South Africa enjoys the benefits of a democratic dispensation realised in 1994. Like any other rising nation, there are still challenges being faced and solutions being sort. There is a population of citizens with disabilities which is just over 7.5% (2011 Census figures for ages 5 and over), that is still alienated by societal attitudes, access challenges as well as other socio-economic disparities. Fortunately, there is a legislative platform in the form of statutes like the UNCRPD – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability- of which South Africa is one of the 180 member countries that ratified to adopt the convention and other empowering laws enshrined in the South African constitution.
The sad part is most of the persons with disabilities are not aware of their rights and empowering instruments designed for them due to lack of information dissemination and limited access to education.
A number of advocacy groups have been formulated to campaign for these rights for persons with disabilities and these groups are spread across the geographic spectrum of South Africa. Some groups have a national footprint whereas the rural ones, in addition to being heavily under resourced, have little or no impact at all.
Over the years, individual voices have begun to rise to voice the rights and ability from disability. These voices, although scattered, formulate a rising phoenix in asserting the inclusion of everyone in South Africa in the nation building exercise as well as impacting on the social inclusion efforts.
In order to capture the voices of these advocates, THISABILITY Newspaper and Krip Hop Nation hope to spend the period of November 2016 to December 2016, which happens to be the Disability Month in South Africa, traveling to the major cities of South Africa to film, record and write on the voices to give a multimedia reflection of what the situation is on the ground as well as engage stakeholders on the needs of persons with disabilities in the creative space.
An international network of Hip-Hop artists, creatives and other musicians with disabilities who belong to chapters around the world. They are commonly known as Mcees with Disabilities (MWD) in Germany, UK and Africa. Krip-Hop Nation is a community as well as style of music – an artistic space where people with disabilities can speak out and speak back to the social structures that exclude people based on disability, race, sexuality, and a host of other marginalized identities.
Krip-Hop Nation’s Main Objective is to spread awareness about the history, arts, and the isms facing musicians with
disabilities along with getting the musical talents of hip-hop artists with disabilities into the hands of media outlets, educators, and hip-hop, disabled and race scholars, youth, journalists and hip-hop conference coordinators. Krip-Hop Nation have put out CDs, held conferences and spoke on issues from police brutality against people with disabilities to ableism in Hip-Hop, media and in our communities.
Together with South Africa’s local ensembles of hip hop culture, Krip-Hop Nation will champion the dialogues, debates and expression through slam poetry, improv, lyrical contests, scratch DJs and Mcees.
DADA Festival Video
THISABILITY Newspaper was formed as a non profit organisation (NPO) in 2011 for the disability community at large, the public and private sectors to communicate better. The Newspaper is primarily in English and is available in print and electronic form.
Many initiatives are available to people with disabilities. But this information does not have any penetration in the urban areas and never got close to getting out into the rural areas.
The Newspaper and website strives to assist the families of people with disabilities and their caregivers. Articles from professionals in a wide variety of fields and advertisers of supplies and services all advertising in the paper and website.
Principal aim: To educate, inform and empower people with disabilities through information dissemination. Goals and Objectives:
• Create awareness of disabilities;
• Improve people’s perceptions of people with disabilities;
• Alter people’s perceptions so they see a person’s abilities and what they can do rather than what they cannot do;
• Create a central database that can assist anyone needing information on disability societies, schools, support groups and a comprehensive guide of suppliers of medical services, medical personnel, disability services and equipment in South Africa;
• Advertise jobs availability and offer solid advice on career guidance;
• Assist companies offering sponsorships and bursary schemes to find suitable candidates; and
• Showcase government initiatives that aim to assist people with disabilities improve their level of education, job skills and emotional and physical wellbeing. Web: www.thisability.co.za
Background Leroy Moore, the founder of Krip-Hop Nation has been connecting with disabled artists/musicians/activists in Africa through the internet for the last five years. He has written articles about disabled musicians in Africa, helped with a campaign to get two wheelchairs to Uganda and collaborated on music and news pieces that played on radio or been published in newspapers and more. In South African and Uganda, disabled musicians formed a Krip-Hop chapter in their countries. After years of communicating on social networks like Facebook, it is time to meet face to face, thus a trip to South Africa. Simon Manda, who is the co-owner of a media company focusing on South Africans with disabilities has collaborated with Krip-Hop Nation for two years to highlight disabled artists/musicians and now will partner with Leroy to travel around South Africa meeting South Africans musicians/poets/journalists and writers face to face sharing stories, collecting their art and writings for the book and their music to play on radio station in the US.
Up to today, there hasn’t been an anthology of Black disabled artists/writers in the US displaying the talents, struggles and history of Black disabled people. Ableist structures still exist in the travel industry mainly airlines. The majority of people with disabilities live in poverty due to lack of opportunities. Krip Hop Nation aim to connect Africans and African Americans with disabilities. Although we have the internet and disability studies, there is lack of awareness of the rich talents and bond we, African Americans with disabilities, share with Africans with disabilities. In South Africa, Kobus Moolman in 2002 edited an anthology titled “Tilling the Hard Soil: Poetry, Prose and Art by South African Writers with Disabilities” and although in the last five years in the US, people have seen more and more Black disabled writers getting published – there was no awareness of Moolman’s work.
There’s a lot of wisdom and ideas in the communities Krip Hop Nation represents. But these ideas are not shared and applied. That’s what Leroy’s trip (and the book) aim to achieve. Simon and Leroy will be observing, listening, documenting and collaborating with others in Africa and in America to help connect and expand visibility, voices, common bonds and differences with others in a book format. This project is an opportunity to bring out the needed communication between the disability community here in the US & Africa and to build on our talents onto an international stage that Leroy hopes would lead to more collaborations in the artistic space- like networking artists face to face in an international conference or festival in South Africa.
• Book of memoirs
• Talent Showcase
• Seminars/Roundtable Discussions
• Skills Development/Transfer
• Database of Artists/Creatives with disabilities
• Linkages to the DADA Festival
Between November and December 2016, the tour will start in Johannesburg/Pretoria then to Durban, Cape Town and East London/Port Elizabeth. Each city will be allocated 7 days so as to achieve the following components; Programs/Activities (every city visited)
• Database Collection
• Meetup with artists/creatives
• Skills Development/Transfer facilitation
• Sites Visitation (arts/creative industry projects on the ground)
• Leroy Moore (Founder: Krip Hop Nation- USA)
• Simon Manda (Editor and Co-Founder: THISABILITY Newspaper)
• Siyanda “Dj Kabila” Makanya (World renowned DJ; Businessman)
• Mduduzi Nhlebela (Photography/Videography; Businessman)
• 2 Assistants
• Disability Organisations Linkages
• Audio Visual Components (Videography, Photography, Sound and Screens)
• Hospitality Components (Accommodation, Transport and Refreshments)
• Facilitators (Arts Practitioners)
• Video Editing/Compiling
• Book Publishing
• Media and Publicity(Radio, TV, Internet (Social Media and Newspapers)
• Brand exposure, partnerships and alliances across international platforms
• An opportunity for Corporate Social Investment
•Media and publicity mention via media platforms
• Opportunity to support disability advocacy
• An opportunity to be part of legacy documentation
• Opportunity to engage CSO and disability initiatives for BEE score sheets
Managing Editor THISABILITY Newspaper Cell: +27721786426
T: @THISABILITYnews IG: smanda1
Founder of Krip-Hop Nation # (510) 649-8438 California, USA
L-R: Siyanda “Dj Kabila” Makanya, Leroy Moore, Simon Manda and Mduduzi Nhlebela