in Kliptown near Johannesburg on June 26, 1955. It was the result of a year long political discussion throughout the country. 

The Freedom Charta formulated not only basic demands for human and political rights but it also described the kind of society that was envisioned to replace the old apartheid system, including ideals such as sharing the wealth of the country and adequate housing, education, and healthcare for all. 
Only in 1994 South-Africa became a free country. 

What it really meant is shown in these wonderful pictures. 56 years later in today's South Africa anyone can go to any place at any time with whomever he or she desires.  

You might wish to be in their place right now but there are moments when it is your time and there are moments when you should just watch and admire.

Dear readers, you have been so extremely supportive of our magazine and our Facebook page that we just wish to thank you and let you go into your weekend with some beautiful, warm, soft and gentle pictures.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Inkuku - Fresh Chicken

Iinkuku zifile okanye ziyaphila !
That means Chicken Dead or Alive!( roughly translated) 

When we arrived at the market there was only one chicken left on the fourth floor of the cage.
 And let me put it this way: It was not the most glorious of it's kind anymore either.

But more stock was on the way.

R 60.00 for one Inkuku dead or alive !
That is a good price.

They seem to have picked up the looming danger while being carefully examined by future buyers and chefs.

One man's appetite can mean another creature's end of life.

And all that stays behind is an egg.

and somebody looking forward to a great meal !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

People Are People Through Other People

The Sizamile Soup Kitchen In NU 5

Between 20  to 40 people of all ages come to the Soup Kitchen in NU 5 to get a hot meal on Wednesdays. 
The Sizamile Women's Group was established in 2005 by 19 women. The soup kitchen was launched in the same year.

A letter was handed over to us when we visited them so that we could read their story.
We want to use their own unchanged words to re-tell it to you:

" We started this project ; a certain old man came to us and asked for food. He was so destitute although he receives grant. The grant is insufficient to fulfill his needs. We met as women to solve the problem, we established a soup kitchen in order to meet with this problem. We collected some cash and bought rice, mince-meat and vegetables.

Many of the destitute came to have some meals. They were rationed from Monday to Friday. Four of the women withdrew they could not afford to give money to buy the food items. Only the eleven of us who is still on the project.
We decided to cook for them once a week. We chose to feed them on Wednesdays. The number of them has risen to 40. Six of them are bed-ridden. We visit and feed them at their homes. We are feeding the elderly people."

The government of South Africa as a young democracy has established an extensive social grant system over the years to support and help the people that have been disadvantaged under the Apartheid system and as an answer to the needs of those who are living below the minimum income level or who are in the true sense of the word destitute. 
There are a variety of social grants available for the elders, aids orphans, HIV positive people, disabled people and many more.

The necessary distribution of these grants initially instituted because of the high level of unemployment has now led to another social phenomena. The grants are often not used for their original destined purpose but they help to feed complete families. A social grant or a pension of an elderly person might help contribute to bring the grandchildren through school or pay electricity and water. A cycle that is incredibly hard to break.

This soup kitchen was set up in the spirit of UBUNTU.

Ubuntu is an African Word.

In the Xhosa language Ubuntu means " People are People Through Other People".

Reference to the word Ubuntu is made on all levels of government in South Africa and in all social circles.

We dare to say Ubuntu is most alive and strong with the people who are still very close to earth. 
With the working class.
 " The Salt Of The Earth ".
We call them the Heroes of Daily Life. Our book is about them.

These courageous women have meanwhile created an NGO and have applied for funds with the Department of Social Development. But they are still funding their activities with their own funds.

The younger ones who can, take care of the others who can not care for themselves anymore.

The Spirit of Ubuntu is alive in every NU in Mdantsane.

To the  two ladies who are the initiators of this group Mrs H. Mandleleni and Miss. T Bokoloshe

Monday, June 20, 2011

Call Someone

Call your mother, or your aunt, your uncle and your friend.
Does not matter.
Just call someone and say Hi how are you!
Call because you can.
I am going to call my mother.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The United Pentecostal Church In NU 5

There are many churches all over Mdantsane 

The United Pentecostal Church in NU 5 is small and pretty as a picture.

How many souls have sung and worshiped together and prayed here for a better life over the years?

Pimp My Ride

I got a similar ride of my own that needs a whole lot of pimping.!


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