The R100 South African tour – The Ubuntu Girl.
Aug16

The R100 South African tour – The Ubuntu Girl.

The beauty of South Africa comes alive in different ways, one of its beauty is its people. Meet Sonja Kruse – better known as “The Ubuntu Girl”, call her amazing, inspirational, crazy, adventurous – her journey to travel across South Africa is a true reflection of what many citizens are faced with – dreams, goals and wishes yet not putting action to them. The Ubuntu Girl has now completed her round-about travel of SA and most definitely #Represent had to get in on the scoop. Mad as a R100. 1. Firstly, I have to command you on doing this project. Your journey across South Africa is worthy of applause. How does it feel to look back on your journey and say “I did it”? It feels like another challenge will come knocking! It feels like I can more fully understand and embrace this complicated, beautiful country we call home, with the full acknowledgement that I know very little 2. What epiphany led you to begin this journey with only a R100? It is bizarre when you have a dream that is so clear in its prophecy to fulfil itself, that in the beginning I thought it was just a silly form of escapism. Until the dream stayed around for four years. So, the significance of the R100, I’m only now making sense of. Perhaps it is because people may have been less likely to relate to a person who did this with no money 3. I’m sure you must have had doubts before leaving your home. What stopped you from entertaining them? Ja, when I calculated how many cappuccinos (my weakness)  I could buy with the R100, I had doubts. There was an overwhelming desire inside of me to get to know the people of our country. I was hungry for real engagement and conversation and wanted to experience other people’s experience of life. It could not be ignored 4. What was the end game for this project during conception? This was one of those events in life that had no purpose, other than to follow the heart. And to listen to the voice inside. 5. Did you achieve it? I have to say yes. Most of my decisions going forward now are made from the heart and from instinct. I still doubt myself at times. It is part of the human condition The Journey 1. When you left (EAST LONDON), where was your first stop at? Chilumna village in rural Eastern Cape. Beautiful landscape 2. Did you have a map drawn out of all the places you wanted to stop at? Not at all! I must have had a...

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The women of SoulProviders.
Aug12

The women of SoulProviders.

Allow me to open this post with words from Aibileen Clark from the motion picture The Help “You is kind. You is smart. You is important” The women here at SoulProviders took to the two popular social networks #Facebook and #Twitter to share their opinions on a question posed by Represent’s editor, Bheki Khoza.  “In your opinion,  Looking at 2013, have the woman of 1956 achieved their set goals when it comes to woman’s progress? ” After a week of creative analysis on the question mashed with a tint of femininity, these brave sisters returned with their opinions guns blazing they all focused on the diverse progress women have achieved in the last 5 decades. Read their stand points on the subject below. Sarah-Jane Boden – SoulProviders Chief Firestarter. @sisiwami “As an entreprenette & founder of SoulProviders, a proudly female-majority business, I know for sure that every woman I work with at SoulProviders has the brightest of futures and that every day the exemplary work they produce only forges us further forward. I thank the brave women of 1956 for paving the way for us to get out of the kitchen and into the boardroom. Onwards and upwards!” . Vanessa Hilton-Barber. Managing Editor –Digital PR and Content – @VanessaHB10 “While I think the 20 000 amazingly brave women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria 57 years ago would be astonished by the unexpectedly smooth transition South Africa has made into democracy, and the freedom that women in our country have today, they would still have plenty to march about in terms of health and education – but we’ll get there!” . Khumo Ntoane Content Researcher and Resident Nerd @khumoyachaba “I tend to shy away from words such as PROGRESS because they are linear and stagnant. I think women’s lib is still far from being achieved because we look at it as a movement that’s only for women. Although there have been numerous shifts in women’s roles in society they need to be a lot more common and widely accepted without leaving men behind or feeling disempowered. i.e. it should be natural to identify women as Leaders, inventors, homemakers, scientists’ etc. not just as women-leaders, women-inventors etc.” . Nokwanda Zakiyyah Shabangu Content Manager @NokShabangu “Politically speaking, the Women of 1956 ignited the movement in the right direction. With 9 women in Parliament as ministers, in 2013 it is safe to say that we have begun to transform our views about the roles Women ought to play. Socially speaking, the Women of 1956 did what they could but on a larger scale our generation still lacks the open-mindedness to be conscious...

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An interview with Angus from a 1000 Drawings.
Jun28

An interview with Angus from a 1000 Drawings.

Represent got in touch with Angus, the man behind a 1000 drawings. Read the interview below. 1. Hi Angus, please tell me who inspired the 1000Drawings project? I have taken this off of our website – I think it is a good summary of how we started 1000drawings: In 2006, Paballo, an inner-city charity faced a big problem. Its bakkie had been stolen. Paballo ya Batho (sotho for “caring for the people”) organises a mobile soup kitchen every Wednesday night to support the Jozi homeless community. The loss of the bakkie made transport of soup and bread to inner-city homeless people near impossible. Something had to be done. A little rescue plan was dreamt up. It was hoped that a fundraiser would collect enough money for a new bakkie. In addition, it was hoped that money would be raised to help pay off some of Paballo’s debts and allow Paballo to put time and money into new endeavours. It was in an effort to address these needs that the Night of a 1000Drawings came into being. The name originates from an existing commercial model that began in America but the 1000Drawings concept now has a uniquely South African flavour as it grows and spreads around the world. 2. I see there’s a story behind a 1000 drawings, in turn, who do you aim to inspire with it? 1000Drawings seems to have a powerful appeal and attraction for those who work in typically creative industries. It allows people to explore art and drawing and engage with people who share this interest but most importantly it allows people to make an impact or change lives through interaction with the charities involved. 3. Who are the driving forces behind this project? The project was conceptualised by Felix Frankenberger and Dave Chong and they, along with some great supporters and sponsors, managed to get volunteers together to put it all together from 2006. The project has grown and now each region has its own committee and volunteer group who put it all together. 4. Who’s eligible to draw or submit a drawing? Absolutely anyone. 5. Will this people be credited for their artistry? Some of the A5 drawings are donated by well-known artists but we display all the pieces together and sell each drawing for R100. Generally you would only know that you had acquired a drawing from a well-known artist after you had purchased it. We are quite strict about this as we aim to give exposure and opportunity to every artist and we want people to understand the main objective of 1000Drawings is to raise money and support charity. 6. How can...

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May Johannesburg Bless You series.
May31

May Johannesburg Bless You series.

Initiatives become real when they real. This is the case with “May Johannesburg Bless You series”, its bold and real with change deep rooted in its inception. There’s no other way to explore the inniqualities that exist whithin our sphere’s like exploring this images provided below. Read and admire, become a blessing to Johannesburg. Every year in May young creatives take the streets of Johannesburg in a way that has never been done before yet familiar to every one of us Joburgers. The team brings forward vivid images of the lives of Joburgers. The photo series unashamedly idolizes the city and elevates it to deity status by suggesting that each and every one of us recites an unconscious prayer to this concrete God everyday. The everyday scenes of vagabonds in South Africa’s traffic intersections inspired this mirroring photo shoot. The idea twisted and exchanged roles removing the hobo and replacing it with you! The “normal”  citizen who is supposedly contends with “less” problems because you have a home to sleep in every night, probably a car and three meals a day. The series then asked is it really the case? Do “normal” and “comfortable” citizenz living without problems, and if they do are they less “tragic” or worthy of donations monetary or otherwise from strangers? Within the 20 seconds you spend at a traffic light, a homeless person wielding a piece of cardboard laden with carefully planned writing regardless of the shattered grammar can tell you his whole life story and have you retched with guilt for driving that car or even having clothes with no holes in them. The stories they write always have a secret weapon or a trump card. The words “May God Bless You” are as good to a homeless person as a bank guaranteed check. Is there a better guarantee/tool than an all-powerful entity responsible for your existence? But who is there to help you with your supposedly “easy” problems? Who is there to help an accountant who is ravaged by debt yet lives in a mansion and drives a posh car? Who is there to help him with change? Is there help for a self-confessed gluttonous and greedy B.E.E. struggle hero who religiously prays for another tender after several already won and squandered? How about a white male UCT grad that cannot start a business because he has a low B.E.E rating in a land of native Africans? The series supposes that in all our differences each and every one of us has a prayer to be fulfilled. A prayer for a successful day in Joburg. The images drive forward that we are...

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Justin Mpheu in need of your help.
May07

Justin Mpheu in need of your help.

Justin Mpheu is a youngster who has been sponsored by  The Tsepo Trust and has just graduated with a Diploma in Nature Conservation. He is now studying  for  his degree in Nature Conservation, his special interest being “Wetlands” Linda Raaff has been able to get him an internship with the Ezemvelo Game reserve through the Maharishi Institute.  This is a wonderful opportunity for this young man who came from nothing but despite obstacles has carried on searching for his dreams. His biggest challenge now is to provide for himself as he takes on this internship. He will need his own tent,  bedding, etc  as he will be working in the bushes. We are asking for anyone who could assist him with donating either a sleeping bag, blankets and/or toiletries like deodorant, shaving cream, etc  to help Justin. Currently he has no financial backing from his family. If you can assist please contact: Gayle Dismore  (011) 475 5372 – 082 800 5440 PS:  The Tsepo Trust is a charitable trust registered in terms of the Trust Property Control Act, number IT 9460/02 comprises of a small group of private, caring people (about 25 people although this fluctuates annually) who annually donate funds for the purpose of uplifting needy and previously disadvantaged citizens of our Country who demonstrate promise and ability, and with the help of the like minded donors of the trust, could go on to make a real difference in our Country. Translated, TSEPO means “hope” and it is “hope” that the donors seek to foster in our...

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Unite Against Malaria April 25th 2013.
Apr23

Unite Against Malaria April 25th 2013.

South Africans invited to fight malaria in Africa while uplifting local communities “More than half a million children will be protected from malaria due to the sale of some 600 000 ‘United Against Malaria (UAM)’ beaded Relate bracelets,” says Lauren Gillis, founder of Cape-based social enterprise, Relate bracelets. One US dollar from each UAM Relate bracelet sold is donated to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to invest in mosquito nets and treatment. Relate bracelets are distinguished from similar bracelets on the market by the inclusion of a pewter “R” bead, The “R” bead is the consumer’s guarantee that that particular bracelet has been made by Relate, a 100% not-for-profit organisation, and ensures that maximum proceeds go towards the cause, work creation opportunities and skills and enterprise development. “World Malaria Day, which falls on 25 April, gives cause to reflect on the remarkable progress made thus far in combatting this disease which kills an innocent African child every minute,” says Anna McCartney-Melstad of United Against Malaria. “However, with infectious diseases, it’s vital that success does not cause us to level off our efforts, but rather to strengthen them in order to defeat Africa’s number one killer once and for all.” “The sale of beaded bracelets in aid of the fight against malaria has enabled ordinary people to contribute.” says McCartney-Melstad. “Bracelet sales to date have protected men, women and children throughout Africa through the funding of nets and medication to Africa’s most vulnerable communities.” “The purpose of Relate Bracelets is to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” says Relate founder Lauren Gillis, “We are delighted at the impact the sale of the UAM bracelets has made to those who are at such great risk of contracting malaria. And the impact doesn’t end there. Relate is a not-for-profit social enterprise, in which approximately one third of proceeds covers expenses, one third is donated to the cause – in this case United Against Malaria – and one third goes towards creating earning and upskilling opportunities for local bracelet-makers and supports enterprise development initiatives to uplift communities. This means that countless lives are changed with every single bracelet sold.” Malaria is still a very real disease throughout Africa and the world, even though it is preventable and treatable. “Many people in developed nations view malaria as a disease that is no longer an issue,” explains McCartney-Melstad. “And yet every year, malaria kills 650 000 mostly pregnant women and children under five which is completely unacceptable for a disease that is both preventable and treatable.” “The wonderful thing about Relate’s UAM bracelets is that it gives everyone who cares a...

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