From 2014 to the beginning of 2017, FunDza ran its first Right Project – that used stories as a way of bringing our Constitution and Bill of Rights to life. Through this project we published 20 short stories on FunDza. Each in translation and with resource materials. Click here to find out more about this exciting project.
Continuing on from this, FunDza launched its Rights 2.0 – Bridging Divides project. This project, which will run until 2020, uses stories as a means to investigate and interrogate those challenges that keep us divided as a society. The project focuses on three broad categories of divides:
– Community Divides, exploring how race, religion, socio-economic status and class still define and limit us;
– Gender Divides, unpacking what it is to be a woman or a man in SA today, the issue of lingering gender prejudice and high-levels of gender-based violence, as well as LGBTi stories;
– Information Divides, looking at educational divides and revisionist histories, exploring how access to information can be a game-changer in people’s lives.
We’ll be exploring these themes through short stories (in English and other SA languages), flash fiction essays, articles, blog posts, poetry and writing competitions. The intention is to spark discussion, encourage critical thinking, and promote dialogue between readers and writers.
Grace, by Barbara Boswell (Gender Divides)
VAYA: Untold stories of Johannesburg, by Tshabalira Lebakeng, David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli, Harriet Perlman and Sarah Charlton (Community Divides)
Amagama eNkululeko, edited by Equal Education (Information Divides)
I’m the girl who was raped, by Michelle Hattingh (Gender Divides)
Better Men, by Jayne Bauling (Gender Divides)
New Skool Academy, by Tiah Beautement (Community Divides)
Phelo’s Library, by Francesco Nassimbeni (Information Divides)
Like an Angry Sea, by Sifiso Mzobe, and in isiZulu as Njengolwandle Oludiniwe (Community Divides)
Shamed, by Jayne Bauling (Gender Divides)
Staying Clean, by Jayne Bauling (Community Divides/Drugs)
New Dawn, by Ayabonga Mhlana (Community Divides)
Hope Amongst the Ashes, by Sumira January, and in Afrikaans as Hoop verrys uit die as (Economic Divides)
Sonke Singabantu – We are all Human, by Zukiswa Pakama (Community Divides/prejudice against disability)
Sons of the Soil, by Sifizo Mzobe, and in isiZulu as Amadodana Omhlabathi (Community Divides)
That Thing, Tiah Beautement (Gender/Community Divides)
Starstruck, by Leanne Raman (Gender Divides)
Love’s Compromise, by Zimkhitha Mlanzeli, and in isiXhosa as Isivumelwano Sothando (Community Divides)
Rescued, by Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho (Community Divides)
Mfundo and Nompilo, by Phakamani Chamane (Community Divides)
Missing Memories, by Jayne Bauling (Gender Divides)
Code Name: Wiki, by Tiah Beautement (Information Divides)
Being Different, by Ayabonga Mhlana, or in Sepedi as Go ba yo a fapanego (Gender Divides)
I am Robert and Rebecca, by Francesco Nassimbeni (Gender Divides)
Faith, by Sifiso Mzobe, and in isiZulu as Ukholo (Community Divides)
Of Dogs & Goats, by Tiah Beautement, or in Afrikaans as Honde en Bokke (Community Divides)
The Cursed and Exiled, by Cebisa Zono, or in isiXhosa as Abaqalekiswe de bagxothwa (Gender Divides)
Hero Within, by Maxine Jordan (Gender and Community Divides)
Anger to Action, by Jayne Bauling (Community/Economical Divides)
Zimbali Jadeite & Me, by Tiah Beautement (Gender Divides)
Prayers, by Makhosazana Xaba (Community/Economic Divides)
The heart of the lonely hunter, by Michelle Faure (Gender Divides)
Reunion, or in isiZulu, Ukuhlangana, by Sifiso Mzobe (Community Divides)
Bulelani, My Brother, by Dorothy Dyer (Information Divides)
Chasing Dreams, by Ros Haden (Information Divides)
Bookworm and Zip, or in isiZulu, UBookworm noZip, by Sifiso Mzobe (Gender Divides)
Love Aflame, by Michelle Faure (Gender Divides)
Shark Attack, or in isiXhosa, UkuHlaselwa nguKrebe, by Tracey Farren (Gender Divides)
Red is a feeling, by Jayne Bauling (Community Divides)
The Rich People’s School, by Lauri Kubuitsile (Community Divides)
My name is Dyna, this is my story, by Elspeth Mendes (Gender Divides)
Articles and blog posts:
Girls are not iiweyi, objects, or the same!, by Sonwabiso Ngcowa (Gender Divides)
Why aren’t Afros Acceptable in Africa?, by Shirley Makurumidze (Community Divides)
You can’t pray depression away, by Simamkele Matuntuta (Community Divides)
My name is a problem, by Sicelo Kula (Community Divides)
A nervous condition, by Shirley Makurumidze (Information Divides)
Tears for Uyinene, by Sicelo Kula (Gender divides)
Celebrating women?, by Simamkele Matuntuta (Gender Divides)
Black or Coloured?, by Kennedy Cowan (Community Divides)
There Is No Such Thing As Black Tax, by Thato Rossouw (Economic Divides)
Life story of a young woman, Thulile Seleka (Gender Divides)
Public Service Announcement, Tebogo Koza (Economic Divides)
Death of a poet, Michelle Myeko (Community Divides)
What we can learn from immigrants, by Michelle Myeko (Economic Divides)
Gender Inequalities, Michelle Myeko (Gender Divides)
The many faces of Prejudice, by Tebogo Koza (Community Divides)
Education 2030, by Tebogo Koza (Economic Divides)
Languages at home, by Siqhamosothando Mlandu (Community Divides)
It’s time we re-teach black girls about periods, by Simamkele Matuntuta (Gender/Community/Information Divides)
Black love, by Siqhamosothando Mlandu (Community Divides)
Is that your baby?, by Brett Hawtrey
Eve and Eve, by Michelle Myeko (Gender Divides)
Cultural appropriation, by Simamkele Matuntuta (Community Divides)
A letter to the brother I should have loved more, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Community divides)
Sell me some witchcraft, please, by Sicelo Kula (Community divides)
Dear Black People, We need to rethink our funerals, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Community divides)
On depression, by Michelle Myeko (Information Divides)
How to talk to white people, by Sicelo Kula (Community Divides)
Boys don’t cry, by Michelle Myeko (Gender Divides)
Living in the hell of Whoonga Park, by Nomfundo Xolo in Groundup (Community/Economic Divides)
Early motherhood, by Michelle Myeko (Gender Divides)
A dustbin for trashy men, by Sicelo Kula (Gender Divides)
Seagull Managers, by Michelle Myeko (Information Divides)
A Grave Reality, by Michelle Myeko (Community/Economic Divides Divides)
A disciplined man, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Community/Economic Divides)
A mother’s pain, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Community/Economic Divides)
The burden of black tax, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Community/Economic Divides)
Humiliated, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Gender Divides)
I’m not your Hello Nice!, by Amahlathi Aphelile (Gender Divides)
How reading shaped my world, an interview with Beverley Naidoo by Alex Smith (Community Divides)
Your application for funding was unsuccessful, by Thato Rossouw (Community/Economic Divides)
Greytown farm workers get share in farm business, by Nompendulo Ngubane/Groundup (Community Divides)
We Need To Tell More South African Fairy Tales, by Thato Rossouw (Information Divides)
It happened to me too, by One Woman (Gender Divides)
Keep Safe Online!, by Koketso Moeti (Information Divides)
Zimbabwean man brings computer education to rural areas, by Tariro Washinyira/Groundup (Information Divides)
Being a refugee and a lesbian is difficult, says Somali woman, by Tariro Washinyira/Groundup (Community and Gender Divides)
This brand creates work for the differently abled in fashion, by Seithati Sengoatsi/Groundup (Community Divides)
Whose festival is it anyway?, by Thato Rossouw (Community Divides)
Caster Semenya vs. The World, by Busang Senne (Gender Divides)
South Africa and Race Consciousness: What Makes Us So Different?, by Thato Rossouw (Community Divides and Information Divides)
How I came to realise my skin colour wasn’t the world’s favourite, by Mbali Kgame/Live Magazine SA (Community Divides)
Black Skin, White Paper: The Representation of Young Black People in South African Literature, by Thato Rossouw (Community Divides)
Decolonisation: Finding Out the True History of Africa, by Thato Rossouw
Being my family’s first graduate, by Malaika wa Azania (Information Divides)
Nyanga gangster puts the blame on his family, by Groundup (Community Divides)
Let’s be fair, By Elspeth Mendes (Gender Divides)
The world at your fingers, by Elspeth Mendes (Information Divides)
Bring it home, by Elspeth Mendes (Community Divides)
Two more women, by Sicelo Kula (Gender Divides)
My Heritage, My Dreams Writing Workshop
In March 2019, FunDza hosted a two-day writing workshop, sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Culture, Arts, Sports and Recreation, with young people at Ikamva Labantwana Bethu with 26 participants. The aim of the workshops was to provide a safe creative space for participants to share their personal stories with one another through discussion, group work and structured writing activities. View the writing that came out of these workshops here.
Me With You Writing Workshop
In December 2018, FunDza hosted two two-day writing workshops with 40 youth in KwaZulu-Natal. The project was run in association with Zoe-Life and sponsored by the UNHCR. In total 77 poems and 37 narrative essays were written, edited and then published on fundza.mobi. Visit this Specials page for links to all the work.
Bridging Divides Fanz Writing Workshop
In March 2018, FunDza held a Writing Workshop with some keen Fanz writers in Cape Town on the theme ‘bridging divides’. Fanz writers were asked to write a short story based on personal experiences that related to themes about race, religion, gender or similar types of divides. Here are the essays that came out of the experiment:
Pouse, The day it all changed, by Pamela
A blaring CD player, Jeanique van Blerk
Betrayed, Amahlathi Aphelile
He was stronger, she was tiny, by Tamica Mopp
I Proved My Teacher Wrong, by Lukhanyo Matshebelele
My Afrikaans Debut, by Jonathan Mpata Kalombo
The Misuse of Power, by Nosibusiso Tshetu
The sound track to my life, by Thandiswa Mancoba
The struggle of being different, by Refilwehape Mofokeng
Inspiring Icons, Everyday Heroes Competition: In July 2018 – in recognition of the centenary of former President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu’s births, FunDza hosted an essay writing competition inviting readers to write about the ‘everyday heroes’ in their communities. Click here to meet the winners and highly commended entrants.
My Home, My Hood Writing Competition: In May 2018, FunDza hosted a story writing competition that used as inspiration the VAYA book – about homelessness and danger on the streets. Entrants were invited to write a descriptive story about what makes them feel safe in their home, or about when they feel unsafe or in danger, or about when they feel like an outsider. There were magnificent entries – meet the junior winners here, and the senior winners here.
In collaboration with Chrysalis Academy on the ‘Still I rise’ writing competition, in which the winning English entry was an essay centred on community divides: Our souls hide in our bodies, by Lonwabo Van Rooy.
Bridging Divides Poetry Competition: In October 2017, FunDza ran a poetry competition inviting young writers to explore the divides that they face in their personal lives. The structure needed to be a poem of 20 lines or less. Click here for the winners and highly commended entries.
Five Lines of Freedom: In April 2017, FunDza ran a poetry competition to coincide with Freedom Day, challenging writers to explore the theme of what freedom means to them in the structure of a five-line poem. Click here for the winners and highly commended entries.
Deceived and Abused: This open course runs from August to October 2019 and is on the gender divides theme. The course consists of a story, a play a very short essay/flash fiction story and an article, all of which deal with tales of how young women were – or can be – deceived and abused. Most of the stories are not ‘true’ – they are creations of their authors – but sadly, as we know, SA has a very high incidence of women abuse, and things like these stories describe do happen frequently.
Workwise tips for job-seekers: This course speaks to the theme of information divides and aims to help young people become more work-ready and resilient. The course ran from May to July 2019. We all know how hard it is to find a job, and it is easy to lose hope and give up. This collection of articles gives different ways on how young people can develop themselves both personally and professionally while they are unemployed.
Literature: Forbidden love: This open course was available from September to end November 2018. It explored prejudice and homophobia, and consisted of two short stories focusing on issues related to the LGBTi community.
Practising Comprehension: Where is home? From July to September 2018, FunDza hosted an open online course that looked at the community divides theme through the lens of refugees. For all of history people have escaped wars and poverty to try to find better lives elsewhere. This course consists of a collection of different texts all exploring the issue of being a refugee, and the challenges that refugees face in South Africa.
Learning about Apartheid through literature: This course ran from November 2017 to January 2018 and used as its source texts from the Amagama Enkululeko anthology.
The Rights 2.0 – Bridging Divides project uses as inspiration the preamble to our Constitution:
We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to –
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
May God protect our people.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.
God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.
Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.
Thanks goes to the Foundation for Human Rights and the Claude Leon Foundation for their support and sponsorship of this flagship FunDza project.