Tonight with Lester Podcast

Tonight with Lester Podcast

Get the best of both worlds with Lester Kiewit, a writer for the Mail & Guardian by day and presenter by night. Rather than looking back at the news of the day, explore new subjects and new perspectives.


Episodes in this series - Page 2

Blackey Tempi Quintet

17 October 2019 | 16 Minute Listen

Guest : Blackey Tempi Township trumpet titan Blackey Tempi and his quintet combine big sounds, swinging township melodies, with sophisticated soulful harmonic vocals and a celebratory African rhythmic tempo. He has been shaping South African jazz since the 70’s. Known for his stylish blend of rhythmic African music an American traditions and his brilliant big band presence, he has recorded with the likes of Winston Mankunku and Errol Dyers. He started playing trumpet and frugal horn in 1977 after dropping out of school after the Soweto riots of 1976. He is largely self-taught although he joined Jazz Workshop in 1979 to study further. In 1982, he started his first band ‘Fever’ which played mainly cover music of the day and played regularly in the Cape Town nightspots. Between 1982 and 1985, he played with numerous bands in and around Cape Town and in 1985 toured Namibia for three months with the musical “African Follies”. On his return, he moved to Gauteng to play with a wide variety of bands. In 1998, he returned to Cape Town to participate in a three year jazz programme under Professor Mike Campbell but regrettably had to leave the programme due to financial constraints. During this time, Blackey had been playing with an 8 piece big band called “Tandanani” playing original African music, but he felt that a more commercial band was needed to appeal to a broader band of customers and in 2000 “The Brotherhood” was born. Between 2002 and 2012, Blackey toured extensively with hit tribute show “Diamonds and Dust “ and a further two years with other Barnyard tribute shows before returning home to start a successful B & B with his wife which is a hit on the Coffee Beans Route whilst performing at corporate events and festivals. Blackey Tempi quintet comprises: Blackey Tempi on trumpet, Anathi Mobo on vocals, Clayton Pretorius on bass, George Werner on keys and Thulani Mkhatshana on drums.

The end of the DA's black leader experiment?

17 October 2019 | 18 Minute Listen

Guest : Sanusha Naidu | Political Analyst The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) post-2019 election review report recommends that party leader Mmusi Maimane step down. The DA’s disappointing run in the 2019 general election saw the knives come out for the charismatic leader — its first black party head. In 1994, the DA got 1.7% of the vote. In 1999 it got to 9.5% of the vote and grew steadily to a high of 22.3% in 2014. But the 2019 election saw the DA slump for the first time in its history — to 20.7% The review report committee was led by former DA chief strategist Ryan Coetzee. A party source said: “There’s a recommendation that the leader step down.” But those in Maimane’s corner said he will put his faith in council delegates. One of these said: “The report will be tabled on Saturday; it’s the only thing on the agenda. From there they will deliberate and it is up to council to decide.” The report is also thought to contain a suggestion that the party’s chief executive, Paul Boughey, leave. READ MORE: Paul Boughey, CEO of the DA has resigned Boughey seems to have preempted this, with his resignation late on Thursday. In his resignation letter, Boughey said that he had “reached an agreement in principle” with the party to step down, adding that the full details of the agreement would be revealed in the coming days. In a statement released by the DA, noting the resignation of Boughey, the party lauded his service to the party and the “Democratic project”. UCT political analyst Sanusha Naidu joins us live for her thoughts on this development

Beautiful News

16 October 2019 | 7 Minute Listen

Guest : Riyaad Avontuur Riyaad Avontuur has been clean for 390 days and counting. But it’s been a long journey to get here. When he got involved with the wrong crowd and started using drugs, life became increasingly difficult. Avontuur spent 10 years in and out of rehabs and missed out on being there for his family. Recovery isn’t instant. This time, Avontuur needed to fill the days of sobriety with positive intent. He took up running alongside his daughter – an activity that’s given both Avontuur and his community in Bonteheuwel a head start to success. Every time Avontuur and his daughter ventured out for a sprint, children would approach them: "Uncle, can we come run with you?" he recalls them asking. Avontuur realised the kids needed to occupy themselves and keep away from negative influences. “There's so much more in my community beyond drugs and crime,” he says. By approaching principals in nearby schools, Avontuur gathered learners who were interested in athletics and eager to have someone coach them. Earlier this year, he began the Bonteheuwel Central Athletic Club with just two members. It’s now grown to over 60 children chasing their purpose. Running the club has guided Avontuur away from his old vices, and towards a position of leadership. His past has shown him how easy it is to veer off track. But it’s also taught him it’s possible to move on, no matter where you come from. “I finally feel that I can contribute something,” he says. Avontuur is turning each step of his recovery into great strides, both for himself and the kids of Bonteheuwel.

Lisa Joshua Sonn on Trauma

16 October 2019 | 13 Minute Listen

Guest : Lisa Joshua Sonn |  You are not what happened to you : I believe we underestimate the impact on trauma on our lives. Trauma is not about language. It is about feelings, memories, messages, fears, doubts, anxiety, vulnerability and so many common triggers. Mostly triggers are everyday things: a banging door, a setting sun, footsteps towards your bedroom, quick walking behind you, the sound of thuds behind a closed door, someone shouting, a stare, a look, the sound of a belt or zip being undone, the rustle of leaves in a bush as you walk by, the list of triggers is endless. They talk about the fight or flight response to trauma, but what about freeze? When we are traumatised we choose one of these options, some people take the risk and the courage to fight back and others take the personal safety option of fleeing the situation. There are countless examples in our lives where people flee, there are children who choose to live in the streets, there are adult children who choose to move to other countries, or there are those who as soon as they have the means will terminate toxic relationships which cause them trauma. There is no wrong way to deal with trauma as in my opinion, we are individuals born to connect with other people and have relationships. Babies yearn for a parents’ touch, toddlers are always seeking attention and acknowledgement. No man or woman is an island and can possibly operate in isolation from the rest of the world. Many try, even though it is unnatural. We need human contact, support, acknowledgement and love. As people we have become so accustomed to masking hurt, pain and trauma. We have put on pretences to ensure we navigate through the challenges, drawing as little attention to ourselves as possible. The other options include people living in the misery of the trauma and not really knowing what their options are. They become their trauma as opposed to counting the trauma as something or many things that happened to them. They are not what happened to them, it is part of their lives and their history. There are various processes we can embark on to not take our trauma into our futures. We must be willing to take a look and to change how we see it. Trauma is part of life. Some get more than others; few escape this life without trauma. Eventually we all have choices to make and it is the quality of our relationships that inform the actions we take. When we feel supported and heard, it is easier to share life challenges with professional therapists, close friends or members of your family. I have discovered that sharing with people I trusted helped me to heal and to move on from the events. It isn’t an easy process and it is a lot more complex and difficult until you choose to acknowledge that you have been hurt by someone or others whom you loved, trusted or had an unfortunate traumatic engagement. A reality for me is that the world is moving so fast, everyone has a “get on with it! get over it!" attitude. These approaches have not worked ever. Until you work on healing and being in recovery from trauma, it will not leave your thoughts, your actions and reactions in the world. We need to know our traumas, we will do ourselves a service acknowledging what happened and what we made it mean. Sometimes, what happened is so traumatic that we make it mean something about ourselves: I am weak, I am not enough, I am not worthy, I won’t amount to anything, it is me not them. The other outcomes of trauma are that the person who is traumatised has no other role model but to cause trauma through the way they show up in the world. There is a truth which teaches us that hurt people hurt people. Nobody is born to be a bully or to cause pain and problems with their being. We are all formed by our experiences and what we witness as normal. For me, trauma always goes with violence physical or silent violence, every type of abuse where one person or group dominates another. It is always interesting for me to hear the stories of some people who appear to have the most successful, enviable lives or jobs and when we actually listen to where they come from, many made a decision when they were young to leave a legacy, to prove their worth or to never be poor or vulnerable again. Sometimes the trauma we experience runs our lives, we become like machines. We lose our empathy, we are defensive, we are doubtful or suspicious. It really is such a waste that more of us don’t take the time to show each other love, empathy and understanding. A problem halved is a problem shared. Not everyone who wants to know our stories are comforters, some are just curious busy bodies but we get to choose how and whom we trust. It is such a personal process; it takes small steps or big audacious ones. We get to choose. There is an inspirational story about two brothers who grew up in a violent, abusive home. The one became a loving family man and the other became a violent abusive adult. When asked how and why, both of their responses were: "When you come out of a home like that, what are your choices!?" As a society many live with wounds and traumas, we need to be kinder to ourselves and to others. It is actually pretty hard to be kind to ourselves and being kind to others is a lot more rewarding than living alongside, and not with, the groups you associate with.


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