Monthly Archives: August 2015

Didn’t Know I Was Lost

“Waiting for a savior but is he really worth my faith

Waiting for a fighter but will he keep me safe?”

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From a tender age little girls are saturated with the idea of marriage, whether it is by parents caregivers or the media. The Disney idea of love and relationships alone is enough to skew how women view love and marriage.

“I woke up like this”. A line made popular by diva/songstress Beyonce Via her hit number Flawless, with the little knowledge I have of the song (How it came about or what it’s about) It is the spoken (poetry) part towards the beginning of the song/video which may lead one to thinking that the number it to perhaps encourage contentment amongst women not just that but to inject independence as well as knowing that one is perfect, that one’s life can be “full” without having a “better half”. A notion that can be applied to us men just as well but we’re sitting this one out as we’ve been seen as the heads and leaders and generally stronger for centuries. As the world transitions and establishes equality between genders, most male artist would rather rap/sing about “balling” and sex whilst many females are making a stand and inspiring each other with their various crafts.

Feminism is lionized by modern society to erode and flush away the mental caveman oppression of females. The spoken part or the intro to Flawless is a sample of a society inspiring speech made by a proud Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi;

 

“…Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage

And we don’t teach boys the same?

We raise girls to see each other as competitors

Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men…”

 

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Considered a Nu Metal classic “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence has several meanings and inspirations, Amy Lee (Evanescence frontlady) would only later reveal that the number was in fact inspired by her long-time friend and husband Josh Hartzler. With amazing Amy Lee vocals and Paul McCoy Rap-singing, the song has been compared to a lot of Linkin Park’s work but I for this post would like to compare it To “Home Safe” by Ross Jack ft Kat Vinter, though Kat Vinter delivers much calmer vocals the sentiment between both numbers seems to be consistent.

As I’ve begun this posts with the opening lyrics of Home Safe, as the song starts we develop the idea of a girl waiting to be saved by her prince charming but as the song continues things get darker. The lyrics “headfirst into traffic” give us a tragic imagery, the accompanying video confirms this tragedy as we see what appears to be a ghost bride lingering around a dark alley. When we as a society have conditioned a girl into thinking that all she needs for a happy ending is a prince charming to marry her she can sometimes sink her paws so deep into the idea that not even death can divorce her from the dream of being married… So her yearning, bleeding soul waits…

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“Now that I know what I’m without

You can’t just leave me

Breathe into me and make me real

Bring me to life”

 


NTSIKI MAZWAI – WATERSHED

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Ntsiki Mazwai  –  WATERSHED

Date: Saturday 5 September 2015

Venue: Afrikan Freedom Station, Westdene

Time: 8pm

Cover charge: R50

Genre: Poetry/ Music

WATERSHED: noun

  1. An area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers or seas
  2. A turning point in the course of events

One of South Africa’s most talented and influential artists, Ntsiki Mazwai, returns to the stage with the musical production Watershed. It is a 2 set music and poetry show aptly titled to cover Mazwai’s 10 years in the music industry.

The show covers themes of identity, love, spirituality and politics. It includes some of Mazwai’s popular works such as ‘Hey Black Girl’ leading up to new pieces ‘The Mighty Have Fallen’ and ‘Marikana.’

In true Ntsiki style, the show is brutally honest, candid and direct. You will laugh, you will cry, she will make you feel human.

Ntsiki Mazwai, aka the Streetqueen, has…

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Tradin War Stories

Titled It’s a Man’s World, it’s no surprise this James Brown performed number is widely characterized as biblically chauvinistic. Recorded two days after Valentines with only just two takes, this song was co-written by a male and a female which then of course explains the compensating lyrics,” But it would mean nothing, without a woman or a girl”… Nonetheless, the words do serve truth.

“Every man is judged by his woman and if his woman says he ain’t nothing, the whole world believes it”

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Yes, it’s been said, the role of the man is to bring the light, the role of the wife is to reveal the light. You can be the greatest man in the world, but if there isn’t a deep-rooted woman by your side to ground you, to build on the greatness… your “greatness” as a man is perhaps vague. Us men can be chauvinistic all we want, but lets face it, women can do every single thing we can do though we can’t do everything they can… Hell, some of them die giving life.

Something very attractive about a human, a human who get’s to bond with another before anyone else, physically and otherwise, before life for the one even starts, This human get’s to do so because in her a heart begins to beat, life begins, love begins, selflessness begins as this human starts to care for another more than she’s ever cared for anything or anyone else, including herself… This human is a mother… a woman.

Life is short… more so for some… So what happens after the bonding between mother and child has kicked off… with hopeful expectations of what the baby is gonna be like… The mother loses the baby? The self-blame… the heartache… the loss… where does it take her? where does it leave her?

 

Baby if you could would you go back to the start?

Take any fresh steps are watch it all fall apart again?

 

After seeing his wife suffer three miscarriages in a quick succession, Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil was going through a more than rough patch in his life… Like any good artist, he turned to his music… “Biblical” was born.

“It’s generally about that time last year where I felt like everything was falling apart… It’s about trying to give someone something and it’s not helping; you’re not going anywhere and you’ve reached a point where it’s fucked…”

When that point is reached, do we then wish away the relationship?
The time spent together? Have our memories deleted? Or do we perhaps embrace the kinship lived with it’s good times, it’s bad times, the lessons and so on?
We know what the right or politically correct thing to do would be, but let’s face it. When turmoil strikes and emotions are high anger or at least regret is likely to rule us, the good news here is when not faced with the situation it’s so much easier to preach. So I preach… I read somewhere that one should never regret anything they have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.

“Baby if you could, would you go back to the start?
Take any fresh steps or watch it all fall apart, again?”- Biffy Clyro “Biblical”

 


A Hustla is a Human Version of a Hustler

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Hustler: 1. An active, enterprising, or unscrupulous individual. 2. A prostitute.

Hustla: Someone skilled at turning a profit no matter what the enterprise.

As far as I understand, a direct translation of hustler to my mother tongue isiZulu is “Umuntu ophantayo” as “Hustling” is ukuphanta, with it the word does not carry a masculine nor feminine undertone and for that reason I’d like to debunk the “sense” in Beyonce’s “Diva” lyrics. If the word “Hustler” doesn’t have a sex connotation to begin with then why the hell would the word have a female version of itself? Focusing on the literal meaning of the word, is Beyonce trying to tell us that naturally females, women don’t have the capacity to be a hustler; someone skilled at turning a profit no matter what the enterprise? that they have to be a different “female” version of that to activate the essence of the meaning?

It’s sad, the song itself could never stand alone ever since its release. Due to its similarities with Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” the song has been somewhat seen as an imitation. Most critics refer to it (Diva) as the female version of “A Milli”, “A feminine companion to A Milli”, Even though it’s women’s month and everything, numbers don’t lie and as far as success goes A Milli tramps it’s female version. Though still a strong single, “Girls” had a worse run on Billboard’s Hot 100… One of her many other chauvinistic numbers… Why is this happening?

I probably sound like Beyonce once ate my KFC… No, I have absolutely nothing against her, I just don’t get the eagerness or the FORCE some leaders have… to wear pants. You don’t have to put on pants and grab your crotch, to be aggressive, to be chauvinistic, hell, you don’t have to run the world to be a strong individual nor do you as a human have to put the other gender down to deem your sex greater because as soon as that happens, the essence of being a feminist goes out the door. Be beautiful, be graceful, comfortable in being femininely strong, the world needs a calm womb.

“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”- Roman Payne

 

 


Mandela Girls: The Truth Thursday Addition

Today the truth will come out: Mandela Girls? Why Mandela Girls? Fitzpleasure by Alt-J is one of those songs I can’t relate to yet intensely enjoy listening to nonetheless. The song itself is said to be inspired by a chapter from Hubert Selby, Jr.’s 1964 controversial novel about the brutality of urban life. The book was titled Last Exit to Brooklyn. The song inspiring chapter ends with the gruesome rape of a prostitute character named Tralala. A line from the song that always plays in my head is of course “little did I know then, that the Mandela boys soon become Mandela men”, So basically after writing a women’s day post about an incident I had with a group of prostitutes, I thought I’d change the “boys” in Mandela boys to “girls” for a title.

“There’s a gang in Southampton called The Mandela Boys. We were scared s—less of them when we were kids. The (next) line, ‘Little did I know then that the Mandela Boys soon become Mandela Men’ is me wondering whether they’re still in the gang or if they’ve just all got jobs and kids now.”- Alt-J frontman

The rest of the post swings back and forth from the featured Keane track to being about the world’s oldest profession. The originator of the phrase “The world’s oldest profession” was Rudyard Kipling. His 1888 story about a prostitute begins, “Lalun is a member of the most ancient profession in the world.” As progressives debated how to deal with prostitution in the US in the early 1900s, medical professionals soon began to misquote Kipling, and the phrase took on a life of its own.

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Shot by Brent Slirton the above picture of Maria, a drug addicted sex worker resting between clients in the room she rents in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine won him first prize in the Contemporary Issues Singles category.

 

In Mandela Girls I mentioned how you and I can only speculate about the psychological and emotional journey an aging sex worker goes through. Truth is, not many of them get the chance to age. After so many run ins with abusive clients as well as the health risks they put themselves through not forgetting their probable use of drugs, sooner rather than later, the body must reject the host to survive…

In Mandela Girls I also asked, when is that point in a woman’s life does she decide to pursue prostitution? How hard or easy is it, how long does it take for a woman to brace herself, to talk herself into taking that particular path? In ‘Til She Cries No More I made up a fictional character who naturally made love for free ’til her 1st love broke her heart and she “lost” her way as she spiralled into drug abuse and prostitution… You know how that 1967 rock number goes, The First Cut is the Deepest, and you know what people say, a girl’s real first love is her father.

 

“Fathers, be good to your daughters

Daughters will love like you do

Girls become lovers who turn into mothers

So mothers, be good to your daughters too”

 

Sticking to the whole women’s month vibe, “Daughters” is a Grammy winning number by American singer-songwriter John Mayer. Lyrically the song is an appeal to parents, more especially fathers to nurture their daughters in their childhood because the relationship will affect their future relationships with men as adults.

 

“Oh, you see that skin?

It’s the same she’s been standing in

Since the day she saw him walking away

Now she’s left Cleaning up the mess he made”

 

Though prostitution is largely influenced by poverty and is seen as the “last resort” to making a living, unfortunately to some it’s not a last resort they had to take but something they’ve chosen to do as a result of bad parenting and them finding or trying to find the parental love they yearn for from all the wrong people… some simply do it to rebel. To break free from what is expected of them…

“The fact that they could juggle both the outside prejudice and the layers of euphemism (even deceit) their professions required was… inspiring me. … All of my problems were solved! It didn’t matter that I was a little girl with an armful of bad tattoos! I would be able to move out of my mother’s house completely! No one would ever be the boss of me again!”- Cathryn Berarovich in How I Became a Prostitute


Mandela Girls

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I came across a fallen tree

I felt the branches of it looking at me

Is this the place we used to love?

Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

The above copy pasted words make up the second chorus of a certain song. Their flow deposits my mind into a wave of innervations much like those my conscience experienced upon a time I found myself in a physical space where I was stared down by a group of sex workers as I walked along with my tail tucked between my legs. Shrivelled on the city concrete, their roots can no longer indulge growth. Was this ever their dream? I don’t know, though I can’t help but think that perhaps once upon a time these girls had better hopes for themselves or at least their parents had better hopes for them. The question remains.

Performed and composed by English alternative rock band Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” is the opening track of their Hopes and Fears album. The real meaning of the song’s video and lyrics remain unknown though the number could either be about a geographical space or a feeling. A traditional piano song, this number caught the world’s ear becoming one of the biggest hits of the year 2004 worldwide.

Knoting females with vilifying terms such as whore and slut, prostitution has been claimed to be the oldest profession. Yeap, it’s said to be the oldest professional way to earn what we in South Africa may refer to Randelas, Mandela money. I can’t help but ask myself, is it really the oldest profession? And when is that turning point in a female’s life… in her mind does she decide to take that path?

Oh simple thing where have you gone?

I’m getting old and I need something to rely on

So tell me when you’re gonna let me in

I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

You and I can only speculate the mental and emotional leitmotif an aging sex worker goes through as she starts to lose her sex appeal… “Stuck still, no turning back…”, Perhaps this deserves a post of its own.

We may all agree that humans only preach a truth that suits them. You’ll never see a fat person preaching about how fat people should start taking their health seriously, likewise, you’ll never see a skinny human preaching about how important having a healthy body weight is. It’s so easy for a human to call another human a whore until they find themselves becoming a whore, that’s when they start seeing/finding colour in being a whore and to start finding less offensive terms to refer to what they do.

Though the “oldest profession” is most likely to be the reason why most if not all swear words have a feminine or a female undertone, women have been known to be a lot more than they were given credit for back in the 50s. Yes, men and women are equally commodious though it’s no argument that since the world has accepted this notion and for the most part advocates equality between genders, women have stepped out and done things better than us men. Originally performed by Keane, Somewhere Only We Know has been reworked/covered by a number of influential musicians though it was only when English songstress Lily Allen covered the song for the festive season back in 2013 that it became a #1 hit, making it more successful than the original version. Just another little voice showing us that our mothers, our sisters, our daughters are the real rockstars… each and every one of them; given a chance to shine.

“The role of the man is to bring the light, the role of the wife is to reveal the light”

 The artwork featured on this post is a collaboration between English contemporary artist Guy Denning and Frenchman Frank E. Rannou.


The Pendulum: ADD Lovers

In my tender age of 21 I’ve learnt enough to know that this world will always give you love though the ‘love’ you get might not be what we’ve seen in Hollywood movies where a person A fall’s in love with person C and their bond fills the gap of B. Love is no Cinderella story it’s not simply ‘happily ever after’ in an optimistic light its more like ‘happily working it out ever after’.
Now question is when do we know we’ve found the one we can ‘happily’ work it out with ever after? I feel almost cliché for asking such an old and somewhat rhetorical question. But sometimes as humans we try so hard to find love even where it might not exist cause we’re scared of lonely. The idea of being stuck with all the materialistic success the world can provide and 29 cats as your family is quite scary. So we stick around even though we see that we are moving back forth like a pendulum hypnotized by the constant-stationary mobility.

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“I’m a sweet
Little Love Maker
Finding Time
To make my words better”

FKA Twigs sings of a situation where some humans find themselves in, a situation where we belittle ourselves just so we could satisfy those we love. Allowing ourselves to be somewhere we might not be exactly feeling loved emotionally but if our bodies can get that little attention during love-making then that’s enough while we work on our speech so the dear lover can notice us as more.

And if I move on, I admit you’re gone. And I ain’t ready. And I’ll hold steady. Yeah I’ll hold you in my arms…”

Sia speaks of the possibility of moving on even though you’re not ready but for one to even reach that stage it’s quite a mission, you find yourself stealing time through the eye of the needle cause letting go of the one who’s made you feel whole and wanted is a process which no human being is always ready to begin. Holding on hoping to make it whole and together through the fire but darling its the lover who might have struck the matches and they waiting on just seeing you burn not because they suddenly hate you but the two of you might not be the perfect match so they will let you go, on the condition that you leave with scars that will remain a reminder of where you’ve been.

“You’re younger than I am broken.
I dance feelings like they’re spoken.
So my conversation is not enough”

Sometimes lovers might not be old enough to understand what you’ve been through neither do they understand that time is no human’s friend. So we express ourselves in more ways than the verbal manner. A conflicted lover might even start body-cutting just to speak these feelings which aren’t spoken and that doesn’t mean one needs to be taken to for a mental check up it’s just that ‘conversation is not enough’ to express what’s inside.
‘I see a body that could move the hardest in the room”
Most people around are quick to judge and speak of attention seeking when they see troubled people who speak their emotional pain through self-harming. We move the hardest just so we could intoxicate ourselves so much that we become numb to the emotional aches.
‘This is how I show my love… Blame it on my ADD baby”
I don’t want to sound subjective to one side as if only one person in a relationship is always wrong and the other is always right and abused. Both might be troubled. Failing to show their love properly.
Masochists who will find pleasure in going through pain together- ‘But I will never ever leave until the walls are caving in’- not willing to exit until all is burnt to ashes but even through the ashes we hope of phoenix resurrection powers.

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Show your love the best you can. Don’t make anyone feel less for loving you.

Disclaimer : This article does not encourage self-harming of any sorts in the same breath neither does it judge it. We all go through pain and we deal with it differently.
I didn’t mean to sound all dark and sombre.

Words in inverted commas are quoted from a number of songs.
FKA Twigs- Pendulum
FKA Twigs- Video Girl
Sia- Eye Of The Needle
Rihanna- I Love The Way You Lie (Pt 2)
AWOLNATION- Sail

Thanks to Elihle Gwala for guest writing this one
Everything on this post > Courtesy of Elihle Gwala