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Kindred – Home.

It’s winter here in KZN, and even though that just means it’s cold, not grey or snowy or icy like it would be for our northern hemisphere friends, a cheerful summery desktop wallpaper still makes me smile. The beautiful new ones at Kindred are indeed cheerful, summery and very lovely. Go on over and get yourself a couple to make you smile too.

I had a pretty busy week and didn’t get to make anything, though I have plans in the works for a couple of interesting things so Watch This Space. In the meantime, a short post about Danyel Waro, the amazing Reunion Islands performer of traditional Maloya music. You can watch an awesome video here. Waro sings in Creole and uses traditional instruments, including thekayanm, a flat instrument made from cane flower stems and filled with saffron seeds; the bob (called birimbau in Brazil), a musical bow attached to a calabash for resonance; and the rouler, a big drum made from barrels with a cowskin head. The music is vibrant and fascinating and Waro’s stage presence is compelling. The BAT Centre in Durban rocked as everyone took to the dance floor and danced the night away. It was a magical performance and I am so glad to have seen it.

Danyel Waro

Danyel Waro

Find out more about Danyel Waro and buy his music here.

Read the press release for this event on Artslink.

Christmas 2008, a local homeware store carried this beautiful wrapping paper:

Pretty wrapping paper, December 2009

Pretty wrapping paper, December 2009

Naturally, I bought a lot of it, wrapped all my christmas gifts in it and still have some left over for special presents. I do have quite a thing for bird designs. So it was fairly recognisable when I came across this:

Fabric design by Anna Maria Horner

Fabric design by Anna Maria Horner

Not identical, certainly, but pretty damn close, I’d say.

I can’t help myself. I just love these two little vases. I picked them up at the Kitchen Shop the other day for about R10 each and they make me happy while I type as they sit alongside my computer. I was playing around with my new camera and managed to take a decent photo of them, so natch I had to post it immediately.

Pretty vases against my newly made curtains.

Pretty vases against my newly made curtains.

Ok, this is a bit of a deviation from the ‘oh look, pretty’ stuff I’ve been posting lately but I can’t not post these photos. These were taken by a friend on the Howard College campus of UKZN this morning. They document a small part of the protest that has been ongoing at the campus since Wednesday of last week. We are told from various sources that the protest is centred on housing and financial aid, and certainly students of UKZN do have a rough deal where these two are concerned. They have every right to make their voices heard on these issues. The problem I have with this is that, unless the university is for some reason deliberately keeping mum about it, neither the student body in general nor the SRC have actually communicated a memorandum regarding the protest to anyone. The university claims they have not been approached to try and resolve the protest peacefully. The university also did not do anything concrete during the course of last week to call a halt to the assaults and intimidation going hand in hand with the protest. I have read first-hand reports of lectures being forcibly disrupted, students threatened if they did not leave lectures, lecturers assaulted, and windows and equipment broken. Rumours abound of stabbings and more serious assaults. During all of this neither SAPS, who were present on campus, nor UKZN Risk Management Services appear to have stepped in. From today’s photos, it appears that SAPS have called in the riot squad, but this doesn’t seem to have prevented further assaults and damage to property.

Now we all know that the UKZN SRC is almost entirely composed of ANCYL members. Fine and well. And what does the ANCYL think of these members wearing yellow t-shirts emblazoned with JZ’s face while conducting this apparently haphazard, riotous protest? I’m particularly interested in what they would have to say about the many yellow shirts in the photo showing a journalist being threatened for taking photos – my photographer friend was (as you can see) right behind her when this happened, and backed away quite quickly as soon as security stepped in to remove the journalist from the scene. Of course, I’d expect Malema to be 100% behind this kind of behaviour, but I would hope that more seasoned and reasonable ANC members would quickly understand that this protest is a) looking a whole lot more like a display of ANC power than a genuine student protest and b) embarrassing the ANC by its failure to contain violence and mayhem and its inability to properly communicate the issues at stake even to the students taking part in the protest (first-hand accounts suggest that many students are simply going along for the ride and have absolutely no idea what is being protested).

So we have here a university that is unwilling or unable to step in to stop this kind of malicious damage to person and property, even though this protest clearly has not been dealt with properly from the word ‘go’. And a political organisation that, on the face of it, is supporting this kind of behaviour, perhaps even encouraging it, for the apparent purpose of displaying its muscle to those who might consider defecting to other parties. I won’t hold my breath for a public condemnation of this protest, either from the university or the ANC, but I shouldn’t have to. They should have stepped in before it went this far.

The crowd faces off against a riot squad that seems unable to actually hold them back.

The crowd faces off against a riot squad that seems unable to actually hold them back.

How to distinguish this from an ANC rally?

How to distinguish this from an ANC rally?

A journalist is told to stop taking photos. Note the guy reaching out to grab her leg.

A journalist is told to stop taking photos. Note the guy reaching out to grab her leg.

Today we made our way to the Dargle Valley in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to visit with a friend on the communal farm he lives at. Zuvuya is a beautiful place, with scattered houses, outbuildings and tents. This weekend they were celebrating the Autumn Equinox in great hippie fashion, with music, cannabis and good food. There were some gorgeous outfits, many large pieces of tie-dyed cloth, a small and happy pig and several small and very happy children. We got to see Celtis, a Durban Irish Folk Band, play, and they were great. We got to eat home-made hummus, and we got to do a spiral dance. Today, I liked the hippies very much.

Will you look at that enormous tiedyed tenty thing?

Will you look at that enormous tiedyed tenty thing?

And a lovely campsite that we definitely intend to try out soon.

And a lovely campsite that we definitely intend to try out soon.

And of course, more cows on the road home...

And of course, more cows on the road home...

David Byrne & Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – Order.

Well, this is a whole bunch of things I love in one really great package. I can’t afford it, of course, but boy do I want it! You can listen to the album via streaming from the website and it’s well worth listening to. But don’t you just love the funky packaging by Sagmeister? He’s got a great Ted Talk on happy design too…

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