Artist behind the three hands Mmabana drawing

Born and bred in Itsoseng Township, North West Province Thato Seboko says he has been an artist since the age of 7. The Fine and Applied Arts National Diploma graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology also has his painting on the Mmabana Arts and Culture Mafikeng wall.

The painting is still there and was done last year February. Seboko explains that there were four artists painting on that wall and each one had to come up with their own concept.

He shares that his painting was different because it was more on challenging the thinking than aesthetics. “While I was serving as an intern at the Department of Arts and Culture one of my colleagues was deaf. We used sign language in the office”. “I got my inspiration from that. I painted three hands that say art. I did not add anything else to the sign language”, explained Seboko.

Some of his recent work includes a mural at the Itsoseng Youth Centre. The mural is basically a collage of all the activities that happen at the centre.

Seboko, popular trending with the name Thato Sbk, shares that he draws inspiration from everything around him. Some of his paintings are a comparison of the life he has lived in Pretoria as compared to that of Itsoseng. He has also done works on abuse, children, environment and so on. Having experience with different art materials, Seboko is now using hair dye.

The passionate artist reveals that there is some work that he is attached to but a more specific one that he is never selling to anyone. In 2009 his brother had a daughter, 2010 December he died in a fatal car accident. 2011 Seboko did a pen drawing of his brother and daughter. “That was an emotional piece for me. That was the closest piece I have ever been through. I am never selling that one”, said Seboko.

“In the township, being an artist is seen as a hobby. When I used to tell me parents that I am going to study art, they will say that art is not a career”. “I am trying to change that perception of us black people looking at art as a hobby. That is not just for white people. Us blacks can take this thing and make a living out of it. And also have fun with it”, said Seboko.

Article also published on Mafikeng Mail of 15 December 2017 Updated on 29 February 2020


Precautionary counsel on cohabitation

Lately, more and more people are choosing cohabitation over marriage. Various reasons can account to this, such as financial constraints, to test for compatibility, fear of marriage in case it ends in divorce, while some simply do not believe in marriage. How many cohabitees have actually paused, to think of what will happen if the other partner dies?

There are speculations that if you live with a partner for a prolonged period and share children, you are entitled to part of his assets upon death. That is not according to the South African law, there is no default marriage. This implies that in the absence of a will, biological family of the deceased have a right over his assets and can evict the surviving partner from the house.

“One of the most common major protection measures that can be implemented is to do a will, whereby you can leave some of your assets to your partner upon death”, says a law expert Eric Morweng.

“There is a principle of universal partnership agreement. In this partnership agreement, both partners can contribute to the relationship. This way even without marriage they can equally benefit at the end of the relationship, depending on the terms and conditions of their partnership agreement”, says Morweng. He strongly recommends that when cohabitees find that the relationship is going well, that is the best time to start thinking about the future.

A News24 article by Bridget Siebert enlightens that universal partnership affords cohabitees to claim a share of assets acquired during the period of living together. However, being in a universal partnership does not mean that the parties involved enjoy automatic rights. When one of the partners dies without leaving a will the surviving partner does not automatically become the beneficiary. The surviving partner must prove to the court that he/she was indeed in this relationship and thus owed something.

In one scenario you find that a sister has also been contributing towards the renovations of the house and is not prepared to be kicked out without a fight. Currently the director of a Mafikeng based law firm Morweng Attorneys, Eric Morweng advices that in such instances the sister can approach the court to interdict them for kicking her out. He shares that this is not an easy process, as it can take time and can be very costly. Morweng says that in such an instance the person laying the claim has to produce visible evidence which proves that she has been paying some of the items of the house.

Written: 17 February 2018, Updated: 21 February 2020


Evolution and thought on lobola

The principle of lobola (by whatever name it is called in different African languages)has been adhered to and practiced over the years and for generations across various cultures in Africa. However, like with other cultures, the situation today is that the emerging economic factors due largely to the influence of colonialism, have also over the years influenced these principle and practices.

Traditionally lobola was in terms of animals and property but has recently only taken the form of money because of the modern economy. Phillip Iya a Professor of African and Comparative Law at North West University (NWU) argues that the monetary system has now spoilt almost every aspect of the African cultural principle and practices of lobola because of the economic system.

“Modern life does not take into account the values of the African culture. It is a misinterpretation, misdirection of the African culture”, argues Prof  Iya, who refutes the misnomer that lobola is a business transaction or a bride price as considered by many writers and the general society. “Traditionally, lobola is not a business transaction. It is evidence of an appreciation, a way to say “thank you” and the best approach to understanding it to consider that it is really the appreciation of the handing over of the bride’s reproductive system, for perpetuation of the bridegroom’s family”.

While the latest South African statistics on marriage indicate that less people are getting married and there is more divorce than in the past, the question on everyone`s mind is whether  lobola is still relevant today or in the future of South Africa specifically and Africa in general. This is because today most people believe that the payment of lobola aids people`s perception of associating love with monetary value.

“My personal view is that lobola will still be practiced in the future particularly because of what we are doing now as IKS centre”, says Iya who further argues that since the South African Government has introduced the IKS Policy of 2004 which is an official recognition of the importance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems aimed at protecting, promoting and managing  knowledge of African values, this will promote, develop and bring people to understand more about our indigenous knowledge and indigenous values. “The more people begin to understand these values the more they will come to value our culture”, he says. Moreover, the South African Constitution makes a similar provision in sections 30 and 31

Created 13 March 2018

Updated 03 March 2020


Tactics for less hassle in the kitchen

Have you ever wondered why it takes one person half a day to prepare a meal while it takes only an hour for another to prepare the exact meal? Chef Andrew Manoto shares with us tips for less stress and saving time in the kitchen.

Currently a chef lecturer at Hotel School Mafikeng, Manoto attributes planning, being organised, preparation and keeping a clean working station as essential strategies for spending less time in the kitchen. “Know what you are going to cook, so that you can defrost your food on time. Peel your vegetables in advance so that they are ready in the morning”. “Know your kitchen very well, where you put everything. In the industry we use the term clean as you go. Meaning that every time you must clean as you work”, he says. Undoubtedly, most of us consider these as minor details but they can make a big difference if implemented.

The chef enlightens us that when you start cooking, particularly stew, there is no moisture, so it is important to cover the pot. However, when you realise that the stew is cooked and there is still excess water inside, you should simmer the stew, leaving an open lid in order to reduce the moisture. He swears that following this process will improve the quality of the taste while also thickening the stew. Letting the rabbit out of the hat, he asserts that “not allowing the moisture to escape is the reason why most pots burn at the bottom”.

The passionate chef dismisses the perception that cooking on maximum heat makes the food cook faster, as high heat hardens the food. He advises that it is better to simmer the food or cook on moderate heat even for stubborn dishes such as tribe.

Manoto who has over eighteen years of experience in the industry also shares few hygiene practices. He cautions against defrosting food outside of the refrigerator. “When you defrost in the sink or water you are losing nutrients and lowering the quality of the food”. “You might also develop food borne diseases, reason being that the food temperature will drop. It is very risky to expose food to room temperature for prolonged hours”, explains the chef. He suggests that the correct way of defrosting is to take food from the freezer and put in the fridge for the required time.

Written: 05 February 2018 Updated: 21 February 2020


Resorting to traditional medicine to curb fatigue

Ever wondered why you are always feeling tired and sluggish while the woman in the next office is forever moving swiftly? Do not despair because you are not alone, countless people are also experiencing the same problem. We are living in a fast paced world where there is less time to prepare a healthy meal and to exercise.

Fast food have now become a norm, worsening the situation. Fatigue can leave you feeling helpless while also chowing away your precious time.

Tebogo Mothupi who is an assistant at a well-known herbal shop in Mahikeng, by the name Matrampan, gives us advice on traditional remedies to fight fatigue. Mothupi who has been working at Matrampan for the past twelve years swears by the Tshupu ya poo, Mathunga, Sekaname, Seswagadi, Phate ya ngaka, Mosokela tsebeng mixture as the best mixture to curb fatigue. He asserts that the mixture does not only give energy but cleanses the blood, kidneys, can treat the waist, colds, STIs, swollen legs and so on.

“All traditional medicine do not have the side effects. 90% of the medicine do not have overdose”, says Mothupi. “Traditional medicine is very helpful. People must not come to us when it is too late. If things don’t work out here it is then that they can resort to western medicine”, he adds, also indicating that some of the western medicine is taken from traditional medicine and given to us in a form of tablets.




Restless atmosphere during commencement of NW SOPA 2018

It was under a moist weather on 23 February at Marikana, Rustenburg where the crowd waited in anticipation for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to deliver the State of the Province Address (SOPA). The entourage sauntered down the red carpet under a soft drizzle whereby the national anthem was ceremonially sang before entering the house.

Mahumapelo`s address began on a rough footing as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members of the provincial legislature (MPL) were ejected from the house after they interposed the premier while he was delivering the SOPA.

EFF MPL Thabo Sehloho interrupted Mahumapelo`s speech, asking whether Mahumapelo would apologise to the people of Marikana on behalf of African National Congress (ANC) for killing of people in Marikana during August 2012. Speaker of the legislature Sussanna Dantjie ruled that Sehloho was out of order. When Mahumapelo continued with the address, the EFF MPLs shouted “order” and were ejected.

Part of Mahumapelo`s address indicated the government`s achievements with regard to the provision of infrastructure in public schools. During a dialogue with the newsmen Mahumapelo indicated that they are not happy that not every matriculant passed. “I have said to the department, this year we are not going to compromise. Every quarter we must release the results. We must not wait for the results next year”, said Mahumapelo. He also revealed that part of this plan includes assessing every learner on a monthly basis and releasing the results quarterly.


HIV & TB stigma reduction campaign unfolding in Mahikeng

As an initiative of the Soul City Institute together with Life Line as one of the partners, an HIV & TB stigma reduction awareness campaign kick started in Mahikeng last month.

Headed by a group of four ambassadors and four mobilizers the official launch of the two year campaign is expected to take place next month. The team of eight which targets communities around Mahikeng say they believe that zero stigma and zero discrimination is possible with a well informed and educated community.

One of the ambassadors Thabang Sebotsa indicates that in addition to teaching more on HIV and TB they also counsel the community about the importance of treatment adherence. “With zero stigma and zero discrimination we are saying come out, be free, live your life and get support. People must not hide. There are still those who hide and do not adhere to medication because they fear to be judged”, says Sebotsa.

Nthabiseng Ntsime who is a full time mobilizer shares that they have reached eight hundred people so far since the start of the campaign. “The changes that we would like to see through the campaign is for HIV negative people and HIV positive people to be viewed the same. No labelling or isolating someone because of his/her status”, says Ntsime.

So far the team has made presentations at Montshioa Stadt Clinic and Montshioa and say they plan to engage more with the other communities around Mahikeng, particularly rural villages.



Urban Family Market shows empathy to township school

It was an emotional and joyous day for the Montshioa based Bodiri Primary School when Urban Family Market donated 20 pairs of     shoes, as part of their social responsibility initiative, on Tuesday.

“We are giving you these shoes today so that you will not have a problem of being pricked by stones and thorns when you come to school. We want you to come to school and learn”, said Tebogo Pule during the handing over of the shoes. Tebogo who is the administration officer for Urban Family Market also reminded the learners why they are in school and urged them to work hard.

The principal Patricia Molefe and HOD Mavis Nage expressed their relief and gratitude. “We are happy for our school to be selected, with regard to helping the learners in need. It is important that they do not feel different from other children. So now they will see that they belong to Bodiri just like other learners”, said Molefe.

The principal also privately shared the heart breaking destitute circumstances that most of the learners live under. Most of the learners are from child headed families while others stay with their grandparents and do not know their biological parents. Such learners do not have proper school uniform and shoes. The school continue to encounter annual cases whereby some learners come to school barefoot. It is also apparent that most of the learners who attend Bodiri do not reside in Montshioa but from various rural villages around Mafikeng.

Another Urban Family Market official, Morongwa Pule related that the reason why they chose the school is because most donors usually focus on the outskirts, particularly rural villages, neglecting the fact that a child right next to them might be in need.


Watch Chef Manoto relating tips on how to get more done with less time in the kitchen


Mental wellness centre enthusiastically tending to caregivers

Situated in Lonely Park, a village outside Mafikeng, Moroka Mental Wellness Centre is determined to improve the well-being of those who care for the mentally ill in the community.

Thato Mpolokeng, the founder of the NPO which was registered in October 2016 says that a lot of people do not realise how important it is to take care of the caregivers. “We assist the caregivers to be the best that they can be”, she said.

The centre was born after Mpolokeng relocated from Johannesburg to Mafikeng to take care of her uncle named Moroka who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983. Mpolokeng shares that her uncle`s condition had deteriorated to a point where he was roaming the streets unwashed and eating from rubbish bins. She explains that while she was taking care of her uncle, she realised that more people needed help and decided to reach out.

The centre is making progress in terms of its development plans. This is evident among other things in their newly erected building,  testimonies from those receiving help, positive response for their painting donations and a garden with a variety of seasonal vegetables. “We are going to be developing programs for kids because we believe that it is where it all starts. We are going to be doing fun activities for the children to get them out of the streets”, said Mpolokeng.

Stephen Bekker who is in charge of gardening for the centre, has built a greenhouse and an aqua phonic system. Bekker who is currently a props buyer for one of mzanzi`s popular soapies Rhythm City, excitedly expressed his passion for gardening. “I am not a farmer as such but I have always been gardening at home. Now it is just taking it a little step further and try to inspire other people”, he said. “I have a Facebook page called Hope seeds hope which is inspired by my Buddhist practice. We are encouraged to develop ourselves and our communities through spreading hope”, he added.

Moroka Mental Wellness Centre wishes to see the community being more kind to each other. “If we are not helping each other, there is nothing we can achieve. Unity is important in order for us to make a difference”, they emphasize. The centre  also wishes to express their sincere gratitude to those who have supported them as they have recently requested paint donations from the public.

To know more or make a contribution, Thato Mpolokeng can be reached on 078 991 5233 alternatively you can reach Moroka Mental Wellness Centre on Facebook.