This is the second blog post in a Blog Series called Mafuta Vibes. Are we like the Klumps? Later that night, after al the drama with parents, I was still very confused. I was not really sure why my parents reacted in the way they did. I only remember my mom crying when her sister died [...]
It’s 1999. The Kwaito generation are about to vote for the first time in South Africa’s general elections. These are the individuals who had just entered their teens when their parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents voted in the country’s first democratic elections. Now the Kwaito generation is in Grade 12 (called Matric back then), or doing first or second year tertiary studies. Well, that’s if they were lucky enough to get good enough marks and secured funding though a loan/bursary/scholarship (it was highly unlikely that your parents had set up a tertiary education fund when you were born black then).
This was a generation in flux. Products of what the late 80s and early 90s in South Africa had to give. Children of the twilight who were supposed to be, in theory at least, ‘free’. But they didn’t feel that way. And still they had an anger burning inside them as they struggled to find their identity and footing in the so-called Rainbow Nation.
Then came along a TV show that mirrored their lives, (they felt) represented them and spoke TO them instead of speaking AT them. The team of writers/directors Teboho Mahlatsi and Angus Gibson, along with producer Desiree Markgraaff, had created the most explosive TV show this side of apartheid. A show called “Yizo Yizo”. The show’s title comes from kasi (township) slang, loosely translated as “this is it” or “the real deal”. An apt title for a series that didn’t shy away from showing the gritty, hard knock life and realities of a township school and its students. The show also didn’t sugar coat its portrayal of the social problems rife in that environment – lack of resources, some teachers’ indifference, rape, HIV/AIDS, abuse, gangsterism, drugs, prostitution, a culture of violence that was Apartheid’s legacy. Problems the majority of South Africans recognised and could relate to because they had encountered them in some form or other.
Yizo Yizo truly revolutionised South African television. And as with every revolution, there are those who would seek to quell it. Parents were up in arms over the graphic content and vulgar (but realistic) language. The programme was even tabled for discussion in South Africa’s Parliament! Even Boom Shaka’s kwaitofied rendition of that most sacred of holy cows, South Africa’s national anthem, was never debated in Parliament.
But while Yizo Yizo was stirring up a “debate in the national interest” about its content, it was also garnering global accolades, and was screened at festivals in London, Rotterdam, New York and Barcelona. Not bad for a show which cast unknown and mostly inexperienced young actors in its most important roles. So dankie Yizo Yizo for depicting kasi life raw, uncensored and as is. It’s just a pity that the government hasn’t done nearly enough in 14 years to significantly improve those conditions.
So who is Jabulani? Jabulani has no interests but interests. He’s a film freak, hip hop head, kwaito connoisseur, general groupie of all good music, bibliophile and a role model to spoti wearers everywhere. He’s Capetonian born and raised, and lives there but has never been to Ratanga Junction. He also wrote this in the third person. There’s a word for that.
First film/TV show watched: I can’t remember the first film or TV show I watched. However, the first thing I saw on TV was the SABC test pattern. I remember watching that like it was the season finale of Game of Thrones.
Favourite film/TV show: This is a tough one. So many. I’d have to say The Shield is my favourite TV show – it was such a visceral experience with complex and fleshed out characters that you actually cared about. In terms of movie, it’s The Usual Suspects. Every performance - even the small ones - were flawless.
How do you feel about Reality Television programs? I personally enjoy them. Programs like The Real Housewives, Big Brother, Suvivor, Celebrity Apprentice, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Iyanla Fix My Life, Love and Hip Hop, Braxton Family Values and many others provide for great entertainment. These programs also contribute to society and illustrate how etiquette has changed between women. Because of the many dynamics and dramatic situations that [...]
This is the first of a two-part blog post titled Black on Both Sides. I’m sure the Hip-Hop aficionados remember and probably still play Black on Both Sides, Mos Def’s classic break out album, right? Mos Def or should I say Yasiin Bey now, as he changed his name recently hasn’t been bringing the classics lately but his shit was hot fire when [...]
There are a couple of actors that I do not particularly care for, and Hugh Grant is one of them. Nothing against him as a person I should add - after all, I don’t know the man individually as I have never met him. The only bit of semi personal knowledge I have is that [...]
This story does my heart good. As a proud Nigerian-American hearing news about the homeland that doesn’t involve a Nigerian prince asking for money via email, makes me a little giddy. A few years ago, Nigeria launched 2 satellites in to space. According to the BBC these satellites are now being used to keep tabs on [...]
This is the first blog post in a Blog Series called Mafuta Vibes. Are You Allowed To Be Fat? So I don’t blog much, so this is my first blog. I do write lots about me and life in my diary, like most young girls do. But today I am branching out and trying this whole blogging [...]
This is Part 1 of a two-part blog on “Hood” Movies in South Africa. Right now I am hungry for a brothers in-the-hood movie, completely gangster. With Impala 64’s and slow moving drive-by assassinations, “chicken-head” women chattering all over the place and smack talking. Scenarios where the kid on a BMX is selling crack, under-aged [...]
At some point in your life you have heard the names One Piece, Naruto, or Bleach if not then definitely these Digimon, Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. Growing up some of us didn’t know these cartoons were a subculture of Anime. I’ll approach this post on the chances that the majority of our community are [...]
This is Part 2 of a two-part blog on “Hood” Movies. The million dollar question is why? Why would international audiences want to watch such a movie? Frankly its a hard sell. What we need then is not a movie, but a TV-serial. South Africa’s own Breaking Bad. Currently, parts of Africa consume Generations, which [...]
The 90′s were famous for their many comedies whether black, white or homegrown. When I think of the comedies that I enjoyed as a young girl my mind goes to Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Martin I loved those comedies. They just used to make laugh so much. I love the lightness and sometimes [...]