|Nise Bulelwa Malange|
Nise Malange was born in Cape Town. At an early age, she was influenced by her uncle, Rev. Marawu, who had just returned from serving time on Robben Island. Her fascination with her uncle made her follow him everywhere he went. As a result, she became exposed to his work with trade unions.
At sixteen, Malange was already helping with the typing of documents and the collection of food for migrant labourers. In 1976, Malange went to the Eastern Cape where she continued her schooling in the Whittlesea district. The poverty she witnessed there was another revelation, as she became aware of the effects of inequality in South Africa.
Malangeworked extensively within thelabour movement, serving in many roles including Administrator, Educator, and Organizer and was responsible for the complaints services of the Federation of South African Trade Unions(FOSATU), known as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) today.
Malange has a Creative Writing Diploma and has specialized in script writing, film and video production in Zimbabwe. She is a scriptwriter, theatre director and a published poet. She runs creative writing workshops with youth and children who are victims of violence and abuse. Malange is the former Trustee and Vice chairperson of Arts and Culture Trust (ACT – a Nedbank Initiative). She is also the former member of the board of the Institute for Inter-Ethnic Relations, a national body initiated by Durban based business, academics, educators, politicians and artists against racism and ethnicism. She is a Steering Committee member for the Africa Chapter of International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) based in Canada and a member of the KwaZulu- Natal United Music Industry Association (KUMISA)
Malange has also been actively involved in negotiations and discussions regarding the future restructuring and cultural organizations and policy formulation. e.g. (NAPAC known as Playhouse Company, the formation of the National Arts Coalition-convener of the Task Group on Art within the Community, KwaZulu Natal Arts Policy Task Group and the KwaZulu Natal RDP Task Group)
She has served as a Board/Executive member of a number of organizations. Presently, Malange is a member of various editorial collectives and serves as a consultant to numerous organizations and institutions specializing in community newspapers, creative therapy and education project task groups. She has served in the NSB02 of the South African Qualification Authority and serves in the Arts and Culture Management Learnership of CreateSA. She is also a Trustee of the Arts and Culture Trust an independent arts funding body.
She is also involved in a number of Peace and conflict resolution initiatives and Women and Children Support Networks. Nise has set up a support group that runs workshops and assists ordinary people to deal with racism and xenophobia problems. She also works with a Durban Based Women Refugee group.
Malange has presented papers at conferences in South Africa, Senegal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Malawi, UK, Burkina Faso, Abidjan, Marseilles (France), Shanghai (China), Cuba, Brazil and the United States. Her areas of expertise include cross-cultural communications, conflict resolution and mediation, negotiation skills, project management, project design, workshop facilitation, leadership training, arts events co-ordination, union work and the re-dressing of gender imbalances in society.
Furthermore, Malange has facilitated the Umtapo Women’s Leadership Course on the subject of Culture and Tradition. She has facilitated gender workshops for many organizations including the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). She worked with women who were victims of political violence in the South Coast area of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), when violence wracked that Province. Malenge also worked with the University of KwaZulu-Natal conducting gender and racism training for final year students as well as research on issues affecting women and young girls.
She has also produced a three part documentary focusing on Women and Violence in Rural Areas and Women Organizing in the New Democracy. She has worked with both local and international filmmakers who have produced documentaries on women’s issues in S.A.
Presently, Malange is the Director of the BAT Centre Trust, in Durban KwaZulu-Natal. She has gained enormous respect, both nationally and internationally, as one of South Africa’s leading arts and cultural practitioners and activist.
Nise Malange remains actively involved in changing lives of women and children through her many projects with street kids, refugees, shelters and youth generally within the BAT Centre. In 2015, Malange was a winner in the “Promotion of Language and Story Telling” category at the Mbokodo Awards held that year.
Extract from 'This poem is dedicated to brother Andries Raditsela'
Your death has come to me over hundreds of miles away
It has socked me but did no surprise me
It has socked the workers but did no surprise them.
I have a few words to say - my mouth is a grave without flowers
My mouth is an empty coffin when the corpse is gone
It is like a river without water
But it has faith in your death.