Men gather around a kraal in Mcwangele, a village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Most traditional families in rural South Africa own kraals, or enclosures designated for livestock.
During ceremonies, women are traditionally not allowed inside the kraal, unless they are more mature and elderly, and on the rare occasion, selected to speak.
In this picture, a cow is confined to a kraal to observe rituals ahead of the unveiling of a tombstone (a culture practiced mostly by black South Africans). A cow is used, rather than sheep, on this occasion.
Decades ago, my great grandparents were buried in this village of their birth about 840kms from Johannesburg.
Three generations later, I am here with my family to support our grandparents who felt the need to mark their parents’ graves that had been in a dilapidated condition.
Remembering her father, my grandmother Dade Patricia Monnakgotla, said: “Our father, Dabula Petros Nhose, would travel regularly to Gauteng by bicycle or horse from here and it would take him about 10 days.”
The anecdotes from the older generation about a bygone era were indeed engrossing. Nhose died in 1977, while his wife, my great grandmother, Monica Chule Nhose, died in 1971.
The legacy of the Nhose clan name lives on, tattooed on my arm.
The African Spin
September is celebrated as ‘heritage month’ in South Africa honoring history, tradition and culture through food, music, art and fashion.
Here, we deep-dive into the colorful world of African fabric and print, showcasing Aurelie Tshimbombo, born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and now based in Johannesburg as one of the city’s many entrepreneurs promoting African print.
“I fell in love with fabric, I fell in love with how clothes make a woman feel,” says Tshimbombo.
“Women feel empowered, they feel prettier, they feel braver, and they feel more unique if they wearing something that brings out the confidence in them. I found that whole process intriguing.”
Almost a decade ago, Tshimbombo’s epiphany was when she started making clothes for herself but couldn’t find anything in the market that reflected who she was.
“I am a short, curvy African woman,” she says.
Her label’s name is Afrinique Chic, which she says is a luxury lifestyle fashion brand for Africans and the rest of the world.
Celebrating Women With Monumental Strength
Sixty two years ago, on August 9, 20,000 women of all races, classes and creed marched, singing and chanting, babies on their backs, to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital city, to deliver a petition to then Prime Minister J.G Strydom against the introduction of the apartheid pass laws.
This meant black women were not allowed in urban areas for more than 72 hours unless they possessed a pass with the holder’s details, including payment of taxes and permission to be in these urban areas. The march was led by the struggle stalwarts: Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn and Rahima Moosa.
“I didn’t see much of Helen Joseph at the march, she was in front of the crowd. She was a big strong woman and she led the march with other strong women. They told us that women are holding passes and if we don’t demonstrate against [the government], we [too will one day end up] holding these passes,” recollects Ramnie Naidoo to FORBES AFRICA. She was only was 14 years old at the time, escorting her mother at the march.
Pictured here is Helen Joseph (1905-1992), founding member of the Federation of South African Women, and Rahima Moosa (1922-1993), union activist and member of the Transvaal Indian Congress, both co-leaders of the 1956 Women’s March.
They have been immortalized in the Long March To Freedom, a procession of 100 life-sized bronzes celebrating the pioneers of South Africa’s journey to democracy, at the Fountains Recreation Resort in the City of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa.
Cave Art From 17,000 Years Ago
The Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux Cave and Africa exhibition is a recreation of the world-renowned Lascaux caves in southwestern France where an estimated 17 000 years ago, humans painted wild animals on the rocks of the caves. For the first time in Africa, the exhibition replicates these outstanding paleolithic masterpieces and the cave itself.
The Nave, seen here, is the exact replica of a chamber or cavern 66 feet long and 23 feet high. In this picture, a viewer peeps into the artwork.
There couldn’t have been a better setting for this exhibition than South Africa, with its own iconic prehistoric art, and famed for its Cradle of Humankind site and the deep, dark Sterkfontein caves in Maropeng.
The exhibition is on until October 1 at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Big Shots is a new section in FORBES AFRICA that captures offbeat moments in business, politics, art and life, using a single image to tell the story with a short blurb. These images throb with life and color.
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