About Marikana……

What is in the Marikana Report is not important.

The real tragedy is that we spilt the blood of our own.

It is with great sadness that we South Africans have watched the callous, insensitive and cruel manner in which the issue of the miners of Marikana was dealt. It was a great tragedy to watch on national tv when an armed police force shot at miners holding sticks. They used loaded guns on men carrying sticks… and much like the Sharpeville Massacre, most of the miners were shot in the back. They were trying to run away. They were trying to save their lives, and the police shot them in the back.

It is nice to be fortunate and not know the pain of hunger. It’s nice to be completely oblivious to the struggles of MOST of the people in this country. It’s nice to get into your expensive car and drive to your nice house…while some FAMALIES live on R3 000 a month. It’s very nice not to know that hunger makes ones angry and violent. It’s nice to have a comfortable job.

But the reality of the situation is:  we have reached critical levels when the inequalities of a nation can cause a blood bath.

The government failed us with Marikana.

We elected you to be leaders. Leadership is about taking accountability. Leadership is about taking responsibility for things you do not want to take responsibility for. Leadership means that you represent your people…you don’t kill them.

True leadership mean taking a broken community and piecing it back together. True leadership does not point fingers. True leadership comes with solutions. And most importantly, true leadership is COMPASSIONATE.

One thing is clear, the miners did not just feel like marching and striking just to get some exercise. If you are angry enough to take action…..it is because you are HUNGRY!

It’s a pity, you don’t know hunger…..because if you did….you wouldn’t need this to be explained.

When the government and the whole nation saw our miners up in arms, did our government not think that maybe it’s time to see how wealth is distributed in these mines? Why do people in offices get paid more than the people who put their lives at risk daily by going underground? If your job brings wealth to the economy and you have to risk you life……surely you should be getting paid for such a sacrifice?

Most of our leaders may not know what Marikana looks like……..for a mine which produces platinum, I was surprised to find families living in shacks.  How do we explain the level of poverty on the mines that are enriching the upper Class…the same upper class which kills it’s own. It made me wonder who our Upper Class is playing watch dog for.

The finger pointing is tired. It is irresponsible and it is dragging out people’s pain. I drew up a short list of suggestions to help us move forward.

  1. The grievances of the miners must be prioritised (at this stage they have lost the most)
  2. A minimum wage intervention to be put in effect IMMEDIATELY within the mining industry
  3. The families of all the injured and deceased be compensated and ALL school fees for ALL dependants up to and including university tuition (we did murder their bread winners)
  4. A Clean Up Marikana campaign where u create food gardens for the community and train the community in sustaining them
  5. Statues of miners to be monuments and reminders of that fateful week- turn the Koppie into a memorial site
  6. Marikana Day on the calendar (we need to be reminded what we let Capitalism do to us)

Naturally the government will say they can’t afford this, but they can afford expensive alcohol in their offices and weekly events. May I suggest that the various departments surrender their alcohol budgets for 3 month? A bar in the office for you translates into food and education for the Citizens of Marikana.  You can consider the 3months as your mourning period….to grieve.

We grieve as Africans…..never did we think a day would come when the Oppressor looks like one of us……


Angelina and the Africans

I have been tossing and turning all night…trying to figure out what Angelina Jolie was doing at the African Union?

Since when is she pan Africanist? Is she Pan Africanist because she adopts black babies? Why is she being put on a pedestal for doing what MANY parents have done- adopt children? There are many African women in our communities who have opened up their homes to children with no parents….MANY!! So what is it that makes adoption so special when Angelina Jolie does it? Or is this yet another display of the white superiority complex?

To my understanding, the African Union is a structure which prioritises Africans and the African agenda….what exactly did some white actress from America add to this agenda? Her well rehearsed speech about protecting women is nothing we have not heard before.

We as African women are aware that we need to be prioritised Angie, it is our experience…..thanks!

Why did the AU feel that Angelina Jolie should be invited?

When there are so many African women who can speak for us, why did we need some American actress to do this? Are we so star struck by celebrity that even when it’s time to discuss conscious issues as Africans, we think we need validation from white people?

We are living in a time where we need to identify our own powerful voices. We are living in a time where Africa is grooming her new leaders. Establishments and structures such as the AU are platforms for these new voices. These new AFRICAN voices are the one which have our solutions. African solutions will not come from Hollywood.

I suppose they were trying to justify her presences when they kept mentioning her ‘refugee work’ with the UN.

Pardon my shock but I don’t even know HOW, the word, ‘refugees’ is part of the AFRICAN UNION vocabulary. If my memory serves me correctly, the borders of Africa were created at the Berlin Conference (Scramble for Africa)……so it’s a bit of a shock for me when Africans call EACH OTHER refugees. *_*

Basically, the African Union brought us a white saviour who adopts our refugee children? Wow. As the AFRICAN UNION??? Double wow!

Can we also not lose sight of the fact that social entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon and we have watched Angelina’s PR team position her brand, this is a smart woman.

Which brings me to my final question…Who is the African Union funded by?

If we find out that the African Union is a white capital construct…..then ma Afrika….surely the joke is on us.

The African Union has brought Lara Croft from tomb raider to address issues affecting AFRICAN women! Dankie!


NAME:                                  Nontsikelelo Mazwai

STAGENAMES:                  Ntsiki Mazwai; MaMiya; StreetQueen; The Ntsikinator

CRAFT:                                  Beadwork Artist; Poet; Musician; Producer; Author; Blogger; Social Activist

D.O.B                                    3 September 1980. Soweto

EDUCATION:                      Marketing Management (IMM, 2008)

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation (Wits Business School, 2014)

AWARDS:                            Golden Circle youth award for community service

LGBTI award for using Art to push Social Issues

Most innovative Student (Wits Business School)

CATALOGUE:                     The House of Mobu (Beadwork Range. 2002)

MaMiya (Spoken Word SAMA nominated album 2008)

Ntsiki Speaks (1 woman play, 2009)

Wena (Poetry anthology, 2010)

Mama Said Session (Talkshow/Music series, 2012-2013)

NDINGUBANI (Spoken Word and Music album, 2013)

Ntsiki Mazwai WILL NOT be ignored. A vocal and opinionated artist, if Ntsiki is not using the stage to confront sensitive issues then she is confronting them on her twitter account. Some kind of ‘youth and women whisperer’ Ntsiki has the ability to provoke issues that become national debate. A talented artist who has worked with the cream of South Africa’s musical crop, Ntsiki is steadily growing into a powerhouse on the local cultural landscape.

Ntsiki’s artistic trajectory has been inspiring to watch. Originally channelling herself into her beadwork range, The House of Mobu; to mutating into being part of an all woman spoken word collective, Feel A Sistah; and then later releasing smash hit ‘uRongo,’ as a solo musical performer.

This was all in the 1st five years of her career.

She then wrote a book, produced the popular MaMa Said Sessions at Roodepoort theatre and released her sophomore album.

Centred around black consciousness and women’s issues Ntsiki performs locally and abroad. Being the pioneer of mixing poetry with house music, in an effort to ‘take literature to the dance floors,’ Ntsiki continues to push musical boundaries. Ntsiki performs with a dj, rapping her poetic rhymes to deep and soulful house music; she also performs with a full band.

She likes to spend her time visiting inmates in prisons and visiting schools to give talks. Ntsiki has a deep love for people, justice and truth and this often resonates in her words, work and actions.

The only thing predictable about Ntsiki Mazwai, is that she is unpredictable.

While most stars are found in the sky……this star has a tendency to be found walking on the ground….hence they call her, the Queen of the Streets.

ONLINE:                               www.ntsikimazwai.co.za

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/ntsikimazwai

SOUNDCLOUD: www.soundcloud.com/ntsikimazwai

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: www.youtube.com/ntsikimazwai

BLOG: www.wordpress.com/ntsikimazwai

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/ndingubani/id663474147

BOOKINGS:                        ntsiki_mazwai@yahoo.com / jannekes@iafrica.com