Lubaina Himid, Zanzibar-Born Artist, Wins Turner Prize

Visual artist Lubaina Himid, best known for her paintings, installations, and drawings depicting the African diaspora, won the Turner Prize on Tuesday night, making her the first non-white woman to be given the leading British contemporary art award.

Her victory brings a cash prize of £25,000, or about R450,000, and was announced by Goldie, the British electronic musician and D.J., at a ceremony in Hull, England, which broadcast by the BBC.

The Turner Prize, named after the English painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist. Between 1991 and 2016, only artists under the age of 50 were eligible. This restriction was removed for the 2017 award, making Himid the oldest artist to receive the Prize.

Since it was set up in 1984, the Turner Prize has become one of the best-known visual arts prizes. Each year, four artists are shortlisted, and the prize awarded for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation in the preceding year. The aim of the Prize is to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art.

Alex Farquharson, Tate Britain’s director and the chairman of the Turner Prize jury, said in a statement that the jury “praised the artist for her uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today.” They admire her expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre. The jury also acknowledged her role as an influential curator and educator who continues to speak urgently to the moment. Himid won for three of her shows this year, in Oxford, Bristol and Nottingham, he said.

Naming the Money, by Lubaina Himid, 2004.

Among the selection of Himid’s work on display at the Turner Prize exhibition in Hull was a collection of English ceramics painted with images of black slaves.

In previous years, the prize was judged only on the recent exhibitions for which the artists were nominated. This was the first year in which the prize show itself was formally taken into account.

 

Among the selection of Himid’s work on display at the Turner Prize exhibition in Hull was a collection of English ceramics painted with images of black slaves.

The location of the Turner exhibition alternates between the Tate Britain in London and galleries in other parts of the U.K. every year. Works by all of the nominees are on display in an exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull until January 7th 2018.

Sources: [1], [2], [3].

Relo Originals: Being Water-Wise

Cape Town, where our head offices are located, is currently going through a severe drought. As a result, residents are having to think of new and inventive ways to save water, both to avoid being fined, and to try and help the environment. Many other cities around the world are currently facing similar problems.

There are many ways that one can be more water-wise, and this article outlines a few recommendations.

As you can see in the image above, we have recently installed a water storage tank in our office garden. This tank is linked to the gutters, and collects rain water for storage and later use. Whenever needed, we can take buckets to the tank, and retrieve clean water to use wherever we like. These storage tanks can be professionally installed if you’d prefer not to DIY, and can be purchased in different sizes from Builder’s Warehouse. Prices can be found here.

We also have a special drip system set up to water our rooftop vegetable garden, which you can read more about here. The system involves a number of rubber tubes that route from a storage source. These tubes slowly release water into the beds of vegetables, and can easily be tied to prevent water flow. The water storage is even contributed towards from waste water dripping from air-con condenser units.

Drip Irrigation System

 

Other tips for saving water are:

  • Storing recycled water and using it to flush toilets, by pouring it into the cistern or bowl. (Water stored for long periods of time should be treated).
  • Stacking dirty dishes and washing only once per day.
  • Only washing clothes when you have a full load.
  • Showering instead of bathing, and reducing shower times.
  • Watering your garden when the sun is low, to prevent lots of evaporation.
  • Fix all drips and leaks at home and in the office.
  • Install a water meter or monitor your bills to track your usage, and set goals for yourself each month.
  • Invest in appliances that are rated for efficient use of water.
  • Lobby your city to invest in sustainable water solutions.

There are numerous places around the world where the demand for water is not met. The problem affects an estimated 2.7 billion people for at least one month of every year, across every continent, and is particularly pressing in cities, as the global urban population grows. Currently, almost four billion people live in cities, with a further 2.5 billion expected to join them by 2050.

Over the past few years, both Los Angeles and São Paulo have been impacted by major droughts affecting their surrounding states. In response to the absence of snow, California governor Jerry Brown announced mandatory regulations that prohibited the watering of ornamental grass, required new homes to use drip irrigation, and directed water agencies to set up new pricing structures to maximize conservation.

Further east, Singapore, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, Doha have some of the lowest access to freshwater in the world, and make use of desalination plants, which convert ocean water into freshwater.

Much of western Queensland, Australia experienced drought between 2013 and 2015, affecting agriculture as well as residents. In response to further drought warnings in the area earlier in 2017, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation offered online advice to farmers on assistance available to them in their local areas.

As we attempt to combat climate change, saving water helps people the world over. Not only does doing so benefit the environment, it can also save you money.

For more water tips and information relevant to Cape Town’s water situation, visit the City of Cape Town website.

For more information about how we can assist you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4].

 

From The Hippo’s Ears: Botswana

Contributions by Mohumi

Botswana, (officially the Republic of Botswana (Setswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods.

The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966.

Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa for the last four years.

Facts you may not have known about Botswana:

1. When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?
When meeting, a standard greeting in English is: “Hello, how are you?” A typical Botswana greeting involves saying “dumela” and shaking hands.

2. What languages are spoken in your country?
In Botswana the official languages are Setswana and English.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?
Both are used, but professionally we use the twenty-four hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in Botswana?
Botswanans drive on the left and pass on the right. Traffic in Botswana is not a major issue, but locals are known to take their time on the road.

5. How important is punctuality?
Punctuality is important but it’s not uncommon for locals to practice ‘African time’, being slightly late.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of your most popular musicians?
In Botswana South African music and American pop music are common. DSTV plays a lot of the popular international music.

Botswana has a strong hip hop scene, and has aired a national hip hop radio show, Strictly Hip Hop, to promote the genre. Motswako, a genre of hip hop, originated in Botswana in the 1990s, and is also popular in South Africa.
Folk music is also popular in Botswana. Tswana music is primarily vocal, performed without drums and makes extensive use of string instruments, particularly the guitar. In the absence of drums, a clapping rhythm is used in music with a typical call-and-response vocal style. Culture Spears is a Tswana traditional Music group comprising 5 young artists who sing in the Setswana language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdegk9V4bwA.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?
The common dance styles in Botswana include borankana, phathisi, setapa, tsutsube, ndazola, Kalanga hosana, and chesa. Among other things, dance is used for storytelling. The Kuru Dance Festival takes place every two years in August, lasting up to three days.
Dikakapa is a traditional dance group formed in 2006, drawing inspiration from artists such as Seragantswana, Scar,Vee, Gong Master, and Extra Musica. Here is a music video of theirs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBNTay8kkw8.

8. What traditional Festivals are celebrated in your community?
Independence Day, commonly called Boipuso, is a national holiday observed in Botswana on September 30 of every year. The date celebrates Botswana’s Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on September 30, 1966.
Taking place in May, Letlhafula is an annual food festival, held to celebrate the harvest.
Founded in 2004, and taking place in March, Son of the Soil is an annual, themed, cultural festival that involves song, dance, food, and dress.

9. What are your seasons like?
The whole country has hot summers. The rainy season is short. The dry season lasts from April to October in the south and to November in the north. The south of the country is most exposed to cold winds during the winter period.

10. Tell us an interesting fact about your President?
Ian Khama is the eldest son of Botswana’s first president, Botswana-born Sir Seretse and Lady Ruth Khama, who was born in London, U.K. He was born in Chertsey, Surrey during the period in which his father was exiled to the United Kingdom due to the opposition by the colonial government and the emergent apartheid regime in South Africa to his marriage to a white woman.
He is a qualified pilot, and attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where the British Army trains its officers.

Ian Khama is a member of the Board of Directors of the US-based organization Conservation International, which is also active in Botswana. Its goal is to protect nature as a source of food, fresh water, livelihoods and a stable climate.

11. What are Botswana’s major industries?
Botswana’s economy has been built on a foundation of diamond mining, prudent fiscal policies, international financial and technical assistance, and a cautious foreign policy. Its largest product export is diamonds, at 62% of overall exports, followed by nickel, copper, and gold. Outside the mining industry, Botswana also has a highly successful tourism industry, which accounts for almost 12% of the country’s GDP, and revolves around Botswana’s unique ecosystem, providing tourists with the opportunity to view a wide variety of animals including giraffes, rhino, buffalo, and one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world.

12. How do people spend their free time?
Many people spend their time socializing, shopping, and travelling around Botswana when they have free time. Excellent holidays can be had at the Chobe National Park, which provides great scenery, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Residents of Gaborone may climb to the top of Kgale Hill for an aerial view of the city, or spend some time at the Botswana Botanical Garden or the local Yacht Club.

13. What do people drink?
Alcohol: beer, spirits, wine. There are various traditionally produced alcoholic drinks. Bojalwa ja Setswana (the beer of Batswana) is brewed from fermented sorghum seeds. Other tribes, like Bakalanga, use lebelebele (millet). A commercially produced and packaged beer, Chibuku, brewed from either maize or sorghum, is a favourite drink particularly in the villages and towns.
Milk is fermented to make madila (sour milk), which is eaten on its own or added to porridge.
A favorite non-alcoholic homemade drink is ginger beer.

14. What is a popular local dish?
Mealie meal and red meat. Popular foods in remote areas include the morama bean, a huge underground tuber, and an edible fungus.

15. What do you pay for? (1 USD = approx. 10 BWP)
A cup of coffee: P23
A Coca Cola: P7
A 2-course meal for 2 people: P250
A loaf of bread: P9
A bottle of milk: P13

16. General Safety?
Botswana is generally a safe country. People should, as a general precaution, be aware of their surroundings, especially when walking around at night. Visitors should take care when walking with handbags and using cell phones while walking around. If possible, walk with someone else, rather than alone.

17. And in conclusion…
Famous (and sometimes infamous…) people from Botswana include:
Ian Khama, the current President. Khama has been the President of Botswana since 2008. After serving as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, he entered politics and served as Vice-President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, then succeeded Festus Mogae as President on 1 April 2008. He won a full term in the 2009 election, and was re-elected in October 2014.

Amantle Montsho, a female sprinter who specializes in 400 meter races. She represented her country at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, reaching the final at the latter edition. She has also competed at the World Championships in Athletics and the IAAF World Indoor Championships, and is the former World Champion over the 400m, winning in a personal best time of 49.56 in Daegu.

Duma Boko, a lawyer and politician, who is currently the leader of the opposition in Botswana, at the helm of the Umbrella for Democratic Change. The UDC has 17 seats in the 63 seat National Assembly. Boko was born in Mahalapye, a rural town in Botswana, and relocated to Gaborone in 1987 for his law studies at University of Botswana, after which he continued to study at Harvard. When the Botswana National Front split in 2000, Boko became the leader of the newly-formed National Democratic Front. He went on to establish the UDC in 2012.

Relocation Africa End of Year Function 2017

After a great year, the head office team took some time off on Friday to have lunch together in Camps Bay. Thank you to everyone for their hard work this year!

The lunch gave us a chance to not only get to know each other better, but to reflect on the year as a company, taking into account its peaks and challenges, and the milestones we’ve achieved.

We’re ready to make 2018 even more successful.

For more information about how we can assist you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Relo Originals: Going Green and Planting Your Own Vegetables

Relocation Africa’s Rooftop Garden

Our resident maintenance and garden aficionado, Raeez, has spent weeks carefully planning, building, and tending to our new rooftop garden, at our head office in Cape Town.

Going into the South African summer months, we are now all able to see the fruits, or in this case vegetables, of his labor.

Raeez has successfully created a thriving rooftop vegetable garden, on a section of flat roof at our main office building. The garden has been specifically designed to be water-wise and insect-safe, and as a result, we now have access to a wide variety of harvestable vegetables that our staff can enjoy.

We recommend that other businesses, and those at home, try one of the many ways to plant your own vegetable gardens at your premises, as it is a great way to save money, engage with staff members, and help save the environment.

As part of the garden, we also have a custom beehive, wherein a local colony is in the process of making fresh honey for us.

We consulted with a gardening specialist at Stodels Garden Centre in Constantia, Cape Town, and received some helpful tips for vegetable planting.

Some beginner’s tips on planting your own vegetable garden are:

  • Start small – plan carefully, and test first. That way you won’t waste money, or end up with more than you need.
  • Pick a good location – choosing wisely will allow your plants to thrive under the best conditions.
    • Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest, and the better the taste.
    • Plants’ roots penetrate soft soil easily, so loamy soil is best. Enriching the soil with compost provides needed nutrients. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top, nor drains away too quickly.
    • Space your crops properly. For example, corn needs a lot of space and can overshadow shorter vegetables. Plants set too close together compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition, and fail to mature. Pay attention to the spacing guidance on seed packets and plant tabs.
    • Buy high-quality seeds. Seed packets are less expensive than individual plants. If seeds don’t germinate, your money and time are wasted. A few extra cents spent in spring for that year’s seeds will pay off in higher yields at harvest time.
  • Choose the right plot size – A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 5 x 3 meters, and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, based on the vegetables suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing, or giving away.
  • Make the best use of your space – trellising is an efficient way to use space in the garden. Those with small gardens will want to grow as many crops as possible on vertical supports, and gardeners who have a lot of space will still need to lend physical support to some of their vegetables, such as climbing varieties of peas and pole beans, as well as cucumbers and tomatoes. Supports can be constructed out of wood or metal, and should be in place before crops are planted.
  • Plant suitable vegetables – The vegetables suggested below are common, productive plants, but you’ll also want to contract your local nursery to determine what plants grow best in your local area. Think about what you like to eat, as well as what’s difficult to find in a grocery store or farmers’ market. If the below is too large for your needs, you can merely plant fewer of each plant, shortening the rows.
    • Tomatoes (5 plants, staked)
    • Zucchini squash (4 plants)
    • Peppers (6 plants)
    • Cabbage
    • Bush beans
    • Lettuce, leaf and/or Bibb
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Chard
    • Radishes
    • Marigolds (to discourage rabbits)
  • Rotate your crops – Crop rotation within the vegetable garden means planting the same crop in the same place only once every three years. This ensures that the same garden vegetables will not deplete the same nutrients year after year. It can also help foil any insect pests or disease pathogens that might be lurking in the soil after the crop is harvested.
  • Plant at the right time of year – make use of a planting calendar, such as one of the below, which will tell you the best time to plant each plant, based on your specific region’s climate.
  • Keep a record – making sure you track harvest times, when you fertilize, and when you plant, will help for future garden planning.
  • Have fun – this is the most important aspect. Enjoy the process, see it as a learning opportunity, and take pride in eating healthily and helping the environment!

For more information on how to plant your own vegetables, other gardening tips, and to choose from a variety of plants and seeds, visit a Stodels Garden Centre. Information is available on their website here: https://www.stodels.com.

For information on how we can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or contact us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2].