arts in education

this month at the media centre….

we planted an indigenous olive tree on the school grounds just below the netball courts.

about the tree

Kara received the tree when she attended the memorial service of the late Neville Alexander. An activist, socialist; teacher & author; academic Neville Alexander changed form this year and the tree was to be planted in a public space, in his memory.

Taken from the link supplied above, “there are three key ideas running through all Neville Alexander’s work:

  • The fundamental necessity for South Africans to move away from Race consciousness. He was scathing about any attempts to pigeon-hole or analyse South Africans in terms of apartheid’s old so-called “Race” categories and insisted on the needto think in terms of the far more real and relevant categories of class, gender and language.
  • He believed passionately in the importance of children learning to read, write and think in their own mother tongue. At the same time he fully understood the need for mastery in an international langue and thus promoted bi-lingual, indeed multi-lingual, education.
  • The struggle for a socialist world of justice and equality for all.”

See also Esley Philander’s CTV tribute piece.

Because of his unwavering belief in the need for us to speak each other’s languages, we christened the tree: umthi welwimi- the tree of languages. Among ourselves, we call the tree Ashika, Neville Alexander… The tree will serve as a reminder for all of us to do the hard work of striving towards speaking each other’s languages…allowing ourselves to sound foolish and be laughed at as we sentence by sentence build a new way of being in our broken, bleeding land.

The tree was also planted in solidarity with the movement for the freedom of Palestine from the on-going reality of Apartheid under the Israeli state. To this day, Israel uproots and burns olive trees in Palestine as a form of punishment. Not only do these trees serve vital economic purposes for the Palestinians, but they are also viewed as spiritual conduits through which a family maintains its conversation with their ancestors.

See: for more information

“Olive trees are holy; what faith, what religion allows this to happen? How does any human being have the heart to kill trees like this?” Farmer Abu Latifa speaking of the uprooting of the olive grove that he had grown over 40 years.

May Ashika’s roots grow strong as she reminds us of those who came before us and who we fight alongside.


an exciting weekend grows nearer for imbawula trust and our arts in education programme.

from tomorrow, friday, at 12pm we will be meeting at cnr butshingi and motlane street to finalise the plans for the weekends facelift for the little people’s playhouse.

saturday (9am onwards) will see us transforming the main room of the creche into a jungle and farmyard library. in addition to painting, we’ll be installing shelves and generally using design to enhance the learning experience at the playhouse. feel most welcome to come through and spend the day in orlando west building a library for our little people.

the creche is located at the cnr of nkadimeng and mji street.

the library to be...

a mural done by the trust in alexander (mr.ekse)

as the circle of love grows, we are only humbled and encouraged by the support that we are receiving from so many different corners.

last week we received a generous donation of books from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, one of South Africa’s largest full service corporate and commercial law firms. we have begun the work of setting up the infrastructure that will ensure that the books have a meaningful impact on the experience of learning at Little People’s Playhouse and Thabisang Primary School. Both of these schools are located on Nkadimeng Street in Orlandow West with Little People being the feeder crèche to Thabisang.

Each centre has identified a space in which the arts and culture programme can take place and we are beginning the immediate work of transforming these spaces into vibrant arts classrooms.

In the case of Little People’s Playhouse, we will be creating a library (installing shelves, cataloguing the books etc) that will ensure that these young learners begin their educational journey familiar with, and with a love of and appreciation for, the written word.

At Thabisang Primary we will maintain their existing library facility through providing a needed librarian/ facilitation presence. Again here we will catalogue the books and provide IT support to ensure that the computers available become working resources.

In both centres we will use mural art and graffiti to provide a stimulating and exciting learning environment.

This programme will be rolled out on the weekend starting on 24 March and be completed by the time the learners return from the Easter Holiday on 9 March 2012. The official handover of the books will take place on 26 March (Little People’s Playhouse) and 10 March (Thabisang Primary).

We invite EVERYONE who is interested to come be a part of this experience. If you would like to have a look at our budget or the materials that we require, please send us a mail ( and we will send it along.

here’s to being the change you want to see!

inspired by this excerpt from the freedom charter, kgantsa calls out from our circle of love and faya, that not only life but quality of existence is our birthright. that our children entitled to dream, play and experiment.

from this insistence a number of inspiring moments have been birthed that we would like to share:

  • on 14 february, we were visited by rui sousa, a young children’s book illustrator who presented a workshop to two groups of grade 4 learners at thabisang primary, orlando west. presenting his work to the students rui began to lift the vail of majesty from the printed word. as the kids imagined unthinkable story lines he turned their words into picture before their eyes teaching the young students that knowledge does not only need to be consumed, but it is in our power to produce it. rui’s trip was organized by the portuguese government.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • the friends of the circle continues to grown; individuals or organisations that believe that the work that we do is important. Ulrich Katte, an individual who came to know about the project has made a personal cash donation to the passage project. we are now working on securing the outstanding material so that the project can be completed.
  • we submitted a very detailed proposal to the National Arts Council on 2 March and we are awaiting their response to our proposal.

more information to follow!