#CreatepreneurAfrica – Sandile Ngidi : ‘Africa’s Literary Empire’

Born  in South Africa on the Kwa Zulu Natal 'battlefields' of Vryheid, Sandile Ngidi grew up on the south coast of Durban, Amaholongwa.After matriculating at Marianhill High school he entered the literary kingdom.

His soul journey in the world of words led him on a freelance journalism pathway. He ventured into brand communication specialization and became a  dramatist and  Africa’s literary critic of note.

 Sandile wrote the concept paper towards the inception of South Africa’s Poet Laureate prize on behalf of the wRite Associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

“I am driven by curiosity, a desire to partake in a bigger re-imagination of the human condition”  Sandile Ngidi

An avid advocate of literary translations, in 2006 he translated the classic Zulu novel by Sibusiso Nyembezi, Inkinsela yaseMgungundlovu (The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg) from Zulu to English. He writes in Zulu and English. 

 

Aflame Books.

He was the editor of the Baobab Literary journal and Realtime youth magazine. His debut poetry collection is friends of the time.

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica – Sandile Ngidi: Africa’s literary King

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

I am driven by curiosity, a desire to partake in a bigger re-imagination of the human condition.

How did you find your passion and how old were you? 

Words and the world of words entered my reality at home in my childhood, where my teacher parents always told stories about their world and also had books they used for school but were accessible to me as well.

Early on at high school in 1983, I began trying my hand in poetry. Mimicking really I guess,  but still expressing the conditions of black boyhood in apartheid South Africa.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

The world of words, writing, theatre, books etc, all stir the mind and the soul.

What drove you to make money from your passions? 

Nothing really. Money has been incidental until I discovered that one has to support oneself at some stage.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

For my first newspaper article in the Natal Witness Echo in 1987, if I am not mistaken. This newspaper is influential in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa, and to know that I could be paid for my passion was a pleasant surprise.

 What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

To give up is to die.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

I believe there is something worth contributing, worth the pain and the joy of creating and waiting to be heard. The written word is powerful, it can empower or marginalize, excite or ridicule – writers, especially in the digital age have become the “big eyes” through which the world is seen or hidden.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you? 

Nothing really at first. Money was incidental until I discovered that one has to support put bread on the table. I guess that is why I have for the better of my writing career, worked as a brand communication and public affairs specialist.

This has enabled me to consult with senior corporate and public sector executives. Clients often ask me to write speeches and opinion editorials. This job helps me convey messages to key target audiences anonymously.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you? 

Look deeper inside your self and try to bring the best of you. Systematically “murder” your hero as you learn the craft and bring more of you into the imagination pot.

You are valid. Polish your craft by reading, listening and writing every day. Not just for a pay or an applause. Read widely and listen to others more across many spheres of the human condition, the planet and the environment.

 

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

 

Feature Image by Hugh Mdlalose photography. Coming soon in the #Createpreneur Africa series,  A decade of  Hugh Mdlalose  Creations (photographer /videographer /musician) 

 

 

South Africa’s Cultural Soul – The roots of Township Tours

South Africa – few can rival South African soul in the townships. Today we explore Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Walking the paths of some of the greatest leaders.

It’s another world and another time. This is part of the old Africa, where the amaZulu ruled unchallenged, a place of beaded headdresses and rawhide shields, beehive huts, and a lifestyle that properly belongs to the great age of Shaka.

Gain an insight into the amaZulus’ traditional way of life their beliefs, crafts, songs and dances at Shakaland, the open-air museum near Eshowe.

This is the oldest town in Zululand. Shakaland is also the oldest Zulu Cultural Village in Zululand, originally built as a scenery for the movie “Shaka Zulu”.

It’s been converted into a Zulu homestead with thatched beehive houses arranged in a circle around the central cattle kraal. Visitors stay in beehive houses, with all the modern conveniences.

 

The village overlooking the Umhlatuze Lake offers the true Zulu cultural experience and traditions, including pottery, beadwork, beer making and tasting as well as magnificent foot-stomping, ground shaking demonstrations of traditional Zulu dance.

Assegai-wielding warriors will teach you how to fight. You can also witness the age-old methods of making spears and shields, skills that are to a large extent disappearing. This is one of the few men who still know how to make the broad stabbing spear introduced by King Shaka. A memorable part of the tour is the spear throwing and stick-fighting demonstrations.

The  Memorable Adventures of Zululand

Kwa-Zulu Natal

The Kwa-Zulu Natal province is rooted in the legacy of the Zulu nation. There are ample opportunities to explore the fascinating world of the Zulu’s.

There are many private as well as provincial game reserves showcasing the abundance of biodiversity in the region.  You get an authentic safari experience and a historical viewpoint through the battlefield routes of the historical town, Vryheid which has  tea plantations and cattle ranches.

The Battlefields Route is significant as it was is where there were historical clashes between Zulu,  Brit, and Boer (farmer). The Kwa Zulu Natal battlefield region extends from Thukela river at Dolphin coast to Richards Bay further in the north to Paulpietersburg.

Paulpietersburg is 50hm to the north and links the inland of South Africa with the coast of  Zululand. This town is widely known for sulfur springs and therapeutic spas.

The major attractions are Zulu culture, birdlife, and many nature and game reserves.

Zulu culture is all over South Africa, but not as poignant as the Zulu kingdom.

Visitors can feel and taste true Zulu hospitality in dance, food, and song. There is an opportunity to become part of authentic Zulu weddings, assist with chores in the village and even visit a local sangoma (traditional healer).

You can take an ox-wagon visit to the Zulu beehive huts. Or even explore local shebeens, traditional medicine outlets. You get to learn how locals adapt age-old traditions into modern living.

 

  • A Zululand heritage experience is by stopping at Melmoth ‘where the legend King Shakas was born ‘the Valley of Kings’
  • The Emakhosini Valley is the site of graves of many Zulu Kings
  • The Zululand Birding Route has 650 recorded species of birds. The Dlinza Nature Reserve is a popular spot for birding.
  • Vast nature and game reserves from subtropical forest reserves  along the coast as well as game reserves further north

The biggest attraction in the KZN region is Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

It is the oldest in Africa and home to the famous big 5 in Africa. Rhinos, drive game lions, elephants, buffalos and leopards. There are self-drive game as well as guided walks.

 

Wilderness trails provide an intimate experience in the bush

End the Zululand expedition round off will be Richards Bay. The large town boasts a stunning scenery of the wetland.

 

Welcome to Motherland Africa......