Shrove Tuesday, anyone?

It’s almost that time of the year again, when we dine for the solemn religious observance that is Shrove Tuesday. I must admit, my family was not so big on all the traditional Christian rituals, we only celebrated Easters and Christmas. But, recently, I had the urge to create a warm home full of traditions and since I am straddling between the African tradition and Church, I am not short of any traditions to imitate and/or revamp.

I am so excited about the mix-masalas I’m going to make from my cupboards for Shrove Tuesday, I have become quite a creative cook.

Pancakes will obviously be the talk of the day at my house – I actually haven’t made Pancakes in a long time.

pancakes

While I am excited about all the food I am going to make, it’s also important to note that Shrove Tuesday is not only about food, but a deeper spiritual observance for Christians. For those who may not know, Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; It is the first day of Lent. It’s a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins. But there’s more to Shrove Tuesday.

Originally, this ritual got its name from the ritual of shriving which Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them. When a person receives absolution for their sins, they are forgiven for them and released from the guilt and pain that they have caused them.

This is in the Catholic or Orthodox context, where the absolution is pronounced by a priest and quite frankly, this tradition is very old. So, I am revamping it in my house. I want to make it more of a celebration with a twist. At a given time, each person who has come to the feast will get an opportunity to write down the sins they want to work on in their lives, or even bad habits that lead to sin. Each person will then write down how they want to change that habit, as in what they are willing to give up for the next 40 days in order to clear their souls.

So, some ideas I am thinking for my dinner are;

  1. Pancakes and roasted fruits (Desert)
  2. Wine
  3. Iced Tea (My recipe will be Rooibos, ground ginger, lemon, Watermelon and sugar)
  4. Mixed Vegetables with lentils
  5. Chicken
  6. Whatever else my guests are bringing!

 

 

Five Cheap Weekdays Meals

I love cooking! I love the kitchen. While I love finding different ways and things to cook, I also love going back to basics for those budget-friendly meals that carry me through the month, and here they are directly from my own kitchen.

 

IMG_20180116_185411[1]

  1. Pap and Pilchard

I always keep 1Kg of mealie-meal and about four tins of Pilchard because this is a meal under R50, which you can stretch for the last two days before pay day. I make the meal interesting by adding mixed vegetables to the pilchard and sprinkle cheese around the plate. You can use your discretion in how you sprinkle the cheese.

 

IMG_20180113_160004[1]

2. Salads and Chicken

So, for R100, you can buy potatoes, carrots and chicken and twist and turn the ingredients around for those last three days. You can roast the chicken with the carrots and potatoes on the first day. And then steam the carrots and make the good old potato salad with roasted chicken on the second day. You can cook your chicken with the carrots and potatoes for a stew situation on the third day, and perhaps add rice or pap to the meal.

 

IMG_20180127_170347[1]

3. Black beans (and or chickpeas)

Most people hate salads because salads aren’t filling, right? Well, I have not been eating meat for a whole month and was forced to be a little innovative with salads. In order to make a filling salad, add proteins like beans or chickpeas. Use half of the tin, and you’ll feel the difference! By the way, they go for under R20 per tin.

 

IMG_20180130_203148[1]

4. Potato Bake and Salad

We all know how filling potatoes are. For R30, you can get quite a number of them from your local supermarket. And, cheese sauce is about R12. Spinach and tomatoes will cost you another R30, and then you add whatever you have at home in the salad. I used tuna and eggs because I always have those to throw in whatever I am making.

 

IMG_20180202_094418[1]

5. Breakfast Food

When I still stayed in Cape Town, there was a restaurant from downstairs which served breakfast the whole day (literally until 9PM) and I always ordered breakfast when I was broke because it was filling and always under R100. So, I use the same trick at home sometimes – I make a bowl of fruits, two eggs and Mayo, two slices of Low GI bread, jam, juice and chakalaka or salad. This is obviously perfect when you want to have a big breakfast, but trust me, when you have too much month at the end of the money, this can be brunch or an early dinner.

Birthday on a budget!

My year has, now, officially begun, compliments to all of you! I celebrated my birthday from the 1st of February until 11th, yep, I am an Aquarius baby. I always take advantage of the fact that my birthday is at the beginning of the year, because whenever I fail at any resolution, I can say; “Oh well, I’ll officially start after my birthday.”

Although being born at this time of the year is fantastic, it can also be stressful because I am always still recovering from December’s festivities and after the feasts we hosted back home, I had close to no budget for a massive birthday. So, I want to share with you how I celebrated my birthday in the cheapest way possible.

 

IMG_20180202_185322[1]

On the weekend of the 1st, I hosted a few friends here at home for some tripe and samp – a meal that cost me R100 and could serve ten people.

 

2996-24990-header

Then, on the day of my actual birthday, which was the 5th of February, I made my way to Duke’s Burgers in Greenside and had some finger foods with wine. The meal cost me and my cousin about R350. The spot is absolutely nice and cosy with some Jazz music – and I could totally see myself having romantic date nights there during the week.

 

IMG_20180209_200434[1]

And then, for the final Get together on the 10th, we baked muffins from home which served as desert with strawberry jam as a topping.

My starter was simple; an old school pasta and tuna salad (with Mayonnaise). I added pieces of viennas, tomato, mixed herbs and peppers. Light enough to keep my guests’ stomachs intact until we served the main course. We grilled beef, we cooked tripe, pap and steam bread. So people had the option to choose whatever meat and starch of their choice.

 

images

Our homemade cocktails were devine! It was blended Watermelon, Russian Bear, Berries flavoured juice and ground ginger. The ginger definitely added a twist to the taste. I must say, the cocktail was a little thick, so I’d suggest you add little Watermelon and more juice for a thinner version.

So, there is absolutely no excuse not to have a fantastic birthday – the food served a total of ten to twelve guests who couldn’t stop eating, compliments to the chefs! We didn’t even cook the next day because there were plenty of leftovers, and all the food on the day cost me just under R1K.

 

 

Vus’umuzi Phakathi on building an industry and becoming a better man!

“An honest portrait that can only be painted by one who’s journey has stripped off all pretence and left him starring at the stark truth that one has to serve their purpose but not be a slave to their purpose. A most beautiful message that skulks around the brain and haunts the soul days after the show has ended.”

Review by Thandwefika Tshabalala for 12 Years a Poet

 

 

One-dimensional people are boring. They really are. Although two or three-dimensional ones can be painful to dissect, they do give an authentic non-linear narrative. I think poet and now businessman, Vus’umuzi Phakathi epitomizes the latter.

I remember discussing in great criticism how he tried to ‘build an industry’ in Western Cape by creating a poetry space that mostly had his peers in 2015. I never told him this, but I was stunned by the poetry circle in Cape Town, and how it kept perpetuating cliques – even once trolling a young boy who mistakenly called ‘Slam Poetry’ ‘Slang Poetry.’

This resembled a far-cry from the poet I had met in 2013; a skinny short man with dreadlocks, performing his exceptional and intense play at Baxter’s Masambe Theatre – struggling with bums on seats, but so unbelievably happy and positive. Yep, this was the first time I met Vus’umuzi through his friend, Mbongeni Nomkonwana. I must say, I thought he was secretly flirting when he made me the subject of his performance in (his hopeless romantic) character as ‘Romeo.’ I was nervously blushing.

Alas, it turned out he always picked a pretty girl he would address his love poems to when he performed. I made peace with it and moved on with my life.

A month before I left Cape Town for good in 2015, I spoke to Vus’umuzi and his business partner, Lehlohonolo Masina about how much I wanted to move to Johannesburg and how my purpose in Cape Town was obscure and had dried up. He immediately tried to convince me to be their business partner in a new project they were to launch in Joburg Theatre. The explanation seemed a little blurry and impractical to me, until I moved to Joburg to find out that his company, Current State of Poetry, was now open for business, offering workshops and slam on the exact same days as Word N Sound. I had to ask; “Vusi, are you in competition with Word N Sound?” to which he replied, “We are two companies producing and selling a similar product, we are therefore naturally in competition; a very healthy one.”

I think we were both impressed with each other, because we had both executed our dreams; me moving to Joburg, and him, getting his project off the ground. There was an internal “welcome to the grind,” from both of us to each other, and so, the grind began.

Working with CSP as an Arts Administration facilitator, I found my feet in the Johannesburg art scene until I fled to my own media path.

Those who follow him on social media know that Vus’umuzi can be controversial, probably something that stems from passion, unintentionally. Actually, I don’t know – he could also just be a hard-headed asshole. Such controversies include the time he slammed poet, Raphael d’Abdon’s poem.

I thought it was uncalled-for, but perhaps how I felt about it was because I had no access to the story behind the story until now.

“So, what happened?” I gathered the strength to finally ask him.

“A few days before I put up that status I was at a Word N Sound show, where my favourite vocalist, Samthing Soweto, was performing, Raphael was there as well. In one of his posts he spoke about how wack Samthing Soweto is, to a point that he called him Something Sowacko,” he explains. “I was annoyed by this mainly because I found him to be a troll,” he continues.  He says he once blocked Raphael because of this reason; in his opinion, Raphael seemed to always be ready to find fault in the current poetry scene and poets, and sharing these “faults” in ways that Vus’umuzi found quite rude, ignorant, and superiority-motivated.

“When I happened to come across his poetry, I simply mirrored his behaviour. And yes, I still believe that it is not a good poem,” he further elaborated, ending his comment with the fact that he did get called out by poets, warning him against the danger of how crumbling his choice of public display was. He listened, and he says him, and Raphael are in good terms now, and adds, “I hope.”

The journalist in me is a sucker for juicy twists and turns in stories. But, Vus’umuzi wouldn’t let me enjoy this beefy undertone from him to Raphael. A few days after the interview, he wrote to me saying;

“On the question about Raphael, I have something else to say: There’s a malicious trait about me, a defence mechanism of sorts, that I have in recent times been working incessantly on remedying, it came out during that time and it resulted to that post. Yes, I did and still don’t believe the poem was good, but the way I went about it was intended to harm. A serious flaw in my character. It has ruined many a relationship. I would like to apologize to Dr. Raphael and the entire poetry community for my malicious behaviour. I am poorly made, I am fixing it. I am sorry.”

I told him that this was such a boring response. “Where is that FIRE?” I insinuated, probing and interrogating this political correctness, to which he admitted he is a flawed man. We left it there.

On the real, I think it’s good for a man like Vus’umuzi to be called-outable, because of the danger that comes with pedestals that see criticism as hate. In fact, Vus’umuzi says he has been shaped by poets such as Flo Mokale, Sonqoba Kunene, and Zee Cube; people he respects incredibly, and whose contribution to him as a poet allows him to build the next generation by default. That said, this doesn’t mean the journey is a walk in the park. He said his failure to communicate about MONEY has seen him bruise relationships because of wanting to put up a facade that all is in order. As a result, he ended up owing everyone in the process.

“Running the company had put me in a position where I owed everyone who could possibly lend me money in my life, it has been that real, all this because of the lack of communication,” he said. But, this isn’t his only challenge – one of his frustrations is when poets get the year-long development from CSP, and then do nothing thereafter to progress in their poetry journeys. Although he says most of the poets they have groomed have gone on to do amazing things, he feels like when this is not the case then CSP has failed the poet or the poet has failed the program, or a bit of both.

23754996_878496015651274_4883233484167700421_n

Be that as it may, in my experience, anyone who fears failure fears growth. And, this is perhaps what sets Vus’umuzi apart from those who want to direct from the bench, while he is playing in the field often short of players. This is also why he recently scooped an award as second runner up on the Destiny Man #PowerOf40 2017 Awards!

For him, the award “…means that we are seen. It is affirmation for all the work that I have put in the past 12 years. It says that Poetry came second out of numerous long standing stable industries. It means that we are getting somewhere. It says that we are almost there.”

His business continues to often crumble with cracks, like any other. But he has grown more patient of their loopholes because he says him, and his team know the vision, and finally understand that it will take mistakes for them to grow into more prosperous horizons.

In my humble opinion, I find it quite admirable how the CSP team, spearheaded by Vus’umuzi, continues to rise above it all – and the “kicking doors” spirit he has is probably what is positioning him into a household name, slowly but surely. Whether he knows it or not, he is a trend setter; there is no one who isn’t a trendsetter that can start something from scratch and have already affected so many people. He is also a (flawed) leader learning as he is doing it, frustrating some people in his unlearning journey sometimes. But ultimately, he is a mf with a dream; his dream is so fertile that it has also given birth to countless other dreams.

After having had his recent show, 12 Year a Poet, Vusi wants to slide into 2018 with new goals, like releasing a book, a DVD, having a tour and sold out shows.

 

Mothers and their daughters

Two weeks ago, I received news that made my stomach turn. One of my closest friend’s mother passed away so suddenly. In my friend’s distraught voice was a lot of pain about “how could this be?” and the natural questioning of the order and God himself. Everything shook her to the core.

Like any mother and daughter, they had their fair share of tumultuous times, but we all know that anyone would rather have bad days with their mom than good ones without her. Losing a parent is a recipe for a lifelong lump in your throat, and the pain has countless layers you will never get through.

Her cry rang such a loud bell for me. Thirteen years ago, when I was 13 years old, I arrived home, eNgcobo, to what was supposed to be a relative’s funeral, and found out that it was actually my mother we were burying. My family was completely traumatized, and never spoke in detail about how devastating it was that my mother was gone. When you experience that amount of pain as a child, it is difficult to process it, especially when there is no adult available to help you through it – and children always latch on to their survival instincts and tactics.

My tool for survival was to block out everything, because every time I spoke about my mother, I would relentlessly cry and would be apologetic about crying. I would tell myself; “By now, I need to be fine, I need to get it together, I can’t be as emotional about it anymore,” although deep down, I was. I was so angry at my mother for leaving me, and I was more angry at the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be angry at her, by virtue of her being dead. There was a lot I wanted to say and the list keeps increasing each year.

So, for years, I was looking for shortcuts and instant coping mechanisms of how to speed up the healing process, until this year. I realized that all the shortcuts I have taken have led me back to my initial position. That, I still want my mom back and that, I still dream of her as if she is not on the other side. I was still angry at myself for not being healed yet, more than a decade later. Other things in my life were happening, which required me to examine family pathologies, and found that how broken I am as a woman resembles how broken my mom was as a 26 year old woman back in her days.

I started looking at my late mother as a woman, not my mother.

What were her struggles as a woman? What had she been through? Who abandoned her? How did she feel about it? What did it make her do? What were the classic mistakes she made that most women make? What was she looking for? What did she do right? What were her hopes and dreams as a woman? What did she need?

The answers (derived from looking closer into her life) juxtaposed with my current predicaments made dealing with her death even harder. As a woman, I needed to ask her these questions and get her answers – but most importantly, I needed my mom to sit with me and narrate her story as a woman to me from her heart. As a daughter she didn’t raise, who always felt empty and always looking for approval, I wanted my mother to acknowledge what that did to me, and I wanted her to get the opportunity to fight for her dignity.

I needed my mom to say “I was abandoned by both my parents, I was looking for love from anyone who could give it, I met a man who was also broken, we made you guys – and you are in this situation right now because I didn’t love myself enough. I didn’t choose myself. I was lacking in self-worth and self-esteem, and so I took everyone down with me. It was never my  intention. I am sorry.”

This would have made me realize that I am performing the same script as her, because she is my mother. It would have also made me more empathetic of her situation because if she felt empty, I know what that feels like because I feel it too.

In my opinion, this conversation is at the core of any daughter’s healing, whether they got the best or the worst of their mother. It is from there that you get to understand your mother was standing on a broken foundation, and all that she gave is all that she could give. I get that now, and I have learned from my mother’s mistakes, some which I have also made as a woman in my own life.

Women who still have their mothers should try initiating this process. Why? Because emotionally, you and your mother are probably the same age, if she’s not younger than you. For example, my mother’s life was shattered by being abandoned by both her parents – she probably came into that realization at age 6. So, my mom was always a 6 year old. If me and her were to have the conversation, I would be 7 years old, because that’s the age when I went to live with my aunt, my first encounter with the reality that my mom and dad didn’t have the means to raise me.

Trust me, this is a good place to start. Ask your mom to go back to that experience which has shaped her, and ask her to speak from that little girl, not in hindsight. You must also do the same – so that the process of healing and forgiveness can begin, and so that you can live in the fullness of who and what you are supposed to be. You need to let go of pain, so that you can make space for love to flow in and out of your heart abundantly. It’s a long process, but you will come out better and lighter.

As my friend continues to pick up the pieces of losing her mother, I yearn more to facilitate and ignite these conversations between mothers and daughters. I wish I emphasized it more to my friend before she lost her mom; I wish I told her what I am missing as a motherless daughter, so that she could fill in vacant spaces in her relationship with her mother. A woman truly becomes her mother, by default. It is only when we put the issues on blast and let them hurt us as deep as they can that we finally interrupt the patterns. Mothers and their daughters are so important to each other.

The People Vs Patriarchy

“…Everybody is a man, you know? And you just choke! You choke. You constantly feel like you are being strangled; it’s so violating.” – Sibu Gcilitshana

I first encountered the word ‘Patriarchy’ in University while I was studying Media, Communication and Culture. In the initial stages, it was mainly about how the media portrayed women, the extent of cinematographic voyeurism centering the storylines with beautiful women. When I started working behind the scenes in Television, I got to see the gross voyeurism that presenters and actresses must endure from crews, which are usually male dominant. In fact, one cameraman I have worked with usually narrated a story he had witnessed in advertising where feminists were asking the director of the Ad Agency, “Where are the women in decision-making positions here?” and, the arrogant director answered, “You wanna know where women are? They are under my desk sucking my fucking dick!” In the same breath, actress, Sibu Gcilitshana has personally shared with me her experience of missing out on roles because she was not willing to sleep with directors – I was working as a production assistant for Quizzical Pictures when she shared this, assuring me that I would be surprised to hear the names.

During my second year working in the media and staying in Cape Town, I was completely appalled by the plague that is patriarchy, as every second friend of mine had a rape story they told me. Although it was different, this violence and sense of entitlement that men had towards women began to mirror the violence we endured at home at the hands of male family members; verbal, emotional and psychological. Worse, the culture of protecting the abuser was also too familiar.

The years that followed these realizations have seen me re-locating myself in the conversation of patriarchy, feminism and violence. Sometimes, I get it right and sometimes, I fail dismally in being part of the problem. I must say, I speak more on an one-on-one basis now because often, I found myself misconstrued when the conversation was a Hashtag or public. I hope this is not a form of patriarchy silencing me, and that it is really what I view to be constructive.

Now, knowing that as a woman, walking in Johannesburg CBD is practically war, knowing that more than 80% of my girlfriends have been raped by men and coming from a heavily violent and patriarchal family, the new film, The People Vs Patriarchy, immediately caught my attention from its trailer. My colleague, knowing where I stand with patriarchy, showed it to me, and further explained that his friend, Lebogang Rasethaba is the director of the film, and I wasn’t that surprised because the colleague in question is also self-introspecting on his own contribution in violent hypermasculinity.

IOL reported that “the latest out of the MTV Africa stable is a jarring documentary about patriarchy and its hold on South Africans. The sequel to The People vs the Rainbow Nation, The People vs Patriarchy is a one hour and 15-minute conversation that is sub-divided to try and get the viewer engaging on this social pandemic.”

Rasethaba is obviously an amazing director and an exceptional storyteller. He shot in Johannesburg and Cape Town, engaging people of different backgrounds in his conversation, something I was very worried about before I saw the film, because these conversations usually happen in certain cliques. His personal opening statement in the film was; “I can’t make this film without acknowledging my own personal history of fuckieness; undermining women, being manipulative emotionally…”

So, in his conversation with himself, South African men and women, and books such as Pumla Gqola’s Rape: A South African Nightmare, Rasethabile sought to divide the film into five parts.

Chapter 1: Gender Norms

“The same way we accept in conversation, you know? You accept your mate when he says something shocking like, ‘Ha, makalala ngiyangena!’”

“Where are the queer men and [insert other marginalized genders besides heterosexual cis men] who were leading the struggle during apartheid?” asks Activist, Wanelisa Xaba, alluding to the fact that celebrated figures have historically been heterosexual men.

Ultimately, if we look at the systematic role of the white man and man of colour, it’s different but the same. The white man’s role is to fuck up the entire society, whether he takes on his father’s mining or farming business which is derived from the exploitation of just about everyone or has merely benefited from the privilege of being white. And, the man of colour must be strong, do hardcore jobs, be away from his family and come home to beat his wife.

Gender norms are what leave trans-gendered people in the margins, because it is not a norm. Where do we place them? How do we refer to them? And, the most violent thing we do is be offended by the choices they make in their own bodies.

tumblr_n9jjzztFVG1qjsqf6o1_500

Chapter 2: Toxic Gendering

This political dangerous gender roles normalization is reflective of how private homes are in perpetuating toxic gendering, where the girl child has always had to be assigned the ‘deputy mom’ role, doing most of the domestic chores and sometimes, getting the smallest piece of the meat, which she has cooked. More was said on this, from the expectations for women to take on their husband’s name, projecting a woman’s love for a man to have sacrifice (of herself) at its heart.

Basically, men are performing masculinity and women are performing femininity. Linked to this is the trending of musician, Emtee, who ended up being shamed for his small penis, which is linked to the size of his manhood. And, indeed, men are at a crisis in this regard because every poster in Johannesburg is about “Penis Enlargement.” A man’s masculinity is linked to sex, and rape is part of this because as power-driven as rape is, it’s still a sexual experience, and so, conquering is at the center of manhood. How could Emtee possibly conquer with that little penis; this shaming, by the way, is something I am guilty as charged of. I should really do better.

 

Chapter 3: #MenAreTrash

#MenAreTrash means what Gcilitshana asks in the film – “when is this [violence] not my daily experience [as a woman]?” because all the signs and symbols everywhere are aimed at proving my inferiority and lack of ability to think for myself.

In fact, an abuser who was interviewed in the film said “My message to men is that they should not hesitate to discipline their women. A little spanking won’t kill her.”

So, yes, it’s true – violence has the face of a black woman, from everyone. And, this understanding of violence and black men as trash must not take away from the fact that while black men are the faces of violators, black men have very little power in systematic violence towards everyone, and we should not forget how normal it is for white men to be extremely violent to millions and billions of people. Hell, the entire Africa was violated by white men!

In addressing mothers, a conversation between daughters and mothers revealed that women sometimes enable trash. The mothers of the abusers slam the victims for speaking out, and when one mother (as all our mothers do) argued that these problems can be solved by surrendering to God’s protection, a younger woman asked; “Why yena [uThixo] angangiProtectanga the time umuntu ang’Rap(a)?”

For Youtuber and activist, Sibu Mpanza, men were offended by #MenAreTrash because suddnely, they had to deal with the things that were mentioned, which they did at one point in their lives. Some men were adamant that #NotAllMen, while others argued that men are too quick to defend themselves in not being trash, but are never in solidarity with women.

 6a703e9d0a9289c6cf265b7825aed268

Chapter 4: Call-outs

“Even though we know who we are talking about, no one is dropping the names.”

Okmalumkoolkat was a big topic in “calling out” rapists and sexual assaulters. And, without diverting from the film’s commentators and activists, it’s always been interesting to watch how protective even women who are raped are of rapists, when it’s men they know, because no matter how violent rape is, it’s different and personal when your father or brother did it.

In Latent Rapists, Ntozakhe Shange writes;

“Women relinquish all personal rights the presence of a man who apparently could be considered a rapist, especially if he has been considered a friend. He is no less worthy of being beat within an inch of his life. being publicly ridiculed having two fists shoved up his ass. And the stranger he always thought it would be who never showed ups it turns out the nature of rape has changed. We can now meet them in circles we frequent for companionship. We see them at the coffeehouse with someone else we know. We can even have them over for dinner & get raped in our own houses by invitation.”

This realization and in the context of the film is where I think the most critical conversation happened for Rasethaba, who was a friend of Okmalumkoolkat.

The questions raised were; how do we continue supporting his music knowing what we know? And, speaking to my colleague about this, I was clear about the fact that men need to call out men. As women, we are already painted with the “angry feminist” brush that men are always in defense mode when we speak. The men who are our allies must do their work around other men.

okmalumkoolkat

Chapter 5: Change

In conclusion, fifteen years ago, I never imagined that a man would curate this kind of a conversation. I experienced patriarchy, although I didn’t have the appropriate linguistics to name it, and for me, men were men; boys were boys, it was up to me to cover myself up. No man did anything about it. So, men who have come out to challenge themselves and their privilege is a huge step towards the right direction. Yes, it doesn’t end there, because if men can be violent towards women, then surely, they can use this power towards positivity.

I am focusing on men because unfortunately, patriarchy has been left to feminist groups, even though it’s a plague killing both men and women. Rape is not a women’s issue, it’s a men’s issue.

Nakhane Toure, who has had his fair share of patriarchy after starring in the film, The Wound, said, “the only way men can change is if they feel forced to change.”

I agree. Legislation needs to be tighter on gender-based violence. Thus, when we deal with violence, let us remember that our beloved president, Jacob Zuma, is also a culprit and that, “rape in South Africa isn’t a moment, it’s a language,” in the words of Pumla Gqola.

 

Vision View Sports Radio, right off the bat!

I joined Vision View Productions in July this year, and instantly fell in-love with its eccentric, opinionated and sometimes controversial bunch. I always said, “we deserve to be in a radio station – our lines will always be busy.”

That said, if I’m honest, the tip of the iceberg for me was getting to work for a black-owned company, that’s doing very well in a market that was untapped when they started; sports broadcasting. I suspect that my deep patriotism is a residual trauma from having been black in Cape Town, if you know what I mean. I yearn for successful black people, and when I get a cup of them, I don’t just sip, I gulp, then ululate, then dance. I celebrate, because I can take a pause from Koleka Putuma’s “another one who looks like me died today” line.

Today, I am chanting about the possibilities that have been ignited by this entity.

I am fortunate enough to be the company’s all-round writer. The written material of the company’s new sports radio endevour was obviously no exception, because Mafadi Mpuru, who is the co-founder and CEO alongside Eddie Seane, called us to the boardroom one day to say; “Uh, ladies, I called you here because we gonna need some written stuff for the radio station. So, yea, just be warned. It’s gonna get busy. We gonna need promos. Yea.” This is really how he speaks; very direct. Before he said this, he did outline the schedule to Content Manager, Sarona Sullaphen and what followed the ten minutes in that boardroom was the execution of the radio station.

I must say, Mafadi and Eddie spearheaded the new business branch in a sense that made it very clear to me (as a newbie in the company) that as entrepreneurs, they are as fearless as they were when they started twelve years ago, if not a little bit more. In the same breath, to start something that has never been done before is risky, nerve-wrecking, but exciting.

My back and forth e-mails with Mandla Maluleke, the Station Manager, were monotonous and sometimes, exciting. The guy was particular about what he wanted; not surprising at all, since he has grandiosely aced radio for ten years, and by default, knows what feels right and what doesn’t. I got his copywriting brief wrong so many times, and soon realized that radio grounds are not for the faint-hearted – the extent of imagination and creativity put in is insurmountable, hence it sounds so effortless on air.

Mandla said “…the reason Vision View Productions is launching a radio station is because we saw a gap in the radio industry, South Africa has no 24 hour sports radio station. Primarily, we feel like when it comes to sports news, our country is more reliant on TV than they are on radio.”

His curation of the sports legends who will be presenters include himself, retired goal keeper, Brian Baloyi, former international professional boxer Dida Dipheko, TV presenter, Christopher Bongo and SuperSport’s presenter Thato Moeng, to mention a few. He went for a combination of exceptional broadcasting geniuses, balanced with former athletes, because a presenting skill is as important as the authenticity of how the sports are represented. And, you cannot have a sports radio without sportsmen and sportswomen.

In my opinion, this is such a necessary project because I remember when Mandla gave samples and references to the audio guys to listen to – most of those were American and British, meaning, in a few years time, Vision View Sports Radio will be the reference for a 24 hour sports radio station. What I can say is that in the few months I have been with the company, I have been so impressed with its innovative vision, and the calibre of art that is produced by the young creatives who work there. The radio station simply continues the trend of this company’s culture of constantly pushing boundaries.

We have to back this dream; call it higher and slam any mediocrity, while demanding more. Ultimately, the bigger picture is that no one can barricade us from achieving any ‘unattainable’ dreams, and if you are hesitant because you fear failure, consider these words by Erin Hanson;

“What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

From 01 December 2017, Listen live.