Blog

To David (Kapp)

Thank you for your prose poetry - you are a truly real person, a carer and giver. A person who never forgets the poor and downtrodden. You are a really great adult educator too. And thank you for your support of women. A rare man indeed not only to think it but to say it, and with real caring. 

I salute you!
Jan 

Jan Beeton
Independent Education, Training and Development Consultant
Integrated Futures Ubumbano

A Zumarology (or a Zuma trilogy)

And so it is

And so it is
a custom where
certain folk
come from

Not to leave
a woman in
a state, suspended,
so to speak,
in animation
or otherwise

And so it is
a custom where
certain folk
come from

Not to carry
protection as it were
with them
(phalanxes of body guards yes)
when they know
they do it

And so it is
a custom where
certain folk
come from

For a person of a
particular rank
in life's food chain
not to workshop
the moment
not to discuss
before the deed
the ramifications
and suchlike

And so it is
a custom where
certain folk
come from

We excuse our behaviour
baby oil or no baby oil
massage or no massage
condom or no condom
kanga or no kanga

And so it is
__________________________________
 
Finish your meal (or you won't get any sweets)

Finish your meal
Show me a sign
Finish the job

Or you won't get
any sweets
delicious or otherwise

If you don't eat
your vegetables
especially your garlic
you might not get
something
delicious
afterwards

Finish your meal
Show me a sign
Finish the job

 
Frogs are extremely important

Frogs are extremely important
in the food chain of life
says a clever man
on morning radio

(that same clever species, man,
who abuse women and children)

They, frogs, that is,
devour things and
themselves are devoured
in the nature of things

What do we take,
learn, even,
from our food chain
except to live
in disharmony
with all around us

And what are you
in the hierarchy of life
where are you
in the feeding queue
of life

Are you the frog
or are you
the frog's meal

DK, written in longhand on Tuesday morning, April 04, 2006,
while awaiting a lift in to work (as it is called).

_______________________

Where do you draw the line

Where do you draw the line
between private and public
that line sometimes drawn
by folk who arrogate unto
themselves that right to
decide the morals of all
except themselves

When do you make public
your (s)exploits and interests
other than what you are
in public office for

That is not to say
you should not have interests
just, keep them, to yourself
just don't pick your nose
in the harsh light
of day or night
and thereafter cry
wolf or conspiracy

Don't flaunt,
on DVD or video,
the fact that you
beat your partner
beat your children
beat the system

Keep them there
even if they are the type
your party or followers
might find delicious
(if only for 15 minutes)
in the blind faith of their minds,
their T-shirts and the placards
they brandish, one and all
like primitive weapons

Where do you draw the line
you who are an example,
supposedly, to the rest,
those who are fed a diet
of daily tabloid-fare,
instead of whatever
you promised
at some point before

Can you account
do you remember

Now, if only that were
on DVD or video

DK, Saturday, March 25, 2006, not even blinking at a public
figure's outrage at a DVD of his sexploits circulating in
the public domain

__________________________________________

Delicious?

Delicious, tasty, dainty
Delicate, good, luscious
Appetizing, palatable, choice
Pleasing, delicious

Delicious, says our ex-Deputy,
not of a hearty meal, but
of the 15 minutes he had,
of the rape, alleged, they say,
of a woman who others malign
and castigate, in ways
one would not ever imagine
our intelligent and civilised
and voting citizenry would do

What is it, with our menfolk
and their species in general

What planet do they come from
What kind of planet are they on
Still behaving in the age-old way
(tradition the excuse, mainly)

Still doing what they've always
been getting away with 

she asked for it

she was walking alone
late at night

she came to visit me alone
late at night

she was wearing a low-cut
blouse, skirt, frame of mind

she didn't say no
(not that she said yes)

she has done it before
she entrapped me

she sent out the wrong signals
she sent out mixed signals

she has needs
we all have needs

Its all their fault, then,
women, the girl-child

The more things change
the more some things stay

Thursday, March 09, 2006, utterly horrified and disgusted
at the latest from former deputy president Zuma
and his hangers-on

________________________________

Are We Clever Enough

Are we clever enough
we folk who are labeled
left-wing / radical / extremists
as if we are something
from another planet

Are we clever enough
from a political point of view
to sabotage the country
by fiddling with the power
that we take so for granted

Are we clever enough
to have first asked the poor
for their point of view
of our alleged plans

Might it have mattered
since the poor do not yet
have the power we take
so much for granted

Might it have made a difference
had this group, whatever their name,
work-shopped their point of view
with those they claim to represent
and asked, even, for expertise
to do what was allegedly done

Or are they clever enough
well-read enough
written enough manifestos
not to ask for assistance
of the technical kind
to put the country at risk
with their actions

Is it not irony supreme
now, however flawed
our democracy
the freedom to do
what we could not

Perchance we are too clever
to grasp what has been done
supposedly in the interests
of those who struggle
to put bread on the table

Are we really clever enough

DK, written Wednesday, March 01, 2006, after the previous
day's power-induced chaos in the Mugger City of CT, and all
the chaos that is still on the cards.

_______________________

Work is a privilege (for Masnuna Juma and all the others) 

Go tell that to unemployed Masnuna,
our computer literate young student,
comrade finance minister, he who is
employed gainfully here and there

Go forth and solve her puzzle
and that of desperate others
instead of the Su Doku
you distributed with our budget
the tenth that you delivered
according to those who do
histrionics and such stuff
they feel entitled to do

Go out there like you used to
and tell those without hope,
and the privilege of (any) work
why apparently there is none
as folk tend to protest
as others are wont to campaign

Go forward and demonstrate
in the words you used to use
to rally the troops who
by now are a bit weary
of being just troops,
statistics, voting fodder

Go comrade finance minister
talk about the year of plenty
see how far you get
and what you will reap
for bailing out who you do
instead of who you should

Go and see the unemployed
down and out on the street
taking to the promise of
what drugs and crime might bring
rather than what politicians
might promise to deliver
once they are done
delivering to themselves

Go, even, to see the employed
many in the mindless routine
of a job, and not a career,
only there for the money,
prostrating themselves,
skillfully, in office buildings,
others plying their trade
equally skillfully
just up your street,
go talk, to them,
about their privilege

Go forth, out, forward, go,
before the hordes come
and make you eat
the economic growth
the foreign exchange,
accelerated and shared growth,
that you all speechify about

They might just burn your flag
and take back in the true sense
what we all fought for, and not
what some bourgeois politician
wants us to go back to,  the past, 
the inglorious dogmas
of their past

Tomorrow's benefits might be
too late for today's hungry

Friday, February 17, 2006, coming down to budget-earth,
after the joy of re-connecting with Masnuna Juma, past RAG
computer trainee helping her mom out in a takeaways on
Bellville station.  The "go" is the influence of that
ancient Indo-Chinese piece some of us have chosen no doubt
to forget!

________________________________

Giving all the time

Were it true that
regardless of religious bent
there are people giving all the time
why are the poor still here

Were it true that
regardless of dogma
there are folk giving daily
is there a need for crime
and the accumulation
of shiny things

Were it true that
we are all so devout
especially at this time of year
what is the need for special days,
for human rights day
for 16 days of activism

Were it true that
we are all so pious
why do we need protection
from one another,
locking ourselves away
behind closed doors
in committee meetings
like we have something
we wish to hide behind
our high walls and high morals,
our beliefs and our
indiscriminate daily prejudices

Were it true that
we are all so neighbourly
in line with the doctrines
we follow every day
especially on certain days
when we dress up
in our own image
why is there femicide
right on our doorstep
in the same-sex relationships
we genuflect over

If we contribute, daily,
as we say we do,
why is our world not
a better place yet, for all

Where is this new tomorrow

Why is it not here

written in the silly season, Saturday, December 10, 2005,
mulling over recent letters in the Cape Argus (Cape Points,
December 7) around and about mainly, Christians, giving,
and Christmas.

________________________________

I did not struggle to be poor (an ode to ANC spokesperson
Smuts Ngonyama and all other fur-lined, gravy-lipped fat
comrade-cats in high places, who struggled to be)

'I did not struggle to be poor',
so says one hack, as he gathers
his assets.

Oh! What for, then?
Matchbox houses for the masses;
security and comfort for the few,
who can afford it?

Is this what we struggled for?
Not 'freedom', 'jobs for all',
but the democratic right
to get rich quick?

'I have a scheme' a priest-politician
once said, leading the march
to line the pockets with gold.

'I did not struggle to be poor',
our comrade-spokesperson says
(our god with clay feet).

He struggled for his just reward,
pieces of silver, travel vouchers,
a front seat, a position
at the feeding trough.

Not 'open the doors of learning', and
all those other silly demands,
that some of us thought we
were dieing for.

'I did not struggle to be poor',

How will they explain 'justice for all', at
the next baby-kissing show?

How will history / herstory judge,
our new elite?

How will we, at our next
X-marking session?

Written on Friday, Nov 12, 2004, after casting my eyes over
 our Smuts' comment in the latest M&G's Verbatim column ('I
did not struggle to be poor'), but not forgetting the likes
of our technikon fatcats  and former communications
bureaucrat Andile Ngcaba, featured in the same Mail &
Guardian (Volume 20 Number 46, Nov 12 to 18 2004).

From David Kapp of Resource Action Group.

Tian writes:

"A while ago, a local mine gave us 500, yes! 500 rusted metal bed frames to distribute to Child-Headed Households in our area - I guess the children will have to use newspaper as mattresses..."

"CSI [corporate social investment] should be exactly that - an investment. Today the beds are an eyesore at our centre and leave us with the extra burden of finding a donation of mattresses, for which we have been quoted R70 000."

"Its not a matter of being ungrateful but assistance should be relevant and not create extra work for us."

With information being one of the key determinants for influencing social transformation, the Information Society heralds interesting challenges and opportunities for the NGO sector in South Africa (SA). The advent of the Internet and the related invention of websites have created unprecedented opportunities for organisations to influence the local and international discourse on social and economic transformation from a civil society perspective --- as well as highlight the plight of the communities that NGOs work in, generating support for their work.

Recent developments in non-profit online communication are encouraging as an increasing number of development practitioners and activists are beginning to grasp the significance of the Internet as a tool for social change, engaging more extensively in the online environment. 

Evidence supporting this assertion can be gleaned from three exercises SANGONeT recently engaged in.  During the month of February, SANGONeT hosted an online poll that sought to establish the significance attached to websites in the NGO environment. An overwhelming 95.2% of the 124 poll takers argued that NGO websites are essential. Only 3.2% of poll takers submitted that websites should be optional. Absolutely nobody felt that NGO websites are unnecessary.

In addition, the SANGONeT PRODDER validation exercise is throwing up some interesting results with respect to growth in non-profit online communications. In 2001, a mere 20% of all NGOs and development organisations listed on the PRODDER directory had websites, while 61% had e-mail. By mid October 2005, almost two thirds (65%) of validated organisations on the PRODDER Directory had their own website, while a significant 84% had e-mail addresses.

Add to this phenomenon the fantastic response we received for the 2006 SANGONeT NGO Website Award. An important derivative of this exercise was the realization that there is an enormous amount of information generated by the NGO sector highlighting alternative development models. Judges were inspired by the wealth of information that demonstrated strategic focus, activities and impact. The competition is likely to become an annual event linked to SANGONeT’s ICTs for Civil Society Conference, which is another important initiative aimed at supporting the online communication efforts of the local NGO sector.

Finally, the SANGONeT portal strives to contribute to development discourse by generating and promoting original content that emanates from within the NGO sector. We are developing strategies to ensure that our portal moves away from being an aggregation of news from external sources, especially the mainstream media. Our goal is to become the hub of news and information about NGOs and related development initiatives in SA predominantly from a civil society perspective. In our view, this is an important contribution to influencing social change. Our NGO profiles and commissioned opinion pieces are an important part of this contribution.

Our modest efforts are already beginning to show results. SANGONeT was recently approached by a mainstream media publication that re-produced a SANGONeT commissioned opinion piece about the recent local government elections. This is a unique case of a civil society perspective penetrating the mainstream media because it was given the appropriate platform. SANGONeT will continue to provide this platform to civil society agents who are able to speak from an experiential base grounded in development practice.

- Fazila Farouk, editor@sangonet.org.za.

Hi Fazila

Just to let you know that I find the information dispersed in these newsletters highly appropriate and very useful. I encourage you and your team to keep up the good work of making our lives as NGO's a lot simpler.

Thank you

Gavin MacGregor
Operations Director
Heifer International-South Africa

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