Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sustainability Conversations ... Man cannot own land

"Agriculture can never be an exact science. There is an inescapable kinship between farming and art. For farming depends as much on character, devotion, imagination, freedom and a sense of structure as on plain knowledge or academia. It is a practical art," says Alan Rosenberg.

"When one looks at the practices of modern Agriculture one sees that they are working out of the mineral kingdom of nature. This is a lifeless kingdom immersed in the physical. For a true sense of Agriculture we need a balance, a natural occurring symbiosis between the four kingdoms of nature. These are the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and the kingdom of man. Life begetting life."

"The disadvantages of not being true to the above is the situation we find ourselves in today. The lack of a true cultural understanding that it is man’s birthright to have access to food; that it is a spiritual fact that man cannot own land but merely be a custodian for a period of time; that the earth needs to be fed not the plant; that as with any other organism if it is healthy it will have a natural resistance to pests and disease."

A healthy organism can only flourish if it is fed out of the living. It can only be sustained out of the living. The task of the farmer is to immerse himself as far as possible in this area. It seems an almost obvious solution that this can only be done out of what is described as Organic Agriculture.

"Fundamental to this is the direct relationship between the health of the soil and the health of the people who feed from it. This is known fact. There is a proven difference between food grown conventionally and that, which is organically grown. There can be no doubt that nutrition is the basis of any man. If we receive a healthier diet from nature’s way of growing would any sensible person not choose that way? Can man be so clever yet so unwise. There should be no doubt that the present way of Agriculture is bound to fail as it is not self-sustaining and is a materialistic way of working within nature."

Read more here

On the iStart2 Radio Show this week we chat to Alan Rosenberg about Agroecology and the evolution of Agriculture. What are the challenges that we as society face in farming? Is Agriculture an Art? How do we enable people to become connected? How do we collaborate to share? Hear what Alan has to say!

Tune in to the Start2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869.  
Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Witbooi en Witboy .... Video ( Extra: Radio Interview with Conny Braam)

We are happy to share a very special souvenir of the "Witbooi and Witboy - event" held at the iStart2 Hub in Centurion on 15 February 2017. The video contains excerpts of Conny Braam and Deon Maas in discussion with Attie van Nel and Christina Landman.

Conny highlighted her journey as Chairperson of the Anti-Apartheids Beweging Nederland and told us about her new book, "Ik ben Hendrik Witbooi." Deon Maas entertained the audience with his sharp wit and explained some of the concepts in his book, "Melk die Heilige Koeie," Serious, fun evening indeed! Background music by Pops Mohamed and the iStart2Sing Artists. 

We  also had the pleasure of interviewing Conny Braam on the iStart2 Show. To listen to the interview, just click play below. Music by Coenie de Villiers and Pops Mohamed

Thank you to everybody who made the Centurion evening an event to remember! Let's join hands and make this world a more sustainable place. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Voice of the feelings ... Conny Braam

In 1971 Conny Braam, together with some others, formed the Anti-Apartheidsbeweging Nederland (AABN). The AABN played an important role in the international struggle against apartheid and Braam was the leader of this organisation that offered support to the African National Congress (ANC) in exile and informed the Dutch public.

Attie van Nel in discussion with Conny Braam 
at the iStart2 Hub in Centurion (Feb 2017)

In 1986 Braam was approached by leaders of the ANC in exile and asked to assist with Operation Vula. Braam went about helping with the setting up of safe-houses inside South Africa and with arranging the smuggling of documents into South Africa. She also made contact with people inside Europe where the ANC could arrange disguises and obtain things they needed. The highly secret mission consumed five years of Braam’s life as she dodged several attempts to assassinate her. (Source: South African History Online)

Conny has just released her book on the Namaqua King, "Ik ben Hendrik Witbooi", one of nine Namibian national heroes who lead a rebellion against German rule in the country back in the early 1900's.
“He is a fascinating historical character and I would say one of the great revolutionary guerillas of Africa. He spoke an Afrikaans that is closer to Dutch and left a wealth of writing including his diaries,” says Conny.

Attie van Nel and Pierre du Toit had the honour of interviewing this incredible woman about the considerable role she played in our country's struggle for democracy. We chatted to Conny about how the AABN helped shape the freedom we live in, her views on South Africa today and her new book about Hendrik Witbooi. Do not miss what she has to say!

Tune in to the Start2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869.
  Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.
Today we also feature the beautiful new instrumental song by Pops Mohamed and Coenie de Villiers, Naledi.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sustainability of Artists ... Cesare Cassarino

"To make art is very expensive. I've got the soul of an artist. In my case I don't care about money at all. I learnt how to be functional and user friendly to make a living," says Cesare on the iStart2 Show this week. 

Cesare Attilio Cassarino is a bass player and composer from Johannesburg. A staple on the Johannesburg music scene since the late 80’s, he has performed in a number of varied musical situations. Cesare is a graduate of the Tshwane University of Technology where he studied Jazz. He was initially a sideman working primarily in Afrikaans music until the early 2000’s when small Jazz gigs took over the bulk of his income.

Cesare performing with Pops Mohamed
at the iStart2 Hub in Centurion

A short list of his performance credits include Somerfaan, Loyiso, Battery 9, Joos Tonteldoos en die Dwarstrekkers, Repo, Gang of Instrumentals, New Academics, Jonathan Crossley, Beukes and Delaney, Riku Latti, Anton Goosen, Jack Hammer, Die Wasgoedlyn, Michael Canfield, Alistair Coakely, Marcus Wyatt, Jazz Company, Tsunami, RJ Benjamin, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Greg Georgiades and the list goes on. When he is not busy making other people sound good or performing with Jazz Company he scours the internet for underground music and tinkers incessantly with guitar electronics.

We chatted to Cesare about what it takes to be able to make a sustainable living by doing what you love. "I want to be in the moment. I find myself wondering if I am an artist all the time," says he.

To listen to the podcast of the interview, click play below

Upcoming Shows:

KONNEXI Met: Luna Paige, Pops Mohamed, Schalk Joubert and animation Charles Badenhorst

US Woordfees, Stellenbosch
kykNET Fismer (US Konserwatorium)
6 Maart 14:00
7 Maart 17:30
8 Maart 20:30
R130. Bookings at Computicket

4 Stories, about 4 people who in some way feel disconnected from others and perhaps even from themselves. In these stories people are forced to recognize the connections that tie them to others and the things that disconnect them from what counts the most. 

These stories are told with poems, prose, music and animation art. The musical instruments include piano, guitar, bass, vocals and an array of African instruments played by Pops Mohamed. An audio-visual journey through the lives of your average South African citizen.

See you there.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pyn-in-de-gat ...

... of anders gestel, 'n tipe "zaalseer" wat mens kry as jy te veel fietsry in Nederland. Aan die woord was Christina Landman  in gesprek met Conny Braam, eertydse Voorsitster van die Nederlandse Anti-Apartheidsbeweging, gedurende haar besoek aan Suid-Afrika.

Wat 'n besonderse voorreg was dit nie om so bietjie van 'n blik agter die skerms te kry oor lang ampervergete (?) gebeure in ons geskiedenis. Conny het kom gesels en ons vertel van die dag toe Mandela vrygelaat is. Hoe Dam Square ontplof het met vreugde, hoe sy Suid-Afrika nou ervaar en haar boek "Ik ben Hendrik Witbooi".

Pops Mohamed en Cesare Cassarino het die gehoor betower met hul gepaste 'Feelings Beyond". Die musiek het 'n rustigheid oor die aand gebring alvorens Attie van Nel die groot 'stirmeester" en skrywer Deon Maas onder die loep geneem het. 

Guitige spitsvondigheid en humor was aan die orde van die aand. Die kunstefees-kerk-bruinmens-Zupta koeie se melkemmers is behoorlik rond geskop en hier en daar het 'n slagting van grondkwessies, mans en hul penisse en Afrikaanse kultuur Deon laat bontstaan om sin te gee aan sy skrywe. 'n Gemoedelike lekkerlag gebeurtenis met passievolle mense en 'n oopkop gehoor. 

Dit was lekker om skertsend, maar tog in ernstige trant 'n paar issues uit ander hoeke te bepraat. Almal was dit eens dat die smaail-innie-mou-kuierpittighede hier midweek 'n tonikum was ... en Deon Maas is eintlik 'n diep seun met passie vir sy taal en mense... beslis nie die "doos van Idols" (sy woorde) wat so met die volk se koppe gesmokkel het nie. Doet zo voort Deon! Suid-Afrika het jou anderskyk bitter nodig.

Dankie Christina, Conny, Attie, Deon en almal wat saam gekuier het. Ons maak weer so. Dis nodig dat ons meer oop gesprekke het. En natuurlik die musiek vir liggaam en gees! Pops jy's my gunsteling ikoon. Dankie ook Cesare! Sommer binnekort ja, dan maak ons weer so! 

"Ek wens dat Suid-Afrikaners kan leer om met mekaar te praat en nie met mekaar te baklei nie" 
- Deon Maas in Melk die Heilige Koeie

"Zaalseer"is 'n onnodige emosie...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sustainability Conversations ... Art combines Thinking and Doing

"Art is very good at reconsidering the systems with which we're doing things. My own rule is that art is about art, but in our society today we're trying to come to terms with how to understand and live sustainably, and I have confidence in art being one of the fields that show the possibilities of doing this," says Olafur Eliasson. 

"Their motivation for creating a work of art is not to profit at someone else's expense. As a result, art enjoys credibility and trust. And remember that throughout history, art has combined thinking and doing. After all, art is about taking a vision and turning it into reality. By contrast, many problems on the world stage exist because there's a huge disconnect between thinking and doing."

Read more here

The iStart2 Show this week:

Cesare Attilio Cassarino is a bass player and composer from Johannesburg. A staple on the Johannesburg music scene since the late 80’s, he has performed in a number of varied musical situations with some of our top artists. Catch Cesare tonight at the iStart2 Hub where he will be performing a song or two with legend Pops Mohamed. (See book discussion: Witboy en Witbooi) 

We also chat to Cesare on the iStart2 Show this week. Find out what he has to say about the role of Art in sustainability issues and how artists can play a role in facilitating a better, more sustainable world. 

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869.
Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.

                                                         See you there!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Milking the Holy Cows ... Deon Maas

Hear what Deon Maas has to say on the iStart2 Show this week. He is the author of the best seller, "Melk die Heilige Koeie." As writer, music producer, radio presenter and television host, Deon Maas wears many hats. Love him, or hate him ... but hear his views on:

"I don't see myself as controversial at all. I am never going to try and convice you to think the way I think. It is important to understand what I believe and where I come from. We have lost the ability to listen. We are not listening to learn, we are listening to answer."

" What I say is too liberal for the Afrikaans media or too Afrikaans for the English media. People can't put my ideas in a box. It confuses people ... and especially the media."

South Africans:
"We as South Africans haven't learnt how to debate properly and we are incredibly segmented in our thinking. All of us grew up very insular. We have given the world three things: Apartheid, the inability to listen and vocal harmonies."

"Somebody like Trump and The Brexit has given them a certain confidence in their wrongness. They are becoming more vocal and violent about it. We should look out for these people because they kind of spoil it for everybody else. They give Afrikaans speaking people a bad name. Then somebody like Steve Hofmeyr will stand up and say he speaks on behalf of the Afrikaner. He does not speak on behalf of me, any of my friends, my extended circle of friends and sure as hell not on behalf of my friends who are not white."


"Afrikaans has a long history through slavery with the Muslims who predominantly developed the language. Not white Christians as is claimed today. There are a lot of things about Afrikaans that people don't know. Lack of knowledge is exploited by racists and organisations like Afriforum who advocate a certain level of Afrikaansness which doesn't exist and it is definitely not the voice of the majority." 


"Is it Potch? ... of ruik ek my bolip?"

My question to Zuma:
"Why do you hate South Africa so much?"

"South African music makes me wanna move! Music is the most powerful communicator that you can ever have and it appeals to your most basic instincts."


"We should really start with the basics ... simple stuff like don't leave a tap running ... then the next step up is to recycle. Woolies freaks me out so much ... it's just plastic, plastic, plastic .... for me sustainability is about taking responsibility for your actions."

I believe ...
"Everything is possible if we stop being assholes"

iStart2 ....
"It has to do with changing your mindset.... iStart2 be responsible. I take responsibility. I will be held responsible for my actions"

To listen to a podcast of the full interview and some music by Brenda Fassie and Somerfaan, just click play below:

Upcoming Event:

See you there!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sustainability Conversations --- The Real State of the Nation

"We are angry and gatvol! While our President giggles, the people cry." -
Maishe Maponya

Save South Africa will convene its second People’s Assembly in the people’s church, St George’s Cathedral, in Cape Town on February 8. We will portray the true state of affairs in the country, but also offer a sense of hope of the better life all who live in South Africa deserve and can attain. It will be a dignified expression of anger, hope, laughter and some tears. - Maishe Maponya

Casual observers, like myself, are watching how long the President will have this diminishing mental spell on the majority of the people who are still genuinely loyal to the founding objectives of the ANC? Will he and the ANC still continue to believe that peoples’ minds are in pause mode, despite the vociferous noise made by the electorate last August? - Mkhuseli 'Khusta' Jack

We chat to Deon Maas, author of the best seller, "Melk die Heilige Koeie" on the iStart2 Radio Show this week. As writer, music producer, radio presenter and television host, Deon Maas wears many hats. As a columnist he has become known for his outspoken and often controversial views on a range of issues.

He currently works as a film producer. His latest documentary film Punk in Africa was screened at 60 international film festivals and his TV series Jam Sandwich received four SAMA Awards. Love him, or hate him ... do not miss what he has to say!

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869.
Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.

On 15 February we host Deon Maas at the iStart2 Hub at 19h00. Join the discussion. 
More info about the event here
eMAIL your RSVP to iStart2Show@gmail.com to confirm your attendance. Entry is free. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Poison on your plate? ... Gina Shoemaker

"Have a conscience and be aware of your environment and surroundings," says Gina Shoemaker on the iStart2 Radio Show this week. "We can prosper just by accepting change. Every action affects climate change and our environment. If we all decide to do the right thing we can tackle the food security issue. No child should go hungry. Do you want to put poison on your plate or nutritional organic veg? Take a stand!"

Gina Shoemaker, Managing Director of Green Earth Concepts has over 25 years of experience in agricultural and horticultural landscaping. Gina has implemented many organic farming schemes and developed the commercial worm farm operation which generates organic fertilizer for any size waste generator. Farmers have taken an interest in the commercial worm farms whilst realizing that it is less expensive to grow organic crops. The organic waste solution has been implemented in over 200 successful operations in South Africa.

Green Earth Concepts will help you develop skills and environmental awareness in the field of organic recycling. Her goal is to relieve hunger by providing means to enhance permaculture and organic food production. Incorporating mulch and compost as a primary carbon credit, the objective is to recycle and reuse organic refuse in accordance with the National Waste Minimisation Standards. The primary mission is recycling organic material for use as soil conditioners that will produce nutritious crops and enhance food security as a whole.

"There is so much opportunity for Africa to be the breadbasket of the world," says Gina. " iStart2 grow organic and eat organic food".

Listen to the interview here:

Upcoming events:

Please join us for an evening of fun at the iStart2 Hub. See you there!

More info here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sustainability Conversations ... Grow your own food

Growing your own food can be fun! You can even start your own business doing it! You will not only save money but it also ensures you get the freshest pick of the day! Why not get your children and friends involved? It may relieve stress and help you be more physically active!

"It's easier than you think, and you can do it even if you don’t have a garden or plot of land," says Lee Kirk, 70, who has been growing her own fruit and vegetables in her garden for nearly 50 years. She gives some tips here:

- Buy seeds from the supermarket or your local garden centre.

- Try to grow something easy, like courgettes and tomatoes, to start with.
It’s worth consulting a gardener to see what produce is best suited to your ground. "For example, our garden gets too much sunlight for growing good root vegetables," says Lee.

- Lose the pests. "To get rid of slugs and snails, I encourage frogs in the garden and also mix a product in my watering can, which effectively kills them while I’m watering the plants," says Lee. If you're going down this route, make sure you are using a pesticide that is indicated as being suitable for edible plants.

- Consider the variety of plant you grow. "I find tomato blight (a fungal disease that attacks just as the tomatoes are ready to eat) very annoying, and I now grow more of the Tom Thumb variety, which are a kind of cherry tomato – smaller and less prone to blight," says Lee.

- Get your friends involved. "Our friends come over to pick our redcurrants and in exchange give us redcurrant gin, chutney, free range eggs and their company," says Lee.

The iStart2 Radio Show this week:

On the iStart2 Radio Show this week we chat to Gina Shoemaker, Managing Director of Green Earth Concepts. Gina has implemented many organic farming schemes and developed the commercial worm farm operation which generates organic fertilizer. Her main mission is to relieve hunger, promote job creation and enhance food security. Don't miss what she has to say.

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869.
Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.

Upcoming Events:

See you there!