Why are Schools Punishing Children for Speaking African Languages?

Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire looks at the various reasons for ostracising African languages in African schools and shows how unconvincing they are, arguing for more vigilance in the defence of the use of local languages in African schools. This article was originally appeared in This Is Africa. In various schools in Uganda, and some other parts of Africa, children as young as five are punished for speaking African languages, indigenous languages and mother tongues at school. The modes of punishment differ. The most common one in Uganda is wearing a dirty sack until you meet someone else speaking their mother tongue and then you pass the sack on to them. In some schools, there are specific pupils and students tasked with compiling lists of fellow pupils and students speaking mother tongues. This list is then handed over to a teacher responsible for punishing these language rule-breakers. According to Gilbert Kaburu, some ... read more

South Africa’s controversial “Open Mosque”

South Africa’s first “Open Mosque” recently opened its doors, welcoming EVERYONE: gay worshipers, unveiled women, Christians… Great news, at a time when Islam generally gets bad press. So why isn’t everyone celebrating? This article was originally published by This is Africa. Image credit: Denvor de Wee By Annie Mebaley Image credit: Denvor de Wee South Africa’s first “Open Mosque” recently hosted its first prayer session, and welcomed around 50 men and women of different races and cultures within its mint green painted walls. The mosque, in Wynberg, Cape Town, serenely accepts gay worshippers, unveiled women, Christians and all pariahs of society, and aspires to establish “a religious revolution” in Cape Town. The founder, Dr. Taj Hargey, a native of Cape Town, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford and a popular hooligan of Islamic recalcitrance – In July this year, he launched the UK campaign to ban the burqa ... read more

Mario Macilau: Photography as a Medium for Social Change in Mozambique

By Jorrit Dijkstra African photography is on the rise. From street to art photography, conceptual and documentary to fashion photography, home-grown photographers (not only in the Francophone-African countries) are increasingly stepping up to show their world what they see when they look through the lens, following decades of photographic misrepresentation, or reduction, by observers from outside the continent. This piece was originally published by  This is Africa.                                Mario Macilau ‘I believe in the power of still images’, proclaims Mario Macilau (1984). The Mozambican photographer uses his photography as a tool to change people's minds about the world we’re living in, focusing on the living and working conditions of socially isolated groups. ‘I'm mostly thinking about how my work can contribute to changing their situation. As a social documentary photographer I try to break the silence surrounding them and bring their identities, which have been hidden for too long, to ... read more

iSchool: using low cost tablets to change learning methods in Zambia

  Mark Bennett, is the Managing Director at iSchool – Zambia. iSchool is built on the belief that many of Africa’s deepest-routed problems can only be overcome through radical improvements in education. This means building a generation of thinking, problem-solving children who will be able to unlock the great potential of the Continent: who will grow economies; rethink democracy; improve health, and greatly increase the life chances of their children. This interview was initially featured on http://smartmonkeytv.com/   SmartMoneyTV: What is iSchool? Mark Bennett: iSchool is an attempt to introduce modern blended e-learning in to the African context and by doing that change the way learning is done in schools.   SMTV: What are the key changes that you are trying to make in teaching? MB: We are trying to get teachers to move away from the chalkboard, to move away from their traditional way of memorised learning, and to ... read more

Maker Faire: Cultivating a community of African makers

Emeka Okafor , is a British Nigerian living in New York who sees himself as venture capitalist for Africa. He is the curator and director of Maker Faire Africa and speaks about what the event means for Africa, and the need for manufacturing on the continent. This interview originally appeared on http://smartmonkeytv.com/ SmartMonkeyTV: Emeka you have been the organiser of Maker Faire in Africa with others. How did that come about? Emeka Okafor: A number of us who founded Maker Faire thought that there was a disconnect behind the idea of hardware, the making of hardware, and the need for a greater interest in manufacturing… the idea that we didn’t have an appreciation for people who were inventors and innovators in the more physical sense. We felt that there was a mother-load of individuals across the continent that were not getting their due, in terms of people 1) acknowledging that ... read more

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? The City Prepares To Be Inspired By A Gathering Of Innovators, Experts And Mavericks

CAPE TOWN - The Africa Centre announces the next Talking Heads Live event – the city’s premier high-energy platform for ideas exchange to be held on Wednesday the 12th of March 2014. The programme is set to be headlined by Cape Town’s brightest thinkers, influential change makers, doers and leading visionaries. Hosted at the charming Gold of Africa Museum famous for housing AngloGold Ashanti’s prized gold artifact collection, this event is a carefully curated experience of inspiring, thought provoking conversations that invite curious members of the public to explore and develop new ways of seeing, thinking and understanding their world. This year’s first event will feature 40 speakers from a broad range of disciplines, including sustainability architect Gita Goven, star gazer Dr Carolina Ödman-Govender; medical innovator Ashley Uys; urban renewalist Tony Elvin; land rights specialist Dr Ruth Hall; natural birth advocate  Sister Marianne Littlejohn; education reformist Ntshadi Mofokeng; bone implant ... read more

The City’s Leading Game Changers Propose Big Ideas To The Continent’s Thorniest Problems

JOHANNESBURG – Boasting an enduring reputation as a crucible for change, Johannesburg will play host to the 2013 Talking Heads Live. The event enables the city’s thought leaders, social disruptors and change makers to share with the public their big ideas and experiences on current issues facing their disciplines. Created to encourage the public to explore and develop new ways of seeing and understanding the world and themselves as Africans, the experience has fondly been dubbed ‘a genius exercise in speed dating for the brain’. Unlike popular platforms like TED, which have taken the world by storm, this boutique event typically draws some 40 extraordinary speakers from the worlds of business, art and design; advocacy; philanthropy; technology; environmental sustainability and health to engage in multiple simultaneous conversations with an audience of just over 100 people. Confirmed speakers include: visionary social entrepreneur Yusuf Randera-Rees; Tutu fellow and mining consultant Mema Beye, ... read more

Knowledge Leeches

“Dude, Talking Heads – I love that band.” It’s a joke wearing thin, as I break away from an inebriated group of friends preparing for a very different kind of Saturday night – the Converse Party at Mary Fitzgerald Square. I compose myself, shaking off the afternoon’s beers, as I approach the Villa Acardia mansion for an evening of intellectual stimulation, staring down the FOMO. Apparently there’s going to be carnival rides at that Converse thing... ‘A multi-layered, knowledge sharing platform conceived to identify, showcase, network and expose Africa’s thought leaders. It profiles the ideas, visions and manifestations of the extraordinary people living on this continent.' It’s the description printed on the back of a card received upon entering the Villa. There’ll be four sessions, according to the card, each with an accompanying table number. I’d hoped for some choice in my ‘heads’. Perhaps they’ll be like the TED talks ... read more

A Gathering Of Curious Minds

CAPE TOWN - The epic Whale Well at the Iziko South African Museum will serve as the backdrop for the first Talking Heads Live event of the year on Saturday, 20th April 2013. The Africa Centre’s Talking Heads is a knowledge-sharing platform that uses the potent art of conversation to discover and interrogate the work of thirty-six seasoned thought leaders, experts and mavericks. Drawn from very different disciplines, the gurus are invited to interact and converse with audience members. The aim is to exchange ideas, experiences, build and test knowledge, while developing new ways of thinking about some of the toughest social, economic and environmental problems facing us today. Hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Talking Heads is a carefully curated experience that sees multiple conversations happening simultaneously. The discussions that emerge are always invigorating and spirited. A genius mix of musical chairs and speed dating for the brain, a ... read more

Talking Heads

Written by Art South Africa on 05 December 2012. Posted in Frontpage Brett Bailey and Jay Pather organized a program of interdisciplinary works for the 2008 Spier Performing Arts Festival, which they staged in non-traditional venues throughout Cape Town. Their emphasis on the interdisciplinary peaked with the Festival's grand finale, Talking Heads, directed by Bailey. Tapping into the fascination many local visual artists hold for the archive, Bailey chose an archive, Cape Town's historic Centre for the Book, for his "living archive", Talking Heads. Its contents, a collection of forty "experts from a wide range of fields", were installed respectively at forty café tables with black table-cloths and polished brass numbered disks in the Centre's main hall. In the late 1950's Alan Kaprow sought to push the "action painting" of the abstract expressionists out of the picture plane and into time and space. Creating revolutionary "Environments", Kaprow combined large "hunks ... read more
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