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Victor Dlamini

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Wynton Marsalis in Concert

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis


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Dianne Reeves and Reginald Veal

Reginald Veal

Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves


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Rustum Kozain

Rustum Kozain


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Joe Slovo and Ruth First

Joe Slovo & Ruth First

…the corner of, that is.


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Moments from Africa’s Grandest Gathering, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Wayne Shorter
The don’t call the Cape Town International Jazz Festival “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” for no reason. Enjoy these photographs of Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Youssou N’Dour and a master dancer.

Hubert LawsA Dancer

A Master DancerYoussou N'Dour

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Youssou N'Dour's Salute for Africa


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Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah
Photographed, with Kevin Bloom in the background, last July


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Venezia: A Photo Essay

The Bridge - Venice
I recently travelled to Venice, Italy, which is still set in winter, and was compelled to draw my camera out on more than one occasion.

Dome - VeniceDrums - VeniceMasque I -VeniceDrum - VeniceAbove the Docks - Venice

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Masque II - Venice


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Protea Thursday

The Fabulous Protea

As the Proteas are playing today in the Cricket World Cup, a photo for encouragement.


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Friday Photographs

Approach to Goree from Dakar
Goree Island's Haunted Passages iGoree Island's Haunted Passages ii
Goree Island Triptych

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Mandla LangaPeter Harris
Mike NicolSindiwe Magona
Four South African writers

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Victor Dlamini
The photographer, photographed


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Artists in Exile: Why We Don’t Honour the Living

My latest article in City Press:

What does it say about us as a nation that we only seem to rush to recognise some of our best artists once we hear that they’ve died or are ill?

Then you hear of a memorial event or benefit concert being hastily organised to give the gravely ill artist money to cover their bills. Too many of our extremely talented artists have died lonely, ­forgotten and often penniless.

But you will not understand how this is possible if you listen to the outpouring of love once news of the artist’s death is received.

Musician Simphiwe Dana ­highlighted the complex relationship between gifted musicians and the South African public when she recently poured her heart out to the nation on TV.

She revealed her ­frustration that even though she wrote and performed most of her ­music in Xhosa, her biggest audiences are in Germany.

It was quite clear that she was not speaking only on her own behalf but that of countless artists who spent years developing their craft only to be spurned by fickle audiences.

If we do not go to their concerts while some of our top artists are still at the height of their power; and we do not buy their books, art or music, how can we say we love them? It is as if in death we react more from our guilt rather than the love that we ­express so freely at their passing.

At the memorial service there is not enough time to accommodate the speakers singing the posthumous praises of the artist posthumously.

At the memorial service for the great writer Lewis Nkosi, the speakers all eulogised him for his talent across the literary, cultural and intellectual fields, but such high praise was at odds with the paltry sales figures of his novels within the country.

Surely it must tell us something that while we rushed to claim him as our giant once he was dead, Lewis Nkosi had not ended his long exile, choosing to live in Switzerland even after the collapse of apartheid.

It says something that even Miriam Makeba died in Italy, far away from the source of her best ­music. Like many of our artists who’d been forced into exile, Makeba had jumped at the chance to return home in the early 90s. But after a brief honeymoon with South African audiences, she may as well have still been in artistic exile.

Politicians and other leading lights line up to read the great speeches we write in which we praise them for their great cultural contribution and flying the South African flag.

We seem unaware that the reason they had to travel so far to fly the flag in distant parts of the world is because of limited opportunities in their own country.

We seem to grow proud of them once they are dead. Praises on the dead are wasted if they do not reflect the esteem in which the person was held during their lifetime.

Giving an artist a “lifetime achievement award” after they are dead is a missed ­opportunity.

There are times you get the sense that exile may have ended for most of us, but for some of our most gifted artists who can only get their best gigs overseas, it may as well be the height of exile.

In venues across Europe and the US, artists like the jazz genius Bheki Mseleku used to perform to packed venues, but back in their own country they could only perform at small ­venues.


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