One morning after booking a bus ticket from Grahamstown to Jozi, writer Bongani Madondo texted me to ask if I’d like to follow him on the Eastern Cape leg of his I’m No Your Weekend Special book tour. Written in honour of Brenda Fassie’s passing ten years prior, the book is “a portrait on the life, style and politics” of Brenda as viewed from the pens people who interacted with the pop culture icon and pop star. The tour would include stops in Mdantsane, King Williamstown and Port Elizabeth. I didn’t think twice about cancelling the booking. Some two hours later, we were off. These are some of the moments I captured.
Madondo profiled musician Nakhane Touré for the now-defunct Rolling Stone magazine (South Africa) in 2012. This image was captured following Touré’s performance at Arts fest. It was also the first time his family got to see him perform live.
On the road to Mdantsane.
Overlooking Mdantsane from NY17.
Madondo posing outside writer Vukile Pokwana’s home in Mdantsane. The Daily Dispatch newspaper had done a story and wanted images. They ended up choosing another one besides this.
Madondo in front of his mother-in-law’s house at a village called kwa-Jubisa. We stopped here on our way to the Steve Biko centre in King William’s Town.
The outside auditorium, Steve Biko Centre.
The audience, seated, waiting for the book reading and ensuing discussions to get underway.
Madondo reads from his chapter entitled Searching For MaBrr In The Colony
Vukile Pokwana speaking about indigenous knowledge systems, his chapter, Channeling the spirits of amaQaba, and the value systems which define us as black people throughout the African continent and the diaspora.
QnA time with Bongani Madondo and Vukile Pokwana
We drove back to Mdantsane through the night following the Steve Biko centre launch, then woke up some two hours later to drive to Port Elizabeth, making it just in time for the sunrise.
At Umhlobo Wenene for an interview with Putco Mafani during his Breakfast Eyondlayo Ekuseni (BEE) morning drive show
Later that evening at the Opera House. Among the people joining Madondo on the panel were Melvyn Matthews who wrote the hit “Weekend special” from which the book derives its name
The audience at the Opera House
[EXTRA] The news of Nadine Gordimer’s passing came via a phone call Madondo received while we were having lunch at a mall in East London. Madondo was one of the last, if not last, people to interview her.
[EXTRA] The Daily Dispatch story. I took that image.
- Cover image: at Saint’s Bistro & Inn in Grahamstown. We stopped by to have supper with a couple of people following a book-reading.