Rea ganya (we light up)

On our third day of Artrising a different energy took hold of the space we located ourselves in. The space recognised that we had to let go and let the space speak.

In the morning we set up the Indigo Mahala  Market that had neighbours coming to ask about the vintage clothing on sale, the t-shirts on display and what all this meant.  On discovering that Artrising was about raising funds for the Primary school that was a block away from their houses, we told to make this event every week!

The Indigo Mahala Market

On the last of its days, the market had vintage clothing , Beading Dancer merchandise, T-shirts and vegan muffins on sale.  The market ran till the night…it became a night market. The evening air, whispers of a magical forest and flickers of candle light were something wonderful it itself.

The Aerosol Movement

The aerosol movement also took on a chilled back easy energy. We had two new artists in wall close to the venue.  Today really was about the art of spraying than anything else.

We watched as the community interacted with the piece, cause it is close to a walk way into different houses.

Sound Experience

The sound experience was also laid back with some artists coming out to support who haven’t been seen in a while.  We listened around Imbawula as mcees voiced their thoughts. The circle of fire made of lit candle lights set a stage that seemed more like the makings of a holy ground. The candles marked where mcees could step into a lyrical realm.

We then listened to the sounds of the dj as he kept us warm around blazing fires on a cold Johannesburg night.


Kgantsa ho ganye can be found mostly on weekends at the Thabisang Primary school on orlando west, soweto working on the lig\brary.

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the struggle against apartheid in south africa is divided by the 16th june 1976.  under the wing of the black consciousness movement, the soweto student’s representative council insisted that they should have control over the education they receive.  what began as a protest march became an uprising that resonated with youth across the country.  under the rally call of “liberation now, education later!” activists were prepared to sacrifice everything in their quest for freedom.

this weekend we pick up the spear that has especially been left for us. in soweto, kgansta ho ganye sound a social fire alarm evoking the memory of how powerful the people of this country, the azainians, are.  we recall how at our command whole communities were rendered ungovernable and entire economies crashed.  we remember that until we have the power to govern all aspects of our lives – we are not free.

the programme is for the 15, 16 & 17 june 2013.  on all three days we will painting on walls, playing beats and hosting the indigo market and popup shops.  on the 16 june we will be facilitating the annual memory circle at spanish inn, soweto @ 10:30 – corner of moema and kudu street.  this year we ask ourselves:  what education did you want in 1976 and how is this how is this relevant today?      


caught up in a south africa where lies are paraded as truths; where memories are distorted to strip and reassign power; kgantsa ho ganye sought to create a ‘memory knot’ on june 16 2012. through collective efforts, we attempted to make a protuberance of story, meaning and knowledge that would re-teach, and re-inform our youth about who we are by building a better understanding of where we come from.

the day began with a simple memory circle…a collection of individuals who came to share their stories and experiences about june 16 and about activism in southern africa…

forging of memory warriors

sikose mji, a student activist during the uprising, shared how it felt to be part of the movement;

“our whole lives were subjected to what the system wanted you to do. the uprising was like a relief from within. we wanted to exhale but we didn’t have the means…it felt like, thank you god, at last!”

from telling the story about what happened in 1976, the circle evolved to asking questions about what is happening in 2012.

school principle yvonne mabanga, informed the circle that in 1994, educational policy in south africa forced all schools to teach learners in english…a few years later this was changed, and then later changed again…

so if the fundamental issue of quality education in our country has not been addressed, why do we no longer care? why did the state of affairs enrage the youth of 1976 and yet today it doesn’t seem to move us? as the conversation changed and grew the circle stumbled upon the realization that the big change in the pre and post-1994 context was not an end to oppression and discrimination but rather a dissolving of the communities response and organisation against this oppression.

steeped in thought, having forged a new circle of memory warriors, the rest of the day was spent making new memories…creating new meaning around what it means to fight today…

an artRising…a salute from the youth of today, to the valiant soldiers who came before…the ones who would not forget and could not accept.

rekindling the fire of no surrender

we danced, sang, drew, planted trees, ate, drank and most importantly, we remembered…we reclaimed…

we free the people with music

to all those who came through…who gave of themselves, their art and their time; we say thank you and we invite you to take our hand as we move forward, as we now not only know, but act like we know.

creating a new story