Tag Archives: South Africa

Throwback Thursday: Rise and Shine Festival

Throwback Thursday: Rise and Shine Festival

Described by the Urban Dictionary as:

Throwback Thursday
When you put a picture from a “while” ago on your social media sites.
Omg Throwback Thursday, I needa find a photo of myself from like hella long ago and post it on facebook.

#throwbackthursday
Throwbackthursday, usually written as `tbt`is an acronym that is commonly used with photos posted on the internet to show an activity that took place some time ago/before.
E.g #Throwbackthursday – Back then in college with my friend Janny… (picture attached).

Gosh, I love how simple these guys are with their definitions :’D The image below is a throwback of course – or else this whole intro would’ve been super confusing. During the month of March on the 28th, me and a few friends got to hang out with one of the coolest bands in South Africa right now, The Plastics, and it was awesome sauce. We did shooters with rockstars, dude!

IMG_20150507_113705

That one time we got to hang out with The Plastics a bit. Like irl. Like, thee best time at Rise and Shine Festival

We’ll always have Mozambique

We’ll always have Mozambique

I should think that much is true, especially for South Africans and especially for me. I’ve longed for an Eat Pray Love vac for a bit now, for most of my adult life – although, let’s face it, I can’t take a year off of my life to travel exotic places yet. But finally some sort of opportunity presented itself and instead of spending three months in Italy, India and Bali respectively, I spent three days in Maputo, Inhambane/Tofo and Tofo again. Because I’m not a best selling novelist by the weird name of Liz and my journey isn’t played out by Julia Roberts in a cult chick motivational flick. I’m 25 and I have a day job. It’s just not practical. So three days is all I could afford okay?!

They say budget travel (I say cheap) isn’t for the faint hearted and boy is that true. So Friday night I hopped on an overnighter to Maputo and there were a couple of things I was nervous about. Mostly foreign border officials and travelling to another country alone. Those two were def at the top of my ‘To Worry About’ list, so much that I forgot that the distance to Maputo is a huge b-word on its own. Alright, cards on the table, I’m from the Eastern Cape so honestly that many hours on the road is hell on earth, but a hell I’m pretty used to. I just wanna complain like all the other kids. The border went as expected – but not as feared. I was just not emotionally and mentally prepared for the hours I spent inside that bus. Not prepared. How many pit stops do people need? And do we have to pit stop for so long? Why are Mozambican people so lax?

So fast forward to my arrival in Maputo. I stepped out, so glad for the fresh air and was overcome by this awesome feeling, everything felt so warm and colourful and in very beautiful ruin. Old colonial era buildings, street corner stores, cool alfresco cafes, music coming from all over… I was glad I came. The driver who was supposed to pick me up to take me to the Backpackers was behind on time but I got a lift with the most awesome local whose sister was coming from SA. This is when I first noticed that Mozambican dudes find me attractive. Win.
20141220_162351

Fatima’s Backpackers in Maputo is a paradise for hippies and easy going travellers. It’s bright and friendly and super chilled. I hung out with a couple of South Africans from Johannesburg, and we all huddled by the sockets to charge our phones and chat about weird South African stuff we were glad to be away from, like traffic and work and how we should all just run away to Moz to escape the suffocating racial issues back home. Later on I met a few very awesome ladies I quickly became friends with, Pat (SA), Eva(USA), Kholi(SA), Joni(CHI) and – later – Olga(GER). Fun fact: None of us knew how to speak Portuguese 🙂 I mean, I’d learnt a few phrases thanks to Duolingo but it was so much tougher because Mozambican Portuguese, like Brazilian, isn’t exactly the standardised form of the language. Between us we managed a few words though, like please, how much, thank you, no thank you, bye and water (which you have to buy a lot of). I also learnt ‘beautiful’ because the word got thrown my way quite a bit. I love foreign countries, because I get there and I’m exotic AF.

We walked around and had drinks by the ocean with a view you’d trade your nephews for. And had lunch at this cool outdoor restaurant called Pirates that has pizzas the size of a tractor wheel and the Moz beer 2M on tap. I also tried Laurentina but 2M caught my fancy. And, of course, we shopped around for stuff to take back home, from colourful fabrics to hand crafted jewellery and bags. At night I was supposed to go to some dancehall thing but I was too bushed so I stayed at the Backpackers and mildly flirted with the barkeep, then drank enough 2M’s to knock me out – right after I sprayed myself with enough Peaceful Sleep to poison a little well. Because, Malaria.

IMG_20141220_213532

PicsArt_1421742553605

The following morning, we took a 5am chapa to Inhambane>Tofo to Fatima’s Nest, which was 7 hours away. Again, the chill factor in Moz was startling, with all the pit stops and all the slow walking and the fact that Traffic cops will stop a chapa and check for a driver’s license but don’t mind that the vehicle is brutally overloaded. Is it because it’s so hot and nobody cares for these trivial things? Upside of the journey was all the clear blue ocean and quaint little tropical looking towns we saw on the way. But nothing could have prepared us for the tranquil majesticness that is Tofo beach.

20141221_120739

20141221_123906

Tofo is magical. Blue beaches, white sand, surf and food. I loved everything about it. I loved my room and how the sea was a stone throw away from my door, just like the bar. I loved that my whole bathroom was a shower. I loved all the people, locals and travellers. It just felt like a super amazing dream, honestly. Although the Moz heat bordered on insane I was not mad at what that sea breeze and humidity was doing to my skin. I have dreadlocks so I don’t have the hair frizzing over problem either. Haha. On arrival, Joni immediately went for a swim in the ocean – it was early evening so the conditions were perfect. I ordered a monster size 2M and hung out on the deck, just lying in the sun and looking out into the sea. Side note: There were so many good looking people there, I literally could not move. Later on we ordered a light dinner (think I got some sort of gourmet sandwich) and dined by the bar, I got quite a few surprise phone numbers from some dudes and I’m sure whatever they were saying in Portuguese was super charming but I had no idea what it was, I was just shocked that people still write their numbers on coasters and serviettes and give them to strangers. After dinner we lazed around on the bean bags and finally got around to answering texts and other social medias. There was also this family of three, a dad and his kids who are about my age who brought their laptop out to the general sitting area and we all watched The Grand Budapest Hotel at midnight, tipsy on TipoTinto.

PicsArt_1421742663835

20141222_113139

Breakfast was a lot of ice cream and pancakes and a crap load of Catemba. Joni and I visited the busy market and it was beautiful but it was too hot to stay long. I bought a pipe and home made island style juice in a coconut and went home, but Joni the Explorer went to Inhambane for the day. Then I met two older guys from Cape Town, Albie and Sean and we had a good chat on the deck while buying shell jewellery from the local kids and musing about the paradise we were all in, and I remember thinking, gosh I wanna be this cool when I’m 40/50. They had anklets and they surfed and ate watermelons & nuts, and their tans were out of this world. There is a really cool strip of restaurants, central to everything where I grabbed lunch with Albie and I just listened to him talk about his adventures. The rest of the girls arrived not too long after that and the fun truly began. It was nice to be just a bunch of girls from all over the world, enjoying ourselves on holiday. We swam in the sea at sunset and took pictures and laughed (because giggle juice – and I’m pretty sure I almost got lost at sea because of that night tide). By nighttime, the Backpackers was alive with music and chatter and a large group of us joined tables and just had a great big tipsy chat. The night was not over for Eva and and we found ourselves grabbing dinner with a group of like five gorgeous British okes intensely talking about Egyptian current affairs and politics, at one of those eateries on the strip. Then we all went dancing until sunrise. Which I dreaded because I had to rush back to SA that morning to spend Christmas with my family in East London. But three days was all I needed to fall helplessly in love with that place.

20141222_154913

20141222_160120

We’ll always have Mozambique. I think I still have sand in my hair.

20141222_111629

Happy Women’s Day. Happy Women’s Month. Happy Women’s Life.

Happy Women’s Day. Happy Women’s Month. Happy Women’s Life.

The 9th of August commemorates Women’s Day in South Africa and I feel a pretty strong attachment to this day of ultimate female unity. Andiswa Machanyana of The South African Bloggers took the words right out of my mouth…

“It’s been 58 years since  some 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in the City of Pretoria to protest  – rising up against the legislation that required black South Africans to carry the “pass” (special identification documents which infringed on their freedom of movement during the Apartheid era), approximately 20 000 women from all over the country took to the streets of Pretoria – many carrying the children of their white bosses on their backs – to stage a peaceful march to the Union Buildings led by the likes of Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn amongst others. After dropping off bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at Prime Minister J.G Strijdom’s offices, they stood in silence for thirty minutes. A song was composed in honour of this momentous occasion, “Wathint’ Abafazi Wathint’ imbokodo!” (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock).Two years prior to this protest though the women’s charter was adopted:”

womansday

You are Woman Enough

And in honour of this day and month and the rights that were fought for and how far we have come but not far enough, my colleague and friend Ilana sent me this amazing clip of Muslim spoken word poet Madiha Bhatti on the continued objectification of women.

[Source: Groundswell]

AND IN ENDING…

“Our department of Art & Cultured  puts yet more emphasis on looks as we celebrate this year’s women month  with a theme such as  “Wear a doek Campaign” Shrieks. Is there more to the doek Campaign than the looks? We sure won’t be needing much men’s help as we put on those doeks. Will we ever get to a point where we as women are seen as more than just the faces? I am almost certain we have much more to contribute in furthering this countries of ours and that cannot be attributed to looks alone can it? My mind is battling to see how such a theme is going to shift the thinking, creativity is good but substance goes a long way.

Where I come from, women spend their lives trying to get rid of the doek!

– Andiswa Machanyana

Wathint’ Abafazi Wathint’ imbokodo.

I hope everyone had a lovely day appreciating and reflecting on what it means. What it means to be a woman, what women mean to you and what women are through and through.


Laying Madiba to Rest 15.12.13

Laying Madiba to Rest 15.12.13

Madiba-flag-

There is not much to say that I haven’t already said. A giant has fallen and all of this has left a giant hole in my heart, but more importantly, a giant urge in me to be better, to do better and to be a better citizen of the world and of South Africa, like Rolihlahla was.

On this day, the 15th of December 2013, as we lay our giant to rest, I leave you with the words of Former President Thabo Mbeki. Excerpts from his poem A Farewell to Madiba:

[…]

You have walked along the road of the heroes and the heroines.

You have borne the pain of those who have known fear and learnt to conquer it.

You have marched in front when comfort was in the midst of the ranks
You have laughed to contend against a river of tears.

You have cried to broadcast a story of joy.

And now you leave this hallowed place to continue to march in front of a different detachment of the same army of the sun.

Not the comfort of the fond superintendence of the growing stalks of the maize plant or of the Nguni herd with its milk, its flesh or its hide.

Nor the pleasant chatter of your grand-children with mountains to climb which are but little mounds.

Not the pensive silence of the elderly, whose burdened minds cascade backwards because to look too much into the future is to impose a burden on bones that have grown old.

You leave us here not because you have to stop.

You leave us here because you have to start again.

The accident of your birth should have condemned you to a village.

Circumstances you did not choose should have confined you to a district.

Your sight, your heart and your mind could have reached no further than the horizon of the natural eye.

But you have been where you should not have been.

You have faced death and said – do your worst!

You have inhabited the dark, dark dungeons of freedom denied, itself a denial to live in a society where freedom was denied.

You have looked at the faces of some of those who were your comrades, who turned their eyes away from you because somewhere in their mortal being there lingered the remnants of a sense of shame, always and for ever whispering softly – no to treachery! a thing in the shadows, present at every dawn, repeating, repeating, repeating – I am Conscience, to whom you have denied a home.

You have not asked – who indeed are these for whose lives I was prepared to die!

You have asked who am I, that I too did not falter, so that I too could turn my own eyes away from myself and another, who was a comrade.

You have stood at the brink, when you had to appeal to the goods about whether to win a dishonourable peace or to lose the lives of your people, and decided that none among these would exchange their lives for an existence without honour.

You have been where nobody should be asked to be.

You have carried burdens heavier than those who felt it their responsibility and right to proclaim you an enemy of the state.

You have to convince your enemies to believe a story difficult to believe, because it was true, that your burnished spear glittered in the rays of the sun, not to speak of hatred and death from them, but because you prayed that its blinding brilliance would tell them, whose ears would not hear, that you loved them as your own kith and kin.

You have had to bear the mantle of sainthood when all you sought was pride in the knowledge that you were a good foot soldier for justice and freedom.

But despite it all and because of it all, we are blessed.

We are blessed because you have walked along the road of our heroes and heroines.

For centuries our own African sky has been dark with suffering and foreboding.

But because we have never surrendered, for centuries the menace in our African sky has been brightened by the light of our stars.

[…]

On the 10th of May, five years ago, you stood in front of the Union Buildings in Pretoria to proclaim to the universe that the sun could never set on so glorious a human achievement as was celebrated that day.

Black and white South Africans had, at last, arrived at the point when, together, they could say:

Let us nurture our arts, and not our corruption.Let us communicate morality, and not our vices.Let us advance science, and not our dogmas.Let us advance civilisation, and not abuse.

After a long walk, we too have arrived at the starting point of a new journey.

We have you, Madiba, as our nearest and brightest star to guide us on our way.

We will not get lost.