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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The history of Luck P. Dube the world's greatest reggae superstars.

Names: Dube, Lucky Philip
Born: 3 August 1964, Farm near Ermelo, Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga)
Died: 18 October 2007, Rosettenville, Johannesburg
In summary:  South African musical artist and was attributed as one of the world's greatest reggae superstars
  Lucky Dube was born on a small farm near Ermelo in the eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga). His mother, Sarah, considered his birth after a few unsuccessful pregnancy attempts so fortunate that she named him “Lucky”. She was the only breadwinner in the family as she had separated from her husband before Lucky’s birth and was forced to leave Lucky and her other two children, Thandi and Patrick, in the care of her mother. She earned such meagre wages in her job as domestic worker that she was barely able to send money back home for her children. Lucky’s father drank heavily and he had little contact with him – a fact which influenced his career and caused him to shun alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
Lucky started to work in the gardens of White people at an age when most other children enter school. He worked for a few years before joining school with the intention to earn more money to support his family. He excelled at school and found his great love in life – music. He was part of the choir and soon became choir leader, a role in which he was so successful that his choir was placed third in an inter-school competition – a first in the history of the choir. Lucky now found school a safe haven and his popularity amongst his teachers and fellow learners soared.

Lucky found some musical instruments by chance in a school cupboard one day and he and some friends formed his first musical ensemble, The Skyway Band. This was cut short when a teacher discovered their activities and locked the instruments away.
In 1982, while still at school, Lucky joined his cousin Richard Siluma’s band called The Love Brothers, playing traditional Zulu music known as Mbaqanga. Lucky's first album, recorded in Johannesburg during school holidays with The Love Brothers, was released as Lucky Dube and The Supersoul. He was the lead singer but did not write any of the material. Around this time he began to learn English, having started his schooling in Afrikaans. While at school he discovered the Rastafari movement. Though he did not consider himself a Rasta in the traditional sense, his dreadlocks and espousal of Jah (God) lent him the air of a Rastafarian.
His second and third albums, in which he was more involved with lyric writing, soon followed. The sales figures were beginning to hit gold status and people had begun to notice him. Because of his mother’s concern about the uncertainty of a musical career, Lucky swore to complete school. After release of his fourth album, he was beginning to make real money. Around the time of his fifth Mbaqanga album, Lucky met Dave Segal who was to become his long-time engineer, recording every one of Lucky's albums in the future. They developed a very successful working relationship.

As the crowds loved his reggae tracks Reggae Man and City Life, which he introduced into his performances, the two decided to record a full album of reggae songs and judge the response to that. Drawing inspiration from Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh, they felt the socio-political messages associated with Jamaican reggae were relevant to the institutionally racist society in South Africa.
That set the future course of Lucky’s career. His reggae lyrics were social messages aimed at the struggle of the Black man, whilst still maintaining a commercial sound. His first reggae mini-album Rastas Never Die, appearing in 1986, was a complete financial failure. It was not as popular with the audiences and, in addition, the South African government, fearing apartheid activism, banned the album.  That did not deter him, however, and he slowly included more and more reggae tracks into his live performances. As time passed, the audiences liked it increasingly and he became associated with this new sound. Lucky’s second album, Think About the Children, reached platinum status in South Africa and established him as one of the country’s biggest stars.

Friday, January 25, 2013

I WANT TO KNOW: Is There Love After Marriage?

A year and a half into our marriage, we were walking on the fair grounds, commenting on the young couples in love: teen girls carrying bears won by their boyfriends at the clown toss, couples nestled in the seats of a Ferris wheel, others dancing to the live band, a few making out behind the vendors' stands.
"Remember when we were that in love?" David said to me.
Were? The comment bothered me. It was the same thing my parents had said, jokingly to each other and with smiles in their eyes, when they watched David and I fall in love. At that time, we were so in love that I couldn't imagine that there would ever come a time when I would not want to spend hours cuddling, lost in long conversation about everything under the sun. I had always believed we would keep the inloveness alive long after the wedding, despite what I heard older folks say.
To me, it was a problem that our feelings were changing. And I'm not the only one in our generation to feel that way. We know people who have broken up because they were concerned that their feelings would not stand the test of time. And the young adults that we spent two summers interviewing for the Love and Marriage in Middle America Project expressed the same fears about losing "the spark" after the wedding day. As one cohabiting 20-something man said, "I wanna make sure I'm happy before I get married…. I love her, you know, but is it going to stay that way?" Given this fear, people sometimes spend years dating, or increasingly, in cohabiting relationships, trying to discern if their love has what it takes to last after marriage. Sometimes even married people go to great lengths to protect the thrills of the dating stage — one young woman told us about her parents who would meet up at the bar after work, pretend like they didn't know each other, and act like they were meeting for the first time all over again.
Unconditional Commitment
David and I wondered what people who had been married 50-plus years would say about all of this. So we gathered together a small group of senior citizens at the local retirement community and hosted a "Town Hall Meeting on Marriage." What we heard is that, for these folks, marriage is not primarily about feeling perpetually and passionately in love, but about "companionship" and "having a family, children, a home."
One attendee at the meeting, Linda, a gray-haired woman in a long jean skirt and black and silver button-up shirt who spends her days taking care of her wheelchair-bound husband, said in a sweet Southern twang, "There were times I would have liked to have left. But Momma always said that love is not a bed of roses." She added, "I think a lot of people get married, and they think things are gonna continue the way they were in courtship and the honeymoon. And I think it's good to keep that spark alive, but you know when you start working and trying to make financial means and then you start [having] children, I mean, a lot of that has to give some, and I think the expectations are just more than it even realistically can be."
To the ears of the young lover, some of what this older generation has to say can sound depressing. And it's true that not all long-term marriages are happy ones. Another senior we talked to wrote a poem about how it makes her sad that her husband doesn't communicate with her. (One line went like this: "When first we wed, you heard everything I said/Now when I talk, I think you are dead.")
However, while the older generation tends to see marriage as an unconditional commitment that transcends feelings, it is also true that many of them have a deep and lasting love.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla (Madiba) Mandela is an amazing man who changed history in South Africa.

Nelson Rolihlahla (Madiba) Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla (Madiba) Mandela is an amazing man who changed history in South Africa and brought democracy to the nation. Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Qunu, near Umtata in South Africa. His father was the Chief Councillor to the Superior Chief of the Thembu. As a young boy, he was being prepared to take over as the Chief of the Thembu. With the death of his father in 1930, he was placed under the care of his guardian and cousin, David Dalindyebo, the acting Chief of the Thembu.

While at home, a prepared marriage was being set up for him. To avoid getting married, Mandela and his cousin Justice moved to Johannesburg where he worked temporarily as a night watchman as he wanted to be a lawyer.In Johannesburg, Mandela met Walter Sisulu who assisted him in finding employment as articled clerk with a legal firm. When he completed his BA degree by correspondence in 1941, Mandela enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand for an LLB.

The ANC (African National Congress)

Together with Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela helped in founding the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944. By 1948 he was holding the position of National Secretary. In 1949 the African National Congress (ANC) supported the 'Programme of Action' handed in at their annual conference. The more radical members such as Mandela and Sisulu were elected to the program.

Mandela and Sisulu did not trust other racial groups, but Mandela’s views changed during the 1952 Defiance Campaign. Mandela was made the National 'Volunteer-in-chief' of the Defiance Campaign. As part of his duties he moved around South Africa signing up volunteers who were prepared to break apartheid laws. As their first sign of defiance against Apartheid, Mandela and 51 volunteers started breaking the curfew rules.In December 1952, Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened the first Black legal partnership in the country. In the same month, Mandela and some other activists were charted under the Suppression of Communism Act. Mandela was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labour, suspended for two years.

Over a period of nine years he was put under banning orders. In this time he was also made the Deputy National President of the ANC. Even though he was not allowed to attend the meetings of the ANC, he worked with small groups of the ANC members. Nelson Mandela played a major role in the constructing of the 'M Plan' (named after him). The plan formulated the grouping of ANC members to cope with underground activity. Renewed bans made it imperative for Madiba to resign from the ANC in September 1953. From that point Madiba had to lead secretly, except during the year of the Treason Trial.In December 1956 Mandela and 155 political activists were arrested and charged with High Treason. Almost five years later, Justice Rumpff found all of the accused not guilty. In the late 1950s Mandela became National President of the ANC Youth League. By 1959 the treason trial was still in progress. In the same year, the ANC planned an anti-pass laws campaign. The campaign was displaced when the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), arranged mass anti-pass protests on 21 March 1960.

During one of the protests, the Sharpeville massacre occurred. This resulted with the banning of the ANC and the PAC and the government declared a state of emergency. During the time period of the emergency up 1 800 political activists, including Mandela, were imprisoned without charge or trial.In March 1961 an All-In Africa Conference was held in Pietermaritzburg. Various political groups came together. The banning order on Mandela expired on the eve of the conference, allowing him to make a surprise appearance. Subsequently he was placed as the Honorary Secretary of the All-In National Action Council. Mandela and the Council decided to arrange demonstrations against the proclamation of South Africa as a Republic on 31 May.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

P.W Botha Former leader of South Africa, committed to state terrorism and murder to stop majority rule

PW Botha, who has died aged 90, ruled South Africa under apartheid for 11 years until 1989, and was gradually exposed during his long decline as one of the most evil men of the 20th century, committed to state terrorism, war and murder to thwart black majority rule.
The October 1998 report of the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, before which Botha refused to appear, earning a conviction for contempt, said he had been responsible for "gross violations of human rights". As prime minister from 1978 to 1984, and then state president until 1989, he was also chairman of the State Security Council, and made remarks "in its meetings and recommendations that were highly ambiguous and were interpreted as authorising the killing of people".
According to the commission, he took no action against government agents who carried out atrocities, and supported covert operations "destabilising the governments of neighbouring countries". He also ordered police to blow up the Johannesburg offices of anti-apartheid groups. The nickname "Great Crocodile" was hard-earned.
Pieter Willem Botha was born in Bethlehem in the Orange Free State, where his father, a "bitter-ender" who had fought the British to the last gasp of the Boer war, was a horse farmer. His mother was interned in one of Lord Kitchener's concentration camps and the young PW, as he was usually known, inherited the sour, bullying, anglophobic obduracy that became his trademark from his parents.
He joined the pro-Nazi "Ossewabrandwag" movement in 1939, but, never over-burdened with moral courage, found it too risky and left after two years, avoiding internment. A politician all his adult life, Botha was already active in the Afrikaner National Party (NP). He became MP for the Cape Province constituency of George when the NP won power in the white electoral landslide of 1948. It sustained Afrikaner political domination until ousted by Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) in 1994.
The qualities he showed in support of his ambition included ruthlessness, organisational efficiency, discipline and a liking for hard work (he was still doing a 12-hour day in his 70s). This won the attention of the messiah of apartheid, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, who made him a deputy minister in 1958.
His first full departmental post was as minister for community development and coloured affairs from 1961. As such, he was paternalistically responsible for the coloured racial group, in apartheid terms those of ethnically mixed origin, concentrated mainly in Cape Province. As an adoptive Cape politician, Botha always prided himself on his special feeling for the coloureds. This did not prevent him from ordering the demolition, as a blight on the city, of Cape Town's coloured quarter, District Six.
As District Six fell, so did Verwoerd, assassinated by an alleged madman in 1966 and succeeded by "iron man" John Vorster, who promoted Botha to minister of defence. This cherished promotion precipitated a lifelong love of the military, including acts of war and covert operations at home and abroad.
Botha brought South Africa close to self-sufficiency in weaponry, circumventing the UN arms embargo where import substitution failed. The state-owned arms corporation produced cannon that were regarded as the best of their kind. Major warships, the latest aircraft and helicopters were beyond reach, but three small submarines were acquired from France, while Israel proved a surprisingly willing partner in such joint enterprises as missiles - and nuclear technology. When the US secretly backed the increasingly blatant South African interventions in the Angolan civil war against the FPLA government backed by Cuban troops, Botha was able to acquire munitions and spares in cornucopian quantities.
When Vorster was kicked upstairs as non-executive state president in 1978 in the wake of the "Muldergate" corruption scandal, the NP felt the same need for a strong man as it had when Verwoerd died. Who better to face the "total onslaught" by communists and blacks than the man who had built up the strongest military power in Africa - even if his power-base was the Cape NP rather than Verwoerd's Transvaal?
Botha soon stunned everyone by pronouncing apartheid dead. "Adapt or die" became his watchword as he foreshadowed "reform" without precedent. The world fondly imagined he would abolish discrimination as he became the first South African leader to visit Soweto, Johannesburg's south-western township, and travelled abroad more than any of his NP predecessors. However, the furthest he was prepared to go was to shift the great divide in South African politics from between white and non-white to between non-black and black.
But progress could not be stemmed altogether. One of the most important changes under Botha's leadership was the legalisation of black trade unions in 1979, giving African industrial labour a real voice. "Petty" apartheid (anything but petty to its victims) was radically cut back: the fatuous laws banning marriage and sex between different races were repealed, the notorious pass laws, the British legacy that controlled the movements of Africans, and the ban on black freehold ownership were also scrapped.

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