Page 154. " the singing of 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika "

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa in Xhosa) was originally composed as a hymn by a Johannesburg teacher, Enoch Sontonga, in 1897.  In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi.  The song became a pan-African liberation anthem and was later adopted as the national anthem in five African countries after independence. It was the official ANC anthem during the apartheid era.

In 1994, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and the previous national anthem, The Call of South Africa/ Die Stem were adopted as joint national anthems. In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was adopted.

Page 155. " black people's theatre productions of the Woza Albert and Asinamali ilk "

Woza Albert poster
Public DomainWoza Albert poster - Credit: Lucille Lortel Foundation
Woza Albert! ("Rise Albert") was written by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon in 1981. It opened at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre and went on to tour Europe and America. It was performed in London in 1983 and 2002.  The play won more than 20 awards worldwide.

Two actors play roles of various black South Africans - a vendor, barber, servant, manual laborer, soldier - receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in apartheid South Africa.  Christ's arrival precipitates a crisis, and the government launches a nuclear bomb against the peacemaker. In the ruins, great South African resistance leaders, such as the ANC President Albert Luthuli, are resurrected. The play includes mime, song and dance. See excerpts on vimeo.

 

Page 157. " Breyten Breytenbach, the bad boy of Boer literature "

Breyten Breytenbach 2009
Creative Commons AttributionBreyten Breytenbach 2009 - Credit: Nightscream
 Breyten Breytenbach (born 1939) is a South African writer, painter and activist.  Breytenbach was a vocal opponent of the apartheid regime.  He left South Africa for Paris in the 1960. In 1962 he married Yolande Ngo Thi Hoang Lien, a Vietnamese national.  His first published work was Die Ysterkoei Moet Sweet (The Iron Cow Must Sweat) (1964), which was described as breaking new ground in Afrikaans poetry. 

In France Breytenbach was a founder member of Okhela, a resistance group fighting apartheid in exile.  On a clandestine trip to South Africa in 1975 he was arrested and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment under the Terrorism Act.  His work The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist describes his imprisonment. He was released in 1982 and returned to Paris.

His work includes numerous volumes of poetry, novels, and essays, many of which are in Afrikaans.  His work has been translated into Dutch, English, French and German.

Page 162. " a Hieronymus Bosch-like mural that elegantly summed up the white right's beliefs "

Anonymous Portrait of Hieronymus Bosch
Public DomainAnonymous Portrait of Hieronymus Bosch - Credit: Mead Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts
 Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) was a fifteenth century painter from the Netherlands.  He was born Jeroen van Aken, but signed a number of his paintings as Bosch, a name derived from his birthplace, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.  He was a popular painter in his lifetime and received several commissions from abroad. He produced several triptychs, the most famous of which is The Garden of Earthly Delights.  Of the 25 paintings that currently are attributed to Bosch, the Prado Museum in Madrid owns four - The Garden of Earthly Delights, the circular tabletop of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, the Haywain Triptych and The Stone Operation. 

 

The Garden of Earthly Delights
Public DomainThe Garden of Earthly Delights - Credit: Prado Museum, Madrid

Art historian Walter Gibson has written that Bosch confronts his viewer with "a world of dreams [and] nightmares in which forms seem to flicker and change before our eyes." In the early seventeenth century, the Dutch art historian Karel van Mander described Bosch’s work as comprising "wondrous and strange fantasies" but noted that they were often “gruesome to look at.”  It is generally accepted that Bosch’s fantastic imagery was created to illustrate specific moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Page 174. " They were dancing the toi, the township war dance "

The toi toi (or toyi toyi) is a Southern African dance, long used in political protest in South Africa. It involves the stomping of feet and chanting, and may include political slogans or songs.  After the 1976 Soweto massacre, the toi toi as a military march dance became commonplace in massive street demonstrations across South Africa.  Since the advent of democracy in 1994, South Africans continue to use the toi toi to express their grievances against poor service delivery.