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Culture January 2019

South Africa. The True Legend of the Black Swan.

Kitty Phetla, ballerina and choreographer with Joburg Ballet, grew up among the tin-roofed rows of houses in the township of Soweto. Her en pointe success, gained by talent and tenacity, is an example of redemption for young South Africans. Her life-story would make a good film and it is said that a Hollywood producer has…

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African Musicians. License For Transformation.

With the catchy rhythms of Afro-Pop, African artists are increasingly singing about young Africans’ frustrations. The political leaders threatened by this musical impetus try to silence it. Music has always been a medium with which to challenge the establishment – from Miriam Makeba’s warning to the apartheid government to Fela Kuti’s rebuke of wayward postcolonial…

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Bolivia. Rituals for a Qechua Marriage.

Marriage involves a series of rituals, and four essential stages among the Quechua people of the Bolivian Andes: coca leaf reading, verbal commitment, asking for the bride’s hand and the official celebration of marriage. The preparation for marriage among the Quechua and Aymara peoples starts during adolescence, when a Waynuchu (young man) and an imilla…

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Music and Dance. Tango, African Rhythm.

Music and dance in Latin America has much of what is African. An example: the Tango. The Tango was invented in the slums of European immigration in Buenos Aires a century ago; closely tied to an instrument such as the bandoneon (a musical instrument of the reed and bellows family, inspired by the concertina and…

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Advocacy

Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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Baobab

The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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