Wednesday, 22 April 2015

#RhodesMustFall: Outcome and Process Going Forward

I just saw this on my timeline, well done South African leadership, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity for education, discussion and creativity. Artists will be commissioned to create new works, landscapers... builders... I am pleased with the proactive stance, I love that 'learning' will now occur as a result.

I'll be watching this process with keen interest!


In the wake of recent protest actions over statues and symbols that many viewed as honoring South Africa's colonial legacy‚ the government has proposed plans to handle the fate of the remaining statues and symbols countrywide.

In March protests erupted at the University of Cape Town following the launch of the #RhodesMustFall campaign on social media.

This was initially sparked by student Chumani Maxwele throwing sewage over the statue of Cecil John Rhodes which stood prominently in the university premises.

The statue was eventually removed as a result.

However‚ the sentiment over "colonial statues" later spread countrywide and resulted in debates over whether the country still needs to have them‚ which ones needed to be removed and which ones should be left standing.

The government's proposed plan is set to include the appointment of a task team to ensure the acceleration of the process of identification‚ consultation and relocation of statues for a period of between a minimum of three years and a maximum of not more than five years.

An audit of existing names‚ symbols and sites will be made to identify those that are considered offensive. These will need to be changed within a specified period.

In the instances where there may be a need for disposal of some of the symbols and statues‚ proper disposal processes and guideline policies will be designed.

A monitoring and evaluation unit will be tasked with an oversight role to ensure that objectives are met‚ requisite processes are followed and complied with.

An awareness campaign will be launched to implement a series of vigorous public education and awareness creation campaigns.

This will focus on retained or changed names and statues and public education campaigns about these symbols countrywide.

A forum for public dialogue‚ whose emphasis will be on public dialogue and consultative processes‚ will be set up to engage legal structures over these symbols and statues.

The establishment of a historical theme park to give a detailed history and narrative of the evolution of the South African society. Strong emphasis should be placed on foregrounding African civilization‚ history and influential figures.

A process to review and build the capacity for regulatory bodies at all levels of government will also be established.

A heroes' acre will also be built to house those selected leaders who fought for liberation and or contributed to the building of a new South African society.

Above all‚ the plan includes a special programme to be established to celebrate African history on the continental scale to affirm African identity‚ as an antidote for South African "exceptionalism".

Government also plans to conduct an intra-African dialogue to promote multi-cultural consciousness.

A special attention will be placed on the Khoi and San people.

The project's non-partisan criteria will encourage a recognition process that goes beyond political figures to include other change makers who contributed to nation building.

Monuments established will be inclusive to represent more than individuals or a particular culture.

Places of national or international importance will be subjected to a national consultative process than those in local municipalities for change or review.

Transformation of the heritage landscape will preferably be informed and replaced by all inclusive symbols or themes/categories such as justice‚ youth‚ women‚ peace and reconciliation.

- The Times

Sandy Bigara

PHILOSOPHY: Who Writes on Your Heart Screen

If someone makes you out to be what you know you are not.

If they constantly tighten the net around you of what is allowed and what is not.

If they tell you that you are not worthy of respect, not worthy of empathy, not worthy of freedom - because of the level of melanin you were born into.

If you look back and see that the tide only ever flowed in one direction, and that it was your nets that were always emptied with no sharing from their boat...

It's time to cut loose and be free.

Know your value, don't let anyone write their issues onto the screen of your life.

Sandy Bigara

DIARY: Durban Motor Licensing Experience at Percy Osborne

Durban Motor Licensing
Address: 284 Percy Osborne Rd,
Kwazulu Natal,
South Africa City of Durban

What an uplifting experience!

We are leaving South Africa for Australia in a weeks, time and so, had to get things in order, to sell our Stationwagon.

I am always nervous at testing grounds or govt departments - they remind me of the Principals office and always smell like those pink loo blocks - hygenically clean.
Too clean.
Squeaky clean and full of regulations and rules.

Well, all in all it was a stress free excursion, lots of helpful people (and one very handy security guard who stepped out of his way to assist us when the Enquiries personnel had stepped out of the office.) and pretty clear direction and efficient service : )

Quick, painless. Well done Percy Osborne team!


Sandy Bigara

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

CRIME: Sandra Malcolm found hacked to death at her South African home | Daily Mail Online

I haven't seen any of this reported back home in South Africa... Nothing on Facebook.

DIARY: Packing Up House is Not For Sissies

Packing up house has to be like, the worst. Ever. (Teenage 'whiny voice' is now activated...)

How is it possible for one small family to amass such copious amounts of sh-t?? I'm astounded.

We all like to feel superior when watching shows like 'Hoarders' on TV, but the truth of the matter is that we spend our hard earned money on so much rubbish, packaging, small teeny tiny lego toys that get lodged in your underfoot at 2am when you try to walk gracefully to the loo. Small dolls that come with 10 TEENSYWEENSY accessories that soon become lost in the jumble of other tiny things in every nook and cranny of the childrens play area. Migod.

We are 90% packed up. Time for a cappucino, a deep breath, and the realisation that in a weeks time we will be spending our last night in Africa.

Laat ons nou braai.


Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 16 April 2015

XENOPHOBIA: We Cannot Allow Our Humanity to Slip Away by Mmusi Maimane MP Parliamentary Leader of the DA

16 April 2015
Release: Immediate

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Parliamentary Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, during a National Assembly debate on the recent spate of xenophobic attacks.

Madam Speaker

Honourable Members

Over the past two weeks, South Africa has once again witnessed a wave of xenophobic attacks across our country, with our media being dominated by heart-breaking images of fellow Africans being subjected to the cruellest treatment.

I recall an image I saw this week that really touched me as a husband and parent. The image was of a mother and father, fleeing an angry mob, carrying their children to safety.

My heart goes out to those foreign nationals. Growing up in Soweto, I have seen the capability of humans to inflict violence on one another.

I have seen people being beaten and necklaced, and their property destroyed. These are images I will never forget, and I pray my children will never have to witness first-hand.

Our humanity is slipping away from us, and we cannot allow that. We cannot stand by as fellow human beings are tortured and murdered.

I understand the frustration being felt by South Africans, especially unemployed youth, who struggle to access opportunities to improve their lives.

Jobs are scarce. Our economy continues to exclude millions of South Africans.

But to focus this anger and frustration on a small group of foreign nationals who have become unfairly vilified and victimised does not address the cause of that frustration.

We must not turn xenophobia into a political football. We must not shy away from the root causes of the problem either.

The root of this problem lies in our inability to bring about economic growth and decrease the inequality that plagues our nation.

Unemployment currently stands at 36.1%. Two out of every three unemployed people are young people.

Many of these young people come from communities that were disadvantaged under Apartheid and grew up without access to quality education.

In every community I visit I meet with young men and women who share the same story of economic exclusion.

It is the hopelessness that results from unemployment that drives drug use and criminality in these communities, and underlies xenophobic attacks.

But while these factors may help to explain the situation, they cannot be used as an excuse for resorting to violence and criminality. There can be no justification for human beings inflicting pain and suffering on other human beings.

Instead of acknowledging these socio-economic root causes of the tension in our communities, there are people in powerful positions attempting to shift the blame and even condone criminality and xenophobia.

We must never forget that during the dark days of Apartheid, African nations opened their borders to South Africans involved in the struggle for freedom. Yet now we vilify those who flee persecution and oppression and make them the scapegoats for the rage we feel from economic exclusion.

We need an immigration policy that recognises the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers based on our commitment to the "International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families". And we need to make sure that our borders are protected so that those who seek to make a life in our country do so through the correct processes and procedures.

But, if we want to solve the root causes of xenophobia, we need to address the issue of unemployment. We need to support the growth of small businesses and create jobs.

Small businesses owners are key to growing our economy, but we need to make sure that they are given the support to do so. We need to make it easier for those with good ideas and ambition to get their enterprises off the ground.

In order to succeed, small businesses require capital to allow them to get off the ground, and the skills needed to manage a small business.

That is why the DA has advocated for the establishment of a National Venture Capital Fund to provide initial funding for start-ups and early-stage businesses. This will enable people to get access to capital to fund start-up enterprises.

We need to empower entrepreneurs. We can begin by teaching business skills in our schools. We must equip the young with basic knowledge of maths, accounting and economics, and educate them on how to maximise the power of collective buying.

And there needs to be a greater rollout of small business incubators where entrepreneurs can access and share resources in a supportive environment, and empower them through assisting with the cost of training and advisory services.

I understand the frustration of people on the ground. But regardless of the problems we face, we cannot allow people to brutalise others. Business owners are not the enemy.

The real enemy is a culture of corruption that takes from the poor and gives to the rich. A culture that reserves opportunites for the elite and excludes everybody else.

Speaker, if we work together to root out this culture, we stand a chance of ending xenophobia and restoring humanity in our society.

In 1994 President Mandela made a commitment that "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."

Let us honour his memory by honouring that dream.

Let us not forget our common humanity.

I thank you.

Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Spur vs Sulphur Allergy (Spoiler alert: Spur wins)

When you have a life threatening alergy, it isn't a great deal of fun, I won't lie. It sucks, mostly.

In my case, my body cells cannot convert sulphites to sulphase. Sulphites (preservatives found in most foods) inhibit cellular activity, while sulphase encourages cellular activity with pompoms, kind words, and motivational pictures of sunsets with white cursive text placed over them. I'm not sure about that last bit. The last time I Wikipedia'd any symptoms for anything I had (a cold), I realized that I was in fact dying from numerous inoperable illnesses and almost curled up and gave up on life. But that was pre-banting, and the cold left-over pizza in the fridge encouraged me to get my ass out of bed and live! Dammit! Liiiive!

Totally over dramatic. I apologize. Back to my point. Which is that sulphur will most likely kill me. Furreals.

We have small kids, two female tornados who never stop swirling, even in sleep. So, like most tired and doting parents, we go to Spur. If sulphur had a homeland, it would most probably be every steakhouse in the world, with Spur as its Alpine Ski Resort of sticky barbeque goodness. So we have a problem, I like me some finger licking barbeque buffalo wings, but they can put me into a coma. I had steak strips in tomato sauce and 'slept' ("slept" see: hallucinated that mystical wild creatures were in my room) for almost two weeks in December. Not the best. Especially seeing as I was in the middle of Directing and Producing a 6 week run of The Princess & the Frog at the Catalina Theatre at the time!  I nearly croaked.
See what I did there?
Because of the frog pla... Never mind.

Anyway, the first thing I noticed when I ventured fearfully back inside a Spur was that they have an amazing app available that lists ingredients of every meal. After being told by at least 3 other big brand restaurants: Wimpy, MacDonalds and KFC, that they didn't know at all whether there was Sulphur Dioxide in their food and couldn't help me - I was hella stoked to be able to just look it up. Unfortunately, until recently I was a Blackberry user and so, every time I needed my phone to use the app I'd get the black square spinning thinger and my battery would go from 80% to dead in the time it took to load the app. Thanks RIM.

Luckily, the people at Spur are legitimately made up of 110% awesomesauce, because at each of the following Spurs I had Managers, Cooks, Owners and Waiters do their absolute best to accommodate my needs, and prepare me tasty meals that wouldn't send me to Jesusville.

Miami Spur, Contact Number 031-5611370, Email:, 44 Lagoon Dr. Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, 4319, KZN

Mustang Spur, Contact Number 031-2028040, Email:, Shop 300, Musgrave Centre, 115 Musgrave Rd, Musgrave, Durban, 4001, KZN

Maxwell and team at Casadena Spur, Contact Number 031-3051650, Email:, Shop 20, Wilson's Wharf, 14 - 18 Boatsman Rd. Albert Park, Durban, 4001, KZN

Pearl and team at Daytona Spur, Contact Number 031-3324032, Email:, Sun Coast Casino, Battery Beach Rd. Stamford Hill, Durban, 4025, KZN

I just want to send out a BIG Diva THANK YOU! To the Spur family. Well done guys, you show me what real hospitality is all about.

(Pictured: my husbands crumbed chicken burger and soya burger with salad (Mondays special two for the price of one burger deal) and my meal, sulphur free (and salad free... salad is eeeevil) meal. It was tasty and I could only get through half! My girls demolished in the rest!)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

POLITICS: DA Responds To Xenophobic Attacks April 2015

Hundreds of Refugees from other African nations are being dumped in empty fields and parks around Durban, escourted by armed police, only allowed out of these compounds two at a time. There are two that I know of personally - one of which is about 2km from my home.

These business owners and families have had their shops burned down, their stock looted, they are either injured or emotionally distraught. They have tents to stay in, no food, water or sanitation.

I have no words. If anyone knows of any organizations that are assisting, feel free to comment below or share this post and tag relevant people on Facebook.

Friday, 10 April 2015

MUSIC: Hauntingly Beautiful... Shades of Red by Annie Bonsignore


No words. 

Just wow. 

Annie Bonsignore - Shades of Red

"Shades of RedIt was late, probably around 3am when this came to me.  I could barely sing the chorus as it made me feel intense emotions of sadness.  The lyrics were unfinished when I was approached by Film Folks to have my music placed in their film ‘A Dark Matter’.  I rewrote the lyrics to fit the film.  It was my first attempt at doing this." - Annie Bonsignore 

Annie is currently in a competition Searchlight - The Hunt for Canada's Best New Artist - you can vote for her here at CBC Music. No forms. Just one click and you've voted. And best of all, you can vote from multiple devices, every day : )

Friday, 3 April 2015

This Girl Had Thick Hair. You Won't Believe What Happens Next. Yeah. Stupid Clickbait. This is Rather Funny Though.

Thick Hair Girl Problems

1. You have to bail on plans and spend a night in so you can wash and style your hair.
2. The weight of your hair gives you headaches.
3. You shed everywhere.
4. People always wish they had your hair, but they just don't get it.
5. Your significant other tries to run their fingers through your hair, but it doesn't work out.
6. You need a never-ending supply of Drano, draindoctor and Liquid Plumr.
7. You can never use just one box of hair dye.
8. You have to resist the urge to take drastic action when you get frustrated with your hair. Which only happens, like, once an hour.
9. Blowdrying your hair takes all of the energy out of you.
10. You always run out of conditioner before shampoo.
11. That messy, yet chic fishtail braid you saw on Pinterest?
12. Yeah, not happening. Time to break out the messy bun again.
13. You've broken a brush before.
14. And it usually happens right when you need it.
15. This happens to you all the time - MASSIVE POOFY MANE.
16. Brushing your hair to get the tangles out will only ever result in this.
17. Your bun is so heavy it pulls your forehead up and gives you a mini face-lift.
18. Getting your hair thinned is an emotional ordeal.
19. Hair clips don't survive for very long in your hair.
20. Humidity is your mortal enemy.
21. Depending on the weather, straightening your hair might be a complete waste of time.
22. Getting it done at the salon? Better clearr your schedule. You're going to be there all day.
23. You really relate to this little guy.
24. Your hair swallows bobby pins.
25. You have to accept that some people just don't get it.
26. Keeping your hair off of your face is a lot of work.
27. Styling your hair is a rigorous process.
28. Letting your hair dry naturally is not an option. Unless you want to wake up with a lion's mane.
29. Putting your hair into a ponytail is the definition of the struggle.
30. Even though it drives you crazy, you wouldn't have it any other way.

30 Facts Thick-Haired Girls Know Are True - OMG Facts - The World's #1 Fact Source

Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 2 April 2015

MUSIC: Annie Bonsignore on the Rise in Canada

You know, when you are young, you sometimes don't see the incredible things around you... and when you are older, you look back and marvel at the talented individuals that you had the privilege of knowing. Annie Bonsignore is one such person. 

Annie and I grew up together in Durban North, playing in the school playground at Chelsea Prep (then Northway) and then Chelsea Drive SP and then at Northlands Girls High. We both loved to sing and performed together countless times from about the age of 7. Annie mum Jenny Bonsignore is a well known and respected music teacher and choir Director at NGHS with an impressive history behind her. Did you ever watch The Sound of Music? Well, the Bonsignores are like the Von Trapps - minus the whole 'running away from Austria and climbing over the Alps, being chased by Nazi's' and stuff... 

Want to read more? Including awesome links to Annie's music... 

Click HERE