This is a very sad tale to tell about how my application for funding by the National Empowerment Fund.
The tale starts laast year when I left the employ of the local municipality where I was a full-time councillor to venture into the private sector.I joined a locally-based civil and structural engineering firm where I had been offered share-holding if Icould raised the necessary funds.
Upon joining the firm I applied to two state funding agencies responsible for supporting the previously disadvantaged persons to break into business.One of the agencies said the amount I was asking for was way below their funding levels.The second one declined my application on the basis that they don`t fund the purchase of shares.
I am at point zero with no hope in sight.I can`t go to banks as I would obviously not qualify because I wouldn`t be able to raise the necessary security for them to finance my purchase of shares.
I will be exploring whatever options still remaining and will keep you posted on developments.
I must however confess that I am more than disappointed that my applications was not approved.How on earth am I going to raise the required funds?Can somebody out there answer me!
Add a comment June 7, 2006
I spent this past weekend at my parents` home where my bedroom is still mainatained for my rare visits when I sleep over.At times I tend to think that it is kept more like a museaum than anything else.It does afterall look like a museaum.
I spent a fruitful or should I say bookful weekend at home in the company of my books.
I had time to take stock of what I have and did some reading which I normaly don`t have the time to do.It was mainly on my collection of African writing which opened my eyes to works by a variety of African writers.I took some of these along when I left so that to I can go through at my leisure.
My bookful weekend has also exposed my limited knowledge of African literature due to an equally limited access.I intend doing two things:collecting and reading as much as I can.It is a tragedy that I have more books by authors from other continents than from my own.
I will keep you posted on how this project develops.
I also had time to go through tomes of draft poems,short stories and novels which at some stage I thought I would have published so that they can reach a wider audience.However after going back to these drafts after a long respite I think they need a thorough revision and some may even end up in a trash bin.
All the same,what a bookful weekend it was.I intend having as many such weekend as possible.
Add a comment June 7, 2006
I am very much a product my past under a government that wanted nothing of me and my people but to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.This enviroment sought to restrict what I could read both in terms of quatity and quality.
The first time I found myself in a library was at college when I was reading for my teaching diploma.By then my passion for reading was at its peak and I read every reading matter I could lay my hands.There was never enough to read,that is until that fateful day when I entered a library for the first time.
I had never seen so many books in my life.I there and then set myself the target of reading all of them in a few months` time,or so I thought.A month or so down the line I had barely scratched the surface and abandoned the mission – moreso as there were also my studies and student politcal work to be accomodated as well.
Prior to my arrival at college I had to rely on whatever I could lay my hands on – thrillers,comics,magazines and newspapers.What I found inexplicable at that time was that there were books by black people.
But then were living under the then apartheid regime which did allow our minds to be poisoned by communism and some such evil philosophies.
From college to the time I started teaching books became my best of friends and became priority items in my budget.I had also started to write poetry and propose.Some of my poems have been published here and there.All else is in draft awaiting the time I will have more time to refine them for possible publication.
I hope this day arrive sooner rather than later.
Will I ever have that time?I can hardly have time to settle down with a book and see it to the finish.Of late the bulk of my reading and writing is of a technical nature for work purposes and newspapers which I only scan for that odd article that appeals to my fancy and can be accomodated in my forever tight schedule.
Add a comment May 24, 2006
Yesterday members of South Africa`s largest labour federation,Confederation of South African Trade Unions,embarked on a one-day general strike as part of its JOBS and POVERTY campaign.According to the federation the levels of unemployment and poverty in the country have reached unacceptable levels,hence the industrial action to draw the attention of both government and business to this state of affairs.
The strike,compared with the parotracted one by security guards,went on peaceful with marches in major centres through out the country.
The strike is said to have cost the economy about R20billion with the mining sector absorb about half of this huge loss.For some this estimated loss will be used as an indicator that strikes have never been job-creating tools.On the flip side of it others will argue that government and business are to blame for not doing enough to create quality jobs and rolling back the frontiers of poverty.
Add a comment May 19, 2006
I am an active member of the ruling African National Congress and its ally,the South African Communist Party.Over the years I have had the honour of the leading structures of these two organisations which led South African to a point where we find ourselves today.
My years of activism,dating back to the early seventies have in a big way shaped the person that I am today and my views on the world and everything therein.
This past has brought forth in me a passionate commitment to all the ANC government is doing to bring a BETTER LIFE for all the people in the country and Africa as a whole.Whenever setbacks occur in the government`s pursuit of its developmental agenda I get hurt because I want nothing but to see us succeeding in turning the continent around.
In various circles Africa is seen as a lost case.These Afro-pessimists don`t give the ANC and the South African government a chance to play its bit role of improving the lot of Africans.To be exposed to the "insightful analyses" of these prophets of gloom and doom you only have to page through the opinion pages of the local media,including web-blogs by South Africans who are mainly white.
I felt I had to provide a bit of a backround about myself so that readers of my posts should know where I stand.I therefore look forward to meeting all those bright and beautiful people out there who have an interest in the affairs of my country and the African continent.
Add a comment May 19, 2006
Was it a good omen that I missed out on the bulk of the UEFA Champions League final clash between ARSENAL and FC BARCELONA last night as I had to drive home after watching the first fifteen minutes of the game that paraded among the best footballing legs in the world.
By the time I took leave of my friends with whom I had been watching the game the Gunners were one man down after Lehman was dismissed for a foul on Samuel Etto.
From what I could gather later…one-man-down Arsenal took the lead…Barca equalised and later scored a winner.
But then my boys,the Gunners,put up a good fight!
Add a comment May 18, 2006
I must confess from the onset that I am not much of an intellectual,though when I listen to them and read their works I tend to wish I could be one.This unfortunate handicap notwithstanding a read quite a lot and can authoritatively hold court on a variety of subjects.
Fom time to time I send out a missive to the media to express an opinion on topical issues of the day and to,as a bonus,have my name in print.I also contribute an irregular satirical column for a local rag called BULLETIN.
Should I also confess that I now then contribute to national discourse through my poetry and prose.I hope in due course to have these works of artistic excellence published so that they can reach a more wide audience.
Coming to the point,the presidency in conjunction with other institutions convened a gathering of black so-called intellectuals with a view of getting more involved in the realm of ideas which is currently dominated by settler/white intellectuls.
The conference culminated in the creation of it is now known as the Native Club.
The Native Club is aimed at ensuring that Africans define themselves in terms of their relationships with other people.Above all this will require Africans to sever the shackles of intellectual servitude and work towards becoming masters or architects of their destiny.
The arguement goes on to point out "…in spite of transformation in various sectors,there`s certainly no evidence of a South African intelligentsia emerging emerging as a cohesive social force.Whilst in psot independent African states there was a mushrooming of local academics and intelligentsia,this has not been the case in South Africa."
The conference that gave birth to the Native Club is an attempt to plug these gaps and take the country forward in the realm of ideas.
This sounds exciting .
Watch this space as I will keep you abreast of developments in this regard.
Add a comment May 17, 2006
My part of the country relies heavily on farming for its existence.Much of farming activities are in the areas of subtropical fruits such as mangoes,pawpaws,bananas.litchis etc.Cattle farming has to a large extend given way to the more lucrative game farming.
Life has for historical reasons been hell for farmworkers.That is until the extension of labour relations to cover these hitherto sector of the South African society.Notwithstanding all these changes and the advent of democracy in the country the lot of farmworkers still leaves much to be desired.
In new phenomenon that has reared its head is the employment of illegal immigrants who in the begining came from Mozambique but have since been supplemented by those from Zimbabwe.These people are kept under slavery conditions and always being threatened with a hand over to the police.
A week or so ago I had the misfortune of visiting of game farm in the area with the aim of consolidating it with a neighbouring government farm which had been abandoned by previous tenants for purposes of game farming.
We were to meet the farm owner and manager to see how the adjacent farm could be brought in in.The house help who greeted us in what sounded like Zulu brought us tea.As discussions went on I went to the vehicle to collect my notebook.
That was when the house help,hidded from the view of his bosses,poured her heart out about her life of hell at the farm.It emerged that she was a Zimbabwean illegal immigrant and that there were others working on the farm.Four of them had run away that week.
Crying painfully she described how she was ill-treated and pleaded with me that we take over farm and release her and her compatriots.I took down her contact details with the intention of dealing with her lot and those of her colleagues.
I then went back to the meeting with a different picture of my potential patners who gave us cold juice and took us on a game drive.How the spoke and behaved like angels who were in line with our new democracy.
What an irony!
My further investigation is that life in our farms is still very much what it used to be years ago.As a result of their conditions there exist a deep-seated hatred for white farmers which the latter appear to be ignorant.
So much for our new democracy and how all of us are part of the RAINBOW NATION OF GOD.
It looks like we are instead sitting on a time-bomb which will sooner rather later blow all of us into oblivion.That is if we do nothing about this.
Add a comment May 17, 2006
I fortunately never swore that I would never come back to the Zuma saga as I qickly as it has been imposed on me by circumstances not neccesarily of my making.This is no issue you can shove aside and allow it to gather dust as you deal with more weighty issues.
Consequently here am I with Part II.Don`t be suprised if Part III or even IV disrupts this one.Such is the magnitude of the saga.Posts on this blog will from time to time be interupted to give room to breaking developments on what has come to known as the ZUMA SAGA.
As pointed out in my earlier in my earier post the ANC national executive committee was due to have a special sitting to resolve on Zuma`s resumption of his duties as the party`s number after he had voluntarily step down after having had been charged with rape.
Immediately after his acquital last week he approached the party to have his job back,hence the impromptu national committee meeting held last night.As expected the meeting resolved to UNCONDITIONALLY and IMMEDIATELY reinstate him to his functions and duties as the party`s deputy president.
We will now have to wait and see how things will pan out in the build up to his CORRUPTION trial in July,the party NATIONAL CONFERENCE next year and NATIONAL elections in 2009.
Watch this space.
Add a comment May 15, 2006
The saga of African National Congress deputy president,Jacob Zuma has for over five years been a widely and intensively debated topic.Notwithstanding his recent acquital on a rape charge Zuma remains a hot and favourite topic of discussion.Afterall this is the man who many feel very strongly that he be the next president of the country.
But he he still has to answer for corruption charges in the Durdan high court from July 31.For his supporters this will be the last hurdle in his relentless march to the ANC presidency in 2007.From the ANC presidency Zuma will proceed to be the country`s president after the 2007 elections.
Another school of thought represented by some within the upper echelons of the party,big business, a large section of the media and commentators have strongly warned against a Zuma presidency.Reasonsons cited for this line of thinking among others including his longstanding relationship with Natal-based businessman,Shabir Shaikh,who was recently convicted of several counts of corruption.In handing down the judgement Judge Hilary Squires said Shaikh had a generally corrupt relationship with Zuma resulting in the latter being charged of corruption and fired as deputy president of the country by president Thabo Mbeki.
Another case against a Zuma presidency is his recent rape trial during which he made unfortunate statements about HIV/AIDS.
His supporters,and there are may, argue that there is a conspiracy aimed at stopping their man from being elected president in 2009.For them the recent rape trial and the one of corruption are part of this conspiracy.Tomorrow the ANC national executive committee will have a special sitting to rule on Zuma`s reinstatement to his full duties as the party deputy president.
After being charged of rape Zuma had voluntarily recused himself from his duties in the party structures.Now that he has been acquited he wants to go back to his elected position.
What will happen from now henceforth is a subject of much speculation.What is very clear however, is that the ANC and the country have been hurt very badly.
I will from time to time return to this subject which is very close to my heart.I am also trying to research the alleged conspiracy against Zuma.I may or may not post my findings on this site.
KEEP THE FAITH!
Add a comment May 13, 2006