8 December 2014

Summer Vibes + p l a y l i s t

Summah 2k14

sebenza - dirty paraffin// ebumnandini - doc shebeleza // worst behaviour - drake // groover's prayer - thebe ft zonke// amantombazane - riky rick ft okmalumkoolkat// party - beyonce ft jcole// caracara - ko ft kid x, yamnandi into - dj cndo ft dj lusiman // spin my world - dj kent ft the arrows// dont stop the music - rihanna// we cant stop - miley cyrus// summer fling - willow smith

I was going for a lot of things here. I mean for most south africans summer is a glorious couple of weeks in December and one week in January of total debauchery. We get off work, go home and be with the people who are the centre of our specific universes, spend money (if you have money),  fall in love and just generally act like these three - four weeks are our personal Forever. Camp Chair Culture flourishes in the summer and these are the songs I'd want to hear while chilling phansi komthunzi weumbrella.

With this playlist I feel I've covered turn up, Girls Owning Summer, falling in love on the dance floor and, of course, nostalgia, because reasons. I also added what I found to be two of the biggest songs this year. I strongly considered making *this* image the cover of this mix.

What's your favourite summer song?

Nomali Cele: putting djs out of work since '92 or nah?

3 December 2014

Mzantsi Hair Stars

source unknown

At any given moment I am wanting to do tens of hairstyles and get a buzzcut all at the same time. (Actually, I think I'll start a hairstyle scrapbook, oh wait...) I'm really enjoying the move away from weave -- particularly the boring, expensive remy with a middle part take on weave -- that South African  personalities are on. I'm an advocate for women doing whatever the fuck they want with their bodies and I love experimenting, straying from the in look even more. For a while, it seemed, the unwritten rule for people on our TV was the weave tied like durag look and most of the starlets conformed to it. This look as a choice, I advocate wholly, but if it comes from 'but I won't get x gig otherwise' then there's problems, suhn. Anyway, here my faves and their coiffure plural.

Nomuzi Mabena
L -R: Nomuzi's instagram (@Nomoozle), Mpho Lehlongwa for Live Magazine SA, Nomuzi's instagram.

Nomuzi Mabena is probably the most important person in the public eye right now. She's just jamming to her own beat and wearing whatever, twerking for fitness and fun and working hard. I think Nomuzi is only a year older than me -- I can't be more proud of being born-almost-free! She's been rocking her bald head since that time she lost out on the Live Amp job to her now BFF Loot. Can we talk about her vibes? One time (on RGB) she talked about all her current style references: Vinoliah on Jam Alley, MaBrrr, et plus. Swoon. Also, only realised after the fact that the images I chose all have her in headgear. Aren't her vibes just the best?

Nandi Mngoma
L-R: LeboLukewarm, At the SAMAs source unknown, Nandi's IG
Listen! Nandi is so gorgeous. Whenever I look at pictures of her I hear her beautiful (speaking)* voice and just feel a sense of calm -- no lie. I remember as far back as when she had her short s-curl baca situation. She's really been working her german cut/isiKendrick/isiLupita. Just lush. She's also constantly been about the African aesthetic in her interviews and her "look", which I adore.

(L-R): Loot's Insta, Loot's FB, Zkhiphani.com

Luthando Shosha stays doing the most with her weave choices and I love her for it. She's not about the weave script mentioned above. Uh-uh. Loot is all edgy bobs and cuts to which I can't figure the ends and starts most Friday nights. Most recently she had long braids.

Nova Masango
L -R: novaherself.tumblr.com, Thina Zibi

My girl Nova is not famous in the traditional sense but I just had to put her in here because she's out there in the tumblrs and tweets repping big hair. I've been off the radar for so long I don't know if she's grown her shaved sides like she'd been anticipating when I was still on the interwebz. Also, she makes wonderful turban decisions. 

Candy Kalawa

Like, if this is your aunt or your sister you're so lucky because you share genes with her. She's gorgeous and dope! She's wonderful in the tradition of Kalawa's carefree women (Lebo, Thandiswa etc etc) We need more pictures of this here woman. Someone style her for a visual thing.

Andile Galesiwe
L - R: bona.co.za, drum.co.za, unknown
Been blonde since forever and every Wednesday night she brings it.

Dj Doowap
Credits(L-R) Lionwolf -more here, Doowap's FB, Doowap's FB via Manic Creations.
All of the braids! Where does she get all these extensions? I really don't know much about her aside from her being on Y and having sweet taste in hair extension colour. I'm here for Doowap.

Merica  Monamoli (YoTV)
All images via Merica's FB.

You lot know I've been unemployed this last while, which means I've been watching a lot of YoTV. In that time Merica's hair changes -- sometimes seeming as swift as a mood ring -- have captivated me. I remember one episode when she and co-host (and my sister's crush) KayB talked about bad hair days and the measures they took to keep their styles fresh. There was mention of hats and bi-mothly styling sessions. Merica recently went form 'hawk, which she mostly braided, to buzz-ish cut and dyed it.

Tsholo Maseko
L - R: Mzansi Insider FB, Tsholo's FB, Tsholo's Instagram

Tsholo is really one of my fave TV people. Maybe it's because I will wake up to her on Saturday mornings and I remember when she auditioned for Ses'khona so I feel we go way back? Tsholofelo's hair texture is my hair texture. Like all the other women, she'll do braids and a weave and whatever in between. 

Zizo Beda
L - R: Garnier promo, Jerri Mokgofe at According to Jerri, Zizo's FB

Zizo is really, actually my day one. In her post-Miss Teen crowning interview (with her awkwardly short but long braids) she said "I want to say hi to all my Mpintsis" and I imagined that I too were her Mpintshi. I may have observed that her dreadlocks are too thin (if they were on my head anyway) while watching an episode of Selimathunzi but I love her. She's had to put up with some rude shit regarding her hair in the past in the papers none of it regarding the health of her hair, of course. Her hair is obviously healthy but Shwashwi too concerned with calling her rural to care. Stuff those people. I'll never forget the screen fading in on her for a TV commercial debut. For an international brand. With her kinky hair. ~ emotional ~

South African women are very individual but, most importantly of all, shruggy when it comes to hair. All these women could change their hairstyles tomorrow and it wouldn't be a thing. I adore the current incarnations of their hair and the decisions they've made. I can't wait to see what they do with it a year from now.

Special mention to blogging superstars Funeka Ngwevela at The Quirky Stylista for her enduring (faux?) fro, Milisuthando Bonglela at Miss Milli B for her past braids and current cut and my babes Zipho at Tony Gum for being an  immeasurable force/hottie

Whose tresses do you just love, locally? 

*I'm not versed on Nandi's music, sorz.

DISCLAIMER: After this exercise I can pretty much say South Africans are pretty lousy at archiving stuff online. If I've used any of your images and you want them correctly attributed or removed please shoot me an email.

30 November 2014

On Solitude and Loneliness

I'm at my best when I'm sitting on a bench and watching people interact across the way. I'm at my best when I'm reading a book and I dramatically close it because I just can't fucking believe what the fuck I'm reading -- then open it mouth slightly open. I'm at my best when I'm watching television and a stupid line of dialogue, which I repeat to myself, happens. I'm at my best when I'm in company and an inside joke or pop cultural reference happens and I get the happys. I say "I'm not talking to you" often when I'm sitting on benches, watching television or in rooms with other people. I thrive when I'm alone. I think out loud and talk to myself. I stress myself because this life thing isn't  going the way I'm trying to steer it. I talk myself away from the ledge and comfort myself and eat that damned biscuit. 22 years in and I don't think I'll ever learn how not to be best on my own. I believe this to be a gift, considering how my life is set up. Who better to be left in the world on her own than the champion loner? Who knows, I've probably adapted and come out this way.

But there are wrenching moments too. Where I can't stand to be alone in the world. I can't stand being all that have. There are times when I can't stand there not being someone on the other side of the phone or gchat or someone who'll invite me over just so they can oil my scalp or ensure that I take a nap or make me my favourite meal.  The world can be crazy/scary especially when I haven't been practising self-care. It's easy to feel like my own feelings are betraying me, straying from the programme.

In 2013, I went to a Numetro cinema close to where I worked and watched Life is But a Dream all by myself (if we're not counting the guy who was also in the room with me) and it was perfect. It was wonderful. It was magical. There isn't a person I can think of who would have been great company for that afternoon. When I was fired from my job on the actual fifth anniversary of my mother's death this year I went back to that same shopping centre. I picked up books I'd ordered online, bought two new books, bought two slices of red velvet cake and went into that very cinema and watched Maleficent. I was the only one in there this time. I also discovered that their seat's armrests move so I made myself a two-seater, put my bags down, ate cake and popcorn while crying because of the film and life.

As Drake says "I get lonely too". I just sometimes worry that because I'm so self-sufficient and so island-y, to quote Hugh Grant in About a Boy quoting a Bon Jo Vi song I don't know, the loneliness can feel compounded and more than I can handle. One of the best self-care tools I can give myself in these instances is to not trivialise my feeling while not letting hopelessness get the better of me. The best I can do sometimes is sending my sister a whatsapp of silly stuff and hope she responds and comes back to hang out with me if she can.

In an interview with Rookie, which I only saw after I'd written a chunk of this post, FKA Twigs talks about how she doesn't believe in loneliness and I though "wow! How lucky is this girl!" But I now can say that I view her thoughts on loneliness as a sort of life goal. A goal to feel the feelings but not dwell on them. Just do something, channel the moments into something that makes them worth it, a practice of sorts. Being alone makes me feel powerful and that I can make things happen regardless how small they may be. I don't want feelings of loneliness, regardless of how short-lived, to suck away at that power.

Do you have any tools of self-care that help you cope in moments of loneliness? I'm thinking things along the lines of meditation (but my mind's too loud), yoga, a creative pursuit etc