Thursday, 14 June 2012

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





Pumla & Masello


Lerato & Jacqui



Lunghi & Sivu

Sivu & Omnyama

Omnyama & Friend

Jacqui & Vangi


Van & Honey


Lunghi & Omnyama

The filming crew.


Honey, Kgomotso & Jacqui

Dinner, the night before.


Nova, Jacqui & Kgomotso

Nova, Omnyama & Kgomotso





Jacqui & Kgomotso

Nico, Masello, Omnyama, Kgomotso, Jacqui & Siya

Kgomotso & Jacqui

Vangi,  Nico & Honey

The PowertreeJHB stage


Friday, 20 April 2012

Kulture Noir: The third-eye-opening music of Simphiwe Dana

there exists a world just beyond the veil… 

slightly beyond the minds' grasp…

indescribable… my spiritual teacher called it the unknowable'… 

there are some among us, seers, diviners, yogis, saints, artists, philosophers, mystics, prophets and so on who are able to constantly or once in a while take a peek at this world and enable others to do the same… … while on this plane … in this life…. 

sometimes when we pray fervently... feel deeply or meditate on any particular thing long enough, we reach a state of mind that allows the veil to this world to be lifted... albeit momentarily.

we've been blessed to have among our generation artists who despite and in spite of difficulties... being ostracised and snubbed by babylon's authority in SA music... better known as the SAMAs... continue to gift us with gems that we'll be swinging to, thinking of, teaching, learning  and talking about well into our senile times....

these are the sort of artists who are rooted in the same defiant and revolution/arising conscious sounds of the makebas and mhlongos of yesteryear...

mazwai and dana are the two who are easiest to spot among our generation...

it often takes more than one offering to know for sure.

it is Dana's Kulture Noir ('Black Culture') album i wish to reflect upon….

…there are a few things in life that speak to the soul more than music…. there are a few in music who are as spiritually attuned as Simphiwe Dana…

when i learnt on her live dvd sleeve that "her music is now part of the curriculum at prestigious universities such as  Oxford University in England and other academic institutions."  the saying 'a prophet is never appreciated in their own country' came to mind…

how else does one explain the complete snubbing of this brilliant offering at last year's SAMAs? 

"this one is for the nomads" she writes on her album sleeve… 

those continuously on a way some place… be it in word, thought or indeed…

with just words sung and instruments played…. Kulture Noir inspires one to look within for all they seek without… 

the 1st track… Mina Nawe… is a track whose essence i'm not certain words can ever capture…

then there are the 2 musical chants…  laid down on the 3rd and 11th tracks…  both under 2 minutes long… both hauntingly magical.

fairy-bells if you will… sprinklings of star dust that remind us in the 2 songs that follow these chants…. mina iqhawe and inkwenkwenzi… that we are cosmic beings… 

in souls and minds that are ripe for awakening… Kulture Noir births a vision of Azania whose people do not live like slaves on their ancestors land….  no longer living lives that look, smell and feel like remnants of the grime that is left behind after the purification process… 

and then there is mayine… a hymn that probes us in those depths we weren't aware were reachable… those areas of the self we keep well-hidden… 

the sort of depths that one would rather leave for an "illuminated master" to probe… to some extent it dares us to BE the master… Asking us questions that require answers that we have not yet taught the mind to answer…

if not in any other song on Kulture Noir then definitely on this song… Mayine… the veil gets lifted.

Kulture Noir digs into a past and brings into the present a musical experience that reflects a space and place where humans identify primarily as spirit… and not as dying and decaying bodies… 

in a 60 minute long conscious music experience divided into 12 tracks… Simphiwe thrusts her Artistic spirit into one's soul with such a gentle force one could be forgiven for missing it…

Kulture Noir is a musical masterpiece…  a timeless classic… world class universities recognise this… Whoever was behind its snubbing at the SAMA2011 denied Azania a chance at self-reflection… Azanian's people are poorer for it.

if you are unfortunate enough not to have heard this album in its entirety… do yourself a favour and rectify that misfortune.

if i could put it any other way i would say that Kulture Noir is not just an honest and truthful artistic expression… but is also a rare reflection of a true artist's spirit in communion with its Creator… 

Dana gives a bit of her soul on this one… as she has twice before before… this time though… she bares her soul in its entirety while delicately inviting the listener to do the same… 

Those who dare to do just that are able to take a glimpse through her artistic expression at a world within themselves I write about at the beginning of this reflection… 

"a world just beyond the veil…                                              

slightly beyond the minds' grasp…    

indescribable… "

Thank you for the music… Sinethemba...


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Poetic thoughtsjumbled up...

more and more lately there just hasn't been time to write.

i stop mid sentence when i attempt to write and i refuse to stick to a topic.

preferring to write in themes i allow the self to be led by words and leave all rules that tell me 

should, would, could and must to shut up in the presence of the mighty WILL.

it's like that. without warning, sometimes a period sneaks through.

so if writing is the chosen labour then i might as well get on with the business of writing and 

stick with it.

i've done the whole 9 yards.

entry level, work experience, part this and part that, different stars

same experience…

i want to serve my Creator.

again and again i whisper where dissident voices have become swear words and dare to swear

"black madonna and child"
 in spaces where a tear forming would make a noise.

spaces provide themselves when one writes and allow themselves to be filled and questioned 

and re.lived and re.visited.

minds come into play.

you hear voice channelling through sometimes ones very fingers on the keyboard seem to be in

some sort of dance and so we pause.  we pause often times to recollect a time gone, a time 

forgotten and sometime remembered… in a trance...

a time we were guerrillas you and i, walking only under the security of night…

Thursday, 12 January 2012

malcolm x on the field negro and the house negro...

"There was two kind of slaves. There was the house negro and the field negro. The house negro, they lived in the house, with master. They dressed pretty good. They ate good, cause they ate his food, what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near their master, and they loved their master, more than their master loved himself. They would give their life to save their masters house quicker than their master would. The house negro, if the master said "we got a good house here" the house negro say "yeah, we got a good house here". Whenever the master would said we, he'd say we. That's how you can tell a house negro. If the master's house caught on fire, the house negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house negro would say "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than the master identified with himself. And if you came to the house negro and said "Let's run away, Let's escape, Let's separate" the house negro would look at you and say "Man, you crazy. What you mean separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" There was that house negro. In those days, he was called a house nigger. And that's what we call him today, because we still got some house niggers runnin around here. 

This modern house negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He'll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about "I'm the only negro out here. I'm the only one on my job. I'm the only one in this school." "You're nothing but a house negro. And if someone come to you right now and say "Let's separate.", you say the same thing that the house negro said on the plantation. "What you mean separate? From America? This good white land? Where you gonna get a better job than you get here? I mean, this is what you say! "I di-I ain't left nothing in Africa" That's what you say. "Why, you left your mind in Africa". On that same plantation, there was the field negro. The field negro, those were the masses. There was always more negros in the field as there were negros in the house. There negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house, they ate high up on the hog. The negro in the field didn't get nothing but what was left in the insides of the hog. They call them chit'lins nowaday. In those days, they called them what they were, guts! That's what you were, a guteater. And some of you are still guteaters. The field negro was beaten, from morning til night. He lived in a shack, in a hut. He wore cast-off clothes. He hated his master. I say, he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house negro loved his master. But that field negro, remember, they were in the majority, and they hated their master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try to put it out, that field negro prayed for a wind. For a breeze. When the master got sick, the field negro prayed that he died. If someone come to the field negro and said "Let's separate, let's run." He didn't say "Where we going?" he said "Any place is better than here". We got field negros in America today.  

I'm a field negro. masses are the field negros. When they see this mans house on fire, we don't hear these little negros talkin bout "Our Government is in trouble. They say thee Government is in trouble." Imagine a negro, "Our Government". I even heard one say "Our astronauts." They won't even let him near the plant, and "Our astronauts". "Our neighbors" That's a negro that's out of his mind. That's a negro that's out of his mind! Just cause the slave master in that day, used Tom, to keep the field negroes in check. The same ol slavemaster today has negros who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms. 20th century Uncle Toms to keep you and me in check. Keep us under control. Keep us passive and peaceful. And nonviolent. That's Tom making you nonviolent. It's like when you go to the dentist and the man is going to take your tooth. You're going to fight him when he start pulling. So they squirt some stuff in your jaw called novocane, to make you think their not doing anything to you. So you sit there and because you got all that novocane in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Hahahaha. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

leave our bodies the fuck alone!

Been meaning to write about women Gods and leaders in the Afrikan context for a while... Recent developments in our continuously troubled and constantly sexist patriarchal society has made it almost impossible to reach a space where women WERE/ARE Gods... the disgusting chauvinist acts by a mostly rude, lewd and hugely sexist section of our society have unfortunately spilled out of my ink first!

The sexual assault of the young girls at Noord taxi rank was only but a proverbial 'tip of the iceberg' of our troubled, continuously sexist society that has normalised violence towards the black woman... it is those black men who receive the worst beating by a anti-black world... One who sees himself as the most worthless... cosatu's castro ngobese called them the "taxi rank lumpen, or the dangerous class" ... those who more visibly use the black woman's body to try and reaffirm his worth... continuously inflicting violence on the only other creature his upbringing made him believe is beneath him...  

The black man's constant abuse, rape and killing of black women is a reflection of a being that despises itself... A being that has long forgotten that it's very existence is largely owed to the black woman... It's very ability to breathe today is thanks to three-quarter's of a year's WORK followed by painful labour by a black woman's body to bring it to life... It is only a soulless being that can rape, beat and murder it's own mothers, it's own grandmothers, daughters, sisters, cousins and aunts at such alarming rates... our crime statistics... Which are mostly violence on the black female body... Are like those of other countries at war!!!

There's a war on the black female in this Goddess-forsaken country!

image from sowetan
From your unwelcome lustful looks and whistling and advances and unwelcome touchings and rapes and killings... looking for your long lost "manhood" between our legs... beating your own life-givers to their graves is a beating of the self... a killing of a part of what makes you who you are... which you have forgotten! ... A reflection of your own self hatred at your uselessness as a being... 

You beat up your very Gods when you beat up a woman, and then wonder why you've remained a perpetual slave to all types of masters... The black nation will not rise until the black man starts to respect and honour the black woman... 

Direct your anger at those you fear and leave our bodies the fuck alone! We have our own battles to fight... This continuing abuse from those we should consider brothers and our protectors should not be one of them! 

...and to all you black men who do love, protect, honour and respect women... we appreciate you... but we also say... your silence is too loud!