Black Hair Matters School protests : Sans Souci

Sans Souci Girls High School protesting after Pretoria Girls High School started to protest after black girls were forced to straighten their natural hair. Their natural hair was seen as “unruly” and “not neat.”

San Souci girls said they are not allowed to braid their hair. Braiding African hair is not only an ancient part of African culture but it is one of the most effective ways to mantain African hair.

Some girls wore traditional beaded bands to protest against white culture of which they are forced to assimilate to.

Girls were also protesting against the rejecting of their native languages. Xhosa is an official language in South Africa equal to English. The school however punished school girls for speaking Xhosa while those who spoke French were not reprimanded. Teachers speak Afrikaans to each other and the girls are taking a stand for their right to use their African languages.

The school in red Blazers is a neighboring school. Mostly white students from Westerford High School in solidarity with Sans Souci girls. They arrived carrying protests cards written in isiXhosa, the banned language at San Souci showing that as white English speaking students they reject white supremacy and racism against Africans.


Sans Souci #thetruthwewillproclaim Protest | Black Hair Matters

San Souci school girls at a parking lot outside of Newlands swimming pool. They protested at the parking lot where they met with the Western Cape Education Department.

Singing and dancing is an important part of the inseparable from South African protest culture.
Images by Siki Dlanga

His People Name Change: Paul Daniel – say his name

“Siki; but why are you rocking the boat?”

“Which boat?”

“Why are you..” he pauses, becomes a little more uncomfortable as he looks to see who could be standing close by. He continues and whispers – afraid of being heard. “But why are you bringing up Pastor Paul’s name? I read your blog.”

It was even harder for his mouth to release the sound the name Paul makes. It was as though he had just blasphemed and it was my fault. He had spoken a name ought not to be uttered within the courts of His People or anywhere.

If I wanted to rock the boat I would have written something titled “How to Steal a Church,” but that is not my purpose.

This fear is the reason I have written as clearly as I have. Fear belongs to dark forces and so does intimidation and silencing of voices.

The name Paul Daniel, as clearly demonstrated by this conversation, became spoken of only in private corners and even there, it was most difficult to utter. In church meetings Paul Daniel’s name became the elephant in the room no one wanted to acknowledge as though the church, His People, had fallen out of the sky and came into existence all on its own. Its energy and spark was lost. The light dimmed and the name His People became heavy on our tongues when asked: “which church are you from?” Though the name had once sprung from a joyful tongue confessing what was evidently true.

Shame replaced confidence; self-doubt and fear replaced a robust faith culture. Before we came up for air, the Americans had arrived, taking charge of the church stage as our new masters, rearranging our spiritual lives, telling us how to do church properly. It was a confusing time. After all, we had been taught well, arguably we were a church of Bible geeks. We were not mere Bible lovers and readers but we lived to test its power in action. We had lived the story and we knew the faith story of the church itself. Our very lives were a living testament. Was the sin of one man the burden of all? We would all repent. We would all question ourselves, our beliefs; wives would question their husbands’ faithfulness. If what we were taught was questionable, surely whatever was replacing it would not be received without even more vigorous questioning. But it was not so. It was a confusing time.

After Adam and Eve had sinned before the Lord, who were they now? Their glory was no more and they were naked. Naturally they covered themselves with fig leaves and hid. We imported a covering and like Adam and Eve, the glory did not return.

Sin has a way of scattering, of separating and that happened in large scales.

We never saw Paul Daniel in the flesh again, not in the church he founded, prayed for or believe for. His name never again to be spoken of or acknowledged while it remained hanging over every sermon, every pastor, every usher, every revamped logo, every blue chair, everything the church tried to shape itself into or not.

Can Israel deny Moses? Did David deny Saul? Saul sought to destroy David and yet when Saul was dead, David killed the messenger who brought him news of King Saul’s death. David bitterly lamented the death of his leader who had sought to kill him. He did not pretend Saul never existed. He said his name. He recited a poem lamenting: How are the mighty fallen. He praised Saul and did not attempt to erase him from the history books of God’s people. Today, we read about Saul just as we read about David, though our Paul was no Saul.


After a few years after the church incident, my mother was in Cape Town for my cousin’s graduation. I took her to my church His People. I could tell that she was hardly impressed and I was disappointed, why wouldn’t she be? I took her to another service and still I failed to impress her with my church. I had not told her about the history of the church. I was not about to tell her what happened, just to avoid being told about the unstable nature of Charismatic churches who are here today and gone tomorrow. Two years ago she finally confessed her thoughts, she said: “I had this deep sense that this was once a very great church but something happened and it was no longer.”

I was stunned. Such insight.

That which once drew Nelson Mandela to walk through the doors is gone. Perhaps the name change then is fitting. Though my natural instinct is to speak the words of the prophet Joel, rend your hearts, not your garments. But, before the garments of His People are torn, let me say the name Paul Daniel, loud and clear.

The Bible does well to spell out the names of those who handed us this faith we now have. Hebrews 11 has been a His People favourite; it lists people of faith by name. The Gospels have names attached to them, e.g. Mark, Luke, because God sends people with names to bring the Good News to other people with names. Names God intends to remember, in fact our destiny rests on whether our names are written or not. These names build up other believers’ faith so that when we say the name Enoch we think one thing, when we say the name Esther we think another. Each name means something specific; it is not something to blot out because of personal discomforts. If there is a personal discomfort then that is an open door to repentance. Where freedom is lacking, God’s Spirit is absent. Where fear is present, God’s love is absent. We are after all living epistles. I am not saying much about the erasing of the name His People yet but let me speak of the name Paul Daniel. This name was banished out of buildings, books but not out of hearts, certainly not out of God’s heart. Paul Daniel is to many the Acts 29 man and I refuse to be ashamed of a man who left such a great inheritance for the church, not just in Cape Town, but the world over. His seed has been tested in great fires and yet it still stands. Works of faith must go through the fire.

Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.” – Luke 10:20

I want God to remember my name even if others may shun it for whatever reason. I will therefore not shun the name of Paul Daniel. His faith and teachings have given to a generation of leaders in every sphere more than words can say. I will therefore speak his name as clearly as David spoke the name of Jonathan and Saul, as clearly as Jesus spoke the name of John the Baptist, as clearly as Paul spoke of Timothy, as clearly as Jesus spoke of Abraham, the Queen of Sheeba or Mary. Yes, let the name His People fade if it must, though I doubt that God will write it out of His book, but let Paul Daniel hear God utter his own name loud and clear, because then his true glory will be revealed. It is God who crowns us after all. All other crowns are worthless. All other voices are nothing if God’s voice is absent.

“The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it. Upon him I will write the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God), and My new name.” – Revelation 3:12

The Mandela Story Ends Where it Began first published in M&G

How the Mandela story ended was the greatest comfort I could have ever been given. I could say that his funeral was the greatest gift that could have been given to the people that gave birth to him. It was the greatest tribute to Africa. Something about it was cheeky, it spoke more about the soul of the man who would become famous as the darling of the world. The Mandela who had been sown to everyone else but the Eastern Cape would choose his final resting place to be in the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape. Struggle heroes such as Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Chris Hani who all hailed from the rural Transkei were buried in Johannesburg.

How does this trouble maker end his story? How does he conclude his life? How does he continue to trouble the leaders who succeeded him? While Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla was still at the centre of national scrutiny, Mandela would be buried where the poorest people of the nation live. He would force the nation to look at the forgotten province of the Eastern Cape. He would make it most difficult for our leaders to ignore the state of the rural community in South Africa. He would add further pressure by being so important that all the leading men and women of the world would want the honour of attending his funeral in rural Transkei. He could have chosen to be buried in Johannesburg or a more accessible, developed area – one South Africa could later show off as a famous site, like we did during the 2010 World Cup. That event hardly registered in the Eastern Cape,

Lament for Mandela the son of the Eastern Cape

The sun desperately tries to push the clouds out of the way of the Eastern Cape skies.

It is hard

but the sky is trying to observe protocol so that all the traditional work that must be performed may continue without the rain.

An ox must fall to the ground with the great tree.

The people of the Eastern Cape must look on while the world buries its most prized son.

A son it never had the opportunity to enjoy since prison’s doors bound him.

A father whose children never had the opportunity to enjoy because he was a slave to freedom.

A husband who was never to be because he was married to a nation in bondage.

Still, there shall be no privacy. No moment to mourn privately. He belongs to the world even when his head falls to the ground, our ground.

I lament for the Mandela children’s loss,

I mourn for the loss of the Madibas, the loss of the Thembu tribe,

the loss of the Xhosa nation,

the loss of the Eastern Cape

for a son so great sown to the world.

Dreams of Mandela

In a dream I wrote you a speech. I was important enough to be in the same room as you. No, I will be honest in the dream I was still not important. It was the fact that I only had my name which holds no weight that made me feel significantly more important to you in the midst of great names. In your presence was every reason to feel so much more significant because it was dreams of my freedom that kept you imprisoned for 27 years.


I looked at your face and it lit. Lit by dreams that have been fulfilled as you looked back at me. Your aspirations would be fulfilled through me, my friends and grow through our children. I would love to see you but I would rather I gave you rest so that you would greet one less person and have more rest so I visited you in a dream. I remained brilliant for at least 2 whole minutes. My heart spoke a fresh word because I had seen your face in the reality of my dream. I tried to read my speech but my words diminished because your person filled the room in a way that contrarily suddenly made me feel great.


What makes you so much greater is that our country is rich in resources and minerals. We have diamonds and mines rich with different kinds of gold as if it were all not enough, we have you. In that moment my heart realised your South Africanness makes us so much more affluent.


The name Mandela now robes the hills, the mountains, seas and islands of our country with a royal mantle of dignity and honours anyone who calls themselves South African. Your name adorns our many coloured flag with admiration. Your name is no lesser currency or wealth than the gold and minerals of our land.


The children covered by your 46664 campaign will benefit not only for themselves but their children’s children also. You gave us a future. By your life you lifted the lid that kept us in captivity in the land our predecessors had once freely grazed their cattle. By your carefully chosen words as you declared the new South Africa born you made us realise our own greatness. You challenged us to get out of our inferiority complexes’ and gave us permission to be brilliant.


I know there is a God because it had to take a superior-being to design such a master plan. We were a country that was so broken and desperate for a miracle. You are the perfect miracle at 90 you still amaze us.


Last year in the 90 minutes for Mandela, I wrote a poster hoping the camera man might put it on TV but decided to etch it in my dreams. It reads; “you have shown us how great we can be. My gift to you is that you will not be the last great South African because there is nothing enlightening about shrinking back.”


by Siki Dlanga

First published on as “Permission to be Brilliant”


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