Tag Archive | "South Africa"

Computing in Mother Tongue

For all intents and purposes, many of South Africa’s indigenous languages are listed among the world’s most endangered languages. What this means in simple terms is that many of our languages will most likely become extinct in the near future. This, despite the fact we are the majority in this country, yet our majority languages face the danger of disappearing because people elevate English at the expense of their own languages.

I used to think it ridiculous to think that our languages can die! But having been involved in several language projects, I am more than alarmed at the status of our languages.

Many African intellectuals have given us many reasons why the state of affairs, not forgetting that they have not included themselves as the primary proponents of our dying languages because to them English is status. Many of these intellectuals cannot even construct a full sentence in their mother tongue.

There have been a number of initiatives aimed at improving the status and use of African languages, yet many of these projects have failed simply because African people see no value in their own languages. They would rather struggle to express themselves in a foreign language.

Recently, I was asked to give a basic translation into any South African language of my choosing. While I take pride in my language competence and consider myself an expert in my own language, I was reminded of how shameful our people are. When efforts like these come our way, many people, instead of being honest to say they are not equipped to translate to our languages, will happily give substandard work! These are people who themselves hardly speak the language, yet they find it normal to translate into a language they do not speak. This trend is the same with professional translators. While many may have degrees in translation and communication, many simply just translate nonsense.

The result is Read the full story

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Honouring Our Heroes: Soldiers of the SS Mendi

They say we don’t have heroes. I say how can we have heroes when we write them out of the history books?

Let me tell you a story that you probably won’t find in the retelling of World War I or in any high school text book. I will tell you about real heroes. I will tell you about 607 brave sons of Africa who gave their lives on the morning of 21 February 1917 when the SS Darro - travelling at full speed and failing to emit any warning – rammed into the much smaller SS Mendi.

Within minutes the sea had swallowed the Mendi, leaving her sailors stranded in the roiling water. The crew of the Darro stood by, happy to let them drown – and drown they would have were it not for brisk action from the crew of the HMS Brisk who rowed among the survivors, rescuing as many as possible.

A total of 616 South Africans, including 607 black troops serving in the South African Native Labour Contingent, gave up their lives that glorious day and they dare say we don’t have heroes.

Stories were told of the troops’ bravery as the ship sank. One is that of Reverend Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, who cried out, “Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do… you are going to die, but that is what you came to do… I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers… Swazis, Pondos, Basotho… so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa.”

They say we don’t have heroes, even while the sons of Africa danced barefoot on the tilting deck of the doomed Mendi before she plunged beneath the ocean. Even while Joseph Tshite, a schoolmaster from near Pretoria encouraged the drowning men in the waters around him with hymns and prayers until he too met his watery death.

The story of the SS Mendi is a story of courage in the face of death and valour between brothers in dire circumstances. The courage displayed by these men has remained a legend in South African military history. Read the full story

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The Economic Scam You Don’t Think About

Massive Economic Robbery of the Masses:

Do you ever think that a government would cheat its own citizens intentionally? Do you think a government would ever rob its citizens and act like it is normal to do so?

The South African monetary system is said to be one of the best in the world. This was proven right in 2008 when world markets crashed and the South African economy was not hit by the credit crunch to a large extent. So, it goes to reason that the people at the South African Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank know what they are doing, right? Well, I am not sure.

The South African Rand comes in various denominations, the bottom three being the one cent coin, the five cent coin and the ten cent coin – pretty straight forward.

A while back, the SA Reserve Bank announced that they would be discontinuing the circulation of the one cent coin, effectively meaning that they no longer recognised ‘one cent’ in the financial markets. Their reasoning made sense – it cost them too much to mint the one cent coin so they dropped it.

While this happened, it was interesting to note the spectacular absence of price adjustments in line with this pronouncement. No one really cared to adjust their prices to reflect that the one cent coin was no longer part of accounting. Instead, the South African public is still charged prices based on the one cent calculation. How many prices have you seen that end with 99 cent? If one cent has been discontinued, why are we still being charged one cent? Where are we supposed to get one cent coins to pay for these prices that include one cent? Even better, do you ever get given back your one cent change anywhere in South Africa?

We as the consumers are expected to gradually forfeit our money by constantly giving away cent pieces to stores and the government. But, will they ever offer you a service when you are short?

Imagine how much they make from all the one cent coins we never get back as consumers! How many millions of one cent pieces does this economy generate every day? Where does all this money go? Definitely not to the paying consumers!

Similar to the one cent story is the two cent coin story which has also been discontinued due to high production costs. How many stores today will not give you back five cent coins as change? They simply tell you they don’t have it, and they expect you to accept this.

Are we giving away money for free every day?

How many one cent, two cents and five cents pieces have you given away this year alone? How much do they amount to? Can you really account for how much you have lost as a result of this scam?

What about our government? Shouldn’t they have enforced that no prices should have any of the discontinued coins?

I see one BIG conspiracy to rip off consumers.

-Fezekile Futhwa


(The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of Kasi Times)

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Why I Don’t Support South African Music

Music Contributor

I’m a big music collector and I’m ashamed that 90% of my collection is made up of American fusion jazz, R&B, Soul, Neo Soul and House music. South African artists complain that we don’t support their music, but what they don’t realise is that there are a number of issues that disable or limit us from doing so. One of these is the issue of distribution. It’s hard to find South African CDs on the shelves of major, well-recognised CD retailers.

For a while I’ve been struggling to find a CD by 340ml, but I’m certain that if I were to look for a Rihanna CD, I would find it within a few hours! I work for a music store. Customers look for local releases but most of them leave the shop dissatisfied, with some considering the illegal downloading/piracy route.

Another issue is that of music choice. What happens to someone who likes R&B in a country where most of the music played on radio is House, Kwaito, Afro-Pop, or Hip Hop? Does this mean that the person needs to switch to those genres for the sake of supporting proudly South Africa music? I have a keen ear for local music that’s fresh; as long as it is good, it’s worth buying. Unfortunately there are few artists in our country who deliver that. Most of them are independent artists but it’s difficult to access their music. As a music lover and a critical listener, I don’t really care much about an artist’s independent label issues. All I want is access to good music.

Some record companies in our country are trying to address these issues. For example, look at what TS Records did for Zahara, a talented musician with something unique and fresh to offer, well-marketed and DISTRIBUTED. Why don’t other record companies do the same with their artists?

Please do share your thoughts and views on this topic?





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When We Were Black


I love the colour of my skin, the rhythm in my body and the texture of my hair. As humans, we’ve had to be defined and classified by our outer appearances, social class, income group, etc, by those that controlled our countries at the time. It was done so they knew exactly how much, where, who and what we do. Census blah blah blah, understood. They called us “black.” So, I’m black and I embrace and love it.

What I do hate however, is the mentality and stereotypical behaviour that is associated with this colour today. Other race groups assume certain negative traits and actions with “mandaki” like crime, early pregnancy, AIDS, poverty, chaos, noise, and vandalism.

But, what I hate even more is those few who make it a point to live up to and wear these garments we get dressed in with a hint of pride! Before you hate me and call me a traitor Let me explain…

Number 1! It is said that Read the full story

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