Welcome to Makhanda

It use to be named Grahamstown, we called it #SyracusetoSouthAfrica on social media — but it was like we never left home.

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8 students, 8 stories, 1 township

We called it #SyracusetoSouthAfrica on social media — but it was like we never left home.

About the Project

We called it #SyracusetoSouthAfrica on social media—but it was like we never left home.

Our team traveled to Makhanda, South Africa, and spent two weeks there over the Christmas–New Year’s 2018 holiday on a storytelling mission to pursue a cornerstone belief we hold at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. It’s simple: No matter how far you travel—8,000 miles in this case—you’ll find people everywhere are more alike than different.

Indeed, Makhanda on South Africa’s Eastern Cape did feel like home to us, as we told stories around a broad theme of “expression,” covering all corners of culture: egazini, fashion, sports, faith and more. We tell the stories of Makhanda in 3D, virtual reality, photos, text and video, from rappers’ home studio, to the blustery soccer fields where locals claimed a championship, to the somber rooms of Egazini (Place of Blood), the outpost that memorializes an 1819 battle Xhosa warriors lost to the English, and the beatings that marked final days of apartheid.

So how is Makhanda “like home?” It’s diverse and welcoming, and home to a university much like S.U. Were it not for that welcoming nature, we’d never been able to tell the stories we do.

Thank you, Makhanda.

Syracuse University

Prof. Steve Davis

Chair, Newspaper and Online Journalism program

Prof. Ken Harper

Director, Newhouse Center for Global Engagement

Dominique Hildebrande

Photo & Video

Lenny Martinez

360º Video & Photogrammetry

Rivita Goyle


Aubrey Moore

Photo, 360º Video & Photogrammetry

Conner Lee

Design & Photo

Taylor Pastrick

Writing & Reporting

Odeya Pinkus


Jamie Jenson

Writing & Reporting


Jason Torreano

Founder, Inkululeko

Zukisani Lamani

Social Enterprise Lead, Inkululeko

Madoda Mkalipi

Local facilitator, Inkululeko

Xolisa Jodwana

Former Inkululeko student & translator

Syracuse City School District

Kathleen Argus

SCSD Teacher

Anthony Davis

SCSD Assistant Superintendent

Katy Fermin

SCSD Student Photographer

Ibraham Mukahal

SCSD Student Photographer

Saviere Williams

SCSD Student Photographer

Ana Rosaria Irma Maniaci McGough

SCSD Student Photographer




From soccer to boxing, sport is both a unifying force and powerful learning tool in Makhanda.



Though 80 percent of South Africa's population practices Christianity, faith keeps people going in very different ways.



Once a "Place of Bloodshed" during the Battle of Makhanda and later apartheid-era police station, this historic site is now being given new life through a collective of local artists.



While Makhanda hosts the world renowned National Arts Festival every Summer, local artists keep expressing themselves year round, whether it be through fashion, music, hairdressing, or poetry.