KA VOICECAST for Thursday, August 1st

KA VOICECAST for Thursday, August 1st

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IN THE NEWS with Dan Blasor







KA NEWS for Thursday, August 1st

The KA KIDS INTERNATIONAL PRESCHOOL officially opens its doors in September, 2013. Applications for children aged 3-6 are being accepted.  Children who sign up for the KAIP program will be introduced to the fast-paced, advanced reading, and writing program with teachers trained in the Read Write Inc. Phonics method, currently exclusive to Kikokushijo Academy. The goal is to create happy, native-level English speakers, readers, and writers, right in the comfort of the KA Tama Plaza school without every having to live abroad.  For more information, and answers to frequently asked questions, please follow the link.

Are you creative?  Do you enjoy painting and drawing?  Or perhaps you aspire to become a celebrity chef? The KA Jyugaoka and Meidaimae Schools are offering a variety of English medium-based Art Classes and Cooking Classes for students in year two through year six.  The art classes will give students the opportunity to not only work on some fantastic art projects, but learn about Art Vocabulary as well.  Cooking classes will develop your child’s basic culinary skills and food-based terms.  If you are interested in taking part in either of these fun courses, please contact the KA Jyugaoka School or KA Meidaimae School for more information.

KA is now offering our famed essay-writing course through e-mail for students in grade 4 of elementary school and above who currently live outside of the Kanto area. This is a serious, results-oriented program perfect for students who wish to pass essay exams for junior high, senior high, university, or the Eiken, TOEFL, SAT, or other exams.  Distance Learning students will write and revise weekly essays, complete grammar assignments, and build vocabulary to raise the register and effectiveness of their writing. Each student will correspond with a Personal Writing Tutor, who will guide the student through the course by e-mail.

Students wishing to participate in the Distance Learning course must have:

  • access to the Internet
  • a computer with Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader
  • a strong desire to improve their writing

For more information about this exciting new program, please contact Kikokushijo Academy or follow the link.




DAN BLASOR in the Captan’s SeatWith Dan Blasor


Nelson Mandela is seen by many as a living legend and symbol that success can be achieved against an insurmountable adversary with courage and determination.

In brief, Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling, poverty, inequality, institutionalised racism, and fostering racial reconciliation. He also served as the President of the African National Congress, or the ANC, from 1991 to 1997.

But his origins were far removed from these powerful positions.

He was born in a tiny African village to a family who bred sheep and cows, and was born with the name Rolihlahla Mandela. Very few children in that rural area attended school but he was lucky enough to be given a place at a Christian school, where it was a custom to give the children English names.  His teacher told him in his first days that from now on he would not be called Rolihlahla Mandela anymore but Nelson Mandela from then on. But he kept Rolihlala as his middle name. He has since said that he has no idea how or why the teacher picked that name for him.

His father died when he was young and his mother managed to get him into the care of the regent who acted as a stand-in King, as the king had died with only young children who were too young to rule. The king’s eldest son was only a young boy called Justice who was also under the care of the Regent. Nelson and Justice became friends and as wards of the Regent they were given further education right up to university level. Nelson was expected to become an advisor and councillor to Justice when he became King.

Nelsons interest in politics grew in his time at University, but he found himself in trouble when he disagreed with the way student council members were appointed. He refused to take part and instigated a boycott of the election. This led to him having to leave the University. The regent who had arranged his education was furious and this led Nelson and Justice to run away from the rural area and into the city of Johannesburg.

This was to prove a very tough time for the pair because of the different rules for blacks and whites. Nelson found getting work was tough, but he eventually found a job in a Law firm.  However, continuing his education and training was difficult too, as segregation meant that he was forced to walk across the city while white and Indian people could use the city’s tram system.

While living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics and he joined the ANC. While working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was prosecuted in a Treason Trial but was eventually found not guilty.  Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the South African Communist Party, he co-founded a militant guerrilla group, and in 1961, he led a bombing campaign against government targets. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mandela served 27 years in prison. But an international campaign lobbied for his release, which was finally granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. He became the president of the ANC, and during this time, Mandela published his autobiography and led negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994.  He went on to lead the ANC party to victory, was elected President, and formed the Government of National Unity in an attempt to defuse ethnic tensions. As President, he established a new constitution and set up groups to investigate past human rights abuses.

His administration introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial. He declined to run for a second term, to focus on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

He was a controversial figure, and many critics had denounced Mandela as a terrorist because of his involvement in the government bombings. He nevertheless gained international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received over 250 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name of Madiba or as Tata meaning Father; he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

While some may question some of his methods, his influence has significantly changed a troubled country for the better.

Happy Birthday to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela!

For today’s Story Time Story, I have selected a traditional South African tale from a collection of stories titled Famous South African Folk Tales written by Pieter W Grobblelaar and Sean Verster.  But before we listen to The Clever Little Man, let’s first look at some of the WOW words we will come across today.   Just so you know, South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, and Tswane, so a couple of the words we will go over are Afrikaan words.



SLAUGHTER, is a verb that means to kill—usually an animal—for food.   SLAUGHTER can also mean to kill people in a cruel or violent way, typically in large numbers.  For this usage, synonyms include massacre, kill off, and annihilate.

An African KRAAL

A CATTLE KRAAL is an enclosure for cattle or sheep.  It is also a traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed by a fence.

A KAROSS is a South African word meaning a rug or blanket of sewn animal skins.  A KAROSS was formerly worn as clothes by the African people.  These days, a KAROSS are used as a bed or floor covering.

CONTENT is an adjective that means in a state of peaceful happiness.  Synonyms include satisfied, pleased, fulfilled, and at peace.

A CARCASS is the dead body of an animal.

The verb, INDICATE in this story means to point out or show.  Synonyms include point to and gesture towards.




The Clever Little Man

A Xhosa Tale

By Pieter W. Grobblelaar and Sean Verster

It is said that long, long ago, there was a chief who had no children.  He and his people were sad at heart about this.  So they said to each other, “Let’s slaughter an ox and see if that helps.”  While they were still busy at the cattle kraal, a son was born to the chief.  But he was not like other children.  He was no bigger than a man’s thumb, yet his face was old and wrinkled.

“Shu, Mother,” said Tiny.  “I’m cold.  Please give me a kaross.”

“Hau! You can talk already!” exclaimed his mother.  “I’ve never heard that a newly born child could use his tongue like this.” But she gave him a kaross.

Tiny went to the cattle kraal where the men were slaughtering the ox and said, “Father, I’m hungry.  Give me some meat.”

“Hau!” exclaimed the chief.  “I’ve never heard of a newly born child eating meat.” He gave him a piece of liver.  But Tiny did not want liver.  The chief gave him a bit of fat, but Tiny threw it away.  He asked for meat.  “Give him some,” said the men.  So the chief did, and Tiny was content.

After they had finished slaughtering the ox, the men asked each other, “Who’ll take the meat to our homes?”

Tiny said, “I’m the man who’ll carry the meat.”

The men only laughed.  “How can a small thing like you carry an ox?” they said.

Tiny said, “I’m stronger than all of you.”

The men would not listen.  They tried to pick up the carcass but no one could move it.

“I’m the man who carries the meat,” Tiny said again, and he lifted the whole carcass on his shoulders.  Then he walked off with it to the kraal.

Tiny was not only strong, oh no! He had his wits about him too.  He went from one hut to another and left a trail of blood but the meat he put in a huge pot on his mother’s fire.

When the men came home, there was no meat.  They called Tiny.

“I put the meat down there,” said Tiny, and he pointed to the blood.

“Yes, we can see the trail,” they said.

“The dogs must’ve eaten it,” said Tiny.

“It must’ve been the dogs’ doing,” the men agreed, and they were very angry.  They never thought that Tiny might have tricked them

That night, when everyone slept, Tiny got up quietly and went to his mother’s meat pot.  He gobbled so greedily that his mother woke up.  She grabbed a stick because she thought a dog was at the meat.  Tiny ran out of the door on all fours, yelping like a dog, and his mother was content.  Later that night Tiny came back, very quietly, and ate all the meat.  The next morning, the chief was furious because there was no meat to be found anywhere.

The chief called his men together.  “We’ll have to kill another ox,” said he, “since the other one has disappeared.

“A good idea,” they agreed.

They picked out a fat ox, slaughtered it and put the meat in the big pot.  But Tiny was hungry again.  He sat on a stone to think how he could get his hands on this meat also.

All at once, he got up.  He drove the cattle quietly into thick wood, where he tied their tails so that they could not move.  With branches of thorns, he tore deep scratches in his arms and legs.  Then he ran up to the men where they sat around a big pot, keeping an eye on the meat to see that it did not grow legs again.

He screamed at them.  “What do you think you’re doing, sitting around the meat pot?  They enemy came with a big army and drove off all our cattle!”

“Are you sure?” they asked.

“Just look at my arms and legs.  I fought them, but there were too many,” Tiny declared.

Then they saw the blood and believed him.  They sprang up, grabbed their weapons and took off for the mountains in the direction he had indicated.  It was, of course, completely wrong.  On that track they would find no cattle.

By the fire there remained only one old man who could no longer fight.  To him Tiny said, “Old man, I’m very tired and thirsty.  Please, get me a little water from the river.”

The old man was sorry for him and went off with a clay pot to the place where they drew water.  And while he was away, Tiny pulled the pot off the fire and ate up all the meat.


Another huge news story that broke out during the month of July, was of course, the birth of a new royal prince to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The prince, who has been named George Alexander Louis was born on July 22rd, and he is now third in line to the throne.  He is the great-grandchild of the current queen and has been given the official title, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.




In the July 15th episode of KA Voicecast, we talked about puns and other play on words and the Let’s Get Quizzical question was:

In which of Shakespeare’s plays would you find this pun?


“Now is the winter of this discontent,

Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”

The answer is:  Richard III

The pun of course is in “Sun of York” which can be interpreted to mean either the sun such as the big yellow object in the sky or the Son—a male offspring.   Shakespeare’s plays are full of puns that are often quite clever.  If you would like to learn more about how he used puns in his work, please follow the link below.


This week’s question:

Scientists have grown rudimentary teeth out of the most unlikely of sources.  Can you name the source? 


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