Tag Archives: South-Africa

Melbourne, multi-culturalism and Ecca Vandal

My post this Sunday was requested by the Offspring. She has just discovered Ecca Vandal and asked me to promote this young, Melbourne artist.

I was a little leery at first – I’ve never been able to ‘sell’ anything I didn’t believe in myself. However after watching this video clip, I’m well and truly a fan. This girl reminds me of Gwen Stephanie before she became mainstream.

Brash, raw and throwing off sparks of vitality, I give you Ecca Vandal and the White Flag:

And now, if you’re still with me, a little background on Ecca Vandal. Radio station Triple J takes the credit for discovering her, and this is what they say about her background:

“South African born with Sri Lankan Heritage, Ecca Vandal’s parents left South Africa after Apartheid in the late 80s, her parents making the decision to find a stable environment in which to educate their daughters.”

[So familiar this; my parents made the same decision in 1957.]

Apparently the family settled in Melbourne, becoming part of the multi-cultural soup that makes Melbourne such a great place to live. We have  some of the best food in Australia, a vibrant cultural life – thanks to all those who make their home here – and now we have Ecca.

It feels good to be a Melbournite. 🙂

p.s. No Sydney-siders were harmed in the making of this post.


KNIT-A-SQUARE…spread the word

I can’t knit to save my life, but I can spread the word of this glorious, grassroots inspired charity. And so can you.

Just for the record, I met Sandy McDonald – the ‘niece in Australia’ – last Wednesday at a Volunteers Day orientation at the Diamond Valley Living and Learning Centre. [DVLC is one of the places at which I do volunteer work].

Sandy was recently asked to deliver a TEDs presentation on her work, and talked to us about Knit-A-Square as well.  Her presentation left me feeling almost uplifted; we can work together, we can make a difference, we can be loving as well as hateful.

But what could I do? I can’t knit, or crochet. I’m too far away to help sew or distribute. I don’t have the money to donate anything worthwhile. 😦

And then it hit me – I might not be able to do all those other things, but I can write, and I have friends who write, and they have friends who write…

The video you’ve just watched has only had about 11,000 views. That’s a drop in the ocean on YouTube. However, if we all talked about it on our blogs or Facebook or Twitter, we might just be able to make it go viral. And if it did, it might be seen by those who could provide some of that ‘extra’ help Knit-A-Square needs.

So how about it? If you can’t knit, can’t crochet, can’t sew, and can’t donate, can you write?

Please. These kids need all the help they can get.



Nelson Mandela, 1918 – 2013.

Nelson MandelaWe knew it was coming, and I suspect Mandela himself would have preferred not to be kept alive for so long through the miracle of modern medicine, but now that he is truly gone, I cherish every day he spent on this earth.

Nelson Mandela was the symbol of hope, not just for his own nation, but for the rest of us as well.

Nelson Mandela helped end Apartheid in South Africa, without a bloodbath. When that news swept the world I felt a rush of joy – if such a thing was possible, then anything was possible.

Nelson Mandela is gone, and we’re left to pray for another good man who can show us that humanity is capable of peace, and compassion.

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela.

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