FREE STATE NEWS (March 2009 editions)
This web page(s) would regularly focus on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State news – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province (the paper celebrates its 10th year anniversary this year). The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Here, we shall have regular items like “Feature of the week”, which started in July, 2008.
Free State News crew
051 447 1655
MARCH 27 - APRIL 5 09 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“Intriguing Pacofs Poetry Session” (page 3) By Kgosietsile Dintlhoane
INTRIGUING PACOFS POETRY SESSION!
By Kgosietsile Dintlhoane
The PACOFS team which organized the poetry session held in the theatre at the weekend deserves plaudits for a highly successful occasion.
I must applaud people of Mangaung for having attended the session in great numbers, particularly the youth ranging between the age of eighteen and twenty five. There were also a great number of adults who embraced the session with their presence.
Having said that, allow me to point out that there is a great deal of talent in this country that one is not aware of. Free State’s “Ice-Bound” (Serame Makhele) for example - give the man a mic and stand back and you are going to be lured by his performance, slamming words is what he does best.
Oh, and then there was kwazi. You would be ashamed of yourself if you heard how he recited very deep poems in the language that he knows best, his mother tongue Sesotho. Kwazi held the attention of the crowd like a spider web, he gave us pieces like Ntate Tswekere which has a very deep message to the predators and the preys in the relationship between old men and young girls, he recited his work with great excitement and eloquence. It was sensational!
I have read Sipho Mnyakeni’s book, “The winning combination” and it was my first time seeing him perform, there is no doubt the man is talented, very creative and innovative. He belted out a piece called “Dear Black come back”, basically about the lost African generation who have adopted western cultures and forgotten about their roots and who they are. This gentleman will touch you deep inside when he chronicles the life of OR Tambo, infusing music with poetry and introducing to the crowd a number of young singers who sang with such deep emotion indicating that they do understand the significance of the hero they were singing about.
When we thought that we had witnessed the ultimate talent from a number of artists that had already performed for us, Napo Masheane came on stage like a forest fire, she commanded our attention when she recited from her collection “Caves speak in metaphors”; her “Daddy and me” has been a poem that stayed in my mind for some time now and listening to her recite it brought tears in my heart. She explained herself that the poem holds a special place in her heart and one could understand why. And then she gave us a gift by reciting “Samburu” - north butterfly, you will be in a trance state listening to her recite this poem and her memory is excellent. She also gave us a piece called Shikamoo, a poem about love. Napo is of course a world class actress and performer. Her poetry is universal, the subjects she touches on are very important in a society like our own.
I would like to end these notes with a poem of Isabella Motadinyane whom South Africa lost in 2003 through stomach ulcer: “She walked a painful lane home”
she walked a painful lane home
wiping tears of change
from her soiled body
but told no one about those fakes
now her poison intake
lays skin on her bones
perspires with naked truth
reading her medical record
as three little words
holding back the years
*Mr Kgosietsile Dintlhoane is a nationally and internationally respected poet and literary activist
MARCH 20 - MARCH 26 09 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“From dusty streets to glitzy world stage” (page 4). By Julia Stuurman
FROM DUSTY STREETS TO GLITZY WORLD STAGE!
By Julia Stuurman
Pesa Pheko, young, black and blessed, a twenty two years old talented artist who hails from Botshabelo has achieved a lot that would make ambitious older people to tremble at their knees at the thought of him. He has made a visible mark in the art world and his future is so bright that the international stage can’t turn a blind eye on him.
His love for the art and theater started back in 1997 while he was just a humble learner from a disadvantaged community. But his stronghold was his mother and brother who supported and encouraged him to pursue his talent while the need to help in sustaining this four member family headed by a mother drove him to identify opportunities that will reward him later.
“I admire the strength that my mother has shown throughout my life but I was driven by the need to provide for my sister” he told Free State news.
In 2006 Pesa opened a production company that was formerly known as Fepa Production that he co-owned with his friend, Moeketsi Mokhethi. His main purpose was to pass what he had to others who are less fortunate. Through his company he managed to give training to learners in two primary schools in Botshabelo. Subsequently, some of them have won local competition within the province.
“I really want to thank these schools especially Thari ya Tshepe because they have backed me up in all these years, I appreciate their support so much”
However, his company has been registered under a different name since then and is now known as Blindarts Creative motion and it is the only registered section 21 Company in the province that deals with arts and culture. His objective that has seen the light of day did not change with the name but grew to new heights
“With this name I am trying to go beyond what people associate with blind as disability and emphasizing the fact that we see our dreams clearly when we have closed our eyes with nothing hindering our clear view of them”
But on clear grounds, this is not an association for the blind but a go-ahead company that helps youth to see beyond their challenges and working towards their goals at any cost.
Two years later, in 2008 to be exact, Pesa studied in Sebikwa Arts Center under a one year learnership provided by MAPPP Seta. Unfortunately he did not finish. However, he managed to learn how to use the drums and he says he is grateful for the opportunity to acquire this skill.
“There were many opportunities that were passing me by during this period and I was not allowed to take them while I was still under this programme but unfortunately, or can we say fortunately I excused myself but I don’t regret taking that step”
The list of his achievements include playing a character known as “Guitar” in the well known SARAFINA play directed by the renowned Mbongena Ngema as part of the ten year freedom celebrations. He is now heading his own project called A.K.A MOSOTHO which he performs in local schools and around the country. He has also been recognized by the National Arts Council that awarded him an R80 000 grant for his work.
Pesa Pheko is a well known name in local and provincial art competitions and festivals. He is also currently busy promoting his latest project “From that Corner” which focuses on the place where he was born, telling stories about it and highlighting the achievements of this place “ I believe there are lots of stories that could be told about this place-Botshabelo and I intend telling them as they are”.
For him, the success story goes on. “I have been in Nigeria for sometime and I will be on my way to London in a week’s time but from April I will be in the country concentrating on telling stories in my way”
MARCH 13 – MARCH 19 09 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“FS Health challenges tackled head on” (Front page) By Julia Stuurman
F S HEALTH CHALLENGES TACKLED HEAD ON
By Julia Stuurman
The Minister of Health, Barbra Horgan visited the Free State province last week as her first stop to all other provinces to interact with stake holders in her department and listen to their concern about the state of health care in the country and their respective province.
“This is the first province to visit, to hear at firsthand about people concerns” she said.
The main concern of the province during her visit was the shortage of funds that forced the department to turn other patients back because of inadequate ARV’s in primary health care facilities. There are critical contributors that were raised during this discussion that might have led to these financial difficulties; the increase of nurses’ salaries and lack of proper planning in the department.
But according to the Minister, there is hope for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as other chronic diseases. This hope is in the form of 11million from a donor in United States of America expected to be delivered soon. Also there are medicines that are already in the country but they cannot be distributed as yet because they are not registered as required.
“As South Africans we have been happy to be self-sufficient but the reality is we are going to have to try and find help in any way we can” she said.
According to the Minister, the main challenge that the department had to face was spending and budgeting. However this does not mean that there was reckless spending because she said the National office has received “clean audit” from the province. “There is a genuine pressure not mismanagement” she added.
“Free State has been a pace setter –first to initiate ARV and its roll out and they are now victims of their own success” the Minister cited.
During the discussion with all stakeholders and health workers there were questions raised about whether the guidelines for treatment will change in the future “Guidelines for treatment won’t change” she replied.
But the advice that was given to health workers was that to prevent some minor setbacks in their service delivery they have to get better and smarter in their day to day rendering of their service. However, the department acknowledged the challenges that the health worker had to face during this period.
“We acknowledge their challenges and we want to tell them that we appreciate their work very much” MEC for Health, Sakhiwo Belot assured.
There were also sharing of successes of the department on the table “We have the shortest turnaround time in the country to access treatment, there is also an indication that the number of people going through drug assessment increases” Belot cited.
“Free State is committed to reward the treatment that is required. It is just that now the number of patient overlaps the funds but we are doing everything we can” HOD for Health, Pax Ramella concluded.
MARCH 06– MARCH 12 09 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“The ravages of alcohol”. Letter by Teboho Masakala
THE RAVAGES OF ALCOHOL
By Teboho Masakala
I’m deeply concerned about how young people of today are so much into alcohol. If you go to taverns you will find a lot of young people drinking. They opine that alcohol is the way to have “fun” but this habit has destroyed so many lives and talent that is out there.
Every Saturday, you will find them having bottles of beer in their hands, many girls have fallen pregnant because of alcohol abuse and have engaged themselves in sexual activities that result in AIDS and other diseases. I have noticed how happy they become when they talk about alcohol, they become so happy that they even brag about it. Many of them fight after drinking alcohol,
They fight over girls and beer. I have seen a few of them get stabbed, being rushed to the hospitals with wounds all over their body. Parties are also one of the factors contributing to youth drinking alcohol, some of them become so aggressive. It is so difficult to stop them as they even fight with their parents; some even insult them and become so impertinent.
If we don’t do something to stop our youth from wasting their life on alcohol, we might end up being a nation with no respect, alcohol takes away your respect, dignity, and the only pride you have ever had. Some of our celebrities have thrown their life and careers down the drain because of alcohol and I don’t want to see some of us ending up like them.
Some of the young people make alcohol look “cool” but it isn’t. Alcohol is not the only way to have fun, some don’t remember what happened the next day because of the excessive alcohol they consumed. What can we do to make our youth see that alcohol abuse is destroying their future, dreams, hope and life? You live only once – and it’s better to use this sole opportunity to do something useful with your life
Sneaking out at night, or lying to our parents is one of the things that is still the problem. I am so touched about what I see, young girls running after money - money to buy alcohol and as a result of pregnancy they end up not going to school and their future being down the drain because they are forced prematurely to look after babies. It’s time we do something to help our youth
One wise man said that a nation that does not invest in its youth has no future. We don’t want our youth to be that kind of youth; our youth need to concentrate on their education because it is the only key, weapon, shield to conquer all. An injury to one is an injury to all. We need to face it, ALCHOL ABUSE DESTROYS LIFE, FUTURE, AND FAMILIES. One ends up being a LIQUOR SLAVE,
I do wish and hope that our youth can see another side of life; how important it is to live life to the fullest without indulging in dangerous, unwholesome habits. I believe Free State news can help with this crusade.