Fela Kuti And The Kalakuta Queens in South Africa

7-day Celebration of African Entertainment and Culture

A week in April brought Nigerians and South Africans together to explore the arts and music of the prophet and Abàmì Ẹ̀dá; Fela Kuti. He was a foremost Nigerian Afrobeat musician and social critic who died on the 2nd of August 1997.

The musical, called Fela And The Kalakuta Queens chronicles the events within Fela’s Kalakuta Republic, his home. Prominent in the stage performance is the unique fashion, dance and of course the intrigues amongst the 27 wives whom Fela married in a day! You can read a review of the musical from CNN and IOL. Bolanle Austen Peters is the brain behind this musical and the woman changing the face of theatre production in Nigeria.

Watch Fela And The Kalakuta Queens on YouTube

At the Pretoria State Theatre, the venue for the event, we captured some moments for you which you can view via the YouTube link below.

Don’t forget to like the video, leave a comment and also share the video with your friends.

5 Questions To Ask Before Using Minibus Taxis In Gauteng

Minibus taxis are the most popular mode of transport for most of South Africa’s population. In fact, the taxi industry is made up of 90% minibus taxis (Arrive Alive, 2018).

These taxis are the most available and affordable form of public transport in most urban areas in South Africa. Despite the advantages associated with minibus taxis, the disadvantages sometimes outweigh the advantages. That’s why we put together 5 questions to help you overcome challenges associated with using minibus taxis in Gauteng. Make sure you have answers to the questions – for every trip. We recommend finding a friendly taxi driver, local or fellow Nigerian who can answer all these questions a day before your trip.

1: What is your destination?

Know the name of the destination (e.g. Johannesburg Zoo or Joburg Zoo), and street address (e.g. Jan Smuts Ave & Upper Park Dr, Parkview, Johannesburg, 2193).

Quick safety tips:

  • Do not get off in unfamiliar places or in the middle of nowhere.
  • If you are unfamiliar with your destination. Check it on Google Maps so that you know what to look out for.
  • If possible travel at a reasonable time, preferably not at night time.
  • Tell someone where you are going and update them as often as possible

Of the 36 lives lost daily on South African roads, 3 (8%) are killed in taxi related incidents (Arrive Alive, 2018).

2. Will the minibus taxi drop you off at your destination?

Unfortunately, the taxi will not always be able to drop you off at your final or preferred destination. Taxis follow a predetermined route, known only by taxi drivers and frequent passengers. Try to check out Taximap; the website publish up-to-date information regarding minibus taxi routes, price, hours of operation, and other relevant information for minibus taxis in Johannesburg and for many other major South African cities.

The taxi industry consists of about 150 000 minibus taxis (Arrive Alive, 2018).

3. What time must you be at your destination?

Once again, taxis take a predetermined route that doesn’t always favour the passenger. Leave early to avoid being late. Waiting and travel times can be very long when using taxis so allocate two or three hours for waiting and traveling. Peak hours are early in the morning (there are many passengers going to work) and late afternoons (there are many passengers going home from work).

During peak hours, there are long queues of taxi passengers, long waiting times and a low number of taxis. During off peak hours, there are short queues of taxi passengers, long waiting times and high numbers of taxis. 

Minibus taxis in South Africa make the front passenger count the taxi fare

4. Where do you get minibus taxis to your destination?

Find out where you will be getting a taxi from. Is it from a taxi rank or by the side of the road. Which hand sign must you make to make the taxi stop? See this comprehensive multimedia information from Alberton Record on hand signs to make in order to catch a minibus taxi in South Africa. If you are going to a taxi rank then make sure you are standing at the right queue. If you are not sure that you are standing in the right queue then ask queue marshals, locals and taxi drivers.

Try this greeting.

Sure boss, please where can I get a minibus taxi to Joburg Zoo?

5. Where in the minibus taxi should you sit?

If you are early or lucky enough to choose where to sit, make sure you do not sit in the backseat or the front passenger seat. Choose any other seat (maybe one close to the window, if you prefer) and you should be comfortable.

Do not sit in the front passenger seat of a minibus taxi if your mathematics and multilingual skills are poor. 

Whoever sits in the front passenger seat is expected to collect and count all the taxi fare. If you have never done this before, then you’re lucky because it is daunting. Both the driver and passengers can be very unforgiving about their money. Passengers want their change before they get off at their destination. The driver wants all his money, so if someone did not pay then you will be blamed. Most taxi passengers speak the local South African languages and not English. With that said, being a Nigerian and sitting in the front seat of a taxi in South Africa are like oil and water. They don’t mix!

But then, remember to be conscious of your safety on South African roads and more importantly if you are travelling with kids. SA Taxi Foundation puts pedestrian injury as the leading cause of death in children. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of road safety tips.

On a final note, remember to plan ahead before you dash out for your first minibus taxi ride by writing out your answers to the 5 questions above; this will guarantee a pleasant minibus taxi ride for you. And don’t forget to share your South African minibus taxi experience in the comment section below.

Recommended: Read about road safety in South Africa 

Related Article: James Hall Museum of Transport – Affordable South African Tourist Attraction

#Nigeria2019: Your basic electoral rights at your poll station

#NigeriaDecides2019

Elections are one of the most crucial national political events in Nigeria. From pre-independent times through to the return to stable democracy in 1999, every election period in Nigeria’s political history has been associated with deep emotions and concerns for a free, fair and credible electoral process.

The 2019 Presidential election has come and gone. President Mohammaddu Buhari has been re-elected for a second term in office by the vast majority of Nigerians.

#ElectionNotWar And Your Rights

We are now right in the middle of the gubernatorial and parliamentary elections across Nigeria, hence it is important to restate to fellow electorates that elections serve as an important opportunity for you and I as citizens of Nigeria to influence the politics of our dear nation. In so doing, it is also equally important for us to inform ourselves about our basic fundamental human rights at the poll stations.

On election day, remember that, you have a civic right to:

• To support any candidate of your choice.
• To vote freely for any candidate, and
• To have your vote kept confidential

As we go about our civic responsibility during this electoral period, please endeavor to stay out of all forms of violence.

Night life at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos

Welcome to the city that never sleeps. No wonder they say the life of the Lagosian is on the road!

This is Ọjà Alẹ́ (Night Market) and it is 10pm at Iyana Ipaja Bus Stop in Lagos State. I am here for fresh Ofio (tigernuts) and dates from Mallam Musa.

Iyana Ipaja in Yorùbá language means ‘the junction to Ipaja road’. Iyana Ipaja is a settlement community and also doubles as one of the busiest commercial hubs on Lagos mainland.

Homeschooling Basics: Grade 1 – 9

Homeschooling in South Africa

Homeschooling is a programme where a parent of a learner of compulsory school-going age provides education for their child at home. It is an alternative to attending public or independent schools (Department of Basic Education).

How to apply to homeschool your child in South Africa

You can homeschool your child for the following compulsory phases: foundation phase (grades 1-3), intermediate phase (grades 4-6), and senior phase (grades 7-9).

Step 1: Apply to the Head of your Provincial Education Department to register your child for homeschooling

The application is free and it takes less than 30 days to be processed by the Head of your Provincial Education Department. You will need to send them the correct application form and the supporting documents, namely:

  • parent/s certified ID copy
  • last copy of school report (if the child was in school before, but if the child is only starting school now you must attach an immunisation card)
  • weekly timetable which includes contact time per day
  • breakdown of terms per year (196 days per year)
  • learning programme
  • certified copy of child’s birth certificate

Step 2: After your child has been registered for homeschooling you must keep the following:

  • record  of attendance
  • portfolio of the child’s work
  • up- to- date records of the child’s progress
  • portfolio of the educational support given to the child
  • evidence of the continuous assessment of the child’s work
  • evidence of the assessment and or examination at the end of each year
  • evidence at the end of grade 3,6 and 9, that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grades

Read related articles on Education

Johannesburg Campuses – Alma Maters and More

Johannesburg

In 2017, I changed jobs. I left a job in Midrand in favour of a job at a campus in Johannesburg. The week that I started my new job was difficult (that’s a sad story for another time). However, it ended with a rainbow, which really cheered me up. I took photos of the rainbow and included below. Check out the photos and try to guest which campus I am talking about.

Speaking of campus, here is a short list of some of my favourite campuses in Johannesburg.

Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) Graduate School

The Institute of Marketing Management was established in 1948. It has provided industry endorsed, distance learning qualifications since 1960. Specialising in marketing, business, and supply chain management, the IMM Graduate School has graduated more than 19 000 students, of which many hold key positions globally.

I can attest to the last part about key positions, seeing that I am an IMM graduate. I studied for a Bachelor of Philosophy Honours in Marketing Management on a distance-learning basis and I enjoyed every semester of studying at IMM. I even enjoyed visiting their Johannesburg campus to write exams.

The only bit that I did not enjoy was paying a hefty fee upfront for every module. Other than that #FeesMustFall issue, I love my alma mater and might go back to study for their Master of Philosophy in Marketing Management (after a doctoral degree, of course).

Website: https://www.immgsm.ac.za

National Office in Johannesburg at Atlas Studio, 33 Frost Avenue, Braamfontein Werf, 2193.

Johannesburg - IMM Graduate School

Regent Business School (RBS)

Regent Business School is a leading private higher education institution in Southern Africa, with an ever-expanding footprint on the rest of the continent. The curricula of their programmes incorporate theory and practice to ensure that they prepare students for the world of work by contributing to building their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and growing their knowledge of business and industry.

I am currently studying for a Masters of Business Administration through RBS and enjoying it. Distance learning institutions like IMM and RBS have been a good for my lifestyle. These institutions have allowed me to juggle work, school, motherhood, and marriage with ease.

Website: https://regent.ac.za

Johannesburg Office is at Sunnyside Park,13 Frost Avenue, Auckland Park, 2092,South Africa.

University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the city whose name it carries. Proudly South African, the university is alive down to its African roots, and well-prepared for its role in actualising the potential that higher education holds for the continent’s development. UJ has transformed into a diverse, inclusive, transformational and collegial institution, with a student population of over 50 000, of which more than 3000 are international students from 80 countries. This makes UJ one of the largest contact universities in South Africa (SA) from the 26 public universities that make up the higher education system.

I have a lot of admiration and respect for University of Johannesburg. I have so much to say about UJ but I will dedicate a separate blog post (or ten) to my love of the University of Johannesburg.

Website: https://www.uj.ac.za

UJ has three campuses in Johannesburg. The main campus is at Corner Kingsway Road and University Road, Johannesburg.

Vega School of Brand Leadership

Vega, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) was formed in 1999 in anticipation of the shift in the global paradigm. Conventional marketing and advertising moved toward a cohesion of design, branding and business. There was a reconfiguration of traditional platforms and an emergence of new ones.

Brands became far more than just letters and logos, but powerful cultural forces shaping the world as we know it. Brands such as Google, Greenpeace and Apple lead the way. This change in the industry arose an urgent need to educate South Africa’s most talented young minds, in preparation for this brave new world. A new school of thought was called for and Vega was born.

Oh, how I love Vega School of Brand Leadership. I’ve wanted to study at Vega since I graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2014. Unfortunately, I never took advantage of the ‘study for free’ at Vega School when I was still working for the ADvTECH Group (which owns Vega School and what feels like a billion other great schools). Perhaps they will have a doctoral degree before I complete the MBA at Regent Business School (fingers crossed). All I know is, one day is one day!

Website: https://www.vegaschool.com

Read more article on education

Tribute to Meruschka Govender, Our Mzansi Girl

Mzansi Girl, Meruschka Govender

A year or two ago, my husband introduced me to a blog by Meruschka Govender – a travel activist, experience seeker, and tourism thinker. Meruschka started her travel blog, Mzansi Girl, in July 2012.

On the 27th of August 2019, Meruschka posted her final blog post ‘Where are South Africans flying to?‘.

Today, I was deeply saddened to read that Meruschka Govender passed away in mid-January 2019. Bizcommunity and Traveller24 reported that Durban-born, Meruschka Govender (38) passed away after a private battle with cancer. My sincere condolences to the Govender family. Meruschka might have passed away but she touched many lives and left many memories.

Tribute to Meruschka Govender

I hope that this tribute to my husband and I’s favourite girl in Mzansi will help to spread her memories wider. Meruschka was well-known to the travel industry and happily shared her love of travelling with South Africa on her blog and social media platforms.

Here are some interesting things about our Mzansi Girl.

  1. Meruschka’s first independent African travel experience was backpacking from Joburg to Malawi via Mozambique in 2003.
  2. She started blogging as a ‘micro-blogger’ via Twitter during the 2010 World Cup. She used Twitter (@MzansiGirl) to share her love for Africa with the world.
  3. She was born in Durban and travelled to 40+ countries but Johannesburg/ Joburg was her first love.
  4. 16 months after starting her blog, Meruschka Govender resigned from her day job to focus on sharing the African travel love.
  5. Prior to starting the Mzansi Girl Blog, she spent 8 years working in the tourism industry. She ran a backpacker hostel, to working for South Africa’s only tourism NGO and eventually working in tourism policy in national government.

Rest In Peace to Meruschka Govender, our favourite girl in mzansi. Thank you for filling our lives with your remarkable experiences and memories.

Read related articles about travel

Image Credit: Image Credit: Meruschka Govender (Mzansi Girl)

Job Scams and Correctional Services

The Department of Correctional Services

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) recently released a press release warning the public about job scams conducted using their name. I personally applaud the department for reacting and creating awareness about these scams. Unfortunately, most times press releases are not shared as widely as a tweet or Facebook post.

The job scams mentioned in the Department of Correctional Services’ press release indicated that the scams were shared through social media and other channels. The shared posts invite members of the public to apply for employment and learnership opportunities. The department is now warning members of the public (you and I) against falling prey to these scam.

Please note that applying for employment in the public sector is free. Anyone asking for money for job applications is breaking the law.

The DCS uses mainstream the following channels to advertise job opportunities:

  • Mainstream media (radio, television, and newspapers)
  • The website of the Department of Public Services Administration (DPSA – http://www.dpsa.gov.za)
  • Internal email notices

Report job scammers

The department warned that those posing as consultants or using online media platforms to impersonate the department are fraudsters/ scammers who must be reported to law enforcement agencies. The Department of Correctional Services calls upon anyone who may have information on these fraudsters/ scammers to report the matter to the government’s anti-corruption hotline 0800 701 701.

For more information on jobs at the Department of Correctional Services

Visit the Department of Correctional Services website for information on jobs available at the department.

When applying for a job on the DCS website, please note:

Applications must be submitted on the Application for Employment Form (Z.83), obtainable from any Public Service department or at www.gov.za and should be accompanied by a comprehensive CV, including the details of at least two contactable referees (should be people who recently worked with the applicant) and certified copies of qualifications and identity document (with an original certification stamp). It is the responsibility of applicants in possession of foreign qualifications to submit evaluated results by the South African Qualifications Authority. Where a valid driver’s licence is a requirement, applicants must attach certified copies of such licences. No faxes or e-mailed applications will be considered. If no contact is made within three months of the closing date, please accept that the application was unsuccessful. Successful candidates will be required to enter into a performance agreement and be subjected to security clearance procedures. Successful candidates may be required to undergo a competency assessment.

Read more articles on jobs and employment

National Minimum Wage: Readiness and Implementation

National Minimum Wage

The Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch announced that it will be conducting a nationwide campaign to assess levels of compliance with labour laws, especially the newly-introduced National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act.

Importance of enforcement to ensure compliance with labour laws

The Department of Labour’s Deputy Director-General of Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES), Aggy Moiloa said that the department understands the importance of enforcement to ensure compliance with the labour laws of the country. She said the Department had 1392 inspectors who were ready to monitor compliance with the NMW Act.

She said the Department of Labour will be utilising its Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) specialist inspectors to enforce the NMW Act. The NMW Act was conceived from the BCEA.

Advocacy, inspection and enforcement

Moiloa further added that the department’s strategy to enforce NMW was premised on three pillars – that is advocacy, inspection and enforcement.

The Deputy Director-General held a workshop on the performance levels of the organisation in Pretoria. The core of her presentation was on the state of readiness by the Department’s IES branch to enforce the implementation of the National Minimum Wage.

The National Minimum Wage is R20

The National Minimum Wage came into effect on 1 January 2019. The NMW is R20, the minimum rate at which workers should earn per hour.  

Moiloa said the Department was aware of the burden imposed by NMW to CCMA resources and was ready to assist. She said aggrieved workers on issues of NMW can take their complaints to the Department’s Labour Centres or directly report to the CCMA. 

She said as part of its readiness the Department already had the following in place:

  • Case management systems have been developed;
  • The CCMA has conducted training on their system in order for the inspectorate to refer cases; and
  • Inspectors have been trained to monitor compliance with the NMW Act. 

She reiterated that the Wholesale and Retail sectors would be areas of focus as these sectors have been identified as problematic.

Enquiries:
Teboho Thejane
Cell: 082 697 0694

Press release issued by Department of Labour

Read more press releases

Nigerian Doctors in South Africa and HPCSA registration

Nigerian doctors in South Africa

Nigerian doctors in South Africa are governed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), a professional body for health care practitioner in South Africa. HPCSA is registered as a statutory professional body with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA).

In 2018, it was confirmed that there were 680 Nigerian doctors in South Africa that were registered with HPCSA (as at 2 July 2018).

Related Article

The mandate of HPCSA

HPCSA guides and regulates the health professions in the country (including Nigerian doctors in South Africa) in aspects pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing professional development, and fostering compliance with healthcare standards.

Nigerian doctors in South Africa

All individuals (including Nigerian doctors in South Africa) who practise any of the health care professions incorporated in the scope of the HPCSA are obliged by the Health Professions Act No. 56 of 1974 to register with the Council. Failure to do so constitutes a criminal offence.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa confers the following designations:

  • Medical Practitioners e.g.
    Nigerian doctors in South Africa
  • Dental Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Oral Hygienists
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Therapists

Internships and community service for Nigerian doctors in South Africa

Doctors trained abroad need to apply to the HPCSA for registration. Some may be exempted from a board exam, while others may have to write the exam. The purpose of board examinations is to measure the academic and clinical competence and capacity of foreign qualified practitioners (Nigerian doctors in South Africa qualified in Nigeria) wishing to enter the profession for community service, supervised practice or independent practice. They may subsequently be required to perform supervised practice for up to two years or internship. The duration and domains of internship training or supervised practice for foreign qualified practitioners will be determined by HPCSA based on norms set for the same. After successful completion of two years internship, the doctor will be registered by the HPCSA as a doctor and will need to complete a year in the service of the DOH. This is known as community service. The DOH determines all community service posts and no supervision is required. All healthcare professionals, including dieticians, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, are obliged to complete one year of community service (HPCSA Bulletin, 2017).

Verification of Qualifications of Nigerian Doctors in South Africa

The Health Professions Council of South Africa uses the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) for verification of medical credentials of international practitioners (e.g. Nigerian doctors in South Africa) applying for registration to practice medicine in South Africa.

ECFMG is a global leader in health care—serving physicians, members of the medical education and regulatory communities, health care consumers, and those researching issues in medical education and health workforce planning.

Nigerian doctors in South Africa and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

Step 1: The HPCSA requires practitioners who obtained their basic medical qualification outside of South Africa to use ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) to have their medical credentials verified (e.g. Nigerian doctors in South Africa).

All new applicants who obtained their basic medical qualification outside of South Africa are required to establish an EPIC account, if they do not have one already.

Step 2: Practitioners are required to upload their credentials to EPIC for verification.

Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials

EPIC is an innovative, online service that practitioners (e.g. Nigerian doctors in South Africa) can use throughout their careers. Through EPIC, practitioners will be able to build a digital career portfolio of the primary-source verified credentials related to their medical education, training, and registration/license. They can then use EPIC to request reports verifying the authenticity of their credentials be provided to any organisation in the world, including medical regulatory authorities and potential employers, such as hospitals and academic institutions.