Thursday, November 29, 2012

The new Archivist interview – English Archivist Lucal Mokwena

Lucal Mokwena, English Archivist
SABC Radio Archives

The SABC Radio Archives has archivists who focus specifically on a specific radio station and/or an indigenous language. This is part of a series of interviews where the archivists answer some questions addressed to them about their daily work in the archives.

It is a way of getting a better understanding of what an archivist do, as well as getting a better insight into the scope of our collections.

The Archivist answering the questions is Lucal Mokwena, a new archivist who started in the SABC Radio Archives about two months ago.

She is the archivist for English programmes.

1. Lucal, please tell us a little bit about yourself. (Where you grew up, where and what you studied and your work experience before you joined the SABC Radio Archives)

My name is Lucal Morongwa Mokwena and I grew up in Moletsane, Soweto. I studied BA Audio Visual Production Management at the University of Johannesburg. I am currently studying for a Higher Certificate in Archives and Records Management at UNISA.  I started working at the SABC in 2008 as an intern for Content Enterprises: Operations Department and then for Summit TV in 2010. Before joining SABC Radio Archives in October I worked at Newsclip Media Monitoring for 2 years as a Broadcast Media Scanner.

2. What is your job description?

As a Sound Archivist my job description entails acquiring of audio material, appraising, editing, cataloguing, quality checking and preserving.

3. Please tell us about a normal day in your studio. What material do you work with?

I work mostly with material from SAFM (drama, book readings, interviews), a bit of Metro FM as well as Radio 2000 on SABC. On a normal day  I catalogue on NDM, write CDs and create labels. I also do quality checks and schedule programmes for download on Netlog.

4. Do you struggle with technical difficulties?

Yes, I do struggle technically but I have learned that I don’t have to suffer in silence as my colleagues are always willing to assist.

5. If you have an anecdote about a specific piece of interesting audio material, please share it with us.

Since I have started working here about a month ago I have been listening to drama from SAFM and I must say that its not only entertaining but it is quite informative and educational. One specific audio material which I found very interesting is a book reading on the Nelson Mandela Story. I have read his biography before but it just doesn’t get tiring. 

6. Why do you enjoy this work?

I enjoy my work because its new material everyday so its not boring.  Also I don’t just preserve material for access but I stay informed on a daily basis.

Related post:

The weekly archivist interview: English Archivist

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist, SABC Radio Archives.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Springbok Radio #4 - Squad Cars & Trials

This is the 4th in a series of blog posts featuring Springbok Radio, the SABC's first commercial radio station, that was broadcasting from 1950-1985 before it was closed.

The visual canvasses are from the most recent UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 exhibition at SABC.

One of probably the most popular programs on Springbok Radio was Squad Cars:

Squad Cars 

"They prowl the empty streets of night... These are the men of Squad Cars"

"Week by week a dramatized story of the South African Police at work would unfold.
The series was directed by Colin Fish, produced by David Gooden and recorded at the Sonovision Studios in down-town Johannesburg.
A total of 823 episodes were recorded."

             - Frans Erasmus, former custodian of the Springbok Radio collection

Two programmes about Investigation and Trial:

Consider Your Verdict

"Consider Your Verdict" started on Springbok Radio in 1954, and ended in December 1985.

The series presented a different court case every week and was loosely based on the imported radio series "Famous Jury Trials", which was also broadcast on Springbok Radio prior to "Consider Your Verdict".

The series presented a different court case every week and was loosely based on the imported radio series "Famous Jury Trials", which was also broadcast on Springbok Radio prior to "Consider Your Verdict"

                       - Frans Erasmus

Inspector Carr investigates

"The Epic Casebook / Inspector Carr investigates" started on Springbok Radio in May 1957 with Douglas Laws playing Inspector Carr.

The series concerned retired Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Carr, who gave a weekly story from his casebook of crime.

All the stories were written & produced by Michael Silver and recorded at the CRC Studios in Johannesburg.

The series was called "The Epic Casebook" from 1957-1977, named after the sponsor "The Epic Oil Company". 

During 1977 the series was called "Inspector Carr investigates" after a decision by Springbok Radio not to tie up a series with just one sponsor."

            - Retha Buys, custodian of Springbok Radio material.

Related posts:

- Springbok radio #1 - The history 

- Springbok Radio #2 - News and Comedy

- Springbok Radio 3 - Afrikaans

Springbok Radio content on canvasses by Retha Buys, custodian of Springbok Radio.

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Springbok Radio #3 - Afrikaans

This is part of a series of blog posts focusing on Springbok Radio, the SABC's first commercial radio station, that was broadcasting from 1950-1985 before it was closed.

The visual canvass is from the most recent UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 exhibition at SABC.

Springbok Radio featured very popular Afrikaans programmes, such as "Wie die liefde nie het nie", "Die Volmaakte Uur", "So maak mens" en "Hospitaaltyd"

"Die Volmaakte Uur" was a serial story by Frieda Viljoen. One of the episodes was recorded in hospital to accomodate a sick actor (see canvass).

"So maak mens" was an extremely popular programme full of household tips, recipes and discussions by the also very popular Esmé Euvrard and Jan Cronjé. 
It first started as a programme in English, "This is How" (1950) , which was only a weekly instalment, but changed to "So maak Mens" from 1957 which turned into a daily slot on 14H15 each week day. 

"Hospitaaltyd" was also a firm favourite with Dulcie van den Bergh who cheered up sick people.

The last of these programmes were transmitted on 31/12/1985.

Link to the digital audio stream that loops 6-hourly in a two-weekly update by Retha Buys, Springbok Radio custodian: 

Related posts:

Springbok Radio content on canvass by Retha Buys, custodian of Springbok Radio.

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Springbok Radio #2 - News AND comedy

A series of blog posts focusing on Springbok Radio, the SABC's first commercial radio station, that was broadcasting from 1950-1985 before it was closed.

The sound and the memories lives on through the listeners, and through the dedication of the Springbok Radio Preservation Society by way of Frans Erasmus.

This dedication is passionately shared by the Springbok Radio custodian in the SABC Radio Archives, Retha Buys, who took over the collection, and ensure a two-weekly six-hour stream of Springbok Radio gems.

Link to the digital audio stream: Springbok Radio Revisited

The two following visual canvasses are from the most recent UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 exhibition at SABC:

- Springbok Radio was a constant source of news and actuality.

"The SABC was also committed to bringing
current, timely, interesting and in-depth news
in various programmes, like
"Deadline Thursday Night" and
through regular news bulletins."

- Springbok Radio also made sure that the listeners were entertained.

"The Pip Freedman Show, Taxi &
Next Stop Makouvlei as well as
The Men from the Ministry"

The most recent stream includes an episode of the regular comedy Taxi:
Taxi: Agatha & Rupert, by Joe Stewardson (1972/01/23)

Related posts:

Springbok radio #1 - The history 

- The story of Springbok Radio via Storify

- Handover of Springbok Radio archive material to SABC 

- Springbok Radio Revisited

Springbok Radio content on canvasses by Retha Buys, custodian of Springbok Radio.

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Springbok Radio #1 - The History

SABC Media Libraries' exhibition poster:
UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012

"Springbok Radio was the first SABC commercial radio station. Its lifespan was from 1 May 1950 to 31 December 1985 when it was closed mainly because it was no longer  seen as financially viable following the advent of  television in 1976.  
Springbok Radio programmes were uniquely different and fresh, and became people’s companion over the years.  Drama, adventure, comedy, documentaries, variety, and other programme formats kept listeners entertained and glued to the Radio.  Springbok Radio also created a platform for artists and actors to become well-known and loved by the public, and afforded them the opportunity to live out their creativity. Springbok Radio contributed to a wealth of local content.
Unfortunately much of the material was not archived. The reasons ranged from tapes having been re-used to commercial programmes not being seen as ‘culture’ – a world-wide tendency at the time. Since the closure of Springbok Radio in 1985, interest in it by the public has grown and the nostalgic value of "stream" radio has increased over the years."   
             - Retha Buys (Custodian of Springbok Radio Revisited at SABC)

The most recent UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 highlighted the dire predicament of the state of the audiovisual heritage of the world.

"Too much of the world's 20th century Audiovisual Heritage is now lost, and much more is slipping beyond recovery because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence.Unesco proclaimed 27 October  as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to be celebrated annually to build global awareness of the various issues at stake in preserving the Audiovisual Heritage.Unless public awareness of the importance of preservation is increased, this trend will continue.We need to raise public awareness of our Audiovisual Heritage. IF NOT this trend will continue - our AUDIOVISUAL HERITAGE will be lost."

This post is the first in a series of posts about Springbok Radio, the SABC radio station material that made it's way back in the archives of the public broadcaster of South Africa after it was "lost"! 
SABC Media Libraries most recent exhibition on UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage focused exclusively on this collection.

The story of the return of Springbok Radio material to SABC is a case in point for the importance of our audiovisual heritage!

Return of Springbok Radio Material

"After the closure of Springbok Radio, the Springbok Radio Preservation Society was formed to collect all the relevant broadcast material and to ensure that this element of SABC history would not be lost for future generations. Mr Frans Erasmus was the driving force of the initiative, and he dedicated his life to collecting all things Springbok Radio, either from producers and production houses, or from private collectors.       
The SABC Radio Archive has worked closely with the Springbok Radio Preservation Society over the last few years to assist in making the collection accessible to the public.  Since most of the material belongs to the SABC, an agreement was reached with Mr Erasmus to grant him permission to look after the collection, and to make the material accessible via a website and a digital stream.  The SABC in return handled all queries relating to Springbok Radio and ensured that copyright was not violated. In addition, copies of the Springbok Radio collections were submitted to the SABC on a regular basis to be catalogued and added to SABC databases. The mutual understanding was to transfer the complete collection back to the SABC, for preservation and as part of the SABC radio broadcast legacy, while the Springbok Radio Preservation Society would maintain the website and digital stream under the auspices of the SABC.
Earlier this year Mr Erasmus decided to hand over the collection in its entirety (including the website and the digital stream) to the SABC Radio Archives. He agreed to assist with and oversee the process of transferring the digital stream and the website, as well as advising on the preservation of the material and related information.
This generous gesture by Mr Erasmus and the Springbok Radio Preservation Society will bring joy to the lives of many people in future, but especially for those who remember Springbok Radio or who can appreciate a good radio story."
                         - Retha Buys  

Related posts:

- UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 - awareness by SABC Media Libraries in South Africa

- World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on 27 October 2012

- The story of SABC Springbok Radio via Storify

- Handover of Springbok Radio archive material to SABC

-  Springbok Radio revisited

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in SABC Radio Archives

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 - awareness by SABC Media Libraries in South Africa

Picasa Photo album of  SABC Media Libraries exhibition for UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012.

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is an annual event on the 27th of October.

This year IASA (International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives) coordinated the event worldwide with the theme:
"Audiovisual heritage memory? the clock is ticking"

The link is here with all the participating countries and organisations listed:
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

This year the day fell on a Saturday, and the exhibition was set up on the 29th of October 2012 at the SABC.
The exhibition will be open in the foyer of the SABC for the rest of the week.

The official poster for SABC participation in
UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 

The SABC News Archives also participated in creating awareness about their audiovisual heritage of SABC news on AV formats that are threatened with obsolescence.

A Picasa photo album of their exhibit is uploaded here: Unesco World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 - SABC Television News Archives exhibit at SABC

Related post:

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on 27 October 2012

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In remembrance of a Living Library of Platfontein


Report by Moshe Maghundu, Librarian/Archivist at SABC Platfontein.

Following on the 31/201 BN Replica Obelisk unveiling at Platfontein, one veteran who lived to witness this day, Mr. Matoka Mattheus has passed away on 3 October 2012. His burial took place on the 4th, the next day. 
This tragic incident left the residers of Platfontein, especially the !xun community, reeling with shock.

Left: Ds. Mario Mahongo,middle: Chief Kamama Mukua(Khwe) and Right: Mr. Matoka Mattheus(deceased)

Many spoken to said that the !xun community won’t be the same again without Mr. Matoka.

Matoka’s background:

Matoka Mattheus was in the army since early 1960 while in Angola and he was a Battalion Captain and a “sersant” (sergeant) till his retirement. People interviewed said that he was very good with everything that he  .

He was a traditional leader at the day of his death and Mr Matoka was a good, friendly and very humble man.

According to Malton Edburg, X-K fm programme co-coordinator, Matoka Mattheus was, while 
in Omega, Namibia, a trainer who trained basic skills of animal tracking at school.

Malton also said that everything Mr. Matoka did back in Angola, being at the forefront of his community, can categorise him at the levels of a hero (a San hero).

The San people’s where scattered and Mr. Matoka took the initiative to gather them again. The Angolan Portuguese war seperated them, but he could manage to bring them together again.

Matoka’s burial started off 8 o'clock at a !xun community church where different activities took place and later proceeded to the grave yard.

His friend chief Kamama Mukua was also there to give his last respect and also had very inspiring words of encouragement to give the immediate families and !xun community.

Left: Chief Kamama(Khwe), Right: Malton (x-k fm programmes)
The station X-K fm was there to broadcast live from the scene as it serves to deliver excellent service to the communities.

At the grave yard
The day was concluded by Ds. Mario Mahongo giving words of comfort to the family.

Special thanks to:

·         Team X-K fm –Mr Malton Edburg        (programme coordinator) (photo)
                           Mr Piorro Mushavango (producer)
                           Mr Simon Hasjenda       (producer)
·         RBF                  Mrs Rena Maghundu     (technical producer) (photo)

Related post:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

World day for AudioVisual Heritage on 27 October 2012

It is again on 27 October 2012 the World Day for AudioVisual Heritage that has been declared by UNESCO as the official day to highlight the dire state of our AV collections worldwide.

The theme for 2012 is: “Audiovisual heritage memory? the clock is ticking”

"Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, audio and video recordings, contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Transcending language and cultural boundaries, appealing immediately to the eye and the ear, to the literate and illiterate, audiovisual documents have transformed society by becoming a permanent complement to the traditional written record.  
However, they are extremely vulnerable and it is estimated that we have no more than 10 to 15 years to transfer audiovisual records to digital to prevent their loss. 
Much of the world's audiovisual heritage has already been irrevocably lost through neglect, destruction, decay and the lack of resources, skills, and structures, thus impoverishing the memory of mankind. Much more will be lost if stronger and concerted international action is not taken." - UNESCO 
IASA, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, is hosting the day at 
World Day for AudioVisual Heritage.

They undertake to post any relevant content: Tell us how your organisation is celebrating World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The SABC Media Libraries will also be taking part. 

This year we will focus especially on our Springbok Radio Revisited collection, the radio material of the former SABC radio station Springbok Radio, that was handed back earlier this year to the SABC. 
Springbok Radio Revisited

The official hand over of Springbok Radio archive material to SABC took place on 8 May 2012 this year.  

Hand over of Springbok Radio material by Frans Erasmus to
Thami ka Plaatjie of the SABC

Springbok Radio can still be heard digitally in 6-hour loops that is being refreshed on a two-weekly basis by our Springbok Radio custodian, Retha Buys
The Springbok Radio Audio stream is here:

How will you highlight your audiovisual heritage?

Related posts: 

- Storify: World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2011 at the SABC

- SABC Platfontein celebrated World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

- SABC Bloemfontein exhibition for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

- UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage  27-28 October 2010

- The story of  Springbok radio via Storify

- Frans Erasmus, an inspiration!

- Springbok Radio Revisited

Blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Friday, October 12, 2012

SABC Media Libraries hand over gift voucher to Woodside Sanctuary, made possible by Jungle One Hour Projects

 The SABC Media Libraries have been involved with Woodside Sanctuary since the SABC Media Libraries' 67 minutes at Woodside in 2011.
Woodside Sanctuary has been part of the SABC Media Libraries' CSI projects.

They are doing such a wonderful job looking after people with severe to profound mental and physical disabilities. The link is here: Woodside

Jungle Oats has a campaign running called the Jungle One Hour Projects. A gift voucher that was lost in a Jungle One Hour win, resurfaced again.
(In the meantime Jungle One Hour projects replaced the lost gift voucher.)

Jungle One Hour Projects agreed that this voucher could be used towards another Jungle One Hour Project, namely Woodside Sanctuary.

We are extremely grateful that the CSI Committee of the SABC Media Libraries could hand it over today!

Thank you, Jungle One Hour Projects!

Related post:

SABC Media Libraries' 67 minutes at Woodside

Blog post by Karen du Toit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The new archivist interview: Sound Restoration

Obakeng Phiri
Archivist: Sound Restoration
SABC Radio Archives

Obakeng Phiri is a new archivist tasked with sound restoration in the SABC Radio Archives.
He has been an intern with us for a couple of months, and he started to work here on the 1st of August 2012.

The previous interview with Obakeng was about his internship at the SABC Radio Archives.

His duties are different now than before when he was an intern here.

Obakeng, please tell us about a normal day in your studio.

I am self motivated because I am very passionate about being an audio restoration archivist. 
Every snippet of audio content I work with contains interesting information. It adds to my anticipation of looking forward doing my job each day!

My job involves the separation of sound from the format it was recorded on. It also involves the “cleaning” of sound, getting rid of clicks, pops, scratches and hiss that often plague the original recordings. 
In some instances, the desired sound is so close in character to the noise, that the noise cannot be cleaned so as not to sacrifice parts of the sound that we want to keep. 

The workflow is not complicated, but it must be performed carefully to achieve the best results. 

Every experience in the studio is a learning curve. I learn different subjects from history, politics as well as listening to radio dramas. 
Depending on the mood I am in, every hour is spent on a different subject.  

Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve.

I work with most of SABC’s radio broadcast material, which includes radio dramas, radio features, actuality and many more. One example is a feature programme on Bertha Solomon, pioneer of women’s rights in South Africa.

Do you have an anecdote about an interesting piece of audio material that you have encountered?

The following is in our collection: ‘’I am an African’’ speech by Thabo Mbeki.
It introduces his vision on the African Renaissance, which is about empowering Africa economically and socially.

Why did you want to work here again after you have completed your internship here?

When I first came here for the first time as an intern, I already knew that I wanted to work at the SABC Radio Archives. It felt like I was home! Due to my passion for the job, I was given the chance to prove myself. It paid off in the end!
I am very grateful for it, praise God!

Related posts:

- Interview with an intern at the SABC Radio Archives: Obakeng Phiri

- The value of internship in the SABC Radio Archives

Questions and blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heritage Beasts in the Archives #heritagebeasts

#heritagebeasts in SABC Radio Archives 
Today is World Animal Day, and Ask Archivists have organised a Twitter event for archives.

The Twitter hashtag is #heritagebeasts

They call it Beasts in your collections?!

The call:

"Let’s dive into our collections to search for colourful fishes. Let’s make a safari tour through our depots to catch wild animals. Let’s have a stroll through all the bookshelves to discover beautiful insects that hide there. Let’s have a great flight through our storagerooms and catch up with some amazing birds. Make a silent tour at night to spot the very rare unicorn. And let’s show all the animals we found in our depots and collections to the world on World Animal Day!"

The SABC Radio Archives, the audio archives for the radio stations of the national broadcaster of South Africa (SABC), are no exception!

We have our fair share of sounds and programmes about beasts!

A search for "animals" in our Thesaurus results in 147 documents.

In one document of 1980 the sounds of the following are recorded: dove, elephant, hippo, zebra, jackal, frog, lion, heron, rhino, impala, ... (See the snippet that was copied on top.)

A search for "Rhino*" (Rhino/rhinoceros) yields 35 documents.
The wonderful beast that is being slaughtered on a daily basis for its horn!
Most of the programmes are about the conservation of this animal, but we have the sounds of this mighty beast preserved for our heritage in our collection!

It was interesting to look at our collections from this angle!

Have a happy "hunting" in your collections for those beasts!

Thank you Ask Archivists for the initiative!

Post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference 3-5 October #LIB2012

Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference

"The virtual Library 2.012 conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries.
Held worldwide over the course of two days, with 150 sessions and 10 keynotes, subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today's world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geo-social information environments.
Attendance is free; sign up at to attend or to be kept informed."

The Twitter hashtag for the  conference: #LIB2012

The welcoming address by the President of San José State University: 
Mohammad Qayoumi

Monday, October 1, 2012

Follow a library day today #followalibrary

@Followalibrary on Twitter
It is again time for libraries worldwide to connect and to follow each other, and to share their collections with the world.

The #followalibrary team is going strong, and the blog post can be read here:
Join ons on #followalibrary day 2012 on Oct 1st

They have an awesome video up  by David Green and the Shelharbour Libraries (@sclibs) on the blog, but you can check it on YouTube as well: #followalibrary day... so follow 

David Green says the following about #followalibrary day:
"funtastic folk will be tweeting the AWESOMENESS of libraries and using the hashtag #followalibrary. We’ll be tweeting about reading, creating, playing, communicating, learning, sharing & all the other excellent stuff we do in libraries. It’s such a cool way to spread library love" 

If you are not yet following the SABC Media Libraries, as well as our different sections on Twitter, please do so today:

SABC Media Libraries on Twitter:

@SABCMediaLib on Twitter

SABC Information Library: @SABCInfoLib

SABC Radio Archives:         @SABCRadioArc

SABC Music Library:             @SABCMusicLib

SABC Record Library:            @SABCRecordLib

SABC Audio Restoration:      @SABCAudioRest

A special shout-out to all South African libraries as well. Please let us know that you are taking part, and we will gladly follow you back!

Happy #followalibrary day!

Blog post by Karen du Toit @karentoittoit

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Knowledge Café combined with a Drum Café

David Gurteen in action

David Gurteen facilitated an interactive Knowledge Café with the help of drums at the recent International Knowledge Management Conference (ICKM 2012).

It formed part of the opening proceedings, and helped conference delegates connect with each other during the speed networking session, as well as connection through the drumming.

Warren Liebermann with his drummers & singers

Warren Liebermann of Drum Café with his drummers provided an interactive experience for all which opened up the synergy and receptive mood of the conference.

Conference delegates with musical instruments

The question was asked about the format of teaching which has not changed for centuries, and the informal and interactive way of the Drum Café brought home the message even more.

"Is the lecture format of teaching an effective way of learning and sharing knowledge and if not, what is?"
Drum on a chair at ICKM 2012
The following four questions paved the way for the rest of the conference proceedings:

"At this conference, to what extend are you prepared:
1. to get value from being here?
2. to engage personally to achieve this?
3. to take risks to learn?
4. to take responsibility for the learning & engagement of others?"

ICKM 2012 Conference delegates

The success of a conference depends on each delegate's willingness to participate!

The combination of the drums facilitated the interactiveness of the Knowledge Café, and it created a wonderful synergy for the rest of the conference!

See blog post & video playlist by David Gurteen about the same event:
A wonderful combination of a Knowledge Café and a Drum Café

Blog post by Karen du Toit, conference delegate at ICKM 2012.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Remembering SAN heroes who died in the war (SADF)

Blog post by Moshe Maghundu, Librarian/Archivist at SABC Platfontein.

The 31/201 BN Replica Obelisk Unveiling at Platfontein, Kimberley

201 BN, Omega

Moshe Maghundu reporting about the ceremony at Platfontein for the 31st Bushmen Battalion (which became 201 BN) at Omega Base Headquarters:

"For the first time in history, the affairs of the Khwe and !xun of Platfontein have been given recognition. I would like to thank the organisers and the involment of the SA Army for the contribution they made to this day."

SADF setting up
"The activities included  traditional dance and veterans who are still alive were dressed according to tradition while others wore the same the uniform  of the old 201 BN, Omega." 
From left: Effie Dixon, Piorro Mushavango (X-K FM producer) and Nicolas Tenda
"The white contingents also came to celebrate with us, and thanks to all those who came from Cape Town for the day."

"The names of the soldiers will be remembered by the Obelisk that was unveiled."     

"The military base Omega is not beautiful as it was. It is being vandalised, but apparently the government has new plans for the new Omega."
Photos by Moshe Maghundu during his September 2012 viusit to Namibia
"Chief Kamama Mukua was there to witness the day as he himself was also in 201 BN.
The day was a very emotional day as we remembered our friends, uncles and fathers who died in the war between SA and the PLAN (People’s liberation army of Namibia).
The day was celebrated with mixed feelings as it opened up old wounds for some.
SABC News Kimberley and X-K FM was there to cover the whole event.
The communities of Platfontein,!xun and Khwe came in a large numbers."

"The traditional dance groups started off with a typical SAN value which is very precious; the making of the fire with a stick which are called "bushman magic."

"A significant event was the hoisting of the flags; the old 201 BN Omega flag and the South African flag."

"This day will be remembered and celebrated each year on 15 September, a fitting reminder of our collective heritage."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Conversations for business - David Gurteen Knowledge Café workshop

He is a Knowledge Management consultant, speaker and facilitator at Gurteen Knowledge. 

He is well-known for his Gurteen Knowledge Cafés which helps to facilitate conversation in business.

The Knowledge Café workshop brought up a few interesting points which regards conversation in business:

- People love to feel important. It is very valuable to remember in conversation in business.

- The circle as a mechanism in conversation. It helps to enable equal access to each other. 

- The conversation needs to be centred around a central point.

- Misconceptions are addressed through conversations, and it enhances better understanding in a business environment.

- There is power in presence. Direct conversation leads to a different conversation which is based in the direct connection with each other.

- Relationships are important in an organization. Conversation improves relationships.

- The most important resource in an organization is the individual. The focus should therefore be on the person/personnel.

- The following stands in the way of conversation in an organization: 

  •   Hierarchy; 
  •   Language of blame; 
  •   Company Talk; 
  •   Who is perceived to have the power; 
  •   Top-down-management conversation.

- The Knowledge Café addresses most of the imbalances and problems encountered in business conversations. 

The Knowledge Café brought up a few interesting applications in business:

-  Organize lunch dates with people in different departments (done through Human Resources).

- Breakfast dates: "What is spoken at breakfast remains at breakfast."

- Instead of meeting call it a forum with the theme of "Fearless conversation!"

- Communities of Practice can use it directly or virtually.

- Knowledge Cafés without furniture in the room. It gets business done!

- The use of conversation cards in a Knowledge Café, such as "Take the lead!" and "Be quiet!" and "listen more!" that are handed to participants.

- Use of Knowledge Cafés can be very valuable before decision-making happens.

- A picnic day with different struggle heroes. It can be applied to using leaders or specialists in the organization who are sitting at each picnic spot, and the participants rotate around them.

- To break protocols in certain communities. Everybody gets a chance to speak.

- Knowledge Cafés do not need many resources to make it happen. No flip charts and other paraphernalia are necessary. There is no need to record the outcomes. 
It mostly only requires a coffee to make it happen. 

The Knowledge Café made us aware of how many and varied its applications can be in business. It is only limited by our own imagination.
Each Knowledge Café will also bring up another set of applications.

Related reading:

- For more reading on the David Gurteen Knowledge Cafe:

- The SABC Media Libraries & SABC Training had a private Knowledge Café facilitated by David Gurteen: Report from a Knowledge Café with David Gurteen at SABC Media Libraries

Blog post by Karen du Toit, SABC Radio Archives