- 06 July 2022 - 07 August 2022
- Main Gallery, Media Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery, Park Gallery
As our province recovers from yet another challenging sequence of events, one of Durban’s foremost poets, Mafika Gwala (1946-2014), reminds us that life has always been a pretty complicated business. There are no free rides. His poem, Getting off the Ride, written in 1977, delivers a series of keenly observed sketches that temper a sense of hopelessness with snatches of courageous optimism and resilience.
Written in another, equally difficult era, his words stand as the point of departure for inspiration to interpret where we stand today.
Members are invited to submit an artwork that speaks to themes, thoughts or ideas uncovered in Gwala’s vivid words. All mediums are welcome, including digital, performance and sound; the media gallery is available for digital and film submissions. Dimensions of work cannot exceed 1.5m, and only work made in 2022 in response to the theme will be accepted. Submissions that are not accompanied by a completed entry form will not be eligible for selection.
The KZNSA Exhibition sub-committee reserve the right to select work for the judges’ consideration for the award.
Opening Event and Prize Giving: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 from 17h30
Works to be submitted during the times below, accompanied by a completed entry form:
Friday 1 July 09h00 - 16h00
Saturday 2 July 09h00 - 15h00
Sunday 3 July 09h00 - 14h00
No late submissions will be accepted
For more information or enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To download the poem, click here
from: Getting off the Ride by Mafika Gwala
I know this ride bloody well.
I’m from those squatted mothers
Those squatted mothers in the draughty air;
Those mothers selling handouts,
Those mothers selling fruits,
Those mothers selling vegetables,
Those mothers selling till dusk
in the dusty street of Clermont, Thembisa,
Alex, Galeshewe, Dimbaza, Pietersburg.
Those mothers in dusty and tearful streets
that are found in Stanger, Mandeni, Empangeni
Hammarsdale, Mabopane, Machibisa, Soweto.
I’m one of the sons of those black mamas,
Was brought up in those dust streets;
I’m the black mama’s son who vomits
On the doorstep of his shack home, pissed with
concoction. Because his world and the world
in town are as separate as the mountain ranges
and the deep sea.
I’m the naked boy
running down a muddy road,
the rain pouring bleatingly
in Verulam’s Mission Station;
With the removal trucks brawling for starts
Starts leading to some stifling redbricked
ghetto of four-roomed houses at Ntazuma.
I’m the pipeskyf pulling cat
standing in the passage behind Ndlovu’s barbershop
Making dreams and dreams
Dreaming makes and makes;
Dreaming, making and making, dreaming
with poetry and drama scripts
rotting under mats
or being eaten by the rats.
I’m the staggering cat on Saturday morning’s
West Street. The cat whose shattered hopes
were bottled up in beers, cane, vodka;
Hopes shattered by a system that once offered
liquor to ‘Exempted Natives’ only.
I’m the bitter son leaning against the lamp post
Not wishing to go to school
where his elder brother spent years, wasted years
at school wanting to be white; only to end as
I’m the skolly who’s thrown himself
out of a fast moving train
Just to avoid blows, kicks and the hole.
I’m one of the surviving children of Sharpeville
Whose black mothers spelled it out in blood.
I’m the skhotheni who confronts devileyed cops
down Durban’s May Street . . .
Since he’s got no way to go out.
I’m the young tsotsi found murdered in a donga
in the unlit streets of Edendale, Mdantsane.
. . .
I’m the puzzled student
burning to make head and tail of Aristotle
because he hasn’t heard of the buried
Kingdom of Benin or the Zimbabwe Empire,
The student who is swotting himself to madness
striving for universal truths made untrue.
I’m the black South African exile who has come
across a coughing drunk nursing his tuberculosis
on a New York pavement and remembered
he’s not free.
I’m the black newspaper vendor
standing on the street corner 2 o’clock
in the morning of Sunday,
Distributing news to those night life crazy
nice-timers who will oneday come into knocks
with the real news
I’m the youthful Black with hopes of life
standing on file queue for a job
at the local chief’s kraal,
This chief who has let himself and his people
into some confused Bantustan kaak
Where there’s bare soil, rocks and cracking cakes
of rondavel mudbricks.
I’m the lonely poet
who trudges the township’s ghetto passages
pursuing the light,
The light that can only come though a totality
Change in minds, change
Change in social standings, change
Change in means of living, change
Change in dreams and hopes, change
Dreams and hopes that are Black
Dreams and hopes where games end
Dreams where there’s end to man’s
creation of gas chambers and concentration camps.
I’m the Africa Kwela instrumentalist whose notes