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

Tsotsitaal – 4 Easy Words Every Nigerian Can Pronounce

South Africa has eleven official languages (English, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Tswana, SiSwati, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, Ndebele, and Afrikaans). However, most of what you hear on the streets of Johannesburg (or Jozi) and Pretoria is Tsotsitaal.

Tsotsitaal in Johannesburg and PretoriaWhat is Tsotsitaal?

Tsotsitaal is an urban language widely spoken in townships and cities across South Africa. It is a collection of languages – including the eleven official languages.

The word tsotsi (meaning thug or criminal) is from Sotho and the word taal is from Afrikaans (meaning language). So, why have I chosen to teach you Tsotsitaal? Because it is the most widely spoken language (apart from English) in Johannesburg. With that said, here are 4 Tsotsitaal words that every Nigerian can pronounce.

1. Heita!

Depending on the situation and speaker, this word can mean: Hello, Yes or Bye.

2. Sho!

Depending on the situation and speaker, this word can mean: Hello, Yes or Bye.

3. Sharp!

Depending on the situation and speaker, this word can mean: Hello, Yes or Bye.

4. Hola!

Depending on the situation and speaker, this word can mean: Hello, Yes or Bye.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart – Nelson Mandela

South African Food for Nigerians to Try

Tribe/ Mogodu and Pap

South African food is as colourful as its people, who speak 11 official languages and unofficial languages such as Tsotsitaal. Despite this, I’ve realised that most Nigerians in South Africa still prefer Nigerian food and that some Nigerians are yet to try South African food.

That is why I’ve decided to write this article about South African food for Nigerians in South African to try.

Remember the saying when in Rome, you do what the Romans do? I think it is very applicable in this case. Here is my recommended list of South African food that will give you a good taste of South Africa.

Vetkoek/ Magwinya

  • Pair with curried mince
  • Shop at Vuyo’s Restaurant in Soweto

South African Food - Vetkoek/ Magwinya

Tribe/ Mogodu

  • Pair with Samp, Dumpling Or Papa
  • Shop at Pata Pata Restaurant in Jeppestown or Vuyo’s Restaurant in Soweto

Dumpling/ Dombolo

  • Pair with your favourite stew
  • Shop at Vuyo’s Restaurant in Soweto

Chicken Feet/ Maotwana

  • Pair with Gravy and Pap
  • Shop at for chicken feet at Ayepyep Lifestyle

South African Food - Chicken Feet/ Maotwana

Boerewors