Category: Umuzi

The date is the 9th of August 1956, The streets of Pretoria flooded with 50,000 normal women, some with children on their backs, who for that one day changed the course and direction of South Africa’s history. A peaceful march led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Albertina Sisulu and Sophie Williams to the Union Buildings in Pretoria was purposefully orchestrated to defy legislation forced unto woman by then Apartheid government. The coming together of fearless and courageous woman were protesting against the proposed amendments to the then Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. Leaving bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office doors, and peacefully stood outside silently for 30 minutes.  The women then began to sing a protest song “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo. In the 58 years since the march, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock“) has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.
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Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
It was just four years ago when a life-changing opportunity came my way. It was the beginning of a journey that changed my life, I started seeing things differently. Being part of the Wembley to Soweto project in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup was a great opportunity, one of which I gained all the knowledge from my great mentors John Cole and David Westhead.



Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey

 




My biggest highlight being part of that amazing project was learning more about my country and celebrating what we have achieved as a nation together, a moment that we as South Africans will cherish forever. The Wembley to Soweto project furthered my dream this year and I found myself in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. My excitement is one I still cannot describe, still leaves tears in my eyes.


Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey




The project was based on working in the Jardim Colombom in heart of the Favelas, the third biggest city in Brazil was an intriguing experience. In my view, the Favelas are more like our South African townships, with locals having similar social issues like most South Africans are faced with, particularly with the unemployment rate amongst young people, who are not enabled to seek or rather granted opportunities as they would wish to have got.

Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey

Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
 

The people in the Fevelas were friendlier than I thought, they even let us capture their historical journey and experience the World Cup vibe through their eyes. It was really humbling to be offered something to eat or drink each and every block we turned into. The kids, shop owners and senior citizens, all have the spirit of Ubuntu. The most identifiable culture in Brazil, as a nation, is their love for football –  it is on another level


Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey

I was honored to share my photographic knowledge with the kids in Brazil. The students really responded well towards me. I remember how I had to explain what a scene setter is to one of the students named Gustavo. I had to draw everything down because he could not understand me because of the language barrier. We were so blown away when he showed us his beautiful opening shot for his series… That was great for me. Not even the language barrier became a hurdle, Gustavo and I found common ground and spoke one language, the language of Photography. 

Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Here are some of my best moments from surrounding events during the 10 days in Brazil.
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
A very special appreciation note to The Guardian for publishing the work we did in Brazil. 
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
Click on the images to read the articles.
Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil 2: Thaps wraps up his journey
This has been a great journey indeed. Being part of the Wembley to Soweto to Brazil project is a once in a lifetime experience. I wish the project all the best in their endeavors. 
I would like to thank the people that have been involved in the background like the wonderful Susan Morton. Every single believer who sacrificed their time and efforts towards the  success of the project.  We really appreciate it. 

I believe that one has to grow and develop other people in life for a better tomorrow. 
See you soon guys.
Thaps
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Wasemzini: Umuzi welcomes Antonio and Gabriella from Emzingo SA
As part of our growth and strengthening of the business and strategic side of the game, we went as far as Montreal and Madrid to get two of  the freshest and hot MBA interns from the Emzingo SA 
program. Antonio Bougiouris and Gabriella Borges Ferrera will be spending time working with us for the next two months. The pair has being Umuzified already,  being welcomed with Amakipkip and some mzansi flavored music. Toni and Gabi has showered us with some of their vibe already in their first week already. We look into Antonios and Gabrielle’s vibe and who they are.
 
Wasemzini: Umuzi welcomes Antonio and Gabriella from Emzingo SA
Antonios Bougiouris attended The Juilliard School in New York City and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts.In April 2002, Antonios joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal.  In August 2008, Antonios joined Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia, Italy. He had the opportunity to perform featured roles in the works of Mauro Bigonzetti. In July, 2009 Antonios joined bjm_danse, in Montreal. As an artist, he has performed in over 230 cities and 16 countries world-wide, as well as being reviewed in numerous periodicals internationally. As a member of ACTRA and UDA, he worked on the Hollywood films, Mirror, Mirror, On the Road and in several documentaries. He was featured in Loto Quebec’s commercial, Celebration 2012 and 2013. Antonios is an active member of Springboard Danse Montreal serving on their advisory board, and as development coordinator. In addition, he is a Young Ambassador for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Educational Outreach Program. In August, 2013, he began his MBA studies at McGill University.
Wasemzini: Umuzi welcomes Antonio and Gabriella from Emzingo SA

Gabriela Borges Ferrera is an International MBA Student at IE Business School in Madrid. General management professional with 6 years of experience, expertise in strategic planning, new business development, market research and training and development. Specialized on project management and product innovation. Differentiated expertise in the regional market of Latin America, through the development of a new market to corporate events in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Entrepreneurial abilities gained on working to a start-up company. Developed an innovative and creative product, a corporate event for senior business executives that mixes content, learning, interaction, reflection and a platform of business solutions. Goal-oriented, proactive and bold to initiate projects, take risks and take the ideas out of paper to make them real. Passionate about people development!

Wasemzini: Umuzi welcomes Antonio and Gabriella from Emzingo SA
We will make the next two months worth an experience, one to take home and let the world know that you have been Umuzified. Thank you Chris MacLean.

Welcome home, Siyinamukela ekhaya!

Umuzi

Images by: Ulysse Del Drago, Thapelo Motsumi  and Antonios Bougiouris
 

 

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The 2014 Wembley to Soweto goes to Brazil
 
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is here, and we are so extremely proud to announce that our Head of Photography, Thapelo Motsumi, is heading to the beautiful shores of Sao Paulo . Thapelo is on yet another journey to represent South Africa on a lifetime quest that finds him as the youngest photographer for the “Wembley to Soweto” series. He will be working alongside actor/producer David Westhead of Wilton Pictures and UK-based photographer John Cole.

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THANK YOU: We have #TwentyFourteen Likes!
2014 Likes!
THANK YOU: We have #TwentyFourteen Likes!

We would love to extend our gratitude to the lovers, fans and supporters for the unconditional love since 2009. Today we are sitting on a rocking 2014 Likes on our Facebook page.

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 The 5th National and Provincial elections has been the most talked about and by far the longest trending topic in South Africa’s media timeline. With over 23 million voters registered, official findings indicates that 23% of potential voters in the 18 and 19 year age category are currently registered as voters. Overall, the Eastern Cape and Free State have the highest rate of potential voters currently registered at 82.9% and 82.5% respectively, whilst Western Cape at 73.9%, Mpumalanga at 75.2% and Gauteng at 72.5%, trail the overall current national average of 76.7% of potential voters registered.
Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
We took to the streets of Johannesburg and surrounding election stations to findout what exactly does the public feel about the historic event.
 
Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
 We Will Worship, Contemporary Gospel band based in Johannesburg.
From right to left: Njabulo Kunene; Lesego Senwamadi; Maxine Jafta, Jenna Leigh Desfontaine and Alfred “Z-lus”
 
Q: How do you feel about the 2014 National and Provioncial Elections taking place on the 7th of May?
Z-lus: “I just personally feel like South Africa is ready to vote, but we are not ready for change – but the country desperately needs a change. I just hope that as a country, we take that leap of faith to vote according to our needs and not base our votes on luxury and being comfortable”.
Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
Lorraine Mandinda hosts a show called “Talk to me” on Tshwane TV (channel 262 on Dstv). 
  
Q:What in your views should these elections change in Mzansi?
LM: I personally think that elections should improveand not change throughout mzansi, for example I feel that communications wisethey lacked because a lot of people didn’t have enough access toinformation.  As a presenter doing field work I came across a lot ofindividuals who did not have sufficient information about the elections inorder for them to register and vote.
 
Q: What is your message to the youth for the 7th of May 2014
LM: South Africa is a country that has a great history and having said that, so many people have lost their lives fighting for our freedom and equality so we need to acknowledge that, go out there, make our mark and
build a better South Africa not for getting that we are the future leaders of tomorrow.
 
Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
Sipho, Jabulani and Maxwell from the West Rand.  The two friends assist Maxwell on a daily basis to run his tuck shop to raise funds.

Q: Are you registered to vote and will you be making your mark on th 7th of May?
Sipho: “Yes and I will be voting”.
Jabulani: “Yes and maybe I will be voting”.
Maxwell: “Yes and No I won’t be voting”.

Q: Do you think the political parties campaign to benefit themselves or you?
All: “Obviously they campaign to empower themselves and they forget about us after the elections”.

Q: How different would you like the country to be after the elections?
Maxwell: “Education in should be free for all underpaid, it is of no use you give preference by issuing bursaries to certain individuals. I believe if we are all educated, crime and unemployment will be a thing of the past.”

Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
We aslo caught up with the premier of Gauteng, Nomvula Mokonyane at the Noordheuwel voting station where she casted her Special Vote.
 Q: What is your overall feelings of the 2014 Elections?
NM: “Do not destroy the little that you have. Keep it mind that voting is a hard-worn right and was fought for by compatriots that did not make it to this day. Whenever you think of not casting your vote, think of those who sacrificed their lives so that you can enjoy the will and freedom to exercise your voting right”.
   
Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
Pearl Kimberley Moyo,  A radio personality, journalist and a professional dancer.
 
 Q: What in your views should the 2014 elections change throughout Mzansi? 
KM: “Firstly,nothing will change overnight,I will divert this question though and say that these elections should fulfill promises,create jobs,build more houses and more importantly bring the country together via social manifestation,they should change the country’s outlook”.


Q:Is this the Democracy that you feel as a young citizen of SA you should be enjoying?

KM: “Yes,absolutely,name any other country that gives out thousands of bursaries and pays grant to the people…non because South Africa is doing everything in its power to ensure that the youth has a bright future,it grooms the youth via different projects that allow the youth to create jobs for themselves.The freedom of speech is also practiced amongst the youth so our voice is always heard irregardless of any other factor that may be regarded as “disturbing” .

Umuzi on The Streets: Your Vote, Your Voice
The country’s fate is in the hands of every responsible voter throughout South Africa. It is your democratic right to ensure that your future is in safe hands. Do best and make your mark.
For more information and results visit the IEC website, click here
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#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014Yesterday Umuzi Photo Club and the Power of 50 went to the Daily Maverick Gathering. It was termed the Election Gathering as South Africans will go to the poles for the 5th time in democratically free South Africa.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

It was truly a fascinating conference as the themes and feelings in the room were all in sync, South Africa has seen great injustices done over the last 5 years and change needs to come.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

We were exceptionally lucky to be afforded the opportunity to attend this conference as the tickets were expensive but as luck would have it the Daily Maverick believes in development of all and so was excited to have our students join the conversations and provide a very different view point to the views expressed by the typically affluent audience.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

Walking up the stairs to the conference I was reminded how special our #P50 students are. Entering the packed hall of well to do individuals and our students were networking the house down. Some students were getting Selfies with stalwart activists, shaking hands with high profile businesspeople, getting interviewed by national broadcasters and speaking to celebrity puppets.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

The movement is gaining momentum and the power of 50 is at the forefront of it. After the excitement of the hellos we got into the conference and were welcomed by well renowned journalist Max du Preez speaking about our democracy as it stands today.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

It was a day of incredible speakers, different viewpoints, controversial conversations and more. Our students joined the conversation in many different ways and below are just some of the thoughts expressed about the conference and the conversations.

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014
#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014
#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014
#P50 Make their mark on the Daily Maverick Gathering 2014

Many thanks to the Daily Maverick and more specifically Styli Charalambous and Branko Brkic for giving us such an amazing opportunity. You guys are rocking and we look forward to getting our students to contribute to your newspaper in the not too distant future.

Here are some of the interesting transcripts from The Gathering by Daily Maverick click here

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Siya goes light Blue

 

 “Hey Andrew, one day I’m going to show the world my talent!” These were the words spoken to me by a young man from East Orlando, Soweto. We had just finished our fourth set of workshops at a small school called Zinfuneleni where we met some incredible young people. Siya was one of them.
Siya goes light Blue

 

The sad truth of our education system today is that superstars like Siya often get overlooked or don’t get challenged enough, and don’t get the chance to fulfill their full potential. Umuzi was determined not to let this happen to Siya. 


Siya goes light Blue
Through Umuzi’s network, Siya was able to apply to St David’s Marist College, where he won a full scholarship. His will, drive and talent were obvious for all to see, and he was awarded the Old Boys Scholarship and taken into grade 9, nearly four years ago.
Siya goes light Blue
I remember going to give the news to Siya and his family. We had told the Sepotekele’s that we had some “important news” to discuss. Little did we know, when we arrived at their Soweto home, we were greeted by the entire extended family, huddled into a small room that had more furniture than space. We turned off the TV, almost the size of the room, and started to discus the news of Siya’s future.
Siya goes light Blue
It was a moment none of us at Umuzi will ever forget. The jubilation, the anticipation, the pure joy and gratitude shown by everyone in the room was infectious. We cried and laughed, and cried some more, at the promise of this young man and his “big break”.
It was never going to be easy. It’s a huge jump for anyone to go to a private high school in South Africa especially if you are from a township school. The level of work, the expectations, and the social surroundings are all very different.
Siya quietly and confidently got on with it. He learnt fast and wasn’t shy to show his amazing talents to the world. He was able to really lift his game and was given all the support he needed to become a huge success. He is an incredible singer, students, teachers and his community alike have all remarked that when this young man sings, he brings you to tears. 

Siya goes light Blue

 

His tenacity, incredible strength, and support structure at home has not only helped him settle in but achieve incredible things.
Since his tenure at St Davids he has achieved a multitude of awards some of which include, getting full colours in Drama, Choir and Leadership. Last year he was nominated as a school prefect and today I am proud to announce that Siyabonga Sepotokele received his honours blazer, one of the highest accolades given at St David’s.

Siya simply put, you rock. Well done to you, your family, and the school. The road has sometimes been difficult, sometimes unclear, but you have persevered and are on your way.

Siya is hoping to go to the University of Cape Town next year to study Music and Drama. This is just the beginning of his bright future.
Siya goes light Blue 

Special mention must go to many people, including:

Siya’s incredible family, especially his mom Phyllis who has supported and pushed him throughout.

St David’s: There are too many incredible people supporting Siya to thank at St David’s, including the families of St David’s who have accepted Siya as their own. Special mention must go to:
St David’s Staff and Management, in particular Chris Luke (Head of Music), Jaco Fereirra (Head of Drama and Siya’s voice coach), Belinda Marais, Madga Ceruti,  Shamani Pillay, Lara Klement, Cheryl King, and Mike Greeff for their incredible Mentorship, day-to-day support and care.
To the St David’s Marist Foundation Trustees for their financial support and guidance. And the Marist Old Boys Association (South African and UK Chapters), under the Chairmanship of Willy Castle, for its financial support and having the initial belief in Siyabonga as a worthy recipient of an Old Boys’ Scholarship.
To the Smith family (Robin and Alison, sons Alistair and Stuart) for their on going love and support throughout Siyas high school experience.
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“7:00am is the time we have to meet and unfortunately 7:00am is the only time we have.” These were the first words Carys heard from Umuzi. A 7am interview at our old offices.
Hamba Kahle Carys!

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