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October 24, 2016

Query about Chief Goba

I am researching the history of the silent film in South Africa and am very keen to obtain information about an actor known only as Goba.  Between 1916 and 1917 he acted in four films for African Film Productions, but until recently nothing else was known about him.  However, one or two sources suggested that he came from a mission station in what was then Natal.

In recent weeks I have come across two more facts. Speaking to W.G. Faulkner of the London Evening News in May 1919, American actress Edna Flugrath, who had acted with him in De Voortrekkers, told Faulkner that Goba had died (in other words, since the films were released).  Also, when interviewed in The Sun of New York, American director Lorimer Johnston, who gave Goba his first role in A Zulu’s Devotion, tells the reporter that he had met a Chief Goba, who he said was an uncle of the young King Solomon.  Lorimer said that he had a letter from him in which Goba thanked him for the fame he had given him outside Zululand by showing his likeness in all parts of the world.  Johnston also said that at the time Goba was so old that he can’t reckon it, though he was still vigorous.  That would fit the image we have of the actor in surviving stills.

I realise that the name Goba is not uncommon, but do you think that it is possible that the actor and Chief Goba are one and the same?  Another possibility is that Johnston named the actor in tribute to the chief.

It’s something of a long shot, but it has always frustrated me that we know so little about him.  I’m hoping that someone associated with your website can shed some light on this.  Just to have the dates of Chief Goba’s birth and death would help.

With many thanks

Freddy Ogterop

Editor, South African Film (ESAT)

January 3, 2016

Thulasizwe Goba – women of Inanda

Mr Thulasizwe Goba was born in 1928 at Sophiatown and his parents were born in Inanda. His parents had lived in Johannesburg because they worked in the mines. He received his primary education in Johannesburg and the family came back in 1936. He completed his primary education at Inanda Day School and then went to Lorrem School. He furthered his studies in nearby areas, and then became a teacher. Mr Goba is an active member of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). I had a conversation with him about the role played by women in the social wellbeing of the community of Inanda.

Mr Goba talked a great deal about one woman that stood out for him in the field of social welfare or social assistance. Mrs Hawes was born at Molweni; she was an Arts teacher and got married into the Hawes family of Inanda.   After getting married, she moved to Inanda. He explains that Mrs Hawes used to bring women together; teach them about farming, life skills, the importance of the different food groups and what they do in the bodies. Mrs Hawes established the Qadi Clinic, with the help of women of Matata, a nearby area. Mr Goba described Mrs Hawes as a humble person who did not want to be recognised as the main person behind such projects. Mrs Hawes died in 1965.

Mr Goba talked about the 1960s, explained that people of Inanda were engaged in farming mostly and that the population was not as large as it is today. Women at the time had good relationships with each other, helped each other and offered social assistance to the community, usually not within established organisations. Women of Inanda got together and started Cathulani Welfare Centre, which is still operating today. The main function of Cathulani is to serve as a crèche to community children. Mr Goba explains that there is a strong link, especially through Mrs Hawes, between the UCCSA local church and the women’s clubs that led to the establishment of Cathulani. He further explained that the daughter of Dr. M.V. Gumede and Bertha Mkhize were leading in the establishment of Cathulani and then at a later stage Mbali (granddaughter of Bertha Mkhize) joined. Mr Goba was also urged to join the board that was in charge of the church. Cathulani also resulted in the birth of Masizane, which was established by Mrs Bophela who was in the Cathulani board. People were able to gain skills through Masisizane such as knitting and farming. Mr Goba emphasised that women worked together; shared knowledge and skills and helped those who were in need.

Missionaries were not only a great influence on women involved in social assistance but also with soccer. Mr Goba stated that it was through missionaries that people were able to gain soccer skills. It started here in Inanda and then it was spread throughout the country. Mission education played a significant role in social development and skills development.

In the 1970s, people of Inanda could not engage in political activities; severe measures were taken against people who were part of political organisations like the African National Congress (ANC). There were spies payed by the government; if they report you then you would get a 80 days detention and most people did not come back after 80 days. Some were killed and some were sent to other places.

Ayanda Ngcobo

(Interview in March 2015)

January 20, 2015

Joyce Themba Mthembu – memories of Inanda

PHOTO 05English summary of an interview with Joyce Themba Mthembu about her memories of Inanda on 24th September 2014. Interview and summary by Sanele Mthethwa

Joyce Mthembu said they arrived at eNanda in 1976, she was at the age of 19 to 20 years and started working at Butter. Joyce explained that during the time of apartheid the life was too hard for them; she said they used to wake up at 04:00 o’clock in the morning and go to work around 05:30. Transport was the main issue when they grew up in eNanda. The transport that they were using was called ukuthuthuka kwama Qadi which was a bus. During that time they were only using buses; later there were vans which used to take people who are going to work and offload them to the bus stops, then the buses would take them and leave them where they work.

Joyce said when you compare eNanda, the one that they live in now and the old one, there is a huge difference. She said shops are now near their homes, since they have Dube village as their closest shopping centre. She argued that the place has been developed so much; the transport is more available now compared to previous years. Joyce grew up during the time whereby they did not have tar road, they used to walk on gravel and in 1976 when she was going to work, and she used to carry shoes with her hands due to the mud, especially when it had rained; but now all that has changed. Among the infrastructure problems they had to face daily, she also mentioned how scarce water supply was, for instance they had to buy water for R1.00 a bucket.

Joyce talks about the war between Indian people and black people which is well known as iNanda riot. She said black people were abusing Indians taking their stuff and burning their stores. She said black people took everything which belongs to Indian people, for example television sets and food. After the riot, she points out the tension between Indians and blacks. She remembers the hard conditions black people had to work under at Pinetown Company called Butter, where she was also working. She says that Indian people were teasing them, calling them by names and saying things like “we saw you on television abusing Indians”.

Another thing that she remembers about eNanda is the conflict between Inkatha Freedom Party and African National Congress which started after iNanda riot and ended in 1994 after elections.

Joyce when she grew up during weekend she was cooking, cleaning, do washing and go to fetch water. Joyce said they were playing indigenous games when there were still young e.g. shumpu.


November 25, 2014

Thandazile Mkhize – memories of Inanda

thandazile Mkhize English summary of an Interview with Thandazile Mkhize by Noluthando Ndwandwa at eNanda Newtown B on 2 October 2014.

Thandazile Mkhize is an elderly hard working woman whom I, Noluthando Ndwandwa, interviewed on the 2nd Of October 2014 this woman who was born and bred in Inanda and shares with us her most vivid memories of her childhood upbringing and that she was raised by a single parent, her mother being the bread winner in the home. Thandazile Mkhize, a 2nd born in 4 daughters tells us how Inanda was before and the changes it has gone through. She spent all her formative years in Ohlange and later moved to Newtown B section with her immediate family. She now stays with her son and grandchildren.

Before Inanda was in a rural setting and people planted fresh produce; they had cattle which would freely graze the lands (I managed to get an old photo showing how Inanda the Ohlange Area was before and after). People back then didn’t have many forms of entertainment; at the most they would visit relatives and go to church. She says that kind of setting really helped because it built their morals as children and they weren’t exposed to alcohol also she never had the urge to indulge in bad activities. Besides that she was afraid and she respected the elders. Regarding transport, she says they used Indian buses; there were no taxis and if the family was wealthy, they used the old model cars. But very few homes had cars, mostly they used buses; to go town it was R1.50 bus fare. Thandazile Mkhize sent a heartfelt message that she would like the youth to be more focused on school and empowering themselves and she pleads that government opens up job opportunities because it is saddening when graduates sit at home and they all have to live on a small government pension.Thandazile Mkhize is on the other hand very grateful for the new developments within the area like the Dube Mall and the New RDP houses they are about to receive.

Thandazile Mkhize speaks fondly of her mother and the Langa family, how they assisted in her upbringing especially since her mother was their domestic worker. The few cents she got would bring food and bread to the table and also the huge role that J.L DUBE played by bringing schools closer and western amenities like the library. With the skills offered in the school she is very grateful to Mafukuzela who was not selfish but threw the breads in the waters.

Summary by Nolunthando Ndwandwa


the old house Thandazile mkhize was Staying at in NewTown B the new RDP house

November 19, 2014

Interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe

IMG-20140924-WA0003Summary of an interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Mshayazafe in Inanda:

Mr Mnqayi is one of the very few elderly men who came at Inanda at the age of 24 and became very active so that today he still resides in the community even though he was not born in Inanda. In the interview he speaks about being a co-founder of the Thembelethu primary School. Due to the ANC and the IFP Riots which lasted for ears from 1987 – 1990, the area was divided and ruled according to two parties, the IFP area and the ANC area. Those who were from the IFP area were not allowed in the ANC area and those from the ANC area were not allowed in the IFP area too. However this resulted to the children from IFP area being excluded from the ANC schools and there was a need for parents to intervene in such situations and Mr Mnqayi was the one and his idea became very successful. Mr Mnqayi further states that there was a high need for the school because their children were no longer safe once they are caught in the ANC area they get injured and even killed and there were no schools for their children at all and the Thembelethu Primary School was formed through the cottage that was left by the Indians while the blacks were forcibly invading the Indians houses, shops and farms.

In the beginning Mr Mnqayi talks about the environment of Inanda on how it was divided during the apartheid government; Inanda was divided into two – the white government and the Zulu government which was according to chiefs (Ubukhosi ) and great leaders (Izinduna).

Mshayazafe means ‘beat him/her to death’. That’s how the name Mshayazafe came about. Mshayazafe was a tavern that was owned by a woman, but you could swear it was a man, the way it was operating. Mshayazafe was having her bouncer who will take you out if  are troubling them and she was having her people specific for her tavern helping when there is someone whose troubling her. KwaMshayazafe you were not supposed to do wrong things because if you are caught they will beat you to death and when you are caught with the knife they beat you in such a way that no one can even try to help you; once you are caught you are dead already. However people enjoyed drinking and partying at KwaMshayazafe because this women was having radios and other equipment that were scarce at that time and because she was a women she used to cook (Usu) inyama yangaphakathi and sell it to her clients. So many people from different places such as eMawoti came to KwaMshayazafe to drink and also to play cards. There was a man called Nyathikazi, who was appointed by an Indian to give land to people who want to stay at Inanda. He was also a spy working with the Polish called Oqonda; he was from the KwaMshayazafe area, so when people want development they just used uMshayazafe and the place was called Mshayazafe Development but they can still point themselves that this one is from eZihlabathini,this one from Vutha, this one from Mnyama road etc.

Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi has a good memory because he was recalling the years in which these things took place and even the names of the people who were involved during their implementation of the school . He can recall everything and emphasised that you can go to any of the houses at Inanda, but you cannot find any information about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe Development. He also stressed the point that at school they had never done anything for him but only come to him when they want the history of Thembalethu primary School.

The sad thing, said Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi, is that heroes like him will only be recognised once they are gone!

Interview and summary:  Andile Mkwanazi 24 September 2014



November 19, 2014

Interview with Irina Mthembu about life in Inanda

Irina and PhumlaniInterview summary in English

Irina Mthembu is an old citizen at iNanda, who was born and raised at Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. She did not have that fortune of staying with her father at her younger age. Born around the 1930s to 40s, she lived at her mother’s home with her mother. Simelane was her mother’s surname. His father was working away from where they resided. Her father passed away and they had to move to Durban with her mother. In Durban, iNanda, that is where her mother got a site from Shembe whom she strongly believed in. Irina attended lower grades at primary school and she recalled that her educators were Miss Gumede and Miss Nene. She has been living at iNanda for many years. Politically and socially, she says that the standard of living was good. Peace and sharing were the good philosophies characterising the people of iNanda during apartheid periods. The reason behind is that John Dube was appointed as a person responsible for governing the place. He was a Christian that was against violence. Supporting him were people like Mahatma Gandhi and others who fought for peace in their area. The only problem that Irina stressed about John Dube is that he was against their Shembe belief. Notwithstanding this critic, she says that all citizens of iNanda were happy with Dube’s leadership.

Having asked her about what it means to her to be the citizen of iNanda brought an interesting story. Irina says that she strongly believes in Shembe, so living at iNanda means living with God next to her because that is where the religion on Shembe is. ‘Leaving iNanda will mean distancing me from God and Shembe’, Irina says. Additionally, she also mentioned the fact that iNanda is where her ancestors rest and she will rest with them when she dies. As a black person, she believes that dead people are not really dead but watching them spiritually and also that Shembe is the way to communicating with God as does Jesus to Christians. In terms of marriage, Irina got married to Mdunge, a man from Dlangezwa, North Coast. With Mdunge, they got four sons. Additionally, as an old person she says that going to church is her favourite thing that she fully enjoys. She also said there is nothing that keeps her happy more than seeing her children and grandchildren following at her footsteps of worshiping Shembe. Lastly, Irina mentioned that she will be happy if her body rests next to her ancestors at iNanda because that will make her soul rest in peace.

Interview and summary by Phumlani Mfekayi, 24 October 2014



November 15, 2013

Memories of Inanda – Florence Fikile Luvuno

Mrs Florence Fikile Luvuno has been living in Inanda since the 1950s. She was interviewed by Mbali Ncanana with the assistance of Nkanyiso Dlamini on 2 October 2013.

Mrs Luvuno is one of the very few elderly women who still resides in the community and has been living in Inanda since the 1950’s.In the interview she speaks of the type of challenging conditions they were living under, from the times of the apartheid government, up until the year 2004, which was the period in which Inanda finally became a conflict free zone.

In the beginning of the interview, Mrs Luvuno talks about the kind of environment and relationships that the Indian and the black community had while living together in Inanda, prior to the conflicts. She shares of her own personal difficulties that she was faced with, while these conflicts were at an up roar. She also speaks of how the political conflicts affected her personally and her surrounding neighbors and the sacrifices she made in order to protect her family. There is also an interesting mention of some people who played heroic roles to assist the community, including John Dube’s wife, Lulu Dube.

Mrs Luvuno has a very sharp memory because she even remembers the dates at which these incidents occurred and the names of the people who were implicated. This whole experience was greatly humbling, it makes one realize the great power of memory and the importance of safeguarding oral history and how we as a current generation take it for granted.

Summary by Mbali Ncanana.

Check out the full transcript and sound recording on the Zulu page.