It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of all the intoxicating existence we’ve been endowed with. But what’s life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be , is every bit as strong as ours—arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don’t. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment’s additional existence. Life, in short, just wants to be.
"According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report for 2012, which surveys the views of business leaders about their countries, South Africa ranks 133rd out of 142 on how well its education system meets the needs of a competitive economy. Measured on maths and science alone it drops to 138th place. This, despite the fact that SA’s high school enrolment rate is 93.8%, ranking around the one-quarter mark in the field. In short, our kids are going to school, but they’re not learning anything.”
Being privileged enough to receive a decent education does not exempt you from being aware that in our country, this is not a universal right, as it should be, but a privilege denied to most. And we still question why unemployment is such a scourge. Education is the only way maaaan.
So my uncle called me and asked me to invite him on BlackBerry Messenger. Naturally I griped and groaned because I generally avoid interacting on social media with the esteemed members of la familia. Then he told me that he wanted to send me pictures so with a sigh I added him on BBM. Man oh man, what a luuurvely surprise!
Basically, he was explaining to his daughter how the internet works, what blogs are and that I have one called Just Let Them Eat Cake. So Reese went and designed T-shirts for this Tumblr of mine! How cuh-yoooot? She is DEFINITELY the coolest 9 year I old I know. She is usually super duper talkative, very smart kid with lots to say but when I called her to say thank you and that I love them, she got super duper bashful, mumbling “itsapleasureDidi.” So adorable.
Note: My uncle is actually very dope and I don’t mind having him on BBM because he is at one with motorbikes, trees and air rifles. And Didi is my family nickname.
My hand pulses to my back trousers pocket Or into my inner jacket pocket For my pass, my life, Jo’burg City. My hand like a starved snake rears my pockets For my thin, ever lean wallet, While my stomach growls a friendly smile to hunger, Jo’burg City. My stomach also devours coppers and papers Don’t you know? Jo’burg City, I salute you; When I run out, or roar in a bus to you, I leave behind me, my love, My comic houses and people, my dongas and my ever whirling dust, My death That’s so related to me as a wink to the eye. Jo’burg City I travel on your black and white and roboted roads Through your thick iron breath that you inhale At six in the morning and exhale from five noon. Jo’burg City That is the time when I come to you, When your neon flowers flaunt from your electrical wind, That is the time when I leave you, When your neon flowers flaunt their way through the falling darkness On your cement trees. And as I go back, to my love, My dongas, my dust, my people, my death, Where death lurks in the dark like a blade in the flesh, I can feel your roots, anchoring your might, my feebleness In my flesh, in my mind, in my blood, And everything about you says it, That, that is all you need of me. Jo’burg City, Johannesburg, Listen when I tell you, There is no fun, nothing, in it, When you leave the women and men with such frozen expressions, Expressions that have tears like furrows of soil erosion, Jo’burg City, you are dry like death, Jo’burg City, Johannesburg, Jo’burg City.
(from The Lava of This Land: South African Poetry 1960-1996, ed. Denis Hirson, TriQuarterly Books, 1997)
I’m still wrapping my head around poetry but I dig this one because I feel like what is being said here is fascinating because of the union between politics and aesthetics, like what is being is being said gets along well with how it is being said.
Johannesburg is my city, I’ve lived all my life here so I very naturally have a bias in favor of it. That said, I think it is important to get different takes on the places close to your heart, from people who have lived and continue to live through very different realities.
In the context of the pass laws, the feel is that Joburg is a paternal but negligent deity. The perfect description : “The city is not dismissed in anger, but rather in resignation. The address is respectful, but also earnest, desperate and finally sad. If this was a love poem, it would have a broken heart.”
"The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind." - Katherine Mansfield
Each year, from April to May, wisteria blooms in copious amounts at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan. Don’t these photographs look unreal, almost as if they were paintings?! Honestly, remarkable!
"Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix."
My grandparents were in town this weekend and that usually means that my immediate-ish family (I wish there were words in English to explain the difference between immediate-ish family and extended family. I’m jealous of Afrikaners who have “gesin” and “familie”). It was a weekend of fish (battered, curried, masala’d ) and Paella (my favourite food!!!) and of course hot cross buns. I pretty much kept up a routine of stuff face-sleep-stuff face-sleep. In between that, we had glorious family time. My dad has two younger brothers, man oh man were they the bomb.com this weekend. The one got a kit car, basically it has a VW Beetle engine inside it but the body is made out of fibre glass… the niftiest car I’ve been around in a minute! Then the other uncle let us play with his rifle because he is in the process of teaching his kids to use it. Uhhh I am afeared that the next Columbine killer might just come from my family. Kidding. I am blessed and grateful, my family is quite marvellous. Below are some photos I took of the festivities. (This tumblr is totally turning into a substitute Facebook. Sorry na.)
WOWEE I am looking forward to hot cross buns and all sorts of fish tomorrow. Nothing pickled though, sis. I hate that stuff. My mom goes all out though, I’m talking like 97 kinds of fish plus prawn/crab curry PLUS my FAVOURITE… Paella! Whoop! And then before you know it, its Sunday and the BOOMSHAKALAKA! Easter egg overdose. In all seriousness though, I’m looking forward to some family time and church time and just general reflection time. For all the Christians, and anybody else that celebrates Easter, I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed weekend.
Roadtrips, jazz, activism, magic, kindred spirits and sweets.
I just got back from an intrepidly cheeky adventure in Cape Town. I should probably move there. Juuuust kidding. Cape Town is a bit of a double edged sword for me: I have too much fun and then get home with a poepoog i.e. a stye. Flippen opportunistic infections. Anyway, so the reason for my being there was because I, together with one of my colleagues, Busiso, concocted an experimental advocacy campaign related to the Jazz Festival. I’m friends with some dudes who performed, Ill Skillz, so we roped em in (they are super conscientously conscious guys. I like it.) and BOOM! Waddaya know? Winning situation is so many ways. Firstly, we had an incredible road trip getting there, my bro came too which was so so splendid because well he’s my brother, haven’t had a holiday with him in ages, as well as Busiso’s pal Alan. The group dynamics were superb, just a buncha like minded people out to live, love, ASAP. We had incredible accommodation, right by the beach, didnt step NEAR it though. For me, Cape Town sun is deceptive and heartless when it isn’t baking you, especially compared to Joburg sun, which just feels more loving somehow. Also, the end-of-summer chill in the air was definitely more of a start-of-winter kinda chill. I did spend one very lovely day at another beach though.
So back to the point of this trip, we couldnt get tickets to the Jazz but we lurked around the venue for a while, just putting it out into the universe that we reeeally wanted to go (this is in essence a euphemism for hustling to get in.) Alas, we were not succesful success BUT! As we were walking around, lurking hard, I just heard someone talking about human rights over a microphone. Followed the noise and BOOM! Arrived at the open stage where the dudes were performing and watching it from outside the fence. Man, I even got goosebumps. It was an accidentally affirming moment. I like those.
The rest of the trip pretty much involved a whole load of partying, missioning. I checked out some cool festivals, hung with some cool people, got close to even cooler ones. Evidently it wasnt just the weather that was cool. Had planned on staying an extra night but my days of taking chances at work had come to an end and I was summoned back so after a moerse bladdy hella long drive, had a shower and headed straight to the office. Below are some of my favourite photo’s from the trip.