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The Robben Island Bible and the SA story

first_img21 December 2012The liberation leaders and activists who served on Robben Island prison came alive on a London stage in July 2012 in a staged reading of The Robben Island Bible – inspired by a disguised copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare – that highlighted the power and resonance of the South African story.The reading of the script by Matthew Hahn, an American-born playwright and drama lecturer who has interviewed eight of the surviving Robben Island prisoners, took place at the Southbank Centre, one of the world’s leading entertainment centres, in an event co-sponsored by Brand South Africa.At the centre of The Robben Island Bible story are the men who were forced to work long hours chipping stones from the island quarry over three decades. But in their spare time they debated strategy to overthrow apartheid, and eventually studied and read whatever they could find to assist in the process.‘The Bible by William Shakespeare’One of the books that they read and debated for many hours was a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare which was sent to Sonny Venkatrathnam, a prisoner from the Unity Movement in the 1970s who lives with his wife and family in Durban, by his wife Theresa.The book was initially impounded but later returned to Venkatrathnam when he convinced a sympathetic warder that it was the “the Bible by William Shakespeare’. Coming from the Hindu faith, Venkatrathnam later disguised the cover of the book with Diwali (Hindu festival of light) greeting cards.The book became one of the most treasured documents on the island.Six months before he left the island in 1977 Venkatrathnam asked his 32 fellow- prisoners in the single-cell section which included the most senior leadership figures of the liberation movements, to choose their favourite passage from Shakespeare and sign their name alongside their chosen quote.Julius Caesar, Hamlet and The Tempest emerged as the most popular and keenly debated texts, focusing on issues such as loyalty, betrayal and assassination and what the legacy would be of the assassination of evil dictators.Robben Island’s ‘Reading Revolution’The staged reading of The Robben Island Bible was preceded by a passionate introduction to the evening by South African author Ashwin Desai, who recently published Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island (Unisa press, 2012).As Desai notes in his book: “There was a camaraderie on the island, political discussions amid the struggle to survive. For Venkatrathnam, there was Shakespeare.”Venkatrathnam’s interest in Shakespeare had been intensified by an essay he wrote at university on the jesters in Shakespeare’s plays.Desai: “The prison setting suddenly made so many lines resonate with new meaning.”Following the staged reading was a lively panel chaired by South African actress Pamela Nomvete, with Hahn and Desai and one of the actors, South African-born Vincent Ebrahim of the Kumars fame, with many questions from the packed audience of some 300 people. The conversations went well into the night at a reception hosted by Brand South Africa.Desai spoke about the importance of the Robben Island prisoners as an example to the youth of today and their relevance to the current heated debates going on about the form and structure of South Africa’s future economic and political models and the need to honour the spirit, integrity and vision of the men on Robben Island.Inclusivity and tolerance was a strong theme, and it was moving in the extract from Hahn’s script to see the full spectrum of liberation leaders presented discussing their chosen quotes from Shakespeare: Eddie Daniels from the Liberal Party; Saths Cooper from the black consciousness movement; Neville Alexander from the Unity Movement; Theo Cholo, Michael Dingake, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela from the ANC; Kwede mohlobe (Kailipi) from the Pan Africanist Congress.Desai is passionate that the example of the Robben Islanders should be used to spark a reading revolution in South Africa which informs the debate about South Africa’s future in the same way that the study of Shakespeare and other texts on Robben Island informed the anti-apartheid struggle and helped win freedom for all.Playwright ‘inspired’ by Robben Island survivorsHahn, who first read about the Robben Island Bible in a brief mention in the late Anthony Sampson’s authorised biography of Mandela, admits that his life has been changed by the inspiration he has experienced interviewing eight of the surviving Robben Island prisoners.He visited South Africa again recently to pursue his vision of drama and the arts being used as a major tool for development of the country and its people.Hahn’s staged reading was first performed at the Richmond theatre in London in 2009 in collaboration with iconic South African actor John Kani.Greg Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his partner Sir Anthony Sher, were instrumental in getting the Robben Island Bible to Stratford- on-Avon for a major Shakespeare exhibition in 2006.Doran’s production of Julius Caesar, the first-ever RSC production with an all-black cast, drew capacity audiences in British theatres this year, and a filmed version has been shown on BBC television.Shakespeare was at the centre of Britain’s Cultural Olympiad, an arts and culture outreach which coincided with the hosting of the 2012 Olympics in London.Robben Island bible at British Museum exhibitionThe Robben Island bible, on loan to the British Museum, was a centre-piece in the hugely successful exhibition “Shakespeare: Staging the World”, which ran at the British Museum from 19 July through to 25 November.The internationally renowned director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, focused in May on the Robben Island bible in the last of a 20-part series of BBC radio programmes highlighting 20 objects on display in the Shakespeare exhibition.He said it was one of the most powerful examples of Shakespeare’s legacy that his writings could be of such influence in a political prison at the southern tip of Africa more than 400 years after his birth.Dora Thornton, the curator of the exhibition, noted: “The book was used in the same way as the Bible has been used down the ages: as a constant reference for debating the moral issues of the day.”Telling South Africa’s unique storyThe engagement of the audience at the Southbank Centre was a powerful reminder that the South African story is the rock on which the South African brand is built and the medium through which South Africans’ unique experience of turning adversity into triumph can be best communicated globally.We may have gold and amazing scenery, mountains, sunshine, beaches and game parks, and we are thankful for that. But it is the people of South Africa who move and inspire the world with their achievements, human spirit and determination not to settle for second best however difficult it may be getting there.Just as the writings of Shakespeare resonate around the world 400 years after his life, so will the readings and debates of the Robben Island prisoners will resonate for centuries to come.All the more so when we learn to take ownership of the richness of our own heritage and treasure and showcase priceless symbols and objects such as the Robben Island bible, which is becoming such a source of inspiration to audiences in Britain and the rest of the world.John Battersby is UK country manager of Brand South Africa and a former newspaper editor and foreign correspondent. Brand South Africa co-sponsored the Robben Island Bible event, which was programmed by the Southbank Centre and the Nelson Mandela Centre at the Museum for African Art in New York City.last_img read more

South Africa’s financial sector

first_imgSouth Africa’s financial services sector, backed by a sound regulatory and legal framework, is sophisticated, boasting dozens of domestic and foreign institutions providing a full range of services – commercial, retail and merchant banking, mortgage lending, insurance and investment.The Reserve Bank has a significant degree of autonomy in terms of South Africa’s Constitution. (Image: SARB, via Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterThe banking systemThe South African banking system is well developed and effectively regulated, comprising a central bank – the South African Reserve Bank – as well as a few large, financially strong banks and investment institutions, and a number of smaller banks.Many foreign banks and investment institutions have operations in South Africa.Investment and merchant banking remains the most competitive front in the industry, while the country’s “big five” banks – Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank and newcomer Capitec – dominate the retail market.Read more: Banks and exchange in South AfricaLegislation and regulationLegislation governing the financial sector is primarily the Banks Act 1990 and the Mutual Banks Act 1993, which serve the achievement of a sound, efficient banking system in the interest of the depositors of banks and the economy as a whole.Download a copy of the Banks Act, 1990 [PDF]An office headed by the Registrar of Banks, operating as part of the Reserve Bank, is responsible for registering institutions as banks or mutual banks as well as enforcing all the requirements of the Acts.Read more: South African Reserve Bank or go to the Reserve Bank’s websiteThe non-banking sector is overseen by the Financial Services Board (FSB). An independent body, it is responsible for the regulation of financial markets and institutions, including insurers, fund managers and brokering operations.A massive banking call centre in Johannesburg. (Image: Brand South Africa)The National Credit Regulator is responsible for regulating the South African credit industry, including the registration of credit providers, credit bureaux and debt counsellors. It is responsible for enforcing compliance with the National Credit Act, and is focused on developing an accessible credit market to meet and promote the needs of people who are marginalised, especially economically.The Banking Association of South Africa is an industry body representing all registered banks in South Africa. It is the mandated representative of the sector, and represents the industry through lobbying, engagement with stakeholders and political influence.The Johannesburg Stock ExchangeThe JSE Limited is the 17th largest exchange in the world by market capitalisation, which is at more than R6- trillion.With about 400 listed companies and 907 securities (JSE, November 2012), South Africa’s exchange is Africa’s largest and is bigger than Moscow’s and Singapore’s.The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is opened by the sounding of African instruments including marimba and kudu horn. (Image: UN Women)World-class systems allow the JSE to offer leading technology, surveillance and settlement on a T+5 basis. In 2012, it was ranked as number one in the world for the third time in terms of securities regulation by the World Economic Forum.The JSE is an essential cog in the functioning of South Africa’s economy, and is the market of choice for local and international investors looking to gain exposure to the leading capital markets in the country as well as the broader African continent.In October 2011, South Africa’s JSE Top40 Index joined Brazil’s Bovespa Index, Russia’s Micex Index, the BSE India Sensitive Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index to form the BRICS Exchanges Alliance. Trading began in March 2012.Read more: BRICS stock exchanges form alliance and Invest in South Africa via the JSEWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association hosted first–ever Cattlemen’s Camp

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) just wrapped up their first annual Cattlemen’s Camp in partnership with Weaver Leather Livestock on October 15-16, 2016 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London, Ohio. This educational, fun-filled weekend included hands-on opportunities for the youth and their families to gain experience with their beef calf. Attendees were invited to bring their calf project along for on-site training to prepare for the upcoming OCA BEST show season.Saturday camp attendees began with a session titled “More Than a Banner” provided in part with event sponsor, Weaver Leather Livestock, and the morning session also included a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and showmanship seminar. A beef lunch was provided to participants and their families before kicking off an afternoon of informative sessions including daily care of your calf including nutrition and a Cattlemen’s Skillathon Quiz Bowl competition among other activities. The evening kicked off with dinner, followed by tail-gating and big-screen televisions to cheer the Buckeyes on to victory with their fellow campers.Campers started Sunday morning off with a livestock evaluation and selection seminar presented by Hank LeVan, Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team Coach followed by washing their calves and preparing them for a day of clipping and fitting with Weaver Leather Livestock professional, Jon Gevelinger, from Texas. Participants spent their day learning from one of the industry’s leading experts in daily care, fitting and showmanship. He encompassed all areas of the beef livestock project, both market animals and heifers and was on-hand to answer questions one-on-one throughout the day.Sunday concluded with a fitting contest comprised of teammates paired up at the camp. Winners of the contest were be provided awards courtesy of Weaver Leather Livestock, and OCA at the end for their efforts and skills demonstrated. As an added bonus, all camp participants ages 8 to 21 were entered into a drawing to win a new blower at the end of the Cattlemen’s Camp.last_img read more

Don’t give away your risk premiums with specialty crops

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last week many speculated as many as 2 million wheat acres were damaged after cold weather struck much of the Midwest. While this caused a nice wheat futures rally Monday, it was short-lived because this represents only about 100 million bushels, or 10% of forecasted total wheat carryout. This is likely not a big enough issue to change prices long-term.Even with the cold weather and threats of replant, corn prices can’t build any momentum. With 2.3 billion bushels of carryout and farmers sitting on too much unpriced stored corn, traders are starting to realize a production issue is necessary for any substantial rally. For the week, corn was up only about a nickel and for the past four months the range has been less than 30 cents.Despite being frustrated with current prices, I have plans and orders in place if there is a quick price surge and a profitable opportunity presents itself. It’s more important than ever for farmers to be ready by knowing their breakeven points, necessary profit levels and having orders in place. Those that plan ahead will be rewarded. Market actionAfter the success of recent straddles trades, I did another similar trade. Trade details: sold August $3.70 straddle for 35 cents (I sold the $3.70 put and the $3.70 call and collected a total of 35 cents)Trade expiration – 7/21/17 – after the weather markets for the corn crop is knownPercent of 2017 production — 5% (This trade takes place after 7/4, so it’s a new crop trade for me)Expected market direction for late July — Assuming normal weather the market should trend lowerPotential benefit — If Sep futures close at $3.70 on 7/21, I keep the 35-cent premiumPotential concern — Reduced or no premium if the market moves significantly in either direction. For every penny lower than $3.70 I get less premium until $3.35. At $3.35 or lower, a new crop corn sale is removed, but any profits gained on that trade can be added to a future sale. For every penny higher than $4.05 I get less premium until $4.05. At $4.05 or higher I have to make another corn sale at $4.05 against Sep futures. A Sep trade can then be “rolled” from the Sep to the Dec and I will like pick up 10 cents of premium and this trade would be about $4.15 against the Dec.This trade is most profitable if the market continues to trade sideways. While this type of trade has been profitable recently, it important to not be complacent and be aware of risk, therefore its only 5% of my production (my previous straddle trades have represented 10% of production). Still, I think this trade has potential. I already have 15% of my ’17 crop hedged around $4. Worst case scenario, I will have removed 5% of sales while taking home a 65-cent profit between the straddle and previous sale that can be added to a later sale. Don’t give away your risk premiums with specialty cropsGrowing specialty corn (i.e. seed, white, non-GMO, high oil, silage, etc.) is getting more popular with farmers due to the premium associated to any corn that isn’t used for feed stock or ethanol. Often proximity to a specialty corn buyer is the main reason for the premium, but sometimes it can be yield-potential reduction or just a matter of trying to keep all of the crop identity preserved.The risk for these specialty crops comes in the form of cross-pollination to insects or increased weed treatment. Specialty crops are “special” because they are hard to replace if there is a production issue at a local level. Plus, most farmers don’t want the hassle, or risk, of raising these crops. That’s why there are heavy premiums. If everyone was doing it, there wouldn’t be the premiums.There is definitely opportunity to make a good profit raising specialty corn, but I notice many farmers making marketing decisions that potentially leave money on the table. Let me explain.Typical farmers usually price their specialty crop first. They see a flat price with let’s say a 40-cent premium more than traditional corn. They get excited about the high price, and lock in early. Usually they price it during the winter months when traditional yellow corn prices looked suppressed.I recommend:Determine what premium a farmer receives for raising the specialty crop (40 cents maybe?)Back that number off and find the futures value.Add the standard basis price for regular yellow corn, and determine if you want to price any yellow corn at that level.Usually when I’ve walked farmers through this exercise they say they wouldn’t price yellow corn at that level because they think prices will go higher.When outlining a marketing strategy, I recommend that farmers pool their specialty and regular bushels together. If a futures level meets the farmer’s criteria to sell based upon profitability goals, then they should sell at that futures level. In doing this, they have the flexibility to apply a sale to any of their crops later. This can be advantageous if there is a chance they aren’t able to meet the necessary supply of the contract for yellow or even the specialty corn. All future sales should work toward an average sum. Farmers can always apply specialty crop premium later.In other words, by doing this recommended approach above farmers are basically setting their basis on specialty crops early while setting futures prices later. This provides farmers with more flexibility and premium/profit potential on all their corn. A good rule of thumb: if a farmer wouldn’t set their yellow corn prices now based upon futures prices, then they shouldn’t be selling their specialty crop either. Raising specialty crops can be risky, don’t give away the premium for taking on that risk because you like a certain cash price.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

Should I Stay.com or Should I Go? Social Travel 2.0

first_imgTags:#user-generated content#web After months of work, social trip planner Stay.com is getting ready to unshutter and launch a much more robust Version 2.0. “Basically, we created 2.0 by filling in all the blanks other sites like Expedia, TripIt, TripAdvisor, NileGuide, and all the others left undone,” said Phil Butler, PR rep for the company. When Stay.com first launched, it featured a very limited roster of cities. When Stay.com 2.0 launches on June 15th, it will do so with 50 cities instead of a handful and with the same assisted-DIY, social travel focus. Stay.com 2.0 will offer templates and travel information from previous users, as well as the ability to add your own research in order to build a guide to a place. Each added element, called an “object” can be pulled into others’ guides or itineraries, which they call “stays.” Social web elements create communication across boundaries between travelers, turning it from a source to a platform. Traditional and necessary elements of travel sites, like booking assistance and reservations are also provided. Social media elements are not rare in travel sites and Stay.com is not battling in a wide-open arena. Dopplr, TripSay, TripWiser and Nextstop are all heavily focused on online social contributions. Turning each entry, photo and other piece of information into an “object” that can be re-purposed by a traveler for each new “stay,” makes it intriguing. So does the ability to draw from standard design and presentation elements, giving it a professional look. If, as they promise, the drive for full mobility is achieved, that will help as well. But because each new guide adds to the overall utility of the site, the development and sustainability of a community is likely to be key to Stay.com’s success. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts curt hopkinslast_img read more

Unai Emery under investigation for bottle incident

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery could face punishment from the English Football Association (FA) for kicking a bottle towards Brighton supportersThe frustrated Spaniard was witnessed kicking a bottle in the dugout towards the latter stages of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Brighton.Emery later confessed that the bottle he kicked had indeed hit a supporter in the stands and apologised for his actions.“I said to them [the supporter], apologies, because I kick the bottle after a disappointing action for us in the last minutes,” said Emery.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“It wasn’t hard, but it touched one supporter for them. I said to them ‘I’m sorry’.”But Sky Sports reports that the 47-year-old isn’t in the clear with the FA investigating the incident that occurred at the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.The report adds that Emery’s actions were likely left out of the referee’s match report.A decision on the former Paris Saint-Germain coach’s fate could be made later today.last_img read more

Sarri throws shades at Arsenal

first_imgMaurizio Sarri believes Chelsea have achieved more than Arsenal this season because they have reached the Carabao Cup final.The two London clubs are level on points (50) in the League but have been ousted in FA Cup and through to the Europa League last 16.But Sarri who has been under intense pressure at Chelsea after a poor run feels they are better than their fellow London rivals.“It’s important to win the final,” Sarri told Sky. “It’s very important for us, we have to find confidence. We are in the first final of the season and one point off the [Premier League] top four.“Arsenal’s season is good but we’re doing a little bit better because we are in the final, and our season is a disaster? I am not able to understand.“I want to remind you that in the last two seasons this team had 70 points, not 100. In the summer, we changed everything. It is not easy.”Chelsea ended City’s unbeaten start to the 2018/19 season when they won 2-0 in December before Pep Guardiola’s side took revenge with a 6-0 thumping earlier this month.Sarri has some questions… 🤔Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSarri: “Cristiano Ronaldo is the strongest player in the world” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri has no doubts that Cristiano Ronaldo is the main man at Juventus, and plans to the star give more freedom to exploit his talents to their fullest extent.Which team is having a better season: Arsenal or Chelsea? 🤷‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/r4sIKk7YYu— Goal (@goal) February 22, 2019The Italian manager on those games and suggested Chelsea must “stay in the match for a long time” if they have any hope of lifting the Carabao Cup trophy on Sunday.“I thought we were lucky in the first match because we were in trouble in the first half, we scored in the last minute of the first half and then the match changed.“I thought we were unlucky in the second match because we started very well for five minutes but then conceded a stupid goal and we were unable to react. It was a disaster.“For us, it’s very important to stay in the match for a long time [on Sunday] then we will be able to do something.”last_img read more