Tuesday, 7 November 2017

From Dusk To Dawn: A Black Feminist Symphony In 3 Parts (3/3)

Part 3, Dawn: "We are the ones we have been waiting for."


A people taught to hate self, systematically for centuries and treated with Hatred will struggle to realise the Truth of Love, starting with Self Love as a vital cornerstone in our route towards Uhuru.

It is not a mistake that even as he carried arms, Che Guevara proclaimed true feelings of Love to be what GUIDES a Revolutionary. No truer words have been spoken. Anyone who is a true revolutionary in any way or manner, will know this.


Love is an important part of the answer. A crucial part of the answer and in fact leads us to the next level and I would argue the cornerstone of our centuries' old Revolution in a bid for True Liberation for All.
In the context of Black Feminists in particular, to whom I'm speaking… Self Love is indeed a radical and revolutionary act and practice in a world that has shown and continue to show by its violent  deeds upon our bodies that it hates us!



Let's be tired of playing "the second sex" and Deputies to Black men and "the second race" to White women! Let's put ourselves and insist on self Love and Self care as necessary for our Survival. Let's not compromise on this one.  When the Black Radical Hoteps and the White Liberal Feminists belittle our agency to prioritize Love in our own Lives let's not be surprised. Men and Whites have been and continue to be those who visit the most violence upon our bodies. they benefit the most from our oppression! People like that will oppose a call for those they have violated and continue to Oppress to finally CHOOSE SELF! Let's choose self and just like our mothers and grandmothers and their mothers and grandmothers were carried by their fervent Spirituality...  and able to constantly reproduce Jesus Christ's miracle of multiplying Fish and Bread to feed multitudes, as they somehow managed to survive and birth us and grow us and we are Surviving …let's look to Spirituality, in our own terms and definitions, as a possible Guide and Light in our Journey towards our own complete Emancipation.



This 3 Part Black Feminist Symphony ends with a call to Black Feminists, especially in South Africa, to think seriously about the formation of an organized Movement that will centre our Struggles as priorities, and find ways of continuing to use new weapons more impactfully to make a real and lasting change not only in our own Lives but for those who will come after.

Let us be the generation that stands on millions of other shoulders that have brought us thus far.  Let us be the straw that break the back of the White Heteronormative Supremacist System! With Radical Self Love, anything is possible.

Passaggio:

~As the sun rises and upon the horizon a new Dawn breaks A Voice of a Poet recites these words…




"Children Of The Light/ Lighten up your souls so that you can fly/
Realise the miracle of breath/ Its source is Divinity it never dies... Throughout Infinity/
In worlds and spaces beyond our conception/
The breath remains the source of all Creation/
It is in aligning with this Life force that we know what it is to be one with creation beyond our conception/

Such is the... Blessing that we call Lifefe/ not bound by time/
We are children of sun the sustainer of life/ children of the moon the balancer of life/ Father by day and Mother by night/
And so with the gentleness of a dove we shall have to fly/
With the force of the phoenix we shall have to rise/

Children of the light, RISE!/ Awake from your sleep and seek for ye shall find/
SEEK! Not only in churches and synagogues and temples and mosques but SEEK!...
Also in the corners of your hearts/
For just as men of wisdom and women of strength have left us sacred messages/
Like... rock art paintings and hieroglyphs on pyramid walls or... text in sacred scrolls,
These words are but Igniters/ keys to the mind of God whose Love reigns supreme within us/
They are shadows cast by the light that is Eternal Life/ I pray you'll see the shadows for what they are/ And I pray that in this Lifetime/You'll be able to turn around and towards the Light/ RISE!!!


Thursday, 2 November 2017

From Dusk To Dawn: A Black Feminist Symphony In 3 Parts (2/3)

Part 2, Midnight:         Mrs Simelane - The True Definition Of An Intersectional Feminist.



Where is the South African Intersectional Feminist Movement?

The South African Feminist landscape in general and the  LGBTI/QUEER landscape in particular  is not just peppered but littered with supremely gifted individuals.

They are in all areas of society, in all industries, across all spheres of government, politics, business, civil society movements, media, academia, religion, tradition, art and culture, justice system, NGO’s… Queer people are everywhere.

Why is it then that black queer bodies continue to be battle sites for fragile and toxic masculinities to take out its feeling of lack, less than, no confidence, pure old envy against black queer bodies in general and especially black lesbians bodies in the townships?

How is this so called community of influential, smart, gifted, creative, hard working, loving, in many ways priviledged group of people has not flexed its muscles hard enough to stop the scourge of the senseless and brutal killings and rape of black queer bodies in the townships? Is it because they are black? Is it because they are women. Is it because they are queer/? Is it because they are poor?
Intersectionality tells us that is because of all of the above.  Black Feminism’s ideology, which is the ideology of our times, tells us that since oppressions intersect, it is on those bodies on which a myriad of knots of oppressions are tied together, that the most pain is felt.



She says she cried when she heard me recite poetry. I wasn’t aware, it had been one of those recitals where the Spirit takes over and one is left temporarily in a trance. What I do know is that I noticed her as She entered the room, the oldest Activist in our presence. I noted her style and liked it, it reminded me of the Mshozas of yesterday, as the word was originally meant, basically the female pantsulas of their era. At first I thought she was wearing a long skirt then noticed upon closer inspection that they were slacks. On her feet she has on takkies, worn not for their style but their need as the kind of shoes that accompany the elderly activist everywhere she goes as she fights for social justice in all areas of her society where she encounters injustice and in particular homophobia, especially among the LGBTI youth in her community. Mme fights for LGBTI students to be treated with fairness and respect, in schools she fights for them in police stations too and courts when the so called justice system attempts to victimize them a 2nd time and worsen their traumas. Mme is there in churches too and fights for us, God's Queer Children, right in the heart of Religious Traditional Patriarchy which hurts us as acutely as White Supremacist Heteropatriarchy. Mme stands for these bodies that are battle ground and upon whom the most points of intersecting struggles, are found.



A heterosexual older black woman married to her life partner, Eudy's father and her husband, her love and cause and passion and activism towards bettering and indeed liberating many with her heart and Spirit work, remains in my books the grandest living example of what an Instersectional Black Feminist should look like, in as far as the works of her hands, her body, her mind, heart spirit and feet, those feet that have walked and continue to walk into hospitals, churches, schools, police stations, homes, to fight for us.

"You know Jacqui, I feel like im fighting Eudy's fight, this is Eudy's fight im continuing, she makes me do this. She doesn’t let me rest that one." - she says later to me after we had formally met and agreed to be each other's second chance at being mother and daughter, since we both lost our own…



Mrs Mally Simelane, the late Eudy Simelane's mother, spoke with a clarity and a consciousness I had not heard before from people of her generation, our mothers and grandmothers... in as far as fighting for their Queer children is conerned. Her child having suffered, brutalized and murdered so violently in Kwa Thema where the Simelane's live, Eudy's mother told the story of her only child, from the time they were born until their senseless spine chilling brutal killing. One of the many souls and bodies lost senselessly and often with extreme violence and brutality for being a Black Lesbian in the townships! I don’t think there was dry eye in that room of seasoned activists as Mme somehow managed to tell hers and Eudy's painful story until the end.

Mme Simelane was to go on.


She was to go on to talk about her activism as a Black feminist, even though she did not call it that.  In retrospect I and the others were listening to an embodiment of an Intersectional Feminist, in its ideal.  But it was when mme prayed for us, "isitabane saka Thixo" as she put it, asking God to guide our feet and protect us in our Activisms and the works we do that I was deeply moved and inspired to do all I can to create a space for the Spirit that is of God embodied in Queer bodies to have a place to worship without prejudice.

From Dusk To Dawn: A Black Feminist Symphony in 3 Parts. (1/3)

Part 1, Dusk:         "Solomon Mahlangu's Tree Is Bearing Rotten Fruits" - Lerumo La Badimo

Songwriter:                      Reamogetse

Strings:                            Evol

Drums:                             Badimo

Composer:                       Modimo

Backing Vocals:               Black Feminist Choir

Album:                             Uhuru

Producer:                          Lerumo La Badimo


/There is blood everywhere/ Black women and children are dying / Their deaths unnatural/

In South Africa the stench of fear permeates the air with undertones of blood and wifts of burnt women's bodies tenderized by fists and kicks and belts and extension cords and slaps and racist verbs in attack and stares... hateful stares that just a moment ago seemed loving. 

In South Africa it is not only hard to breathe if yours is a black woman's body but breathing itself is a chore that suffocates... you know that with each breath you fight for you are counting moments of survival… moments of survival before there WILL be another death, another rape, another suicide  and another beating… and another, and another, and another, hour after hour,and minute after minute there will be a fist, a rock, a bottle, a slap, a stare, a swear word, a penis, a kick, poverty, mental illness brutalizing yet another black woman's body... 

...and another's, and another's!




Love is the essence of who we are, the essence of what Freedom should feel like… as much as we painfully concede that many may have died for a little, their blood was worth much more… their dreams remain our dreams and so we also are willing to take up the fight in a new direction and ensure that in our lifetime… Solomon Mahlangu's tree of freedom starts bearing the right fruits. He told them to tell us that he loves us, and that the struggle must be continued, he said the tree of freedom he dreamt of would bear a thousand flowering seeds of freedom, instead we don’t feel love but hatred visited upon us, the struggle has long been abandoned by self serving former liberators turned state looters, aluta continua and we don’t even own the land upon which this tree can take root, be watered with the love he spoke of so that Uhuru can bloom thousands of times over!


             Passaggio:         

"As the CONDUCTOR instructs for the DRUMS to be played, the BACKING VOCALISTS weeping intensified, just as the surgeon's scalpel must slice and cut deeper and scrape the core of the wounds, the illnesses known as dis-eases in order to heal it completely as not to risk re-infection by being too gentle, too feeling when they ought to have been cold and emotionless, the drums too give us no easy comfort… their messages are filled with the tears of our ancestors… those who marched in 1956 and those who came before… 


Charlotte Maxeke's wail is heard at the sight of the toothless patriachy's princesses, anti-feminist organization She formed called the ANC Women's League… An organization that a living legend warrior woman in the form of Madikizela does not associate with anymore.  An organization that is now equivalent to tea ladies - abomama who only know how to worship at the phallic altar of abobaba - while at the same time stoning their children in the form of political stones while screaming BURN THE WITCH... BURN THE WITCH! after ubaba - umalume -  rapes his children!


Charlotte Maxeke's cry becomes more mournful and sorrowful, it rattles awake the bones of Mbuya Nehanda whose own weeping sounds like shrills of the type of cry that shreds to pieces your senses and rips the very heart out of its ribcage in order to blow some soothing air upon it, anything to stop the centuries old war on black bodies, black women's bodies that end up killed at the hands of those they seek to liberate… Nehanda cries in a song the ears refuse to hear, a cry that torments the spirit as her bones remind us "IT WAS MY OWN WHO BETRAYED ME!"




*And so we move towards Midnight…

Thursday, 17 March 2016

From Dreams To Memories: The Lyricnotic Launch

       


It was a night full of splendor, colour, music, poetry, food, wine, laughter, love and memories that we, the intimate few who made it into that space, will forever treasure.


Lyricnotic launched herself as a multi faceted performer, a singer, poet and dancer... The night was crisp and the air was filled with chit chat... 


The venue was 6 Spin Street Restaurant, a stone throw away from parliament, candle lit with a flower on each table...


With low lighting, wooden floors and black and white tiles the space looked exactly as had been promised, Motown was in town.






About 60 Capetonians and a few visitors enjoyed the starters while I took to the stage as MC for the night to announce the programme. We were to enjoy 3 poets before the main course, Kneo Makgopa, Kyle Louw & Lebohang "Faro Afrika" Doubata.

Lyricnotic took to the stage later looking every bit the star of the night with hair and beauty products sponsored by John's Touch Hair & Beauty Salon, and her clothes sponsored by the designer Nceba Jadezweni of Custom Transition.




Starting off with the slow jam classics Lyricnotic stirred all our souls into memories of years gone by, almost effortlessly re incarnating the greats like Ms Houston & Ms Fassie, by the time dessert was served and the wine had gone to the head and feet the place was transformed into something of a Discotheque






.
Yet again invoking sounds of Bo Mme Makeba Lyricnotic in all her 23 years of youth managed to get the audience of all ages, shapes and sizes to dance to tunes invoking memories we thought we had long forgotten...



By the end of the night the audience was fed, not just with beautiful sounds and food but with something that we couldn't quite grasp...

Something closer to the quality of ether...

Love.






Lyricnotic had achieved exactly what she had set out to do... Filled a space with all her passion, heartfelt desires and dreams accompanied by hard work to create not only a beautiful space but a love filled night at a time when it was needed the most, in the middle of conflict a stone throw away, in parliament.

May we see many more of these evenings!

 



Dinner, Poetry and Blues is certainly an unmissable event on Cape Town's quality entertainment calendar.

Make sure not to miss the next one.

1Love,
JTP

Thursday, 14 June 2012

She is BEAUTYFULL... behind-the-scenes moments from PowertreeJHB

Khanyisile

Khanyisile

Khanyisile

Khanyisile

Pumla & Masello

Lunghi

Lerato & Jacqui

Audience

Audience

Lunghi & Sivu

Sivu & Omnyama

Omnyama & Friend

Jacqui & Vangi

Honey

Van & Honey

Nova

Lunghi & Omnyama

The filming crew.

Lunghi

Honey, Kgomotso & Jacqui

Dinner, the night before.

Dinner

Nova, Jacqui & Kgomotso

Nova, Omnyama & Kgomotso

Dinner

Vangi

Sivu

Sivu

Jacqui & Kgomotso

Nico, Masello, Omnyama, Kgomotso, Jacqui & Siya

Kgomotso & Jacqui

Vangi,  Nico & Honey

The PowertreeJHB stage

Khanyisile