Bring on the holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We simply need to have this conversation again and again right now

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A friend of mine living in the UK sent this link to me after the BBC Show broadcast an episode last week with a panel of South Africans in which the question was, now that Mandela is gone, what happens? The discussion quickly turns to #BOOINGGATE - addressing the issue of how the South African president, Jacob Zuma was booed during Mandela's memorial by thousands of people, including ANC supporters.  This is a very important conversation to have now. We are desperate for this and other platforms to speak about how we truly feel. This is only the first 17 minutes of this video, watch the rest of it here - it's extremely interesting and a brilliant summary of the state of affairs in this country, especially at 33.12 minutes

Honestly, I didn't want to post anything on my blog last week until I had something relevant and pertinent to say.  I couldn't eschew the magnitude of this moment as a country by posting anything that's not related to the place we find ourselves in.  The last 10 days have been difficult for us and because we were in mourning, I wanted to stay focused on the grief we are feeling, the aftermath of a watershed moment and thoughts about what is going to happen.

 I have been speaking to a lot of people whose stance on Mandela's legacy and where it should go from here, is radical to put it succinctly.  I am generally extremely emotional about the legacy of Apartheid and how we still see it everyday on the streets and talk about it almost every time we get together to eat and drink when everybody in the room can be classified as one race. We speak about it from different perspectives and with different fears.  We still have palpable racial tensions, hangups and problems we have not dealt with.  Problems that manifest themselves through the violent crimes we commit against each other.  There have been jokes about Night of The Long Knives circulating the internet and dinner tables.  That fear from whites is not actually a joke.  The anger that blacks have is not laughable. We have a leadership crisis.  E-Tolls. Nkandlagate. The Fake Interpreter and the fact that somebody that has been charged with murder, rape, kidnapping, attempted murder, house breaking and fraud was standing that close to some of the most high profile leaders in the world.  He is also schizophrenic. How did this happen? How on earth did the ANC embarrass and endanger themselves to this degree?  I was listening to a radio interview last week in which it was revealed that in the last 12 months, South African had over 2000 service delivery and protest strikes - that's more than the Arab Spring put together.

That said, we had the entire world's gaze focused on us for 10 days.  Visiting journalists, researchers and story tellers have been in our midst, telling us what they see when they come here.  They offer opposing perspectives.  They see the beauty in our frustrations, they marvel at how normal we think we are. They try to keep up with our drinking and can't.  They immerse themselves in the well of history we have to draw from.  They are jealous of our freedom to be.  African Americans and Black Britons can't believe how good we have it here, how much freedom we have to be ourselves, how platforms are desperate for our voices to be heard, how much we are seen.  South Africa is so God damn complex.  I'm proud to call it home but our home has filthy tendencies and dirt that needs cleaning up.  How does this discussion make you feel about where we are?

I'm aware that a blog such as this is supposed to be a platform to escape the daily deluge of bad news and anxieties that we face but my mind is filled with the kinds of issues discussed in BBC Question Time the panel discussion.  I'm so happy that it's the last week of work, that we will all have a little time to reflect on the last year as we prepare for the new year.  My blog turns four next year and I shall celebrate that with the look I can't wait to reveal to you in the new year. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lupita Nyong'o is a Kenyan actress who stars in British Director (not the American actor) Steve McQueen's 2013 epic 12 Years A Slave film (the one that Brad Pitt turned down the role of a slaver in because he didn't want his kids to see him portraying such a role so he became a producer instead).  She was born in Mexico (hence the Spanish first name), raised in Kenya and educated at the Yale School of Drama.  She is gorgeous and talented and worthy of a toast.  I think 2014 is going to be her year. These images are from an editorial in DuJour Magazine. 


Yaaaaaaay bitchez be back!!!

I hope you've had a good week and for those of you who are having Christmas parties, this is the only time of the year where I wish I worked for a company because we freelancers, never get to go ''completely bevok'' on somebody else's buck at this time of year.  

Today I would like to share a wonderful product that I discovered on Twitter. @LuluAndMarula commented on something I said on Twitter and the name and photo piqued my interest.  It turns out I was just about to discover some really good shit.  Lulu & Marula makes 100% Natural Skin Products from botanical oils like aloe and marula, sourced from South African farmers and mixed in Joburg, in fact right here in Hyde Park.  I checked out the time line and contacted her immediately, a few days later she had dropped off some samples and here we are.  

I've been bathing a lot more than usual and taking some time in the evenings to sit in front of my dressing table to lather away.  These products are unbelievably rad, they smell delicious and that they're actually good for your skin is a 13th cheque.

First of all, how cute is the packaging? Lulu & Marula is the brain child of 24 year old Jesslynn Schlamm who officially launched the local skin care range in October 2013.  She has a full time job in advertising and does Lulu and Marula as her side gig.  She has always had an interest in personal skin care, formulating her own natural ingredient body potions and trying them out on friends and family for ages.  She's self taught people because thank Frau Universe for the Internet and books.  Before she launched the range, she would bring home made balms and oils to the office where the people that she worked with would scoop them up to a point where they started making orders. 

Recently a designer friend* of hers approached her wanting to do branding for the various products, so that they can be sold beyond her personal network. And what a great job she did. I love the brown bottles, they say clinical and legit without the made in a lab using rabbits and hamsters as living testers. The black on white and colourful pattern packaging is what made me send this girl an email when I first saw these products. I am a packaging freak. I will go to Woolies and specifically buy a new food or product because of the way it is packaged. 

The complete range is still growing.  At the moment, it consists of bath and body oils, body balms, hand and foot balms and there's even a facial treatment range which I am very excited to buy this December.  The products are all Marula based, an African fruit whose antioxidant and vitamin rich oil is great for all skin types.  These products are also suitable for people with skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Discover the full range and start placing your orders by visiting her online store

For December only, Jesslynn and I are offering and Mili and Lulu special where you can buy any of the products and get a 20% discount.  To redeem the discount, you can order form her directly by mailing (instead of going through the site) and quote the discount code ''LULU&MILI" then make an EFT payment and she will post you the product.  You guys know how I feel about local products, when they are made by young bright women, we are seriously obliged to support them.  Place your order. This is an order. Okay, enough.  

 *In life you need friends who will take you forward 


THIS VIDEO MADE MY BLOOD BOIL. Literally. It's not yet uhuru for women and we need to speak up at every opportunity we get. Against bigotry, sexism, racism and bullshit that purpotes one gender better than another or race better than another.  Speaking of contentious issues...I am currently masticating on the issue of the word bitch and its cousins beeyatch, bish, bitchez and birtch in our daily lingo and in popular culture in general.  A good friend of mine and leader of her generation and I had a lengthy discussion about how this word is in actual fact an impediment to the emancipation of women.  A very interesting discussion which I would like to pose as an issue once I have penned down some real thoughts on it.  I have noted the use of the word in the post above.