Pancakes.

About four weeks ago, my family eagerly awaited the birth of my nephew. I will quickly admit that I was having a fairly crappy day and this was the one good thing I had to look forward to. Or so I thought.

Anyway, that evening, while looking through the pictures and video clips from my bro-in-law, I wondered what kind of aunt I would be. Which was strange because I already have plenty of nieces and nephews. So I’m already an aunt. Why was this different? Because deep down a part of me felt like maybe I haven’t been the best Aunt to his older brother. (A role that I actually have to just define for myself ’cause I have no clue what it entails) Like his parents were raising him a certain way and my being was disrupting that instead of enhancing it.

So while these and many other thoughts were swirling in my head, I get invited to the kitchen for pancakes. (I live in a backpackers) There is a huge stack of pancakes on the table. Along with syrup, lemon juice, butter and cinnamon. I don’t remember the last time I ate pancakes, but I grab myself a plate and sit down. The late night chatter and laughter from the other guests is soothing. People dish and leave. Others stay. A syncopation of sorts.

In between mouthfuls, my hair is decorated with fallen flowers while a guy takes pictures. I don’t remember pancakes ever tasting this great. I smile and wish my nephew a Happy Birthday. When he’s much much older, we’ll celebrate his day every year by eating pancakes. And he’ll think I’m weird for it. But I won’t care. ☺

De-Apart-Hate: Mamela Nyamza

A beautiful review on a interesting piece I got to watch last night.

people are dancing here.

Mamela Nyamza’s recent production entitled De-Apart-Hate (2016) is a moving performance that is steeped in powerful symbolism and follows a deeply authentic journey of embodied defiance and liberation. Performed by Mamela Nyamza and Mihlali Gwatyu, both are smartly dressed in black and white formal attire, occupying the almost empty stage with a visceral sense of presence and commitment to their performance. On the far right-hand side of the stage is a rainbow-painted bench, a potent signifier of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ post-1994 narrative as well as iconic apartheid bench.

deaparthate-nardus-engelbrecht-e1475608227413 Mamela Nyamza and Mihlali Gwatyu in ‘De-Apart-Hate’ at Cape Town Fringe Festival 2016 – Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

But this brightly-coloured bench betrays its optimistic appearance as Nyamza and Gwatyu take their first seat and we notice that the bench is in fact unstable, dipping from side to side like a see-saw. The performers precariously balance on this wobbly seat and wait. They…

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The Artist…

– Olivie Keck

“I am the artist because I wasn’t brave enough to be the poet. I am the artist because life demands that boxes need labels. I am the artist because I exist in what I create and am consequently ordinary in what I am. I am the artist because I prefer to improvise. I am the artist because sometimes I like to hide. I am the artist because sometimes I like to communicate. I am the artist because I take it personally. I am the artist because failure is possible. I am the artist because I’m not a certainty freak. I am the artist because I like the look on your face. I am the artist because I like the crowd I’m in with. I am the artist because sins of commission are more fun than sins of omission. “

Day 28: If

If I had said no more often
Grew up in one place
Never went to boarding school
Took isiXhosa instead

If I had carried on with piano,
Kept playing the guitar
Taken Art as a subject
Went to Wits instead of UCT
Became a Medical Scientist and ignored my artistic side

Never moved to East London
Never left when I was there
Never went back to that gig that night
Never wrote that letter to the Herald Editor

If I was “normal”
Aiming only to survive the system
And not change it.
Had tunnel vision
Cruised through life
Never curious
Never wondering.

If I never read
Spent all that time alone…

Would I still be who I am now?