I ♥ Johannesburg

first_imgTim CohenI recently turned 50, a frightening age when all hopes and pretences of youth are finally banished. Your memories, good and bad, seem to loom large everywhere. Your centre of gravity seems to lean backwards rather than forwards.When a friend emailed to say happy birthday, the best I could do was say “What birthday?” He emailed back to say denial was not a river in Egypt.With the denial door closed, I tried to sanguine about it, or even wittily off-hand, but nothing seemed to help.There is nothing about being 50 that you can rationalise. I don’t like the physical decrepitude that it implies, I don’t like the pointed way it seems to accuse you of not achieving what you set out to achieve, I don’t like the strange way it alights in people’s minds and then settles there the way other dates do not.“Oh, you’re fifty! I would never have guessed it. You are in amazingly good shape for someone who’s fifty.” (In other words, you are not, even for someone who is fifty.)But if I was really searching, really scraping the bottom of the barrel, I would say the one thing that I did like about turning 50 was that I was in Johannesburg when it happened.I don’t love Johannesburg, or even particularly like it. South Africa’s biggest city, its sprawling economic powerhouse, is the place of inchoateness; it has no binding character. Its people live in everything from glorious mansions and box dwellings of toilets and bedrooms.The best it can do as a form of architecture is to copy – wait for it – Tuscan villas, a place with which it has no earthly resemblance or historical reason for trying to copy. And even that, it does not do very well. No Tuscan would be seen dead in the townhouse complexes that claim their heritage.The centre of the city is visibly decaying, and its businesses are moving out, not to suburbia but just up the road to another place where corporate headquarters can eventually be deposited like so much litter before the companies move somewhere else.It is in a place of fear; of crime and poverty and drunkenness, of electrical wires strung above people’s houses and huge automatic gates, the modern versions of moats around castles.The city stretches out over a huge area, until it almost ambles into other towns and centres. It doesn’t seem to know where it starts or stops; is Boksburg part of Johannesburg or is it a town in its own right? Is Soweto part of Johannesburg or not? Nobody seems to know.Nothing seems to bind Johannesburgers; its rugby team is simply miserable and it has too many soccer teams to attach a city identity to any one of them. Even the name Johannesburg is nondescript: the Afrikaans for John, the most common name in English, excitingly combined with the word for, well, “city”.The truth is that Johannesburg is a bit of a blank page; it has few features of note – no mountain, no river, no lake. There are places that pass for attractiveness, but no one can accuse any part of Johannesburg of being actually beautiful.When people try to romanticise Johannesburg they say there may be no river, but the city was built on a river of gold. Well, you just have to go down a gold mine once to have that thought well and truly banished out of you. Gold mines are hot, rough, and dangerous, very reminiscent of, well, Johannesburg itself.The only real feature of Johannesburg was the mine dumps, but gradually even they are being eaten away as part of reprocessing efforts – the gold miners trying desperately to get that last little bead of sweat out of their pits. If you think about it, it’s slightly funny that the most notable feature of Johannesburg geographically was the dumps.“I love Johannesburg,” a friend told me a long time ago. “It’s such a dump.” And that is Johannesburg people for you; they are not ashamed of the place, but they don’t long for it; they try, half-heartedly, to romanticise it, but generally fail.But here is the thing: they keep coming back. I am in fact a good example. I was born in Durban, but my parents ultimately moved to Johannesburg. They then moved to Windhoek, but came back, bringing me with them. I went to university in Durban but returned to Johannesburg. I lived in Cape Town but came back. I lived in London, but came back.When people try to put Johannesburg down – not a difficult task – they say things like, “If there was a god of Johannesburg, it would be mammon.” But this is precisely part of what I love about it. People come to Johannesburg not to feast their eyes or be entertained. They come to work. They come to build themselves and their lives and the things around them.And because of that, Johannesburg is rich – not because it worships money, but because it values what is valuable; effort, achievement, striving. It has what the Greeks used to call telos, a purpose or a goal.When Nelson Mandela set out on his journey to change the country, his first major move was the obvious one: he came to Johannesburg. And only in Johannesburg would he have been able to train in a white law firm and develop the following that would lead him to leadership. However hard the apartheid government tried, it could never quite impose its strict segregation on Johannesburg; it was like trying to corner a jellyfish. Johannesburg will not be defined.I love the fact that Johannesburg is not the seat of government or justice or administration. It stands apart, on its own, with no assistance requested or required. There is a kind of heroism to Johannesburg’s dismalness and decrepitude that gives me hope. It makes me think; we are old, we are grey, and we are ugly. But what the hell, let’s push on.Tim Cohen is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of South African publications. He is currently contracted as a columnist to The Weekender and Business Day, where he has worked for most of his career. He was the 2004 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.last_img read more

Mambazo’s golden anniversary

first_imgLadysmith Black Mambazo have carvedout a glittering international career over the half century of their existence. (Image: Heads Up International)The Oscar-nominated short documentaryOn Tip Toe explores the group’s roots, and includes a testimonial from Paul Simonas well as live performance footage.(Image: Amazon.com)   MEDIA CONTACTS • Simon Manda+27 72 178 6426 or +27 31 811 7575 RELATED ARTICLES • Mambazo win their third Grammy • Gospel Choir shine at the Oscars • The White Zulu on stage in SA • Hot SA musicians head to Cannes• SA university choir best in worldJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s beloved Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM), the Grammy-winning isicathamiya group, have embarked on a countrywide tour to celebrate their 50 years together.  Isicathamiya (from the Zulu word meaning “to walk softly”) is a style of singing that focuses on deft harmonising. Isicathamiya choral competitions are popular in South Africa.The Back to eKasi (slang, meaning “home”, from the Afrikaans word lokasie, meaning “township”) tour sees the globe-trotting group going back to their roots and taking their unique a cappella sound to townships around South Africa between 16 and 24 September 2010.Fans in Bloemfontein, Thokoza in Ekurhuleni municipality, Rustenburg North, Atteridgeville, Ermelo, Bela-Bela and KwaMashu near Durban are in for a treat, with performances from LBM and two local curtain-raisers at each venue.All seven concerts during the nine-day tour are free.Cultural cooperationThe eKasi tour also celebrates the youthful LBM founder Joseph Shabalala’s 70th birthday on 28 August, as well as a decade of South African-Norwegian cultural collaboration through the funding organisation Mmino, which works exclusively with music projects.Because of this milestone, Norwegian singer Kristin Asbjørnsen will also take the stage with the distinguished vocalists.Tor Christian Hildan, Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, said that music was the core of the two countries’ cultural cooperation.“We share common values and see the importance of music in cross-cultural communication as a powerful tool to address demanding social, economic and political issues,” said Hildan.“In this spirit I congratulate Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, and Mmino – and I am proud to introduce our own Kristin Asbjørnsen to South African audiences through this unique township tour.”A singer and composer, Asbjørnsen works with the musical ensembles Dadafon and Krøyt, and is also a member of the experimental vocal quartet Kvitretten.The tour is supported by, among others, Gallo, LBM’s South African record company, and the National Arts Council (NAC), based in Newtown, Johannesburg.“We congratulate uBaba [a term of respect] Shabalala on his 70th birthday, Ladysmith Black Mambazo on its 50th, and Mmino, our own child, on its 10th,” said NAC CEO Annabell Lebethe.“We are very happy to be part of this very special tour that brings Mambazo back to the townships to share their beautiful sounds with the people who helped shape our arts heritage.”Breaking down musical boundariesThe triple Grammy winners – in 1987, 2004 and 2009 – have performed and collaborated with the world’s best, including Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, gospel veteran Mavis Staples, and many more.It was Simon who, in the mid-1980s at the height of the international cultural boycott of South Africa, defied the ban to work with a group from that country, and the result was the iconic Graceland album, which rocketed LBM to international stardom.In 2006 they worked with pop sensation Josh Groban on his album Awake, appearing in two songs, Lullaby and the classic South African protest song Weeping. They also performed live with Groban in the US on the Awake tour.Family tiesJoseph Shabalala, then a factory worker, founded the group in 1960, basing its style on gospel music and traditional African harmonies. He had just converted to Christianity, an event that played a big role in LBM’s musical direction, but he has always emphasised that their message is not meant for any one religious group.LBM is very much a family affair, with the original line-up comprising members of the Shabalala and Mazibuko families. Today there are five Shabalalas and two Mazibukos in the group, with a Dlamini and Mthembu as well.In the five decades since, LBM have gone on to achieve international fame and acclaim. While their 13 Grammy nominations have yielded three wins, there has also been a host of other nominations, including Emmys, South African Music Awards, and an Academy Award nod in 2001 for the short documentary titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom.As individuals and as a group, LBM have been consummate international ambassadors for South African culture, but their global popularity and success has meant that fans at home often miss out on performances. This makes the eKasi tour all the more special.“I think it is going to bring lots of memories because we have not been in these places in some time … we perform in their cities, but not in townships,” said group member Albert Mazibuko. “It is wonderful and we are so looking forward to it,”Back to eKasi tour itinerary:Thursday 16 – Bloemfontein, Paradise HallFriday 17 – Ekurhuleni, Thokoza AuditoriumSaturday 18 – Atteridgeville, Saulsville ArenaSunday 19 – Rustenburg North, Ben Marais HallMonday 20 – Ermelo Community HallTuesday 21 – Bela-Bela, Sunfa StadiumThursday 23 – KwaMashu, eKhaya Muli Arts Centre On Tip Toe is the Oscar-nominated documentary tribute to LBM. (Image: Docurama Films) Read more: /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=964:ladysmith-black-mambazo-110209&catid=43:culture_news&Itemid=112#ixzz0zlcUNSEIlast_img read more

Avenue HQ owner waiting on rebuilding decision after tornado

first_imgRebuild, or move on?That’s the decision ahead of many Jefferson Citians after the May tornado destroyed their homes and businesses.Quinten Rice’s Avenue HQ on East Capitol is barely standing.“It’s the fun game of just waiting for insurance and engineers, and waiting for the math to get done to decide what we can and can’t do,” Rice says. “It stinks, you know. It’s part of it.”Rice’s old Dix Apartments building took a direct hit from the storm. It has been a music venue and provided offices for start-up businesses.last_img read more

Redick’s 3s, Simmons’ triple-double lift 76ers over Pacers

first_imgAfter Redick’s 3 made it 113-110, Domantas Sabonis was called for a charge at the other end and fouled out. After two empty possessions that included Joel Embiid missing a dunk, Simmons slipped and it appeared Philadelphia was going to turn it over.But Redick ended up with the ball and drilled an off-balance 3 as the shot clock expired.“Believe it or not, it is something that I occasionally practice,” Redick said.Each team led by nine points in an up-tempo game before the Sixers took control behind Redick, who signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia in the offseason.Turner hadn’t played since sustaining a concussion in Indiana’s season-opening win against Brooklyn on Oct. 18. McMillan had Turner come off the bench, and after a rusty start, he helped Indiana dominate inside in the first half.Turner had a thunderous dunk over Dario Saric late in the first quarter and blocked Embiid’s jumper early in the second. His 3-pointer ignited a late 9-0 run that helped Indiana to a 63-56 halftime lead.But Turner struggled with his shot in the second half and Embiid got the better of him late.“He was a little rusty,” McMillan said. “He had to play more minutes than we probably would have liked. Sabonis got in foul trouble. He missed some shots that he’s capable of knocking down, and just timing.”Embiid had 18 points and nine rebounds. Robert Covington scored 22 for the 76ers, who shot 50 percent from the field.TIP-INS Malditas save PH from shutout View comments MOST READ Pacers: F T.J. Leaf didn’t return after spraining his left ankle early in the second quarter. McMillan said X-rays were negative. . Damien Wilkins (personal reasons) was inactive.76ers: Richaun Holmes had several loud dunks during an effective third-quarter stint in his season debut. The center had been out since breaking his left wrist in the preseason. . Furkan Kormaz was assigned to Delaware of the G-League after the game.ROUGHHOUSINGEmbiid was called for a Flagrant 1 foul late in the first quarter when he swatted Thaddeus Young on the head on Young’s dunk.UP NEXTThe Pacers visit the New York Knicks on Sunday night.The 76ers have three days off before starting a five-game trip out West on Tuesday night at Utah.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Redick scored 31 points and hit three decisive 3-pointers late, Ben Simmons had a triple-double and the 76ers moved above .500 for the first time in nearly four years with a 121-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.Redick said he had “goosebumps” hearing the ear-splitting sellout crowd finally get a chance to celebrate success.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We all recognize the significance of tonight and getting over .500 for the first time in a long time,” Redick said. “My focus was more on winning. Obviously I had a good third quarter there where I got hot and then the three 3s down the stretch were more about, let’s just get a win.”Redick was 8 of 12 from 3-point range, including the go-ahead jumper with 2:06 left, another 3 to barely beat the shot clock with 1:08 remaining and a third from the left corner to make it 119-110 with 46 seconds to go. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 “He’s amazing,” Simmons said.Simmons was pretty good, too. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double in a rookie season delayed a year because of injury.The Sixers (5-4) last had a winning record when they were also 5-4 on Nov. 13, 2013, but their painful rebuild appears near an end as they won their fourth straight game.Victor Oladipo shook off a slow start to score 31 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 and Myles Turner had 11 points and nine rebounds in his return from a concussion for the Pacers. They were outscored 11-0 to close the game as their three-game winning streak was snapped.“We had a couple possessions where we had open looks,” coach Nate McMillan said. “You have to knock those shots down.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, right, of Australia, blocks the shot attempt by Indiana Pacers’ Darren Collison during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA — J.J. Redick has seen plenty in his 12 NBA seasons, yet he insists he’s never heard a louder regular-season crowd.Those fans in Philadelphia were going bonkers over their new sharpshooter.ADVERTISEMENT After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Porzingis has 37, leads Knicks over Sunslast_img read more

10 months agoKlopp defends Liverpool players after Wolves FA Cup defeat: Did I expect more?

About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Klopp defends Liverpool players after Wolves FA Cup defeat: Did I expect more?by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defended his players after they were beaten by Wolves in last night’s FA Cup third round tie.Klopp made nine changes from the team which were beaten at Manchester City on Thursday.The German stated, “All these things that came out are really my responsibility, so it’s about rhythm. Of course, you know they have rhythm. Div (Origi), can he have rhythm? No, not really. Daniel (Sturridge), maybe a bit more. Alberto (Moreno), no, no rhythm. “That of course doesn’t help footballers against a [tough] opponent. We played Wolves here two or three weeks ago and they are really strong. We won, yes, but we knew it was really tough here. Now we played today, they didn’t change a lot – if they changed something – so that’s not easy.”Do I expect? I always expect a lot more from the players. Do I think they could have delivered [more] today? I am not 100 per cent sure. It’s not my job to say now, ‘that was not good enough, that was not good enough’ because I know they can do much better. I changed a lot because I thought we had to, not because I wanted to and to say, ‘come on, let’s have a look at how that works’ because it was clear Wolves would not change a lot. “The problem is, we played a similar line-up and had three tough games in the last couple of weeks, so it was clear we had to change. That’s it, that’s all.” read more

Photo: 3-Star Miami WR Commit Isaiah Johnson Visits Florida, Says He “Felt At Home”

first_imgIsaiah Johnson in locker room at Florida.Cover your eyes, Miami fans. It appears the Hurricanes’ football team could be on the verge of losing a recruit. Isaiah Johnson, a three-star wide receiver in the 2016 class, has been committed to Miami since mid-February. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound prospect recently received a scholarship offer from Florida, though, and he seems to like the Gators very much. The Palm Beach Gardens native visited Florida’s Gainesville campus today. He says he “felt at home.” Felt at home today  pic.twitter.com/kZt1Eob9MK— Bigplayzay2⃣1⃣ (@ZayLive21) March 14, 2015That’s, obviously, not a great look for Miami. Johnson is rated the No. 164 wide receiver in the country by 247 Sports.last_img read more

Clarksons China Sees Record Iron Ore Imports

first_imgzoom At the start of 2016 the outlook for Chinese iron ore import growth appeared challenging, however, the imports went on to significantly outperform expectations during the year and break the 1 billion tonne mark along the way, according to Clarkson Research.Chinese iron ore import growth performed at a level far higher than many had expected last year. In early 2016, expectations were shaped by both a 2% drop in the country’s steel output and a five year low in Chinese iron ore import growth in 2015, as well as plans for continued cuts to steel capacity.However, Chinese seaborne iron ore imports increased by 7% to a record 1,008 mt, largely stimulated by three key factors.The first key driver of record Chinese iron ore imports in 2016 was a stabilisation in the country’s steel output, following a 2% drop to 804 mt in 2015. The country’s steel output continued to decline in the first half of 2016, given limited domestic demand. While Chinese steel mills increased steel products shipments to foreign markets by 9% y-o-y in the first half of 2016, the 57 mt shipped in the period was insufficient to support overall Chinese steel output growth.Chinese steel products exports also dropped 14% y-o-y to 51 mt in the second half of 2016, following the introduction of tariffs by several importers, but also due to firming Chinese steel demand.A further driver of Chinese iron ore import growth in 2016 was the drop in the country’s domestic iron ore output. Financial pressure on Chinese miners from depressed iron ore prices throughout much of the year contributed to a 6% y-o-y decline in the country’s domestic iron ore output, to a six year low of 1.3 bn tonnes in full year 2016, Clarksons cited NBS data.Finally, Chinese iron ore stockpiling increased sharply in 2016, partly reflecting improved expectations for steel output at Chinese mills as the year progressed. By the start of January 2017, iron ore inventories at 41 Chinese ports reached 114 mt, up 19% from the start of 2016 and the highest level in over two years.“While the sustainability of this stronger growth may be questioned, in 2016 at least, China performed above expectations and overall was the bright spot for seaborne dry bulk trade once again,” Clarkson Research said.last_img read more

UKs May to meet EU chief Juncker as Brexit deadline looms

first_imgLONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May is flying to Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a bid to finalize a Brexit agreement between the U.K. and the European Union.The two sides agreed last week on a document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure, but are still working to nail down agreement on future relations.EU leaders are due to meet Sunday to rubber-stamp the deal, but sticking points remain. Spain has said it will vote against if Gibraltar’s future isn’t considered a bilateral issue between Madrid and London.May is under intense pressure from pro-Brexit and pro-EU British lawmakers opposing the divorce deal.Before leaving for Brussels, she will face opponents of the agreement Wednesday during the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session in the House of Commons.The Associated Presslast_img read more

EU reaches deal with Italy on budget

first_imgBRUSSELS — The European Commission says it has reached an agreement with Italy to avert legal action over the country’s budget plans, which the EU’s executive arm had warned could break euro currency rules.European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday that the “agreement is not ideal” but allows the Commission to avoid legal action against Italy — “provided that the measures are fully implemented.”The threat of action is not rare in EU terms but it came amid growing tension between the Commission and Italy’s populist government, which had vowed to resist any pressure from Brussels.Dombrovskis said “the Italian government has come a long way” from the heated rhetoric of a few weeks ago.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Delhi has one of the best bowling attacks in IPL: Ishant

first_imgNew Delhi: India speedster Ishant Sharma believes his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals has one of the best bowling attacks for the upcoming edition of the event. The Delhi Capitals boast of a perfect combination of fast and spin bowlers with the likes of New Zealand pacer Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada in their side, according to Ishant. “Our team has picked up some great bowling options in the squad and with the likes of Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada also in the team. I think we have one of the best bowling line-ups this time. We have some very good all-rounders along with great spinners, which shall help us in restricting teams from scoring freely,” Ishant said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhTalking about his goals, the Indian pacer said he is eager to take more wickets in the IPL, starting March 23. “I feel there is a huge ambition for me this season. I am very focused on taking more wickets throughout the tournament instead of just bowling well. “Of course, taking wickets depends on how well you bowl, but the most important thing is that you use your good performance by helping the team in taking important wickets,” said the 30-year-old. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIshant, who has taken 58 wickets with an economy of 8.2 in his IPL career, believes that his team has a great blend of pacers and spinners in the squad. Speaking on his return to Delhi, Ishant said he is extremely happy to represent his home city in the IPL. “I have played for different teams in the IPL but it makes me immensely happy to be able to represent Delhi Capitals this season. Being a Delhi boy, it is a great chance for me to represent my home side and my most important target is to make the Capitals win the coveted title,” said the lanky bowler.last_img read more