Caught in African Hair

The Pretoria Girls High has had a complicated few weeks and on the 22nd I attended a press conference they held at Boston Media House in Sandton. The Press Conference was dedicated to the issue concerning what is to be done about African female’s hair and the protests that had arisen on the 29th of August 2016, from that specific issue. The protest specifically against hair policies in the school’s code of conduct.

To my understanding, there was a disputation on whether or not African female’s hair should be cut, relaxed or tied up when in school, and this in return caused uproar in public opinion, this including the public, the media and celebrities not only locally but internationally as well. An intervention by the Gauteng Education MEC, Mr Panyaza Lesufi had to take place which then led to the review on the hair policy as many viewed it as ‘anti-black’ or in simpler terms, racist.

The press kit provided at the conference states; ‘After endless meetings that were attended by the school governing body, RCL and the Gauteng Education MEC, the school decided to suspend its hair policy’. Mr. Lesufi stated; ‘There will be no learner that will be victimized purely because of their hairstyle until the school’s governing body has finalized a new code of conduct that deals specifically with these issues’.

During the press conference I asked one of the representatives on the public relations panel whether or not the fact that teachers and students are able to cause a disturbance of this magnitude should reflect on how the school approaches discipline and focuses on education. The response unsatisfactory as one of the representatives stated; ‘ Last year we got 99.6% on our matric results and 458 distinctions so we think very good’, as I was not allowed to ask follow up questions, I believe that this answer was too vague and leads me to question the standard of education at Pretoria Girls High.

This incident has unfortunately reflected badly upon Pretoria Girls High and has damaged their reputation inevitably. Although it is encouraged to enforce school rules and policies it should not be encouraged to oppress learners. In the same breath schools show not allow negligent conduct towards other learners who are willing to learn but are being prevented by outraged and emotional barriers that could have been foreseen and altered.

The panel apologized on the behalf of the school and encourages other schools to also take the necessary action and review school policies regarding hair and the equal treatment of learners to prevent the same results.

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Gordhan attempts to clarify

On Thursday the 22nd of September, the communication team representing Minister of Finance, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, held a press conference at Boston Media House in Sandton.

The press conference was to be allocated to answering questions on multiple subjects but focusing on the complications and allegations made by the Hawks on a Rogue Unit created by the South African Revenue Service. This rogue unit was later identified and presented by the minister’s communications team, to be a ‘Special Investigations unit established to secure the effective enforcement of the laws set out in the SARS Act.’ When asked about the Book released by Exclusive Books detailing the SARS rogue unit, Sanele Nthuli, head speaker of the communication team, answered; ’We are not here to discuss the book, but my thoughts on the book is that it is really good and you should get it from Exclusive Books’.

The communication team then continued explaining that Mister Gordhan has cooperated entirely with the Hawks investigation, also providing a chronological timeline that highlighted the correspondence between the Hawks and Gordhan. When asked about the whereabouts of Gordhan, Sanele Nthuli, explained; ‘If Gordhan is not a suspect, legally speaking; he is not obliged to appear or to provide any statement since he is protected under section 35 of the constitution. The only way that Gordhan can be compelled to appear before the Hawks is if he is arrested.’

The investigation conducted by the Hawks concerning Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Special Investigation Unit started on Frebruary the 19th 2016, when the Hawks asked Gordhan to provide answers for 27 questions they had compiled and has been ongoing to date. The results of the investigation have yet to be released.

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Cast a Circle: A Photo Story

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A good start to any circle is a 10 minute meditation to clear the mind.  Above, our model is meditating outside on the designated area – which you choose according to comfort.

Good Day my fellow Wiccans!

This week I was asked, for my tertiary subject -Photo Journalism 3, to create a photo story that entices my readers and creates intrigue for my blog. Well seeing as today is the first of September (considered the first day of spring in many southern hemisphere countries) and with the New Moon approaching, I thought it best to give you a ‘How to on Circle Casting’.

Most magic is performed in the circle and it would be particularly prudent to cast the circle in order to meditate, open chakras, use the powers and energies around us as well as within us and cast spells and create potions. Think of circle casting as the Wiccan equivalent to Christian Praise and Worship. Below you will find images of a good friend helping me by casting a circle so that I can provide a photo story to you, my loyal followers.

 

Please be advised that altar work is very personal and need not be done exactly as demonstrated. You merely need the basics such as:

1X BLACK CANDLE to represent the masculine powers at work

1x WHITE CANDLE to represent the feminine powers at work

1x RED DINNER CANDLE to represent the element of Fire

1x INCENSE HOLDER & INCENSE to represent the element of Air

1x GLASS/JUG OF WATER to represent the element of Water

1x SALT to represent the element of Earth and to close your circle

LIGHTER/MATCHES to light the candles and/or smudge sticks

 

(All the photos were either taken with my DSLR Nikon D3100 camera or my iPhone 5’s camera)

Enjoy and Peace be with you!

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Above our model calmly meditates, opening his chakras. Focusing on his breathing and listening to the wondrous sounds of nature. 

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 Here we see small glasses with contents pertaining to the elements. When casting a circle, it is important to represent the elements, either on your altar or on your circle, each to be placed at the four directions (North – Earth, West – Water, South – Fire and East – Air).

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Our model is now lighting his smudge stick with an altar candle, to remove negative energies. (Smudge sticks are a variety of herbs with different uses, tied together and dried for burning) 

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 The model using the smudge stick (made of White Rose, Sage and Lavender) and dispersing the smoke and keeping it lit with the feather.

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Once you have cleared the space of negative energies, you can either use an athame (magical knife), wand (made of crystals or special wood) or salt to close off your circle for magical work. Our model is sprinkling salt as he lacks an athame or wand.

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Now that your circle is cast you can cast spells and create potions. Our model is using a mortar and pestle to crush rosemary, lavender, coarse salt, olive oil and boiled water to create healing potions. (This potion, with a piece of Rose Quartz in it, has to sit in a wide open space, where both sunlight and moonlight can reach it for an entire Moon Cycle, before it can be sifted and ingested)

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 It is always good to replenish yourself once you have finished your magical work. Our model is eating foods either completely natural or made of only natural ingredients. You can also his altar, making the use of candles, incense, crystals and herbs.

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 This photo just came at the right time. The model is clearly eating an apple, ripe and green as it should be.

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 I took this photo with the black and white filter on my iPhone Camera. The composition was just perfect during his meditation with the sun out.