Tag Archive | Soweto


Beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. Yea, you got that right, in my kasi, where kids are chasing one another up and down the dusty streets in ragged clothes looking all scruffy, but with the gigantic smiles. There’ll be that little boy or girls with a runny nose, who quietly creeps up behind you to randomly say “hello”, and the mothers who wave standing in front of their barbed fences as you pass on the street, making your way to school, work or wherever your feet are leading you to.

Soweto scene

Soweto scene



Love these Cuties

Camera shy

Camera shy

Camera Shy Edited

These wheels still exists, through them we get around.

These wheels still exists, through them we get around.

That’s just a typical scene to township life. But for all these things around me, I express my profound gratitude. Because despite the most difficult circumstances that prevail in kasi, I still believe Soweto has so much to put on the plate. Gradually growing into middle class status. Slowly but surely are shacks being demolished and replaced with concrete houses, institutions of higher education and malls are being built: a proof in the pudding that this township is kinda rapidly transforming to a suburb. Although it’s starting to become difficult to recognize Soweto for what it was, and all this is good and well, because it marks the twisted beginning and an end of somewhat a contratst to the rest of Joburg.

I’ll never forget the dusty streets that raised me. SALUTE!!!

All pictures sourced from: http://jennafinch.blogspot.com/2013/08/soweto-in-day.html.


Diaries: Rewind, Pause…..Press Play!

Remember your childhood years, rushing home from school, changing out of uniforms and heading outside to play? In the streets the loud sounds of cheer, laughter and dismay could be heard. Boys and girls would be showing off their skills at ‘kgati’, ‘diketo’, ‘chicago’, ‘eggy’ or ‘mgusha’. I played these games until late-night into the sundown and actually when folks were heard calling children to come inside and telling friends to go home.

A few days ago, I pinched myself following the amazement to what I believe has become an unfamiliar sight especially in townships, when I walked past a group of youngsters occupying themselves on the kasi streets playing kgati . But a part of me was also enchanted to have come across such, because it took me down memory lane.

Looking back, it was Balls of Fun to be a kid those years. Precisely the 90’s. I’m sure you already anticipated why I say that. Well, because we didn’t have IPods, smartphones, never mind a mundane phone, intenet and so on. So all we could rely on and kill time with honestly was the aforementioned games, dubbed as “indigineous games”. LOL. Although that makes me sound like a dinosaur *frowns*. Oh no….

Anyway, I’m not about to diss the millennium kids and go on about how they have turned into couch potatoes because all they do all day, everyday is be on a bummy swag and be on that PlayStation, Xbox and video games note. *slight pause*. Nah! Ain’t anybody got time for that. All I want to do is just….rewind, pause….and press play *no pun intended*, to all fun and games moments that I as a kid had a pleasure to indulge in, and without even have to spend a penny .

To all other KASI natives like myself out there, do you remember Hop Scotch (Pule, Modise, Tladi, Ndala, Piet, John, Outside), EGI- pronounced as e-ggy( I used to love the part where the culprit has to choose either to drink 2litre of water, have a mud make-up done all over his face, empty all dustbins around the neighbourhood), and the follow-the-leader games like “Ngi nenja ncane, enama dzedze” and I loved the our English version (I have a litte dog, yi rastation), ei mahn. It was buck! And you can’t be telling me you grew up in the South if you don’t know how to make glue. Yes, create it yourself, with a green bar soap, it didn’t need to be Sunlight, and mix it with green grass and water, then stir it til it becomes real thick. But it didn’t stick shwem. Hahaha…but that didn’t stop us from making it anyway. So here’s a list of what I got up you as a kiddy

1. M’gusha – the game was played mainly by girls and we would use old pantyhose then cut it and tie it in nots to make one single round long piece. Then the games begin, there plenty of them and were mostly accomodated by a song. But my mind isn’t working with me so I can’t remember any.

2 .Kgati– this one we usually played during winter to keep warm, but we certainly had games for certain season. We used a skipping rope and one person will hold one end and the other will hold another end and start skipping and again there was song accompaniment (sp).
– nolitje dobi ilitje,o li beke phansi,bese o ya dryaya,bese o ya puma.
-stocky,stocky ngwana malome. o nkisa kae?thabeng tsa mme,mme wa loya o loya ka eng,ka tsiritsiri,sehlare sa baloi …

3 Dithini/Bathi/ Chicago -the will be two groups and the ones will “touch” the ones who are stacking up the tins until they all well done and they should not fall. (by touching we mean throwing a ball at other team and it touches you,you were out and should wait for a “game”-that is when your team has managed to stack all tins without being touched ans have safely return to thier “home”. the team that was touching we used to say ba a fila.

4 .Hands clapping games: these we made certain moves using hands with a partner and there also songs with the games.
One song I can remember distinctly but don’t what it is actually trying to say is the “by so by love to baby” song, and it really sounds ridiculous LMAO!!!!!
♫ By so by love to baby
To baby to the song
The song put the yona
The yona put the man
The man put the put there
terma 1,2,3,4
terma 1,2,3,
terma 1,2,
terma 1,
terma 1,
by stop!!♫
LMFAO!!! And you guaranteed were happy when you reach “by stop” without any mistakes.

5.Mokoko/spypy/1-2-3 block– in a nutshell i will say hide and seek the kasi version.

6.Kop-kop banana– remains a favourite of mine where one person will hide a belt for a group and then when he done he will call out “kop-kop banana,kop kop “he will indicate whether o mo icing or wa tjhesa (you are in a hot or cold spot) and if gets hotter it means you are close to where the belt and whoever finds the belt first would hit you with it until all members are in the “home” so he can go hide it again

7. Circle games-these one are usually played by at crèches where everyone will form part of a circle and start game.
-tsa mo reka omo,eng omo
– mrabaraba kofiii
morabaraba tiyee (murabarab 1;murabaraba 2 etc.)
-my ultimate favourite and it went like:
Bharakwana bharakwana *clap clap clap*
isibhedlel’ esikhulu *clap clap clap*
sanced’ usdumo *clap clap clap*
ephukumlenze *clap clap clap*
sori sdumo *clap clap clap*
besidlau umacashelana *clap clap clap*
ngaphansi kombhede *clap clap clap*
And random songs w would sing:
Uphumaphi MaDlamini X 3
Ngiphuma eDorobeni X 3
Ubuyo thenga ntoni X 3
Ngi buyo thengi is’qcoko X 3
Sibiza malini X 3
Sibiza ishumi nebhozo X 3
Imal’ engaka MaDlamini X 3
Ngi yayisibenzela X 3
Au phume u hambe Madlamini X 3

Oh and I still remember “Sizo fun’ umuntu wethu namhlanje (hamba kahle pretty girl pretty girl)”, do you?

8. And then there was morabaraba, diketo too many to mention but those were the times people.
And how could I forget maqoqisa? Here we used stones as characters to a story and made thier house on the ground, if you used pen and paper you would have the houses drawn and use a pen to knock at where a scene is happening. I still remember how our school desk had pen holes because this. And there were pros in storytelling and we would gather around that person just to hear her story. Boy, weren’t kids so creative back then, most storylines were far better than Generations I tell you.

Let’s see if you agree with me on this one, LOL. I dare you. If you grew up in the townships even if it’s not Soweto, is all of this, what I mentioned here true? I’m sure I left a whole lot, so feel free to add by commenting on the box below ….le’gooooooo!

Kasi Lingo 101, learn that ‘flow’

As I’m hanging out with my home girls and boys (given half the change to indulge in a moment of relaxation), discussing this lovely thing called life, using that one signifying coder-slang-that’s when I know I’m truly part of the group because I know what they are talking about. Kasi slang has a flavor of its own, and a mixed variety of official languages of Mzansi. Otherwise described as Tsotsitaal or Iscimato, a native language that most Sowetans (myself included) embrace as part of their culture
Kasi (township) slang is a social maker, though it is believed that people from the South speak in a language which may be complicated for others to understand, it could all be so simple. As I bring you a lowdown of Kasi slang-terms, expressions and words of common use in the townships of not only Soweto, but Mzansi. Learn a lil’ 😉

It is what it is..

It is what it is..

• Coconut – this refers to an African black person who is dualistic in their nature, usually Black on the outside and White on the inside.
• Shimself-referring to a she/he-a gay man.
• Alfred Khuzwayo- means an AK-47 as in “Ngi zom’ thethisa nge Alfred Khuzwayo” (translate: “I’ll shoot him down with an AK-47″.)
• Amashwang-shweng – refers to a nice/beautiful hair style by a lady.
• 411 – Giving someone the latest news and gossip.
• 6 no 9 – “same difference”. Like “potato, potatoe”
• Dankie san – [Origin: Rap Music] “Thanks, Dude”. Soweto rapper Pro Kid has used it for his new fashion-label, bringing it into the commercial space.
• Ama-Get-Down- refers to dancing or to have a party. E.g “Sizobe sishaya ama-get-down le-weekend,” (translate: we will be having a party and dancing this weekend).
• Bogata or Bo4- means the police.
• Bling-Bling- ladies who are light in complexion.
• Blind- means something or someone is good or impressive.
• Central lock- knock-knees or Kiss madolo.
• Clipper- hundred rand note
• Choko-twenty rand note
• Tiger-ten rand note
• Chicken dust- chicken braai done by the roadside.
• Dozo- It’s a cigarette.
• Dintshang?- means what’s up?
• Dae Ding- means that thing. Uses: If somebody doesn’t want to mention what he/she is asking for, they will say give me ‘Dae Ding’ meaning give me ‘That Thing’.
• Double Doley- means everything is okay.
• Danone- dating a young girl.
• Frying pan-used to refer to someone who likes to lie.
• Fong-kong- products that you can buy from vendors on the streets.These products are cheap and fake.
• Fede- means how are you or how you doing or what is happening in your life (my personal most random and favourite word,hahaha..Don’t judge).
• Feranjie- a thug or hobo or someone suspicious.
• G-string- (Origins: comes from the grill of a BMW) Refers to a BMW.
• Gashu- an idiot.
• Gatvol- “Fed up” in Afrikaans. With the ‘v’ pronounced like an ‘f’, it’s very similar to the English “gutful”. As in ”Eish! man. I’m gatvol of this fundi. He has no idea what he’s talking about.
• Gereza- hustle.
• Gidliza- to act as if you don’t know nothing.
• Holla gazee-a phrase meaning how are you my friend?
• Helen Zille- a nagging chick, usually over protective, insecure partner.
• Hooi Hooi- greetings(a phrase mostly used by radio and TV personality Dj Sbu)
• Izinyoka- means Thugs or thieves. Commonly used to refer to people who steal cables.
• Injelezi- is popular in Zola (a Soweto township) for jealousy i.e. when someone doesn’t want to see u prosper we normally say: une NJELEZI.
• Inja- it’s literal meaning is a dog. It it’s now commonly used as an expression of respect, and hence means a Top Dog. Uses: Brian Habana is a top dog.
• Jive- means a problem. As in, “Ke nale jive le medi ya gago.” (translate: I have a problem with your girlfriend/wife).
• Jack Bemel- means a witch doctor.
• Johnnie Walker- someone who doesn’t have a car
• Ku Million-it’s all good.
• Kota- in Pretoria it’s known as Spatlo and in the Vaal they refer to it as Skumbani. A quarter of a loaf of bread, with any filling inside. The filling can be meat, potatoes, atchaar, whatever you like.
• Kosovo- a very dangerous place
• Kelly Khumalo- pulling a Kelly Khumalo – Claiming to be a virgin when you are clearly not one
• Khanyi Mbau- means gold digger. Pulling a Khanyi (gold digging).
• Kaizer Chiefs- yellow teeth.
• KASI- Hood or ghetto.

To be more streetwise and learn the new French (LoL, I joke)- KASI slang you can visit Sowetan’s Kasi Slang website at: http://blogs.sowetanlive.co.za/category/kasi_slang/. This info was sourced from this website as well.
I believe slang is much more like poetry, made up of literary devices such as hyperboles, metonymies, metaphors, synecdoche’s, alliterations, onomatopoeia and many others. Because slang in essence is one language we use but never taught in school. The same applies with poetry. This is really just my opinion. Feel free to voice out your thoughts as well, let’s share !

Humans are just geniuses :D

Humans are just geniuses 😀

Knowledge feeds the multitudes.

The G.A.M.E (Ghetto As My Essence)

Friend: “YOU must be the best kept secret ever! Where in this world have you been hiding? Look at you; you’re like a foreigner in this place”
ME: “Oho (-__-)! Please maaaan, I’m still one of you…what are you trying to say kanti?”
Friend: “You’re hardly seen la eKasi…”
ME: “Awume kancani tuu (Just hold up a bit)! ‘Cause I’m always here, just that the goddamn Honours has taken my ghetto life away from me”
Friend: “Ahahaha…You? Did you just say ghetto (0_o)?”
ME: “HaHaHaah…tswa daar (never you mind) ;-)!”

It's good to know I'm missed :')...so sweet

It’s good to know I’m missed :’)…so sweet

The best of both worlds

The best of both worlds

LoL, I just wonder how many people would have squirmed and cringed when you throw that word at them yes that one (._.”). Ermmmm, you know which word I’m talking about right? Right! Oh shame mahn if you still hanging the dark let me be your shining armor. I’m talking; well…WE (only those fast-paced thinkers and geniuses) are talking about the word “GHETTO”. Great, now that you are with us let’s move way ahead of the light bulb moment, and get to the grips of the matter.

LoL...don't believe every word they say.

LoL…don’t believe every word they say.

With the mishmash of people all over the world, some are diplomatic with lots of money to blow around, others-like me…*slight pause and deep sigh* are being judged because of the place I call home and end up being labeled ghetto. One word tossed around to somehow imply bad, uncouth or unintelligent. Oh boy, have I got news for you *eyes wide open and snap fingers zig-zagly*. But you know what; I’m not one to take feeble things to heart. Someone once told me, if you’re being insulted, just laugh it off. And oh well, if you can’t laugh it off then you probably deserved. So you see? We ain’t got no time to be too SERIOUS…HaiBo! Anyhow, life’s too short as we know it.

To be quite honest I’LL NEVER BE ASHAMED OF LIVING IN SLUMS and being slammed about it, because it only through that I have learned a sense of pride, dignity and my most essential being. I am a ghetto women and proud of where I come from. Where mostly, I grew up eating just uphuthu (grovel porridge and milk-which still remains my favorite meal) most days because it was the cheapest meal. Where electricity just gets cut off when you least expect it to. Oh, and were gutters are flowing with oiled stinking waters (and so much more) running across the streets. There were and are a lot of people in the world who had/have better lives than we did. But that doesn’t stop me from becoming the BEST of me, does it?

Take it from me....dreams are the theatre of the mind.

Take it from me….dreams are the theatre of the mind.

This qoute keeps me going onward, upward & foward!

This qoute keeps me going onward, upward & foward!

Yeah, it gets pretty bad, but I still embrace the streets and everything it taught and is yet to teach me. Hustling and selling. I talked that ghetto talk, you know what I mean? Don’t worry, soonest, I’ll enlighten you. Yeah, now that’s what Kasi (the hood) is all about. Talking the talk and walking and the walk. Not allowing the rest to turn my sky into a ceiling, as I school myself in a better way, hitting those books so damn hard and having no babies. All thanks to my upbringing. But before you can judge, dare try to point a finger at my parents, point three back at yourself. And in their worn shoes, walk a mile and see how far you’ll get. For it take a village to raise ONE black GHETTO child.

Proudly so :-D!

Proudly so :-D!

It’s okay to talk that ghetto style, sounding like I’m so damn cool. But it’s always the same and will always remain the same. The streets will never change. They will NEVER EVER EVURRRR change!

REAL is what counts ;-)

REAL is what counts 😉

And just as much, Kasi Nativist says: Remember, You can take the girl out of the Ghetto Streets, but you can’t take the Ghetto Streets out of the girl ;-)!

Know where you come, to know where you're heading ;-)!

Know where you come, to know where you’re heading ;-)!

All images sourced from http://www.googleimages.com.

Every picture tells a story

The term art is relatively one and the same within South Africa’s scenery. Country wide, art studios and galleries are usually spread across various cities, giving away a hint of SA’s incredible talent, but in kasi (township) neighborhoods many baubles of creative nature are revealed as I explore my home in extreme lengths, depths and widths. In my space, the work of art and different crafts are usually displayed in melancholy public buildings and on the hub of the buzzy streets. Well, it may be best to SHOW and not tell, right? Then here we go, go ahead and immerse yourself into Faith47’s work (whom according to JHBlive is “one of a handful of genuine Mzansi graf celebrities”) and daringly be the judge of that.

Welcome to my World :-)!

Welcome to my World :-)!

In the midst of everything, do you see what I see :-/?

In the midst of everything, do you see what I see :-/?

Well, this is an unblemished one. Nice and clean.

Well, this is an unblemished one. Nice and clean.

The beauty of Mother Nature +art= infusion of sublime magic

The beauty of Mother Nature +art= infusion of sublime magic

The tainted papers and the dripping traces of paint create an uber visual effect. That’s just me though *shrugs*

The tainted papers and the dripping traces of paint create an uber visual effect. That’s just me though *shrugs*

Maaaaaaaan…..I could go on for days but…

Maaaaaaaan…..I could go on for days but…

Worth a 1000…

Worth a 1000…

And we are just trying to make ends meet, by all means.

And we are just trying to make ends meet, by all means.

And even during the dark night, this artwork flares up the bright light.

And even during the dark night, this artwork flares up the bright light.

This series of images is entitled : “The Long Wait”. And here’s what the artist Faith47 had to say about the imagery:

“Miners are waiting for justice.

Workers are waiting for a living wage.

People are waiting for service delivery.

Refugees are waiting for assistance.

Men are waiting for jobs.

we are all waiting for an honest politician.

So many people are waiting for others to do things first.

To take the blame.

To do things for them.

To take the fall.

To build the country.

To admit defeat.

There has been so much waiting in this country that much time has been lost

Moral of the narrative art: The closer one looks at an artwork and thinks about its meaning, its use, and its history, the greater the potential for understanding the stories it conveys In all parts, this particular artwork reflects the identity and traditions of a place I call home.  

Kasi Nativist absolutely loves it! And she says….well, there’s nothing else to say. The images do the talking. Awe!!!

All  the images were sourced from:


It’s not just a township, but a Lifestyle

Most often than not, I may not understand the world and may not necessarily agree with it, so I sort of like glide along. Just as much I have embraced being a Sowetan, and strangely enough have become patriotic about it. Soweto is like my little window to the whole entire world, and every minute is a different show.  Truth is, it is probably the only place that I’ve been thoroughly exposed to. I mean corner to post, I got it covered.

This is Kasi Nativist by the way

This is Kasi Nativist by the way

      Especially Orlando- ikasi lami (my hood). Now here’s  a  letter expressing my twisted love and hate towards this township:

We grew up and spent most of our times together.

In the journey of “walking life” with you by my side, there have been good times, sometimes frantic and life changing moments

You taught me some precious secrets

And though you trigger me and (not-knowingly) reinforce some of the disordered thoughts, I love you

Everyday I wake up seeking out your light, your warmth

‘Cause no matter how tired I am to see each day through, you keep me motivated

You shape the way I think, the way I perceive the world and the way I dream of it

In short you are fused to my very core

I strongly believe still, that my existence is wrapped tightly against your

You’re the ghetto fabulous SOWETO

Source: Google images

Source: Google images


You not at all that great hey

In your world, not all is rosy and pink hey

Instead, under your care, I’ve been implicated in dodgy situations-

I’ve been mugged, had my cell phones stolen, robbed of precious and sentimental possessions in my own house and while walking in the streets, had my pockets searched.

But you know just as much as I do, you far more capable of doing worse than that.

I guess somehow I got off lucky

At times I just want to write all these experiences and recite them from the bottom of a heavy soul

But wasted tears don’t make flowers grow now, do they?

So even if I don’t understand why all of this had to happen to me, I respect the process.


Pity not everyone shares similar feelings

Take a look around you…

People have had enough of you and just couldn’t take it anymore

You chased them away….YES YOU DID!!!

They are leaving you behind like a stupid used up whore, going to the ‘burbs to seek “greener pastures”

*DEEP sigh*

Like the rest of them, I’ve also considered leaving you abruptly with a final one fingered salute

Despite my tepid feelings, I’m glad to say I’m not going anywhere.

‘Cause some epic story is yet to unfold

I can’t imagine living without the mundane sight I’m used to each and every day:

Taxis and buses ferry passengers, causing gridlocks at some intersections during peak hour; motorists go by the day, making stops here and there by the traffic lights. Informal traders and street hawkers scattered around street corners, making ends meet

-unpacking their stock on the side of the road

pedestrians walking to and from work, taxis hooting for passengers and schoolchildren laughing as they walk to school

In all of this, I too, am yet to leave a crispy mark.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is: the wry conditions and hustler mentality of this place works for me perfectly

And I don’t need the top-notch and literally “over- the -top -balcony -view” all day everyday

  to feel better about myself

When I’ve got the virtue of living life passionately staring me straight in the eye; reminding me of the reality of things

Of how horrid they can get, and sometimes even showing me how remarkable my home town is

Source: Google images

Source: Google images

No doubt in my mind, you have your own draw-backs

 but the beauty you possess also rests on  South Africa’s tip, and overshadows the bullshit

Knowing I have survived all you had thrown my way

I’ve been transformed from sick and suicidal to peaceful and accepting

I can’t imagine the bitter end of all the beauty we’re living in without you

In you, I know I’ll always have a Home

With love,

A Kasi Nativist

P.S. Forget I even thought of you North  Jo’burg (/_).