Thursday, 11 July 2019

ARROWSA Bechet Portfolio

Portfolio leader Bhekithemba Dlamini

The ARROWSA Bechet Portfolio is headed by the enthusiastic and talented Mr Bhekithemba (Bheki) Dlamini.  Bheki is an ARROWSA Bechet alumni from 2005-2009 who is now employed as an assistant teacher at Bechet High School, Durban but who voluntarily leads the ARROWSA Bechet programme.  Bheki has performed at the ARROWSA Kalahari and overseas intercultural events including Indra Congresses in Plymouth and Derry, Northern Ireland. He has devised, scripted and directed a number of applied theatre productions that have been performed at numerous venues including at Bechet High for the school and the Sydenham community and that have competed in the Ethekwini Local History Museum's Abasha Basha competition.

Upcoming production devised by Bheki with the ARROWSA Bechet team 2019

In 2012-2013 he scripted and directed the devised applied theatre production: “1955” that was based on the history of a high school that was established in the apartheid era and was only for people of diverse cultural backgrounds. In 2015 he coordinated devised performances at jewellery exhibitions at Old House Museum and Durban University of Technology. Bheki led the ARROWSA Bechet group at the Indra Congress that took place in Durban in July 2017 with acclaimed song and dance performances. He has been part of a number of intercultural and artist exchange programmes between Indra Congress, Plymouth and India in South Africa and Plymouth.

Bhekithemba Dlamini and Indra Congress Director David Oddie in Plymouth, UK

The ARROWSA Bechet programme started as part of a global arts for peace inititive started by David Oddie of Plymouth who is now director of the Indra Congress. The sustainability of the programme has been made possible by Bheki's consistent dedication to the programme since he took over leadership from Mary Lange.  He is assisted by the support of the alumni, ARROWSA management, and the Bechet High School staff in particular the principal Mr Padayachee who allowed the programme to start at the school. 


Mr Padayachee, principal of ARROWSA Bechet High School at the ARROWSA Bechet                                                                            prizegiving 2018.

Bheki and ARROWSA Bechet alumni who assisted with the July 2019 workshop and the production of the upcoming 'Imbewu Yesizwe: The Nation's Seed' musical production devised by Bheki and the team.

The ARROWSA Bechet programme runs as an extramural activity at Bechet High School twice a week in the afternoon and holiday workshops and is made up of approximately 40 learners of diverse cultural backgrounds.  The objectives of the  programme is the use of the arts - performance and visual - to promote intrapersonal and interpersonal social change.  Activities include the use of hand mapping, drawing, photography, dance, singing and acting that are facilitated by Bheki and guest artists. 


ARROWSA Bechet participants at the July 2019 workshop (Photographs by ARROWSA alumni Vincent)

Although the process of the creation of the arts is emphasised the group takes part in numerous local, national and international events as part of ARROWSA's objectives to promote intercultural understanding through face-to-face meetings.  

ARROWSA Bechet at the eThekwini Local History Museum's Abasha Bash competition 2019.

An annual prizegiving takes place at the end of the year where ARROWSA Bechet participants are encouraged with certificates and trophies for their dedicated support of the programme through sharing and developing their artistic talents.Tokens of appreciation are also awarded to members of the public who show sustainable support for the programme.

 Bheki at the ARROWSA Bechet annual awards 2018 

 Dr Lauren Dyll, ARROWSA management research portfolio and CCMS, UKZN senior lecturer, receives her ubuntu award in 2018. Lauren received the award for her sustained support of the ARROWSA Bechet programme especially through her enthusiastic and sucessful fundraising efforts since 2004.


Sunday, 7 July 2019


ARROWSA has a Research Portfolio led by Dr Lauren Dyll of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

The most recent research project that ARROWSA has assisted in took place in Lydenburg /Mashishing, Mpumalanga, South Africa. See the article below written by Dr Lauren Dyll.


The Marking Memories project is one of the projects that characterises this research and community engagement partnership. Dr Mary Lange is instrumental in the Mashishing project as an Arts, Culture and Heritage specialist, is the ARROWSA chairperson and is a CCMS Honorary lecturer. Dr Lauren Dyll is the project leader, senior lecturer at CCMS and is head of the research portfolio for ARROWSA.

On 4 June 2019 Dr Mary Lange, Nongcebo Ngcobo and Dr Lauren Dyll set out for Mpumalanga to conduct a preliminary field trip for the research project, “Marking memories: pre-industrial to contemporary, north of the Garib River and west of the Lembombo Mountains”. The project aims to operationalise indigenous knowledge systems in a diverse contemporary South African society by the inclusion of diverse African languages, and comparisons of past through to present engravings found in two different regions of South Africa.  Engravings can be considered markings of identity. In order to foreground the idea of living heritage and dynamic identities an important component of the project is to document the multivocal, intercultural readings of the local rock engravings by members of a diverse research team that includes academics, local professionals (teachers and museum staff) and local community members. 

Also of interest to the project are the ways in which people in Mashishing today, use markings for their personal or community identity. Interesting discussions emanated both from the teacher’s workshop facilitated by Dr Mary and the interviews Nongcebo conducted with Busisiwe Ngwane (a local teacher) and several museum staff. Nongcebo, who is supervised by Dr Lauren, is writing her Masters within the broader project. Her topic assesses the potentiality of participation within the Mashishing Marking Memories project from a culture-centered approach. JP Celliers, Lydenburg Museum curator, spent two days with Dr Mary, Nongcebo and Dr Lauren. They visited the museum itself, as well as the ‘Bokoni City’ that includes remnants of the Late Iron age stonewalled homesteads of the Koni people – a farming community who lived in Mpumalanga between 1500s- 1820s.

(L-R): Ngcobo , Celliers and Dr Mary speak to Busisiwe Ngwane about topics of heritage in the school curriculum. This was at the Lydenburg museum.

They also did a recce of the Boomplaats Rocks Art site that reveals direct evidence of how the Late Iron Age Bokoni farmers lived and organised their living space – many engravings depict the typical Nguni settlement patterns. Although the engravings’ authorship and subject matter is becoming clearer, its meanings and motivation for its creation remain poorly understood. Mary, Nongcebo and Dr Lauren are grateful to Lydenburg Museum staff for their warm hospitality and insightful couple of days.

Embarking on the 21 June 2019
Marking Memories Mashishing Project 
Photo by JP Celliers Photo by Mary Lange Photo by Lauren Dyll
In photo:

(L-R) Dr Lauren, Dr Mary and Ngcobo admire a large stone engraving 

Dr Lauren and Celliers at stone wall settlement

(L-R) Ngcobo, Dr Mary and Celliers in a discussion 

Further examples of ARROWSA Research Portfolio projects are included in the 2017-2018 report below written by Dr Lauren Dyll.

ARROWSA (Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace) Research Report
1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018

The following publications includes data from ARROWSA-related research projects.
Dyll, L. (2018) Indigenous environmental knowledge and challenging dualisms in development: observations from the Kalahari, Development in Practice, 28(3), 332-344. DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2018.1438368.

Lange, M.E. (2016) Marking memories: indigenous north of the ! Garib River and contemporary in Westville, South Africa, Critical Arts, 30:6, 855-876, DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2016.1263218.
Lange, M & Ngema, L. (2017) Arts as a resource for reconciliation, ARROWSA in South Africa, WUMEN BAGUNG Communication for Development and Social Change Bulletin, RMIT.

The following presentations includes data from ARROWSA-related research projects.
Dyll, L. (Nov 2017) Attended and presented a paper at the Consuming the Environment conference, at Gavle University (Sweden), “Indigenous environmental knowledge and challenging dualisms in development: two Kalahari case studies”.

Action research
Continued action research on the Palmiet Nature Reserve and Bergtheil programmes (details in other portfolio report sections)

Indra Congress / symposium preparations
Preparations for Indra Congress Research Symposium (to be held in July 2018), facilitated by Miranda Jahanger (ARROWSA/ Drama and Performance Studies).

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Indra Congress 'Pathways' 
Reflection and thanks!
Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu: 
I can't but We can!

                                                                                                      Beach Front parade (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

The Indra Congress "Pathways" surpassed expectations and resulted in an enthusiastic, energetic, enjoyable, thought provoking week that included sharing of cultures, skills, knowledge, friendship, tears and laughter through the arts! International Mandela Day seems a relevant day to reflect on how so many individuals from different cultures from different parts of South Africa, Africa and the world could come together, share and create arts, and become one people for a week.

Our initial budget for holding a congress in Durban for Indra was R750 000.00. We only managed to receive R30 000.00 formal funding. How did we then manage to host an international youth congress for approximately 90 people for a week and still maintain a high standard of arts skills and intercultural exchange? In this post (based on my address to the congress participants on the final day of the congress) as chairperson of ARROWSA and co-ordinator of the pre-, during and post Indra Congress Pathways, I'd like to reflect on who assisted in making the week such a success!  Although names of individuals and organisations will be listed, in truth, the amazing aspect of the congress was that it was a group effort. The reflection and thanks is shared not only to publicly acknowledge all who contributed to the congress but also to encourage other organisations and individuals to go ahead with planning events even if major funding is not available.

Acknowledgment is hereby given to the following people, organisations and institutions for their contributions:

Founder of Indra Congress and assistant coordinator of Indra Congress 'Pathways':
David Oddie (Director Indra Congress)

                               David Oddie as guest speaker at the congress opening (Photo by Alix Harris)

Fund raising:
  - Crowd funding - Luthando Ngema (ARROWSA management and Media and Cultural Studies UKZN)
   - Raising donations - Bhekithemba Dlamini (ARROWSA management and Bechet High School) and Dr Lauren Dyll (ARROWSA management and CCMS, UKZN)
    - Jewellery auction donation of Indra Net necklace - Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers)
    - Sponsoring of Instagram advert for jewellery auction - Luthando Ngema
    - Jewellery raffle donation of 'the giving hand' necklace - Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers)
Support for the above was especially from ARROWSA management and ARROWSA Bechet's family, colleagues and friends.

       Luthando Ngema (Photo Mary Lange)                                  Shanette Martin (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

Social Media build up on Indra Congress Pathways Facebook page- all countries participants and leaders
Press releases - Miliswa Magongo and Luthando Ngema
Congress media and equipment:                                           
  - Filming - Shanette Martin (Director South Roots International)
  - Co-ordination of  media volunteers and social media posting -Luthando Ngema
 - Media volunteers - Samantha Madondo (Media and Cultural Studies, UKZN), Tshimanga Tshiteya (ARROWSA Bechet alumni)

   - Co-ordination of media shown at the congress - Betty Giannouli for Greece, Urvashi Sahni for India;  and Shanette Martin for South Roots.
   - Photographer - Vincent Joseph (ARROWSA Bechet alumni) (Photo by Robyn Michelle)

Build up workshops in the weeks before the congress:
  -Intercultural exchange between Canadian students and ARROWSA Bechet at Bechet High School - Bhekithemba Dlamini
  -Making of bead and African charm necklace gifts for congress visitors - ARROWSA Bechet and materials sponsored by and workshop led by Kathlyn Allan, (Author Jewellers) and assisted by Karla Nixon (Fine Arts Dept, DUT)
  -Media workshop - Shanette Martin
  -Cooling Conflict  - anti-bullying workshop - David Oddie (Director Indra Congress)

Jewellery exhibition:


Jewellery creation: Jewellery and Fine Arts Department, DUT second and third year students
Co-ordination and display - Dr Marlene de Beer and Dr Chris de Beer (Jewellery and Fine Arts Department, DUT)

Arts activities - artists donated their time to prepare for the congress in the weeks before and to facilitate the arts activities everyday of the congress and co-direct and lead the beach front parade activities.

 - Music, singing and dancing - Sue- Livia van Wyk (South Roots International)
        Sue-Livia van Wyk with her fellow South Roots International team participants (Photo by Selby Williams)

 - Drama - Ongezwa Mbele (Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN), assisted by Siyavuya Mfenqa (Dala intern)

                                                                                                           Ongezwa Mbele (Photo by Luthando Ngema)

                          Siyavuya Mfenqa and congress participants (Photo by Siyavuya Mfenqa)

 - Arts and crafts - Dane Knudsen (Stops) (Graphic Design department, DUT) , Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers) and Karla Nixon (Fine Arts Department, DUT)

                                                                Posters created by the arts and crafts group (Photo by Luthando Ngema)

  - Arts and crafts materials - Donation of materials and tools  by Kathlyn Allan, Karla Nixon and Dane Knudsen; funding  from jewellery auction

   Kathlyn Allan working with the ARROWSA Bechet participants in the arts and crafts group
                                                                                                                                          (Photo by Kathlyn Allan)

   - Mass movement - Alix Harris (Indra Congress Plymouth, UK)

          Mass movement facilitated by Alix Harris as part of the Beach Front parade (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)                                 
- City walk - Doung (Dala)
  - Hand mapping exercise - Luthando Ngema
  - Warm up drama exercise session - Canadian students

Beach front parade planning -  Dane Knudsen, Dr Mary Lange, Ongezwa Mbele, Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer, Nicola Zreineh (Al Harah Theatre, Palestine), Kathlyn Allan, Sue-Livia van Wyk and Karla Nixon
Beach front parade makeup - Karla Nixon

                                                                                                        (Photo by Nathalie Hodali)

Beach front parade direction - Dane Knudsen, Karla Nixon, Kathlyn Allan, Sue-Livia van Wyk, Ongezwa Mbele, Siyavuya Mfenqa and Dr Mary Lange

                                                             Karla Nixon directs the beach front parade bird (photo Luthando Ngema)

Beach front parade permit payment - from jewellery auction funds

Congress Venue and wifi - UKZN Drama and Performance Studies co-ordinated by Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer (ARROWSA management and Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN) and staff

     - venue technical and general co-ordination and assistance at venue (including supervision of meals at the congress) - Jason Barber (Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN)

Facilitation, rehearsals and direction of presentations performed at the congress - were self funded by each participating group's leader.



                                                                                                                                       (Photo by Ongezwa Mbele)

Congress Symposium:
Co-ordination and co-chair: Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer
Co-chair: David Oddie

  -Congress Lunches - funding from UKZN Research Prof Ramjugermath co-ordinated by  Dr Lauren Dyll (ARROWSA Management and CCMS, UKZN)
   -Suppers for visitors staying at Concord Guesthouse food and time donated - Dr Lauren Dyll, Anne Ross, Prof Ruth Teer-Tomaselli (CCMS, UKZN), Luthando Ngema, Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer

Dr Lauren Dyll and Anne Ross (Photo Lauren Dyll)

 -Congress Tea and snacks - Dr Mary-Ann Lange and Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer
   -Welcome snack packs for visitors from outside of Durban - Dr Mary Lange

   - Namibia, Canada and South Roots - paid for their own
   - UK and Palestine - paid by David Oddie
  - India - paid one night for themselves and balance paid by ARROWSA from funds raised by publication sales and museum programmes

Durban transport co-ordination time donated: Bhekithemba Dlamini

Transport funding:
  - The leaders of participants from outside of Durban raised their own transport funding to attend the congress:  namely Darryl and Lessle Beukes from Namibia; Marina Barham from Al Harah Theatre in Palestine; David Oddie and Alix Harris from Indra Congress in UK; Shanette Martin from South Roots, Western Cape, South Africa, Diane Conrad of University of Alberta, Canada and Urvashi Sahni from Study Hall, Lucknow, India.
  - ARROWSA Bechet and Abasha Bash to UKZN - donations and raffle funds
  - Airport trips for overseas visitors - Dr Mary-Ann Lange, Kathlyn Allan and Dr Mary Lange
  -Visitors staying at Concord guesthouse to UKZN  - Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer

Congress gift packs - UKZN co-ordinated by Luthando Ngema
Congress programme:
Design and layout time donated- Dane Knudsen
Printing co-ordination time donated - Bhekithemba Dlamini

Collage of Indra Congress Pathways participants by Dane Knudsen

I dreamed a week before the Indra Congress 'Pathways' that I saw a pride of young and female lions standing on each others shoulders in a formation reminiscent of cheerleaders.  In the dream I stood back and said "I didn't know that they could do that!"  At the end of the Indra Congress Pathways when I stood in front of the congress participants in the UKZN Square Space Theatre and looked at the young participants and all the leaders I had the same feeling as I did in the dream; awe and gratitude as I thought: 'I didn't know that you could do that!" but we did!

Thank you everyone!

                                                                                                       (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

Mary Lange (ARROWSA Chair)

Sunday, 1 July 2018

DUT Jewellery exhibition opens tomorrow evening at Drama and Performance Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal!  

If you can't be there see the creative work below and let us know if you would like to buy any of these unique creations.  A percentage of all profits goes to the ARROWSA Bechet intercultural exchange projects.