ACDA to celebrate the community of Baracara during Emancipation celebrations

first_imgThe Canje Creek community of Baracara in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) has been named as this year’s honorary community for the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA), as the cultural organisation hosts Emancipation Day celebrations on August 1.Baracara is a small village along the banks of the Canje River, and has at its roots a history passed down in the folklore of its residents over the years which points to it being a community which originated as a refuge for Guyanese Maroons, or runaway slaves.The stories roll off the lips of the village elders of the findings of lead shots for muskets at the waterfront immediately in front of the school, to the passing down of folk medicine that over time has proven to be very effective. This community is now set to transition into a local government area administrated by a Neighbourhood Democratic Council, a project that is currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Communities.Baracara VillageWhile many of the villages honoured by ACDA under the spotlight of the Emancipation celebrations have a common history of being purchased by freed slaves, Baracara is said to have a deeper, more mysterious origin, which is passed down in oral history.The honouring of the riverine community comes as ACDA celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year and its 22nd Emancipation Day Festival at the National Park on Freedom Day, Monday, August 1.This is the second Emancipation celebration during the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD), which commenced in January 2015 and will come to an end in December 2024.It is a special year as Guyana celebrates its 50th year of Independence. This year’s celebration will be held under the theme, “African Guyanese achievements in the year of our Jubilee”, with a sub theme, “Building Strong Families through Entrepreneurship”.According to ACDA, the themes have been chosen in recognition of the importance of youth knowing their history and the legacy of their ancestors.Honouring the African presence in GuyanaACDA also celebrates an African country annually since most Guyanese of African descent cannot trace their ancestral roots to a particular African nation. In choosing a particular African country to highlight every year, ACDA seeks to educate the young and old about African countries and to remind them that Africa has 54 countries and is not a single country like China or India or the United States.Traditionally, ACDA honours an African country at every Emancipation Festival by building an educational booth for that country. However this year, 2016, the focus will be placed on Guyana, in keeping with the Jubilee celebrations.“A country with a very rich African influence, history and culture, Guyana will be the centrepiece that ACDA will proudly showcase during the observance of this Emancipation, as we explore our glorious past,” ACDA said.ACDA said a number of activities have been planned for this year’s Emancipation Day Festival. The organisation said it tried every year to raise the bar on performances in the National Park by providing some of the best local, regional and international performing groups. This year, it said, will be no different.According to ACDA, “For the first time ever in 2013, we were able to bring performers from Africa via the USA and we have managed to continue to expand our international acts since then in our hope to foster the growth of professionalism and diversity within the Guyana performing arts field especially amongst our local groups. The aim is to bring something different every year to the festival which does not already exist in Guyana… The past three years we have brought a Nigerian mime, acrobats from Kenya, a juggler from Ethiopia and a ventriloquist amongst others, all talents that were fairly new to the Guyanese people.”This year, the organisation said it was seeking to expand on this by bringing to the National Park Jamaican reggae star Luciano, who has emerged as one of the most prominent singers in decades and the greatest hope for roots reggae’s survival in the digital dancehall era.last_img read more

Man, 20, Jailed for Raping Girl, 14

first_imgAfter denying having any sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl (name withheld), Nelson Binda, 20, was yesterday remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison by the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice, where he is expected to stay until his trial for rape can resume.Binda was said to have held the victim at his Jallah Town Community residence for days, allegedly using her as his wife, prior to his arrest on April 26 by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).Though Binda claimed he kept his victim for her own protection, he could not escape time in jail as the crime of rape is a non-bailable offense in Liberia.Police who investigated Binda before turning him over to the court yesterday alleged that the victim was reported missing on Sunday, April 24, after leaving her home to get her hair braided in the same community.“She went but did not come home the same day,” police quoted the victim’s mother, Madam Kebbeh Korvah, adding, “the next day we the family members went all around looking for her, but we did not find any trace of her in the community.”Madam Korvah alleged that after two days of searching, one of her neighbors informed them to search Binda’s home.Madam Korvah said people in the community alleged that Binda has been in the constant habit of holding kids against their wills and subsequently treating them as though they were his wives.Based on that speculation, the victim’s mother claimed she had some LNP officers escort her to Binda’s, where they discovered the young girl with Binda in his bedroom.According to police, Madam Korvah said the defendant’s towel was wrapped around her missing daughter’s waist.Binda, police said, explained that on the night of April 24 at about 11 p.m., after spending time at the Tribunal Entertainment Center, he saw the victim sitting on log in his yard.Binda alleged that he asked the victim: “What did you come to do here?” to which he claimed she answered: “I came to wait for my boyfriend.”Leaving the victim on the log, Binda said he went into his room. After some time, he said, he came back out only to find the girl still sitting on the log, adding that he asked her what she was doing out that time of the night.During preliminary investigation, Binda said the victim told him she came from Red Light; which led him to conclude that the girl was either mentally ill or was a burglar.After realizing she was neither mentally ill nor a burglar, Binda said he decided shelter the girl in his room.According to Binda, he and his friend, named Christopher, slept on the floor to make room for the girl to sleep in his bed.Binda said on the following day he gave the victim some money to for food and asked her to go home. He explained to police that the victim had refused to return home, until the day they were discovered in his room by her mother and LNP officers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Plastic City residents call for settlement of land issue

first_imgFor residents within the Vreed-en-Hoop/Plastic City community in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), the hope of being able to own their land and home is dream shared by many. While some residents are squatting in the community, others legally own their land.Vreed-en-Hoop/Plastic City resident Adrian (only name given)However, according to a report by the Department of Public Information, it was been highlighted during a community meeting by a resident, Adrian (only name given), that himself and other residents are being bullied to leave the area.According to Adrian, this stems from the claims of one individual, who said he holds a land transport which will not only mean the removal of many residents, but also that of the Vreed-en-Hoop Secondary School and other businesses.“How is [it] possible that you have a school in this location, and someone has [land] transport harassing businessmen in the community and residents and constantly pushing to take over this entire area?” Adrian questioned during a meeting held on Thursday.Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma, who was present, said that this matter will need to be reviewed by the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams, for legal advice on the way forward.The Minister stressed that persons will need to abide by the final ruling, but if the document is not authentic, it will be challenged in court.In the meantime, residents who are currently squatting requested for assistance to obtain their land titles.last_img read more

GAA NOTES: URRIS GAA CLUB

first_imgGAA Bingo Every Thursday Night At 9pm In St Marys Hall Clonmany Everyone Welcome.Match & Win for 10/11/2011 No jackpot winner last week this weeks will rise to €2,460.00 numbers drawn were 9,17,19,24 the €15 consolation prizes went to Vanessa Grant Buncrana, Angela Ivers Clonmany, Bradley Girls Fahan, Lily McLaughlin Isle of Dough,Kathleen Houten Chapel Glen Clonmany.Scrappage Saturday – The Club will be holding a scrappage collection day at Straid on Saturday 3rd December from 10am to 4pm. All scrap metal is being collected and if you cant get your scrap to Straid let us know and we will arrange to collect it, this is your chance to clear your sheds and house of any unwanted metal items, everything from cars to washing machines bicycles to copper pipe can be got rid of. If you want to arrange collection give John Friel 0860523550 or David Hession 0860538537 a call. Presentation Nights – The Senior Presentation Night will take place in the Strand Hotel on Saturday 26th November at 8.30pm,price of the meal on the night is €20 – €5 extra for steak. We would encourage all our members both players and supporters to come out and celebrate another year of footballing endeavours in what is always one of the highlights of the Urris calendar.Please contact David or John to confirm attendance before the 24th November.The 2011 Urris Underage presentations take place in the Ballyliffin Hotel on Friday, November 18th at 6.30pm sharp. We hope all our underage players from the U10 to U16 teams (boys and girls) will come along with their parents to celebrate what has been another great year of underage football for CLG Iorras. The price on the night is €5 for children and €10 for adults which includes dinner and dessert.Please contact Susan McCarron 0863945954, David Hession or John Friel to confirm you are going on or before Wednesday, November 16th.Annual Mass for the deceased will take place in the Club House Straid on Thursday 24th November at 7pm all welcome.2011 A.G.M of Urris GAA Club will take place on Sunday 4th December at 6pm in the Day Centre Cleagh. Motions for the A.G.M must be delivered in writing to David Hession on or before the 20th November for consideration by the meeting New Club Website is up and running at www.urris.gaa.ie so check it out for all the clubs up to date news.Club Merchandise – the club has a range of merchandise available in all sizes polo shirts hoodies jackets and not forgetting the all important urris hat for the coming winter contact Alan on 0879029672.Any items for the notes please send to lckn3@eircom.net or text to Liz O’Neill on 0863858629 before 9pm on Sunday evening.GAA NOTES: URRIS GAA CLUB was last modified: November 14th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:URRIS GAA noteslast_img read more

England fined £50,000 by FIFA for unauthorised socks and get fan warning

first_img Eric Dier was one of the England players wearing unauthorised socks – visible in this picture – at the World Cup 2 The Football Association have received a warning from the world governing body over the behaviour of England fans and alleged “political chants” during the Three Lions’ semi-final defeat to Croatia.Chants of ‘no surrender’ were heard during the national anthems, though no details were given of the infringement.FIFA’s disciplinary committee issued the initial charges on Thursday and, having studied footage from the game, have determined a small minority of those in attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium were guilty of misconduct.“The decision was taken after having analysed the respective evidence available and considered all factors surrounding the infringement, including the fact that the incident was triggered by a very small group of fans,” said an official statement.The FA has also been fined around £50,000 for breaching tournament rules on marketing and equipment – understood to be the use of branded ankle support socks over approved kit.HOLEY MOLEY: Why is England star Danny Rose playing against Belgium with holes in his socks? Raheem Sterling has also worn protective socks during the World CupIt is the second time England have been penalised for wearing the socks, having also been fined the same amount after the quarter-final.Raheem Sterling and Eric Dier have been wearing Trusox protective socks – which prevent blisters and improve grip – over their official Nike outfit.The FIFA statement added: “Two members of the English national team displayed unauthorised commercial branding on playing equipment items during the above-mentioned match. FIFA had previously requested The Football Association to cease the activity that led to the breach and had in fact imposed a sanction on 10 July for the same infringement that had been caused by a higher number of members of the English national team.” England have been warned by FIFA over fan behaviour and have also been fined for players wearing unauthorised socks during the World Cup.last_img read more

PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL SEAN GALLAGHER ON WHISTLE-STOP TOUR OF DONEGAL TOMORRROW

first_imgIndependent Presidential candidate, Seán Gallagher is to visit Donegal on his campaign trail tomorrow.The Donegal Campaign Team believe that as President, Seán will work together with us to help create a new community minded, enterprise friendly and socially included Ireland.Speaking in advance of the canvass, Seán Gallagher said, “I am looking forward to canvassing in Donegal on Saturday October 8th with the support of my wonderful Donegal Campaign Team. “I am very grateful for their support, time and effort. This election is not about me; it is about all of us, putting our strengths to work together.”The following is the Journey Plan for Mr Gallagher’s trip to Donegal for Saturday.Bundoran 09:00 amBallyshannon 09:45 am Donegal Town 10:30 amBallybofey 11:30 amLetterkenny 12:30Buncrana 3 pmCuldaff 4 pm Ballyliffin 5:30 pmEndsPRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL SEAN GALLAGHER ON WHISTLE-STOP TOUR OF DONEGAL TOMORRROW was last modified: October 7th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:sean gallagherlast_img read more

Residents help haunt local house for spooky holiday

first_img The haunted house is a combination of imagination and professional studio work. The lighting is all Hollywood, thanks to the industry guy in the neighborhood, Richard Espinoza. The graves, mummies, detached eyeballs peering from bushes, spiderwebs, scary guys and other props are from Crawford’s growing collection. A rickety black fence adds to the gloom. On Friday, the crew was rushing to get things ready. School buses filled with kids slowed down to let the children gape; neighbors passed by, starting in anticipation. “You won’t see any of this from the street when we’re finished,” said Wade Jones, an emergency medical technician who works with Crawford, a paramedic. Jones was preparing to rig a huge red drape around the front yard, hiding the graveyard, maze and other haunts. “It’s pretty spooky,” neighbor Sally Ives said, riding her bike by Friday to check the progress. “You don’t know what’s real and what isn’t and all of a sudden someone comes at you.” “She thinks it’s scary,” 11-year-old son Johnny said. Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251 pat.aidem@dailynews.com IF YOU GO The haunted house will open at 7 tonight and Halloween night at Wakefield Road and Cambridge Avenue in Castaic. Bring a can of food or other nonperishable to donate to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CASTAIC – There’s a guy hanging from a noose from the streetlight at Wakefield Road and Cambridge Avenue. That’s standard fare around Halloween at Matt Crawford’s house. All week long friends and neighbors have gathered at Crawford’s house to transform his yard and garage into the ultimate haunt, one that is open all of tonight and Monday, and is tailored to all ages. Last year, some 2,500 costumed revelers toured the spooky house, hundreds bringing food donations for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. “This whole neighborhood really gets into Halloween,” neighbor Dan Allen said as four men hoisted a blue tent into place. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Crawford has lived at the corner house for about eight years and has opened his garage as a haunt for four years, taking on a tradition his brother started. People come from all over the neighborhood to help, and when it’s showtime, the monsters inside appear suspiciously tall … about as tall as, say, Valencia High School’s basketball players. “These guys are great, and they have a great time,” Crawford said of the helpers from the squad. For the older trick-or-treaters, the monsters jump out of nowhere and deliver heart-stopping cries. Radio headsets worn by the organizers help keep things a little less scary for the wee ghosts and witches. “We give the no-scare alert,” Crawford said. “We tell the monsters to wave nice.” last_img read more

Transfer gossip: Sun say El-Mhanni is close to leaving Newcastle

first_imgYasin Ben El-Mhanni is close to quitting Newcastle, according to The Sun.The 22-year-old West Londoner, who joined the Magpies a year ago, is said to be unhappy with the way the club are dealing with allegations of racism and bullying by Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley.Former England international Beardsley faces multiple complaints, one of which has been made by El-Mhanni.Beardsley is taking a period of leave while the club holds an investigation into the allegations.Embed from Getty ImagesThe Sun say the player’s position at St James’ Park has become “increasingly uncomfortable” and that there is interest in him among a number of clubs.Those clubs are said to be Stoke and Championship promotion chasers Wolves and Cardiff.Wolves are reported to have made an approach, with Stoke and Cardiff apparently monitoring developments.El-Mhanni played for a number of non-League clubs and had a trial with Chelsea prior to being snapped up by Newcastle, where he has not made a league appearance. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Inventing Stars, Solar Systems and Universes

first_imgAlways look into the methods used when scientists speak confidently about models for making things appear out of nowhere.News from Comet 67PSurprise discovery suggests ‘gentle’ start for Solar System (BBC News): “The discovery has come as a complete surprise to scientists who thought that oxygen would have reacted with other elements as planets were forming,” declares the normally overconfident BBC reporter Pallab Ghosh. “The results indicate that current ideas about how our Solar System formed may be wrong.”  See paper in Nature, “Abundant molecular oxygen in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.”Modern Mystery: Ancient Comet Is Spewing Oxygen (Space.com): More about this “big surprise”:What’s mystifying astronomers about the new find is why the oxygen wasn’t annihilated during the solar system’s formation. Molecular oxygen is extremely reactive with hydrogen, which was swirling in abundance as the sun and planets were created. Current solar system models suggest the molecular oxygen should have disappeared by the time 67P was created, about 4.6 billion years ago.Discovery of molecular oxygen in comet tail forces us to rethink how the solar system formed (Christian Schroeder in The Conversation): Molecular oxygen has a ripple effect on models of the whole solar system: “That means that our solar system might have formed from an unusually warm cloud, which raises the question as to what might have caused this elevated temperature.” Other possibilities are bandied about. Schroeder puts a happy face on falsification: “We can look forward to the next surprises this comet has in store for us.”Rosetta Mission: Ptolemy sniffs next piece of the comet puzzle (Science Daily): Ptolemy is one of the instruments on the spacecraft. It detected ice and CO2, but very little CO that was predicted. “Our results, from Comet 67P’s surface, has both surprised us as well as opened up a variety of new questions about how comets form and how they work.”Rosetta scientists unveil the source of ice and dust jets on comet 67P (Monica Grady in The Conversation): The comet is darker than it’s supposed to be. The expectations were all wrong. “But despite this wealth of visual evidence for researchers there is a lot we still don’t know about the comet – including why it is covered in organic material rather than just ice and what causes its powerful jets of dust and ice.”Planet ModelsNow that we have seen that scientists can be surprised at how wrong their models are, let’s see some new models they’re promoting with hubris.Growing the terrestrial planets from the gradual accumulation of submeter-sized objects (PNAS): Veteran planet-maker Hal Levison is at it again, cooking up planets out of dust. This paper is filled with assumptions, conveniently-chosen initial conditions, and leaps of faith, such as assuming dust grains will form pebbles without getting swept into the sun or blown out the disk. But it sure got nice coverage in the press.Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from ‘pebbles’: New process explains massive differences between Earth and Mars(Science Daily): Typical uncritical press coverage of the new Levison model. Gives the wizard the last word: “As far as I know, this is the first model to reproduce the structure of the solar system — Earth and Venus, a small Mars, a low-mass asteroid belt, two gas giants, two ice giants (Uranus and Neptune), and a pristine Kuiper Belt,” said Levison.”Astrophysicists find Jupiter likely bumped giant planet from solar system (PhysOrg): Explaining the position of Uranus and Neptune requires a game of billiards with Jupiter and Saturn. Nobody saw a mythical fifth planet that was conjured up to get a new model to work. Conveniently, Jupiter ejected it without leaving a trace.Star Models‘One size fits all’ when it comes to unravelling how stars form (PhysOrg): Positivist coverage of interpretations of blurry images from a Chilean telescope. Article claims big stars form the same way as their models say small stars form.Whoops, what about these?  Models are only simulations of reality. Reality is often more complex, e.g.: Astronomers find disk of young stars near center of Milky Way (Nature): “The discovery suggests there has been a constant supply of young stars to the galactic center, but where do they come from?” Daniel Clery asks. “The galactic center is thought to have used up its supply of gas from which to make stars long long ago, so astronomers will have to figure out some mechanism by which young stars are moved inward from farther out in the galaxy.” Aren’t there other possibilities? (1) Maybe they’re misclassifying young and old; or, (2) Maybe the galaxy isn’t as old as they think it is.Astrophysics: Primordial stars brought to light (Nature): This optimistic article claims a possible success in the hunt for Population III stars, theoretical stars made out of pure hydrogen, with traces of helium and maybe lithium. That’s the only kind of star that could have formed after the big bang when those were the only elements.Twinkle twinkle little star, I know exactly what you are;For by spectroscopic ken, I know that you are hydrogen.All the other elements had to form from supernovas, the story goes. Anyway, a certain galaxy seems to have “candidate” Population III stars, but they are mixed in with heavy-metal stars if that’s what they are. The observations appear to be model-dependent. “The authors find that the observations of CR7 are best explained by a hybrid stellar population containing both young, metal-free stars and an older, chemically evolved population, respectively emitting most of the UV and optical light,” reporter Bethan James writes.Galaxy and Cosmology ModelsMissing gravitational waves lead to black hole rethink (PhysOrg): Another upset reported. “Human understanding of galaxies and black holes is being called into question after an 11-year search for mysterious gravitational waves—famously predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago—failed to find anything.”New theory of stealth dark matter may explain universe’s missing mass (Science Daily): All of the above is only a model for 5% of reality, astronomers think. They’re still looking for the other 95%. Maybe it’s just “stealthy” like a ghost—a timely idea for Halloween.Birth of universe modelled in one of largest cosmological simulations ever run (Science Daily): It’s not clear what the guys at Argonne National Labs are doing spending taxpayer dollars to run computer simulations on cosmology for the Department of Energy, but they have a zinger. They got stars and galaxies to form against their will out of a uniform fog after the big bang by mixing in copious amounts of lucky charms called dark matter. For those who would like to see an honest skepticism of these models, see Spike Psarris’s video, What You’re Not Being Told about Astronomy, Part II: Stars and Galaxies. He quotes leading astronomers who reveal that they don’t know what they are talking about. They have to invoke the Tooth Fairy twice (dark matter and dark energy), one embarrassed astronomer confesses. If stars and galaxies didn’t exist, they would be happy to explain why this is exactly what they expect, another says.Science is the only career where you can be totally wrong and still keep your job and enjoy a great reputation in the media. The way you keep going is to look excited and glad about the fallen expectations, hyping the promise that the puzzle opens up new possibilities for better models. Now that you have seen the difference between hubristic models and reality, try your hand at interpreting these articles:How we plan to bring dark matter to light (PhysOrg)Dark matter universe (PNAS)Have physicists seen the dying flash of dark matter? (Science)X-ray signal from outer space points to dark matter (Science)Our Universe: It’s the ‘Simplest’ Thing We Know (Live Science)Evolution of the universe in unmatched precision (Science Daily): “New most comprehensive hydrodynamical simulation of the universe’s visible structure”New precise particle measurement improves subatomic tool for probing mysteries of universe (PhysOrg)Recommended reading: “The Scientific Method Is a Myth” by Daniel P. Thurs on Discover Magazine.(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Care and communities at the heart of social cohesion

first_imgIf unity and pride is an outcome, the means to get there is by caring for one another and creating a sense of community, according to researchers at a Brand South Africa forum on social cohesion. Unity and national pride can be achieved if South Africans care more for each other and work together.(Image: Shamin Chibba)Shamin ChibbaBrand South Africa’s chief executive, Kingsley Makhubela, looked at the academics and researchers around the boardroom table and asked: “How do we build a caring nation brand?”Makhubela was addressing a roomful of researchers at the Brand South Africa research reference group discussion on social cohesion at its offices on Wednesday, 17 August.Attendees looked to define the term “social cohesion” and sought a way to integrate it into South African society.Vanessa Barolsky of the Human Sciences Research Council proposed a social cohesion strategy based on care and nation pride. She said the strategy should include, among other aspects, a new “ethic of care, an emphasis on ubuntu, respect for and unity in diversity, and shared values and norms”.Trying to incorporate social cohesion into policy was proving to be problematic, Barolsky said. One of the factors impeding it was South African society’s tussle between individualism and community structures.The definition of social cohesion in the National Development Plan (NDP) was described in “very circular terms”.The NDP states that for social cohesion to take place, the gap between rich and poor has to close and that it can be promoted across all races and classes.Pressure pointsMakhubela said there were a few “pressure points” that made social cohesion difficult to achieve in South Africa. One of them was race relations. “We carry a lot of baggage from the past and we have no system to deal with it.”For many years, he said, business had accused the state of being corrupt while the government had said business was not transformative. But it was after international ratings agencies had taken a closer look at South Africa earlier this year that both groups realised the country was built on shaky ground. “The foundation of our democracy has flopped. We’ve built it on divisive ground,” said Makhubela.He added that the colour of our skin and the language we spoke should not determine the way we related to each other and quality of service delivery we received, yet it still occurred.Women and social cohesionWith South Africa in the middle of Women’s Month, Makhubela pointed out that social cohesion was being set back by the shocking level of gender-based violence.He referred to six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape from Northern Cape who was killed recently while trying to protect his mother from being raped. The media was lauding the child as a hero, but this was a sign that something was very wrong with society, said Makhubela. “This means that a six-year-old is dealing with adult issues. So how can we say he is a hero? He shouldn’t have to deal with such things in the first place.”Role of heritageSouth Africa’s heritage also played a part in social cohesion, said Brand South Africa research manager Petrus de Kock. The country’s history went back over 2 million years with the hominid fossils found around Maropeng. He also referred to the ancient kingdoms of Mapungubwe, Magoeba and the Modjadji Rain Queen and even Afrikaans as a truly African language. “Afrikaans was a utilitarian vehicle for people on the fringes of colonial society.”Though Afrikaans was known to have roots in Dutch, German and French, the language had also absorbed elements of Malay and local languages. De Kock said less than 50% of Afrikaans speakers were white.Furthermore, people’s behaviour was just one of the soft factors that determined social cohesion. He referred to the Rhodes Must Fall campaign as a symbol of a colonial past that had not been dealt with and a soft factor affecting nation building.Barolskly spoke of the importance ethnography played in getting people to familiarise themselves with and embrace each other’s difference. “Ethnography is under-utilised in South Africa as it can capture the ‘way of life’ of groups of people.”One of these ways of life was how communities dealt with problems, noted Barolsky. In a community, the people came together to deal with a problem on their own, whereas a Western individual structure called for external intervention to find solutions.It was for this reason that attendees agreed social cohesion needed to adopt a national and communal point of view – that took into consideration smaller towns, rural areas and townships – as most discussions on the topic were centred on individual-orientated metropolitan areas.last_img read more