Archive: Issue No. 83, July 2004

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01.07.04 Ina van Zyl at Art on Paper
01.07.04 Images of Defiance at MuseumAfrica
01.07.04 Contemporary Glass at Gordart
01.07.04 Manfred Zylla at Gallery Momo
01.07.04 David Goldblatt at Bensusan Museum
01.07.04 International Student Photography at Bensusan Museum
01.07.04 Atelier Finalists at ABSA Gallery
01.07.04 Paul Weinberg at
01.07.04 Cara Walters at Unity
01.07.04 Modern Amusement at The Premises
01.07.04 Chiurai at Zuva
01.07.04 Jo Ractliffe at Warren Siebrits
01.07.04 Carters, Mbatha, McInnes and Nel-Scheffer at the Art Space
01.07.04 Local and Jan Willem van Bergen at Franchise
01.07.04 Ian Marley at Gordart
01.06.04 Malcolm Payne at Goodman
01.06.04 'Unsung' at Franchise
01.05.04 Conrad Botes at JAG


01.07.04 Resistance Art at Unisa
01.06.04 Jena McCarthy at Outlet
01.05.04 Group Portrait: SA Family Stories at National Cultural History Museum


Ina van Zyl

Ina van Zyl
Phoning model, 2003
Charcoal on paper
417 x 207mm

Ina van Zyl at Art on Paper

Ina van Zyl left South Africa in 1996 and has established herself in the Netherlands. She has won numerous awards there, having studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. 'Besoek' is van Zyl's first solo exhibition in South Africa since she emigrated.

'Besoek' makes strong reference to van Zyl's first narrative art contribution to Bitterkomix, South Africa's first adult comic publication dealing with socio-political and other issues. Van Zyl's contribution is about the visit of a fashionable girl to her unglamorous cousin in a nightmarish setting.

Working in charcoal with watercolour on paper, van Zyl explores the contrast between "glamorous" women and their ordinary counterparts. Characteristically, she focuses on the mundanity of ordinary, everyday life to explore aspects of these women and the society to which they belong. They are elegant and chic, but also socially dislocated and banal.

Opens: June 19
Closes: July 7

Images of Defiance

Images of Defiance at MuseumAfrica

Joburg Art City 2004 is a project commemorating 10 years of South African democracy. It is a collaboration between the Johannesburg City Council and its business community, represented by the Central Johannesburg Partnership. The project is being run in two phases: an exhibition of resistance posters, followed by the Joburg Art City Competition.

Posters were used in the resistance movement of the 1980s, giving voice to the oppressed in their struggle for liberation. Many were banned and confiscated, but cultural activists hid and preserved them for a future liberated South Africa. These resistance posters focused on issues important to communities whose basic rights were threatened by the legal systems of apartheid South Africa. They were made by both ordinary people and trained artists. Banners, murals and sculptures in People's Parks were also part of the protest art litany.

Joburg Art City is a national art competition, themed "freedom". A panel of judges, including Bongi Dhlomo, Koulla Xinisteris, Frank Ledimo and Steven Sack, will select 20 works for enlargement and reproduction on huge "canvases" to be hung on city buildings. The closing date for entries is July 9.

The competition is open to all artists resident and working in South Africa. Artists must have had at least one exhibition in a reputable gallery within the last three years. Artists may submit a maximum of two works, which must have been created between April 1994 and now.

Closes: July 31


Contemporary Glass at Gordart
Gordart Gallery is hosting an exhibition of South African contemporary glass art which has been organised to coincide with the first ever glass festival in South Africa, celebrating the newly formed South African Glass Art Society (SAGAS). The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is the only tertiary institution in Africa that offers a course in this medium, the brainchild of lecturer Maxi Pretorius.

SAGAS's objectives are to: broaden perspectives of crafters and artists with regard to glass as a medium; offer access to new materials and technologies; collate a database on glass practitioners; promote the exchange of skills, techniques and information; offer technical support and make practical information available at conferences, through workshops, demonstrations and talks; and educate the general public in awareness of the medium.

Opens: July 3
Closes: July 24

Manfred Zylla

Manfred Zylla
Bad Boi, 1988
Pencil crayon on paper

Manfred Zylla at Gallery Momo

German-based South African artist Manfred Zylla holds a retrospective, comprising powerful, large-scale drawings, paintings and etchings from the 1980s. The images focus on the role of the military in upholding apartheid. Zylla's smug, benign figures have a great sense of carelessness about them. These images ring true for the viewer in that they emit a disconcerting sense of involvement.

Opens: June 10
Closes: July 5


David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt
Burglar Bars in the Window of a House in White City, Jabavu, 1973
Black and white photograph

David Goldblatt and International Student Photography show at the Bensusan Museum

This major retrospective, commemorating 51 years of photography by veteran photographer David Goldblatt, and showcasing over 200 photographs, returns to South Africa after its world tour.

Opens: July 4
Closes: November 17

Prize-winning entries from the 2004 Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA) international travelling competition represent work selected from thousands of entries submitted by high schools, colleges and universities from around the world. It is essential viewing for matric art and tertiary level visual arts students.

Opens: June 11
Closes: July 4

Atelier Finalists at ABSA

Following submissions at regional centres around the country, finalists are featured in an exhibition in Johannesburg. Along with several cash prizes, the Absa L'Atelier Art Competition offers a six-month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris as first prize. All eleven awards will be announced on the opening night.

Opens: July 13
Closes: August 20

Paul Weinberg

Paul Weinberg

Paul Weinberg at

Eminent local photographer Paul Weinberg is mounting an exhibition and launching a book with the same name. Travelling Light, reflects on 25 years of his photographic journey, from the 1970s through to the present day.

It is presented as a lyrical narrative beginning in the streets of Jo'burg in the late 1970s, and ending in the rural landscapes of the new millennium. It is neither a political A-to-Z nor a documentary of SA's political past, but an observation of the lives of ordinary people and their daily survival choices. Most of the images are unpublished because they were taken in a time when there was no space for the ordinary in galleries or collections.

Weinberg reflects: "When I began taking photographs it was in the context of a land divided. I now live in a country ostensibly united� These photographs capture glimpses of life between the cracks before, after and while the political wheel was turning. They are about how people try to survive in so many different and extraordinary ways and the survival choices they make under often extreme conditions of hardship.

"These images are also about how I as a photographer have interacted with these situations, the unconscious choices that I made in particular moments and the resulting stories that emerged through my camera lens."

Published by University of Kwa-Zula Natal Press, Travelling Lightcomprises 90 images, complemented by private observations from Weinberg's diaries. The exhibition, an edited version of the book, comprises 45 framed 12x16" works, with captions.

Opens: July 6
Closes: July 27

Cara Walters

Cara Walters

Cara Walters at Unity

'New Beginnings', an exhibition of drawings by studio manager at the Artist Proof Studio, Cara Walters, explores her own identity as mother, wife, lover and career woman, and the balancing act that many South African women today negotiate.

Opens: June 25
Closes: July 10

Michael MacGarry

Michael MacGarry

Modern Amusement at The Premises

'Or Until The World Improves', a multi-media installation, comprises the launch of Modern Amusement by Michael MacGarry, who is currently gallery manager of The Premises.

"My work investigates the ongoing ramifications of western imperialism in Africa. Of particular concern are the mechanics of control and vested interest that inform the journey of culturally symbolic languages and products from the so-called 'centre' to the 'periphery' (and vice-versa) via established global trade routes that define and manipulate this context through an insidious process of inclusion and exclusion."

The vagueness of this statement is workable in terms of the issues MacGarry embraces in his work, as he investigates globalisation and is preoccupied with "failed utopias and obsolete technologies". MacGarry doesn't aim to redeem or vilify history, but to view it through fiction and comparison.

Central to his work is a conceptually motivated exclusion of materially manifest art, emulating the working philosophy of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) film-makers, who in France in the 1950s wrote extensively before they made films, stating that such writing was a form of film-making. "This mode", MacGarry comments, "is useful to realise� projects that at present are not possible to materially realise.

For the exhibition, the intention is to provide a mobile, public study where a gallery visitor can sit and read MacGarry's publication Modern Amusement, which has as precedent the fictional histories of Heinrich B�ll and Jorge Luis Borges.

Opens: July 10
Closes: July 24

Kudzanai Chiurai

Kudzanai Chiurai
Correction: The Revolution will be Televised (detail)
Mixed meda

Chiurai at Zuva

"The Revolution Will be Televised" is an exhibition of works in mixed media by Kudzanai Chiurai, an outstanding final year fine arts student at the University of Pretoria. He recently mounted a solo exhibition in London, which received warm critical acclaim. His work presents the social, economic and political strife in his homeland, Zimbabwe.

Opens: July 31
Closes: August 15


Jo Ractliffe

Jo Ractliffe
Crossroads, 1986
Vintage silver gelatin print

Jo Ractliffe at Warren Siebrits

Jo Ractliffe Selected Works 1982_1999 includes Ractliffe's early work, which has not been exhibited before. A Michaelis graduate, Ractliffe is currently a senior lecturer in printmaking and photography at Wits School of the Arts.

The exhibition offers a journey through her growth and creative development, including important works such as Nadir(1988), Shooting Diana (1990_1995), End of Time (1999) and Vlakplaas (1999).

A fully illustrated 60-page catalogue has been compiled by the gallery, offering context and background to Ractliffe's work. In addition, a limited edition portfolio of 25 images from the Diana archive has also been published to coincide with the opening of this exhibition.

Opens: June 24
Closes: July 31

Carters, Mbatha, McInnes & Nel-Scheffer

Invitation image

Carters, Mbatha, McInnes and Nel-Scheffer at the Art Space

The Art Space presents four exhibitions under one roof. The artists are David and Tracey Carter, Nhlanhla Mbatha, Jacki McInnes and Zonia Nel-Scheffer.

Nel-Sheffer lives in Stellenbosch. Her body of work is entitled 'Options', and it confronts the socio-politics of employment in South Africa. It deals with the devastating effects of modern-day phenomena including downsizing and retrenchment. The corporate ladder, white collar fraud, the computer and all its appurtenances and languages are metaphors for the business world, in her work. Nel-Scheffer explores options for life choices outside the corporate infrastructure. Her work combines comic representation with seriousness.

Married couple David and Tracy Carter live in Arniston in the Western Cape. There they produce wooden totems from invasive alien trees. Love for the African environment has influenced their sculptural renditions of seedpods, which they show here.

In 2002, Cape Town-based Jacki McInnes held her first solo exhibition at the AVA. Her preferred medium is melted lead and coarse salt, with which she presents socio-politically charged landscapes redolent with memory.

Mixed media on paper is the chosen approach of Johannesburg resident Nhlanhla Mbatha. In his new works, however, he incorporates photographic vinyl, thus fusing painting and photography. His aim is to produce work which questions and challenges society's values while at the same time using history as a platform to research and develop material.

Opens: July 11
Closes: August 7

Local at Franchise

'Local' is an international group exhibition, focusing on artists' investigations of the contemporary landscape, and of a shifting sense of place. It touches on fleeting moments and the atmospherics of the 'local'. Participating artists include John Deller (UK), Abrie Fourie (SA) and Mary Wafer (Denmark/SA). This exhibition has been extended to run until July 7.

From July 12 to July 31, the gallery shows new paintings by Jan Willem van Bergen.

Opens: June 8
Closes: July 7

Ian Marley at Gordart

Ian Marley presents his work on a mainstream art platform for the first time in Johannesburg. He challenges conventional genres surprisingly and alluringly. Divided into three parts, the show comprises photographic images, etchings and landscape drawings.

Marley's large photographic images morph his own face with that of his young son. These images create a sense of discomfort as the features of older man and younger boy become intertwined, at times making the artist seem younger or the boy, older.

His etchings allow him to explore and create strange creatures that seem to have escaped from children's illustrated books. They are at once charming, strange and disturbing. In his charcoal drawings, Marley explores landscapes and objects therein.

Opens: July 31
Closes: August 21

Malcolm Payne

Malcolm Payne
Pigment print on cotton rag paper
1020 x 1360 cm

Malcolm Payne at Goodman

Malcolm Payne, who has worked in a diverse range of media over the last 35 years, presents 'Illuminated Manuscripts'. This body of innovative works, notable for their brilliance of colour, animate commonplace African and Western objects of material culture, in particular those possessing little if not any explicit or overt signification.

If a meta-text exists in the work, it reflects unambiguously on a post 9/11 warrior state mindset and other representations of global disquiet, most notably HIV/ Aids and forms of sanctimonious extremism. This is achieved through dissonance, both in the improbable affinities or groupings assigned to these (non-menacing) objects and how they are re-fashioned by powerful software applications that cause damage to their structural coherence. Payne deliberately conjoins these objects in a marginal union to provoke a balance between innocence and disturbing portent.

Payne has exhibited extensively both locally and abroad. His work is found in major international collections including the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University Art of the Book Collection, the US Library of Congress and the University of Chicago. He is also represented in all major museums in South Africa. He has held solo shows at the Johannesburg Art Gallery and The South African National Gallery in Cape Town. He lives in Cape Town and holds a full professorship in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.

Opens: June 26
Closes: July 24

'Unsung' at Franchise

'Unsung', an exhibition about musicians and music culture from the Bailey's African History Archives, includes work by photographers who worked for Drum magazine during the halcyon period of the 1950s and 1960s. The names include Peter Magubane, Jurgen Schadeberg and Alf Khumalo.

Opens: June 28
Closes: July 8

Conrad Botes

Conrad Botes

Conrad Botes at JAG

Conrad Botes, aka Konradski of Bitterkomix fame, presents a solo exhibition at the JAG. Located in the foyer that usually showcases the gallery's Impressionist collection, Botes is exhibiting his new glass paintings. Botes' career is going from strength to strength lately having shown frequently in Europe in recent years and having enjoyed his first solo outing in New York last year.

See Sue Williamson's artbio feature on Conrad Botes

An exhibition catalogue will be launched at a separate function, at 6pm, May 6.

Opens: April 17
Closes: July 18


Keith Dietrich

Keith Dietrich
Mmopeng, Mmamule and Mmathabeng

Resistance Art at Unisa

'Unisa Reflects on its Collection of Resistance Art' is Unisa Art Gallery's contribution to celebrating our 10 years of democracy. Drawing from the gallery's holdings, it includes politically engaged art purchased from as early as 1960. Not only about democracy and political activism during the apartheid era, this exhibition also reflects on Unisa's collection policy.

Artists represented include Julian Motau, Leonard Matsoso and Keith Dietrich, amongst others. The exhibition, curated by Meredith Randall and Jacob Lebeko, forms part of a gala event that includes a music concert and an academic conference.

Opens: July 7
Closes: August 27

Jena McCarthy

Jena McCarthy
Invitation image

Jena McCarthy at Outlet

'Composite' is the title of young Johannesburg-based artist Jena McCarthy's solo outing at Abrie Fourie's project space gallery, outlet. Currently the curator of the Franchise art gallery in Milpark, McCarthy recently participated on Greg Streak's show 'HIV(E)'.

There will be a reception on July 3 at 3.30pm.

Opens: June 26
Closes: July 24

The Plaatje Family

David Goldblatt
The Plaatje Family, 2002
Popo Molefe, Tsholo Molefe, Bo�tumelo 'Tumi' Plaatje
Color photograph

The Manuel Family

David Goldblatt
The Manuel Family, 2002
Zubeida Mauritz, Gavin Mauritz, Kobera 'Koebie' Manuel, Sharifa Adams, Ebrahiem Manuel
Color photograph

The Juggernath Family

David Goldblatt
The Juggernath Family, 2002
Ishwar Ramkissoon, Jayanthie 'Janey' Juggernath, Yuri Ramkissoon, Nikita Ramkissoon
Color photograph

The Galada Family

David Goldblatt
The Galada Family, 2001
Elliot Gcinumzi Galada, Cynthia Nontobeko Galada, Nonzima 'Elsie' Ncinana, Sisonke Galada, Nomakaya Galada, Bongile Galada, Nosisa Galada
Color photograph

Group Portrait: SA Family Stories at National Cultural History Museum

On March 31, Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica and Netherlands Ambassador for Cultural Cooperation Jan Hoekema opened Group Portrait,South African Family Stories Exhibition, giving some indication of how important the event is. The exhibition describes contemporary South Africa through the lifestories of nine South African families. It was curated by Faber the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam and drew huge audiences in Holland last year.

South African Family Stories deals with the history of the South African society in the last century. It does so in a special, unusual way. Instead of providing an overview of a complex history of a complex society, the exhibition takes the micro-approach. It tells the story of the country through the lives of nine real families, with different social, cultural, economical and geographical backgrounds. Their stories will be followed, from the end of the 19th century, up until present day.

The exhibition follows each family through successive generations. One or two members in each generation will lead the public through the ups and downs of their families, related to South African history. A teenager, who also expresses ideas about the future, will represent the last generation. So in each family a string of main characters is formed, drawing nine twisted lines through history.

It is a big challenge to transfer this human, personal way of history writing, into an authentic and exciting three-dimensional exhibition. This task has been undertaken by a large group of South African professionals. Around each family a separate team has been formed, consisting of a writer/researcher, an artist, a photographer and a designer. In some cases a filmmaker has been added.

This multi-disciplinary approach should establish an intense, emotional interaction between the people whose lives are portrayed and the visitors to the exhibition. Nine photographers and 11 artists produced work on commission, based on the nine family stories, in co-operation with the family members themselves, and the other team members. The photographers and artists together form an interesting representation of the South African art world, with several renowned names, but also relatively young and promising artists.

The researchers were involved in collecting personal artefacts, historical photographs and documents.

The theme of the exhibition is especially attractive because of the many educational possibilities for a wide variety of people. Imbali has developed educational material to be used for secondary school children at different levels. The material can be used in relation to different subjects as Social Skills, Art and Culture, History. Educational value lies in the understanding of historical processes, the importance of family relations, insight into issues of identity, living in a multi-cultural society, the value of art and culture in understanding and coping with life. The nine families have such different backgrounds that identification is always possible.

Together with the exhibition, Kwela Books in Cape Town and KIT Publishing Amsterdam published a book: "Group Portrait". It is richly illustrated with more than 200 images of the photographs and art works from the exhibition, as well as historical material. The book is available at all major bookstores.

The families that are featured in the exhibition include:

Central figure is Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1875-1932), author, interpreter, journalist, and politician closely linked to the founding of the ANC.

Sol Plaatje was born in a Christian Tswana-speaking family, near the mission post in Pniel, on the banks of the Vaal River. Later in life he reconstructed his ancestry, based on oral knowledge. The list goes back to the 14th century.

Solomon was an extremely bright student at the mission school. He learned to speak fluent English, German, later Afrikaans and more. In 1894 he went to Kimberley, obtaining the Cape civil service certificate in seven months. Proceeding to Mafeking he became a court interpreter and magistrate's clerk. In 1889 he married Elizabeth M'belle, an Mfengu schoolmistress. During the Anglo-Boer war he stayed in Mafeking during a long siege by Boer-troops. He kept a diary during the siege, a unique document by any standard.

In 1904 he became the editor of the first Tswana-English weekly, Koranta ea Bechuana, eight years later he went to Kimberley and established the newspaper Tsala ea Batho. In 1912 he became politically active, as general correspondence secretary of the ANC. Strongly opposing the Native Land Bill, he travelled with a delegation to England, in later years also to Canada and the USA to get support for their activities. Apart from his political work he was a remarkable man in many ways. He wrote several books, translated Shakespeare into Tswana and wrote the first black South African novel. He apparently was also a good singer. There is a recording of Sol Plaatje singing Nkosi Sikelele iAfrica in 1928!

A prominent descendant is Tumi Plaatje-Molefe; she is the great-granddaughter of Sol's brother Simon (in the Tswana sense of family, a direct descendant) and is married to Popo Molefe, prime minister of the Northwest Province. Her father Johannes Plaatje died in March 2001 and was buried in the western cemetery in Kimberley where Sol is buried too. Her daughter Tsholo is ten years old and the last in line. The family lives in Mafeking again.


Coloured family of mixed European-Zulu descent. The central figure is Cedric Nunn, a photographer. He has one daughter of 16, Kathy, who is also interested in photography.

One of Cedric's great grandfathers was John Dunn, a legendary and colourful 19th century tradesman of English descent, living on the east coast, a one-time friend of Zulu King Cetswayo, but who later fought against him. He wrote a diary, which was published in the 1880s. As a recognised and important Zulu-chief, he owned substantial land. Many Dunn descendants are involved now in land-ownership disputes.

Two other great grandfathers were English military men, Nunn and Nicholson, who were likewise involved in the Anglo-Zulu wars. The fourth was Piet Louw, an Afrikaner Boer. All of them married several Zulu wives, John Dunn the impressive number of 48!

One of Cedric's grandmothers (the daughter of Nicholson) is 100 years old and lives isolated on a small old farm in Kwazulu Natal. There is a marriage picture of her from 1916. Cedric remembers one Zulu grandmother who died when he was 5 years old.

Cedric's father passed away two years ago; his mother is still alive, also living in a little village in KwaZulu natal. She owns a suitcase full of pictures, which is opened occasionally, a source of an endless number of stories.

Cedric went through the colour classification of the Apartheid Regime when he was young. He was as the only child of the family classified as 'Cape coloured' (although he was never near the Cape) the rest of the family was classified as 'other coloured'. When he met a friend who was a photographer he had found his great passion. He became an activist-photographer and went to Johannesburg where he still lives. He has been photographing his family in KwaZulu Natal since the early eighties. The mother of his daughter Kathy was white, which means he could not claim fatherhood when she was born: it would prove an illegal act! Kathy went always to mixed schools in Johannesburg, has a black boyfriend (of whom her coloured family in Kwazulu Natal does not approve!) and likes the black American music and lifestyle.


Central figure is Dolly Rathebe (b. 1928). Her paternal grandparents lived on a farm in Rustenburg; the parents of her mother lived on a farm in Randfontein. They had 12 children; one of them was Dolly's mother. Dolly does not remember much about her grandparents, but visits their graves every year at Easter, and talks to them, as the ancestors are important to her.

Dolly was born on the farm in Randfontein but moved to Sophiatown with her parents when she was a small girl. She was an only child. Her mother used to sing, also in small groups. Dolly grew up to become a well-known singer and actress and sex symbol. She performed in films as African Jim and The magic garden and was the first cover girl of DrumMagazine and Zonk. Drum photographers as J�rgen Schadeberg and Bob Gosani made series about her. She worked many years in the revue African Jazz & Variety. She had a child in 1954, and married in 1956. She then moved to Port Elizabeth with her husband, who was a Xhosa, and had two more children. As she felt very restricted in her possibilities, she divorced and went back to Johannesburg where she came to live in Meadowlands, in Soweto, as Sophiatown had been razed to the ground by that time.

Her career halted and she moved to Cape Town. She changed her name to Smith, so that she could live in a coloured designated area. It was there that she became acquainted with the shebeen business. She bought a piece of land in Mabupane, a township near Pretoria in 1970. Ten years later her house was ready. For a long time she ran a shebeen there, but within the last few years she stopped the hectic life connected to it. Today she still performs, as a singer but also in film and on television.

She has three children, two daughters and a son, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her eldest daughter Zola, is married and has two children. She lives in Eldorado, a formerly coloured township in Johannesburg. The daughter of her son Smilo, Matanki, now eleven years old, is Dolly's favourite grandchild, and the only one who has inherited the singing talent of her grandmother.


The Dutch roots of the family go back to Douwe Gerbens (Gerbrand) who probably arrived in the Cape in 1669 from Leeuwarden. He is better known as Douwe Gerbrandts Steyn, was a mason, and died in 1700. He married in 1685 to Maria Lozee van de Caap, a slave woman of unknown origin. They had a daughter.

Maria had already a son called Jacobus. Maybe Douwe Gerbens was the father, maybe not. But Jacob took the name Steyn, and became the forefather of many present Steyns in South Africa. Maria Lozee was the ancestor of two South African presidents, Martinus Steyn and Paul Kruger. A part of the Steyn family moved to Swellendam in the 1750s. Martinus's grandfather, who was a wheelwright, moved to Orange Free State.

Martinus Steyn was born in 1857, the fourth of 11 children. He grew up at the farm Zuurfontein at the Modder River, 13 miles north of Bloemfontein. He went to school at Grey College in Bloemfontein, and farmed, thereafter. In 1877 he departed for the Netherlands, where he enrolled at the Gymnasium in Deventer. In 1879 he left for London to study law. After being admitted as an advocate in Cape Town, he left for Bloemfontein, built up a practice and married Rachel Isabella (Tibbie) Fraser, a clergyman's daughter from Philippolos.

Martinus Theunis ran for president in 1895 and was elected in 1896 as State President of the Orange Free State. Directly he started to cement ties with the ZAR (Kruger), and tried to mediate between Kruger and Milner, Cape Governor and High Commissioner in South Africa since 1897, but to no avail. In 1899 war broke out: the second Anglo Boer War. Steyn fought until the end for independence, but became seriously ill. After the peace treaty was signed, the Steyns left for Europe for treatment, stayed in many places, returned to South Africa in 1905, and settled on the farm. Martinus was not very active after that time, but played a role as adviser. His sympathies lay with Herzog and De Wet who left the SA Party in 1913 and founded the National Party in 1914.

Partly as result of the internal clashes in Afrikaner ranks he collapsed and died in 1916 and was buried at the foot of the Woman's Monument in Bloemfontein. His wife Tibbie lived until 1955. Two plays were produced about her life and the letters she exchanged with Emily Hobson.

The family farm 'Onze Rust' near Bloemfontein since 1897 is still in the hands of members of the Steyn family. Mrs. Yvonne Steyn lives there, the widow of Martinus Theunis, "judge Steyn", grandson of the President, together with one daughter and the family of her youngest son, called Colin Steyn.

Her second daughter and her eldest son Martinus Theunis Steyn live in Cape Town. Martinus Theunis is married, has two daughters and a son. One daughter, Martine, is 17 years old and reflects occasionally on the question whether her future will be in South Africa or elsewhere.


In September 1999 Ebrahiem Manuel, born in Simon's Town, now living in Grassy Park, was welcomed by members of his family in a small village, Pemangong, on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. He is a seventh generation grandson of Deo Koasa, a leader from that community, who was captured by the Dutch in 1788 and brought to the Cape as a slave. His son Ismail Dea Malela became the first imam of Simon's Town.

Ebrahiem is a sailor. He started his historical quest by spiritual guidance, he claims. He used his father's documents, the old Muslim graveyard at Seaforth, documents in archives and museums and an old kitaab (religious book), which is handed down in the family.

Ebrahiem's father worked in fish factories, as many people in Simon's Town worked in relation to the harbour and fishing industries. Ebrahiem's mother was an Irish nurse, who lived in Plettenburg Bay before her marriage. For her marriage she had to convert to the Islam faith.

Ebrahiem's parents are no longer alive, but there is still a sister of his father, Hadji Koebra, who is 82 and lives in Oceanview, the township where the non-white population of Simonstown was resettled. She is very bright and lively and loves to tell stories. One of the stories in the family is about her father (Ebrahiem's grandfather) Hadji Bakaar Manuel who went on a pilgrimage to Mecca with his wife in 1903. The trip took seven months. They first went to London, and then through the Suez Canal to Mecca. He kept a diary, which still is in the possession of the family.

Ebrahiem is not married and has no children, but has three brothers and three sisters. Two brothers have two children each, and one brother has four wives and 20 children. The sisters have 12 children between them. One of Ebrahiem's nephews is Gavin Mauritz, who lives in Grassy Park with his parents and siblings. He plans to study Information Technology, earns money at Pick and Pay, and plays pool with his friends.

Le Fleur

In the late 18th century a community of people with (partly) Khoisan background, developed around a mission post of the London Missionary Society. The people were named Griqua; on the instigation of a missionary the settlement was renamed Griquastad. The first leader or chief was Adam Kok I (1710-1795) who lived on lower Orange River and Namaqualand. A part of the group moved out later and founded a city named Philippolis. Later still there was another massive migration of the Griquas to the east; they founded Eastern Griqua-land, the capital was named after the first leader, Kokstad.

After the first leader Adam Kok I, the chieftaincy was taken over by his son Cornelis Kok II (died in 1820s) and then his grandson (Adam Kok II, first Kaptyn of Philippolos, d. 1835) and Adam III, Kaptyn of Philippolos and Kokstad, but there the line stopped. Through a complicated relation Andrew Abraham Stockenstrom Le Fleur, aka the old prophet followed up the line. He was involved in the Griqualand East Rebellion of 1897, sentenced to gaol, spent five years in prison, and was released. He spent several years in and around Cape Town, and a short time in Johannesburg during which time he founded the Griqua Independent Church and ran a newspaper, The Griqua and Coloured People's Opinion. During World War I he returned to Kokstad, and persuaded a considerable number of Griquas from there to trek with him to the Western Cape, to found a new community. This failed, but eventually he arrived at Kranshoek, near Plettenbrug Bay. The majority of his followers were rural people of Khoi descent, very many from Namaqualand.

Andrew Abraham Stockenstrom Le Fleur died in 1941, and was succeeded by his son Abraham Andrew Le Fleur, until 1951. For two years there was a caretaker for the position, then the new leader was installed, Andrew Abraham Stockenstrom Le Fleur the Second, who is still in function but old and sick.

In 1969 a split occurred in the family and the Griqua movement. A younger brother of the Chief broke away and formed his own Griqua National Congress. They still exist side by side. The factual leader and spokesman of the original group is Cecil Le Fleur.

For many years the Griquas of Kranshoek were a fairly exclusive group, stressing their partial whiteness. In the last ten years, in contrast, they have come to stress their Khoisanness and have become leading figures in the Khoisan revival movement currently on the go, and are causing great headaches for the government which does not know how to deal with them, as they claim to be traditional rulers. Cecil Le Fleur is also involved in the international Indigenous People's Movement, and is in that capacity often spokesperson for Africa.

Andrew Le Fleur is the brother of the leader of the other group. He is a magistrate, and lives with his wife and three children in Worcester. His youngest daughter Audrey is 12, very bright, and interested in politics.


Cynthia Galada lives with her husband and four children in the township of Lwandle, in the Cape flats near Cape Town. Her husband Elliot was injured in a bus-accident and has no work at the moment. Cynthia works at the local childcare, which she founded.

The story of Cynthia's family is basically the story of migrant labourers, travelling from impoverished rural areas in the Eastern Cape to the city, looking for work and prospects, still keeping contact with family back home, building up a life in the township.

Cynthia ran away from home when she was 17 (ca. 1983) to avoid the marriage that her parents had arranged for her. She jumped in a river, nearly drowned, but survived and escaped to Cape Town. She first burned the letters she received from her parents, but later made peace with them. She found work as a waitress, had a child. She married her husband in 1987 and had three more children.

Every year in December, for the Christmas holiday, the family travels back to the place of birth, Barkley East. Cynthia's parents still live there, together with her grandmother. Cynthia did well for herself within the limited possibilities and could buy a small house for her parents, in the formerly all-white town, where they are the only black people now. In the countryside there is the plaas of the white Boer, where Cynthia grew up, a small hut between the mountains. The trip to Barkley East is a trip back into time, back to the memories of childhood, the stories of the family that stayed behind, the stories connected to it, some good, some bad.

This is not a family with a wealth of written documents or photographs, but what there is very meaningful: like the Dompas of Cynthia's father, a document that comprises his working career during apartheid. And there are surprisingly quite a lot of objects, kept in trunks, beautiful old beadwork, and farm equipment. And the real history is told and lived, and relived, especially through the yearly visit.

In the presentation, the annual December visit will play an important role. We have recorded this trip back home, back to childhood, back to parents and grandparents, by a photographer and a videographer.

On the other side, there is present day township life, with the living conditions, the bareness of the location, but also the social life (church, youth), the music (Cynthia sings in a choir), and Xhosa customs in an urban setting. Xhosa tradition is strong in the family as well: Cynthia's grandmother is an amagqirha, a spiritual healer, and Cynthia has inherited the power. She uses her spiritual side especially in the Methodist church, of which she is an important member. Her eldest daughter is Nomakaya, fourteen years old. She is at the moment at the Hottentot Holland High school, a formerly white school. She finds it hard to cope with her role in the shifting society.


Family of Indian descent. Dhani Jiawon (1864-1928) from Faizabad in North India came in 1889 to Durban to work on the sugar cane plantation of William Campbell. After a year he married Sundari, a widow and devoted Hindu, who had come to South Africa from a place near Poona. After the five year indentured period, they settled in Verulam where they lived until 1911 as farmers. Their six children were born there, the eldest was Juggernath. In 1911 the family moved to settle on Acutt's Estate in Inanda, near Gandhi's settlement. Juggernath married Surjee in 1910 and continued to live with his parents. Two children were born to them, Balbadur and Sookrani. Later nine more followed.

In 1914, the extended family moved once again, to Merebank, and in 1923, to a piece of land in (nowadays) Duranta Road. Juggernath was a deeply religious man, and also involved in promoting educational possibilities of the Indian community.

The joint family system came to an end with the marriage of Balbhadur (1913-1989) to Harbasi (1919-1989), in 1936.

Balbhadur and Harbasi had nine children, all of them ended up in education. The youngest ones were Spider and Janey. They were both activists, involved in several operations in the struggle. Spider is the only one who stayed in politics, running for election as a local councillor for the ANC in 2000. Janey is disappointed in what the change brought.

Janey married Ishwar and has two daughters, Nikita (16) and Yuri (21). Her older brother Sundjit still lives in the old family house. Janey is a teacher in a primary school and active member of SATU, the South African Teachers' Union. She teaches Grade 2 has a class of ca. 50 kids, half of them black, half of them of Indian background.

The Juggernath family is a closely-knit. They all see each other regularly; have special days in the year for family outings, meet in the summer every Friday at Bay of Plenty, a place at the beach.

There is a special but different relation of the family members to India and South Africa and aspects of Indian religion and culture, from an outward condemnation of backward traditions to respectful embracement. Balbhadur and Harbasi visited India in 1972-73. In contrast Janey visited only Cuba, in 2000, a trip that made a deep impression. Nickie and Yuri are much more sympathetic to Indian traditions and culture again.

Many details of the family have already been described; the family published a brochure on the family history with much information and photographs. There are some heirlooms too with beautiful stories.


Zonkezizwe Mthethwa, better known by his nickname khekhekhe, born in 1919, is a well-known traditional healer or sangoma living in the area of Ngudwini. He receives his patients and trains some of his children but also others in the profession of sangoma.

Khekhekhe stems of a long line of Mthethwas, a prominent Zulu family, and claims to be a descendant of Dingiswayo, Shaka's mentor. It was in this region that Shaka was trained as a young man. The area is close to the Tugela River, which forms the boundary between Natal and Zulu-land.

Quite central among the houses of his compound is the burial ground where a few of Khekhekhe's forefathers are buried. He himself is also the official history keeper of the Mthethewas and the presence of the ancestors is very important in that respect. Every year on 23 February there is a special ritual where Khekhekhe pays respect to the ancestors and recites their names.

Khekhekhe claims to have had 14 wives, of whom seven are still alive. Among these seven wives are three pairs of sisters. He also claims to have close to a hundred children, which says a lot about his status and income as a widely known healer. Most children and grandchildren are living close by, in houses on the compound.

The family participates also in other worlds. The family owns a driving school and a bus company. Some of the family members left for the city.

One of them is Mfanawezulu, his eldest son, born in 1951, who works as a bus driver in Durban. Mfanawezulu married two wives, but divorced one of them. The remaining wife lives in Ngudwini, which Khekhekhe considers his home, with most of his 27 children. Mfanawezulu bought a house in Inanda, a township near Durban, because he needed to be closer to his job. He lives there with six of his sons. His third son, Qondokuhle, is a gifted guitar-player. He is doing grade 11 in an ex-Indian school in Phoenix, a former Indian settlement founded by Gandhi. He is keen to be educated but also values strongly the traditions that are kept up high by his grandfather.

Opens: March 31
Closes: December 2004