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Tuesday the 10th of December 2013

11:11:12 PM


To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests – it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other.  To the people of South Africa – people of every race and walk of life – the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

Barack Obama Speech - Mandela Memorial_

It is hard to eulogize any man – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person – their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.  How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe – Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.  Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement – a movement that at its start held little prospect of success.  Like King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice.  He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War.  Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would – like Lincoln – hold his country together when it threatened to break apart..  Like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations – a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.

Given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men.  But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories.  “I’m not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection – because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried – that we loved him so.  He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood – a son and husband, a father and a friend.  That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still.  For nothing he achieved was inevitable.  In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; persistence and faith.  He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.  Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. Certainly he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”

But like other early giants of the ANC – the Sisulus and Tambos – Madiba disciplined his anger; and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their dignity.  Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price.  “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination,” he said at his 1964 trial.  “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t.  He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.  He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement.  And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.

Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiseled into laws and institutions.  He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history.  On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”  But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal.  And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.

Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.  There is a word in South Africa- Ubuntu – that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.  We can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell.  But we remember the gestures, large and small – introducing his jailors as honored guests at his inauguration; taking the pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS – that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding.  He not only embodied Ubuntu; he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.  It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe – Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask:  how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?

It is a question I ask myself – as a man and as a President.  We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation.  As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people – known and unknown – to see the dawn of a new day.  Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle.  But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done.  The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important.  For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future.  Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.

We, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.  There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.  And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today – how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war – do not have easy answers.  But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu.  Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done.  South Africa shows us that is true.  South Africa shows us we can change.  We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes.  We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world – you can make his life’s work your own.  Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land.  It stirred something in me.  It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.  And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.  He speaks to what is best inside us.  After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength – for his largeness of spirit – somewhere inside ourselves.  And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach – think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

What a great soul it was.  We will miss him deeply.  May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela.  May God bless the people of South Africa.

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Sunday the 8th of December 2013

09:49:07 PM

From the office of the President of Wowos Club: Nelson Mandela

Dear Family

From the office of the President of Wowos Club I would like to take this opportunity to send my condolences to the family of Madiba & all those who loved & knew him. It is a great loss to the nation & to the world at large & we will always remember & honor him.

I want us to take this opportunity & maybe reflect back & think about what Mr. Nelson Mandela represented. A man of PEACE. Let us take his legacy & pay it forward. We can only learn so much from him & through our ACTIONS we can leave up to what he represents & what he would want us to be. A country that is to be free from white domination or even black domination. A COUNTRY that is FREE for ALL.


Ditaba Moeketsi
Wowos President
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Saturday the 24th of August 2013

07:06:43 PM

The reason why we are occupied is because of our own fault

From: Muzi Ngema 
Date: Thursday 06 May 2010 6:55 PM


We perhaps have to accept that the reason why we are occupied is because of our own fault, it’s our own fault that the world has treated us in the harshest sense, without the world having to occupy us and take more from us, we may not survive a year.


It means that from this very second we ought to change our view towards each other, build a true state of economy yabamyama, circulate the rand in our communities and continent, built our caring and safe communities and society, shape up our technical arsenal that will respond to our needs in areas such as health, education, engineering , explore our own minerals, convert them to final products and export to the world too, put something away for our future, bank in our own banks, build our own cars and trains, aeroplanes, roads, rails and dams. Manufactures needles, medicines, technologies and sell to the world too.


And all these institution to function in carrying manner that will respond to our own needs and to the world for exports purpose.


Is it hard, to start doing these things and not limited to compared to wasting time trying to live up to standards imposed only on us? Please anyone tell me that wowos club with its intellectual capacity can at least take a lead in the road taking abamyama to this dream land?


Nelson Mandela said freedom in my life time, I say self reliance to abamyama in my life time.



Muzi Ngema

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Sunday the 18th of August 2013

08:44:57 PM

Sign a loan across the kitchen table instead of a banker’s desk

Dear All,

If you have acquired Wonga’s Business Methods (WBMs), you will probably know that to beat debt you need a plan. WBMs are “part time” business ideas and if managed with enthusiasm and discipline, they will not only get you out of the red, but they will help you build a growing asset base.

Many people always ask me, "where do I get capital to start with WBMs?" My answer to this question is always sign a loan across the kitchen table instead of a banker’s desk. Kitchen counter loans leave both parties happy. For example, while banks will charge you interest rates hovering at around 8.5%, you can sign a private loan with your family member in which you make monthly repayments at 6.75%. The beauty here is that all that interest money would stay in the family, rather than make the bank’s pockets faster and of course the best thing is the flexibility to repay the loan.

So, let me know if you are in need of a concise loan agreement that you can use with your family members! I do also have guidelines on how not lose your money and your relationship with your family members!

FAQ on WBMs visit http://pub27.bravenet.com/faq/show.php?usernum=2285354722&catid=9609 

Warm regards,

Wonga Ntshinga

E-mail: me@wongantshinga.com, M +27 82 926 0390   F +27 86 565 4110   

Join me online: Blog: http://ntshinga.bravejournal.com/ Facebook: facebook.com/wonga.ntshinga Twitter: http://twitter.com/wntshinga

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Thursday the 4th of July 2013

05:48:45 PM

I struggle to grasp the concept of culture pertaining to the roles of men and women.

In my opinion, it is inevitable that any culture would not evolve in this day of globalization and urbanization.

As a sowetan, born and bred, raised in a family of very strong willed women and not many males around me, I struggle to grasp the concept of culture pertaining to the roles of men and women. However, I am respectful of other peoples tradition (and religions), if it works for you, then so be it. But if you are going to do something, follow it well. 

I am strongly opposed to people who use it to suit their agendas. 

Apart from all this, I view and know myself to be an African, the same African who follows a religion that was introduced to my ancestors by Europeans. The same African who relates to the struggles and achievements of my fellow brothers and sisters (be it black or white),  understands the challenges facing my continent, pre- and post colonization. Whose heart smiles in glee when I see how far we have come and whom God gave the extra strength to strive in adversity. The same African who enters a boardroom and has to work harder than my European counterparts to prove that I am meant to be there and can do just as well if not better. The same African who knows that we might have won the battle against colonization, but the war is far from over.

Mpho Raborife
Member of Wowos Club
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Sunday the 14th of April 2013

10:35:11 AM

In memory of Norman Ntshinga

Dear All, 

Email below was sent to Lindikhaya Ntshinga and he then forwarded it to me. I share it with you Wowos Club members as it is a beautiful message. 

Dear Mr Ntshinga,
Hi, my name is Beth Danesco. I am a playwright over here near Boston Massachusetts, USA. I am writing because I am a fan of Athol Fugard and, in my reading about him, have come to learn about and be inspired by The Serpent Players. After some googling 😊 , I discovered you might be Norman Ntshinga's grandson.  I hope I've got the right guy and I hope you don't mind that I am contacting you.
I wanted to drop you a quick line to say tomorrow afternoon I am having a full length play read in front of an audience for the first time. It's being read by a group of actors I have assembled in a kind of theater company. I wanted you to know I was inspired to put this reading together by your grandfather's example. He and the Serpent Players were in tough circumstances I can't even imagine, and yet they still pursued their art-- even doing theater in prison...  So, what excuse do I have in easy circumstances to not do the same? Your grandfather's example has really made me have a new perspective on my responsibilities as a writer and a artist.  As a thank you and token of respect, I am dedicating my reading tomorrow to his memory. It's not much, I dont expect a very big audience, but maybe it gets someone there to look into his life... so,I just wanted to contact someone who knew him and let them know. I don't know why! You may be thinking "What is this woman even talking about?" 
Anyhow, that's all. I am including a link to our reading if you'd like to see more about it (it actually involves South Africa....) I would love to hear from you and hear more about your grandfather and his wife and the Serpent Players if you have any thing you'd like to share.  There isn't much about them online. Which is a shame.
Thanks for your patience in reading this. And best wishes,
Beth Danesco
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Monday the 18th of February 2013

11:22:04 PM

Rekindling the South African dream - Mamphela Ramphele

Dear All, 

Firstly, thank you to Tando for sending us the speech. 

I also read the speech and I think it is a good start for Mamphele. The speech takes you, emotionally, through the journey of pre-1994 and how Mandela became the beacon of hope and the first democratically elected black President. However, the speech fails to acknowledge the hard work of the ANC pre and post 1994, particularly the work of Thabo Mbeki as the President of the country close to 15 years (I am of the view that Thabo Mbeki was the driver even under Mandela's Presidency). 

Reading the speech made me to ask the question, when did things go wrong? I remember, not long time ago, President Mbeki also admitted that he is not sure of the direction that the country is taking! It must have been late last year. 

Truth be told, our country became unsettled pre and post Polokwane! The reason that we are seeing the dawn of this "party political platform" is partly because many "have stood on the sidelines for lack of an appropriate political home" as Mamphele puts it! But above all, the leaders to blame of this current state of affairs in our country are Mbeki and Zuma. The power struggles between this two leaders has cost the ANC and the country as a whole a big damaging blow! Furthermore, President Zuma is unable to re-unite the ANC after these factions. 


All that needs to happen in this short space of time is not a party political platform, nor citizen charter as Mamphele advocates for in her speech, but a change of power within the ANC. President Zuma, for the good of this country, to step down and allow Ramaphosa to take over and drive the country forward as from 2014 elections! We can have another discussion on another day on how Ramaphosa should govern the country post 2014 and how he should re-unite the ANC. In fact believe it or not, he will have to dig deep and even approach leaders likes Mamphele! 


Dr. Ramphele's speech and her stance for a "party political platform" is a good start for this country to put pressure on the ANC to re-look at the face of the President for 2014 and the direction thereof of this country post-2014. It remains to be seen how the ANC re-acts on this party political platform  

Warm regards, 
Wonga Ntshinga
E-mail: me@wongantshinga.com, M +27 82 926 0390, F +27 86 5654110
Join me Online:
Blog: http://Ntshinga.bravejournal.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/wonga.ntshinga
Please consider the impact on the environment before printing this email. 
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Thursday the 7th of February 2013

05:53:24 PM

Re: Maphela's criticism on ANC at the mining indaba is very reach

Mamphela is a very interesting character and I don't mean to put her down in challenging the ruling party and others by establishing her own party and expressing her own views.

I listened with great interest to her criticism of the ANC around issues within the mining sector to which in other instances she had good points but then again I remembered that this is the woman who has failed modern South Africa from giving birth to its first automobile brand (Joule) as the Chairwoman of the government's TIA (The Innovation Agency) who has been given the responsibility and funding resources to make it a success.

But how precisely has she failed this project? This is a question the readers of this platform deserve an answer on.
TIA which is chaired by Mamphela who has been given powers of appointing its executive that reports to the board on its operational affairs which includes Joule which she left in the hands of innovators rather than commercials experts who possess the correct automotive markets understanding.
Joule remained a prototype and nothing that has seen the light of day  as all that happened was resources spend on  its modification whilst the sector internationally advanced on the alternative energy automobile projects which has since seen Joule technology as an ancient discovery  which prompted one major state investor in the project to decide that they were pulling out as the project as it was no longer commercially viable.

It is at this juncture where I draw a conclusion that Mamphela has failed South Africa of its modern day automobile opportunity innovation and economic spin-offs that could have come with it should she had made it a success as she was given the authority and necessary resources to do so.

So for her to offer criticism on how the ruling party has made blunders in the sector is rather opportunistic and self serving as the mining sector continues to contribute significantly in the country's GDP and job market whilst Joule is collecting dust in the shelf with millions of Rands wasted which could have been better spend elsewhere.

Muzi Ngema
Political Analyst of Wowos Club 

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