Nathi Gumede, artist and curator (South Africa)

gumede- What does the idea/concept of a manifesto mean to you?

Out of all the unique languages that we South Africans speak, I often feel that we need one more new language that will be common to all South Africans especially when it comes to words like ‘manifesto’ and a few others.

I say this because the word itself enjoys prominence in political-related conversations. My reaction and my perception of the word is subject to how the word is presented to me. If it in a written format, I seem to react positively however if it is verbally declared I am usually sceptical. The concept itself is subject to how it is used and for what purpose.

- Is there a specific manifesto that you align to or that has interested/influenced you?

Not necessarily, I am very concerned about languages or pronouncements that seem to speak to everything about everything. I seem to borrow from different sources. I was raised a Christian later on in life my mother became a Shembe and I have studied a bit of Mahatma Gandhi teachings, such influences have shaped my spiritual growth and that turns to filter down to all aspect of my life.

- Do you have a personal manifesto?

Believing in one self helps.

- Do you think that manifestos still have relevance to society at large or groups of people in the 21st century?

I am bit uncomfortable with declarations that are cast in stones. I will question the need for a manifesto in changing society like South Africa.