The last few days of contemplative silence without the incessant intrusion of social media have been, well, contemplative. And what I’ve been contemplating is this: what/who am I here for? Am I living my true purpose? Am I showing up the way I was meant to? Am I embodying love and truth? Am I the mother my children need and deserve; the best mother I can be? Above ALL of that: am I being the best ME I can be? And will I ever make love again? . What I know is that something has been missing for a very long time now, the absence of which has turned WhatsApp and Facebook into albatrosses that keep me focused on entirely the wrong things and the not-so-right people. Not blaming Zuckerberg, God bless his alien-looking face, but simply saying that I have been too busy with the illusion of relationship (and with memes) to invest in actual relationships, and that I’m tired of performing. Performing life, performing communion, performing connection. So tired. So very, very tired.
One day I will tell you the story of music and me But today I want to speak of the magic that lives in words that have been set to music. You know it well. It is the magic that pounds through your veins to the soles of your feet when you bend the notes and chords to your will and wrap the words around them. It is the thudding of your spirit in tune with the drums that call forth the Ones of Light and Life and Love. Come, sthandwa, njengempala lanjengebhalabhala phezu kwezintaba ezithela amakha. Show me your song.
One day I will tell you the story of love and me But today I want to speak of the dreams that live in the words we speak about who we have been and whom we’re becoming. You are familiar with them, these words of gone pasts that killed not hope But taught the lessons of Life and Love; These words of joyous futures and glorious lovemaking atop sacred Nguni skins beneath holy stars in the magic places Emanxeleni, eMatopo, eTshalimbe, you shall name your places too – Shall we speak these words as we one day walk over the lands where our ancestors roamed and shall we meet the Great Ones eNjelele and hear from them of the dreams that have been dreamed about you, about me, about us? Woza sambe sthandwa sami, phezu kwezintaba ezithela amakha show me your song.
Why were there cops on stage at the Bulawayo Arts Awards? Because Zanu ndeye ropa. You know it, I know it.
Maybe the event went on longer that it should have, perhaps they were there to police mask irregularities, but on stage? Nah. Ayitshayi.
That why I get the frustration that has us (the collective) venting on social media, but I believe we can do so much more than vent, and that the time has come for us to hold each other to that higher standard.
Asiyekeleni ukwenza sabantu bokuxokozela, abakhanya ngokugijima begcwala kusocial media without directed effort. Leaders of Bulawayo, likuphi? Velani silibone.
Umoya phansi, sibophe amaqhinga sithathe lamanyathelo azaletha impendulo ezifunakalayo lokuhlaliseka kwenhliziyo zethu. Ngoba yes, sikhathazekile, but we are not children to throw tantrums sizitshayelele emidulwini ye social media kuphele kunjalo; we’re a citizenry and a kingdom, and we can throw tantrums AND move towards our goals. For a minute there I thought “what’s the goddamn point,” but we can chew gum and walk at the same time. We can vent and laugh and still get answers. At least, I hope so.
I’ve been told that it sounds like I’m policing people’s responses to ill-treatment. Fair enough. I admit to finding myself already frustrated at the number of people saying nothing except variations of ‘fuck ZRP.’ I wanted to say ‘sit down and shut up’ to them all: the ones saying that, the ones stating the glaringly obvious like “it’s unfair,” and the ones asking silly questions like “yindaba eHarare bayavunyelwa?” Come on. You know why.
I mean sure, f*** ZRP if you’re so inclined, make that a trending hashtag even, but then what? Didn’t you say something along the lines of ‘Eff the police’ when that sign that had “Magwegewe” or some equally egregious misspelling on it went up? MRP has it’s issues like any other organization, and while I won’t call myself a card-carrying member (or any kind of member), I’m thankful to MRP because they (according to my sources), made sure the error was corrected in a timely manner. I bet you wish you could ask someone, even MRP, to tell ZRP that Bulawayo is asking dude, what the fuck? Pity you’re screaming into the void on social media then, isn’t it?
I don’t have any intentions here, just a bunch of words that I can’t really shape the way I want so that I might more eloquently say: Yekelani ukukhuluma kuphela njenge-radio, likhulume lisenza njenge-TV. Angizange ngithi thulani but then again, umuntu okhala kokuphela ngokuthi is’cathulo siyamtshisa kodwa engasikhululi abe free ngepata-pata…umuntu onjalo uqeda umusa lothando. Maybe elikaMthwakazi selangiqeda uthando.
Grand Army and A Bit About Euphoria and An Even Littler Bit About Sex Education – A Review. Of Sorts.
✍White feminism is the worst kind of feminism (and don’t get me started on feminism in general) because not only is it not useful for non-whites (black women can’t weaponize tears for example, and tears are a white feminist’s Kalashnikov), but it is primarily selfish, cares nothing at all for community, and that is problematic. White feminism is about white women and their individuality and that is why black feminists who take up “the struggle” – 4th wave now or still 3rd?- will always, ALWAYS, be irrelevant to their communities, except the ones where they form book clubs and kumbaya about the patriarchy. But that’s another story.
✍I was saying, before I went off on that tangent, that white feminism is useless to anyone but white women and the central character of Grand Army, Joey, a white high schooler who learns that boys are stupid and that their stupidity has tragic consequences, is a perfect example of that. And that’s all I have to say about her. Joey makes me want to talk about the line between victim-blaming and personal responsibility but I know we’re not ready for that conversation because we don’t do nuance or context (or responsibility).
✍My favourite character is Dominique, a Haitian-American who is willing to enter into an arranged green card marriage to provide for her family. She’s stunningly beautiful and I’m a sucker for beautiful women, but also her acting is nuanced and heartfelt and her story is real and relevant. Watch for Dom, if nothing else.
✍And then there’s Leila. Leila is a Chinese girl adopted by white parents and she’s sickeningly annoying, clingy, and needy. Watch out for Leila if you want to know whether you’re a terrible person. If you have anything in common with her, you are. The series includes animated sequences that showcase Leila’s revenge fantasies in rather graphic anime-like detail. Not sure what the point is cos nobody cares; as a viewer I could have done with a lot less of Leila and her fantasies. The only reason I can find for Leila’s existence is to set up s2.
✍The jocks are what you expect from highschool jocks except one of them is Indian, closeted gay, and speaks in soundbites. Annoying.
✍There are of course other boys and girls; two of the black boys are significant to the overarching story. These are Dom and Joey’s friends and they’re all navigating high school, sex, and the politics of blackness (or proximity to blackness) with varying degrees of success. Of course there’s topical black oppression. Of course there’s a tragic black hero. Of course there’s a loudmouth bestfriend or two. ✍But there’s originality here too and that’s what redeems this show. It’s grittier than your average high school show and it’s gross in places but that might be because I’m a prude so ymmv (your mileage may vary).
⭐How does it compare to Euphoria? Euphoria is white privilege’s wet dream. I tried to watch it and made it to episode 5 before tapping out. There’s way too much gratuitous sex (go figure), too much privileged angst, too much teen stupidity and too much dysfunction even for modern American teens, and that’s saying a lot. Euphoria is trash that serves no purpose except to validate the petty, small, self-centred lives of privileged children who have nothing better to do except do drugs and live out their sex fantasies (or repress them and develop pathologies instead), so of course the powers that be will call it groundbreaking and whatever else, but it’s trash and Zendaya is wasted on it. To put it simply, as a black person, as a writer, and as a viewer, I found Euphoria offensive, incredibly trite, and retrogressive.
⭐How about compared to Sex Education? Grand Army is a whole lot coarser and dirtier (as in dirty, not sexy). Sex Education is British and quirky where Grand Army is American and unrefined. Take that however you like.
⭐Grand Army is good for what it is, and could be great. If it wasn’t so coarse it might have had ‘cult classic’ potential but it feels like the writers tried just a little too hard to infuse some shock value into storylines that didn’t need that extra attention.
✍Is this series brilliant? Well, it’s really good. Gross in parts but that’s ‘Murica for you, and it’s high-school ‘Murica so brace yourself.
✍Is it worth watching? Yes.
✍Did I enjoy it? Well, I watched it over a few days, not quite bingeing but also not one episode a week. Give it at least three episodes, and if you skip the opening sequence you won’t miss much, so feel free to hit that FF button.
⭐Bottom line? Watch Grand Army. It’s nothing like Fame though so be warned. Yes, I expected echoes of Fame, no, I don’t know why.
⭐Oh, and the ending? Perfection. I hope there’s a s2 because I want to see Leila get blown-up learn basic human decency, but also I really hope there isn’t because I don’t think they can do that ending justice.
They’ve been called ‘toenails of Satan’ and ‘trash’ but I still believe there’s a remnant of men who are genuinely clueless about how to live in harmony and be in fulfilling, life-affirming partnerships with women. I believe there are men who are so confused by the speed at which women are evolving and healing that they just don’t know how to be men in relation to these goddesses. Just yesterday a woman was no more than property (thanks, colonialism) and now women are saying “I’d rather be single than deal with a man’s bullshit.” Men don’t even know what that “bullshit” is, leaving both sexes frustrated and flailing in the dark. Men have been left behind and just don’t understand why women are choosing singledom over them. Here’s the thing they don’t understand: most self-respecting women would rather be single than tie themselves to unfuckable men. After all, “self love” is a thing. Pun intended.
If you’re a man who wants to be fuckable to high value women, here’s what you need to know (and apply).
How To Be Fuckable
1. Desire her. Not “a woman.” Her. Few things (in context) are more appealing to a woman who fucks men than a man who wants to be fuckable to her and is not only willing but able to prove it.
2. Make her laugh. Trust me on that. The thing is, it’s a “learn as you go” situation because different women find different things funny. A man might make one woman laugh and leave the next one wondering if he shouldn’t be committed. If you want her, make her laugh, and you’re in there like swimwear.
3. Turn her the fuck on. What turns her on? Well, refer to point 1. If you desire a particular woman you must invest time into getting to know her. If you don’t want to put in the time and the work of figuring out what moves her, then you don’t want her, you’re not the man for her, and you should move along.
4. Be lovable. When they choose to, women can love unreservedly. If you don’t want to be loved and/or if all you want in your “romantic” pursuits is no-strings-attached sex, then quality women often can’t fuck with you, literally and metaphorically. It takes more than a smile and a wink to get them nekkid. A lot more. The kind of woman I’m talking about desires a commitment to co-creation so she’ll decline offers for sex or partnership if she perceives that the man making the offer is a liar, cheater, user, abuser, or other unsavoury type. She can create and manifest the life she desires without a man and she knows it, so if she’s going to make room for a man in her already juicy life, he must enhance her experience of the world and be willing to have his enhanced by her. He must be open to receiving the gifts she has for the man who is able to receive her love: he must be lovable or she’ll keep it moving.
5. Be a provider and a protector. A self-actualizing woman will find it nearly impossible to maintain attraction for men who bring nothing to the table except swangin’ dycke. For 9/10 women (study conducted by yours truly) money is a love language, but a man who brings nothing but money is often viewed the same way as the man who brings nothing but dick i.e., both are undesirable. Healthy, high-value women are refusing to settle for less than the full package which includes (but is not limited to) money, sex, holistic wellness and wellbeing, and authenticity around matters of mutual desire. Refer to point 1. In addition, this kind of woman can’t fuck with a man she doesn’t respect and since she can feed, house and clothe herself, a man who wants to be fuckable to a high-calibre woman must step all the way up as a provider and protector. “The basics” alone just wont cut it.
But what does she bring to the table, feminized men and masculinized women will ask? Listen. Men are not women and women are not men and if you don’t know the difference then this isn’t the blog for you. I will say this though: quality women may use gigolos but they don’t allow them access to the magic. The magic is reserved for the fuckable ones and I guess the question is, but are you fuckable though?
Being fuckable to quality women isn’t really complicated; this thing is simple. The self-development world puts it this way: be the person you want to attract. If you’re not ‘pulling’ the high calibre women you want it’s not because they don’t exist, it’s because you’re not fuckable to them. The problem is not women, it’s you. You’re not fuckable to quality women. When you become a better man and have the 5 fuckability factors on lock, you’ll find your goddess and not only that, you’ll know how to keep her. It’s not rocket science.
Listen, I’m not gon’ lie. I know you’re gon’ say it’s because I have a thing for men from Bulawayo but Vusa Mkhaya‘s just-released Ngiyabonga Mina feels like a love letter from a man who wants you to know what he’s about before he shows you just what he can do. For the record, I have a thing for myself. Men from Byo are just the masculine version of me, get it? Ok.
I wish I was the kind of person who could write about melodies and rhythm, about beats and pitch, give metronome detail and write intelligently about the technicalities of music, but I’m not. I’m just a girl from Bulawayo who believes in sharing beautiful things. Listen to me when I tell you that this track is a beautiful thing and you need it in your life.
I really wanted to write about this one too but Thembi Terry did such a good job there really was no need for me to add my two cents. Yes I do expect you to click all those links and explore what you find there.
So what is it about this track? In a word, everything.
This is Bulawayo in song, a love letter from Bulawayo to Bulawayo. You probably think I’m saying that for dramatic effect but I promise you, I’m not.
Something about this track will remind my generation of that old Bulawayo vibe when Christmas was ikhisimusi yamaqini and going to the Trade Fair was a family event until you were old enough for Luna Park with your boyfriend. It’s nostalgic and current, vibey and yet it feels like a comfort blanket because listen, this man knows what he’s doing. If you don’t believe me, check out his other music on Spotify. He’s probably on iTunes too but I wouldn’t know because Apple fanboys and the dictatorship that is Apple are yet to recruit me to the dark side. Yes, I said it. Fight yourself. But back to Ngiyabonga Mina…
I don’t know if Mkhaya kaNdlovu knows about Christmas and Trade Fair like lok’shin culture knows about those things, but I do now that he knows Bulawayo and her people and that he’s given that most beautiful of cities a shout-out of note, and I’m here for it. You should be too.
What I’m saying is, if you know about Bulawayo, you know. If you don’t know worry not, because Ngiyabonga Mina is a love letter and like all well-written love letters, you don’t have to be the addressee to understand it and appreciate it. Just click play, fam. Thank me later or better yet, share this track with a friend and tag our new fav himself.
The lyrics, the IsiNdebele (yes fam, modern nomenclature for Nguni languages demands that the Isi is always capitalized), the collaborative energy, and above all the definitive statements that Bulawayo and her diaspora can strongly relate to – Nkos’ yami, you all already know I’m a sucker for all these things.
My favourite part of Ngiyabonga Mina comes at the 3:21 mark: “From Bulawayo to the world, angesabi lutho. Ng’hamba loNkulunkulu wami, ngihamba laba phansi...”
Jesus be some self-control, dammit mani. I’m over here fan-girling at my big age!
I don’t know about you but it’s the BDE for me. I’d break that down for you but this post is already too long. I’m nothing if not considerate of my readers.
I saw an article titled ‘Byo Arts Awards: Why Awa Missed Out.’ How’s that for a click-bait title? You won’t know that that’s what it is until you read the article and discover that it’s not so much an objective analysis of Bulawayo’s awards season and Awa’s standing thereof, but a rather thinly-veiled attempt to achieve relevancy by coming for Awa with snarky jibes and not much else – and doing so with spectacularly bad sentence construction and questionable grammar. To whoever wrote that piece, don’t come for Awa unless she sends for you, futhi khipha ibizo lakhe emlonyeni wakho.
The title of the article states that Awa ‘missed out’ on a nomination for a BA award. Like anyone with a basic grasp of English Literacy would, I assumed the article would be about the unfairness of the process, or that it would detail some technicality or other that put her out of the running, or expose shenanigans in the upper echelons of the awarding body…you know, something useful or at the very least, relevant. Imagine my surprise (read: dismay) when I got to this sentence: “I would have loved to see her name on the nominees list, but she had no music for submission.”
Dear Editor of Fokus. If Awa had no music for submission then what, exactly, is this drivel article about???
Now, here’s where shit gets real. See, I read that article and since the title was misleading af I got to thinking – what was the desired goal here? I’m not a regular reader of Fokus because I’m not in these entertainment streets like that, but what I know about the article in question is that it reeks of misogyny and a thirst for clicks.
There was absolutely no need to bring Awa into a discussion about the awards since, according to the article, she had no music available for consideration. If the writer wanted to write about their longing for something fresh from her, there’s a way to do that and this aint it, fam. This ain’t it. I suggest he/she/they ask the Navy how to lovingly submit a request for new music: RiRi hasn’t released anything in half a century. In the meantime: khipha ibizo likaAwa emlonyeni wakho. Asikufuni khonokho. Int’ oyenzayo s’yayizonda. Insert other Proudly Bulawayo demands for better behaviour here.
It’s all fun and games and “nothing personal” until your words are examined for intent and it becomes clear that you’re clout-chasing, whoring for clicks, and throwing lowkey shade for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with supporting Awa’s art. Not that everyone has to support her but dammit, if you’re going to claim you love her at least let your commentary reflect that. Whoever wrote this needs to do better and no, we’re not fooled by the “she’s family” line. Sibadala. The Editor of Fokus needs to do better, too. This article should never have been run under this headline, or at all. Lingangiphikisi liyangikhwezela iBP.
P.S. There’s no link to the article in question. That’s deliberate. We do not reward poor behaviour.
The most interesting thing this week has been watching zanu beneficiaries post Barry Lungu’s artwork and attach emotive posts like they don’t benefit from zanu privilege.
If Zimbabweans REALLY want change we must align our personal interactions with our politics.
Because the personal is political.
It’s crying emojis on social media and kiki’ing and high-fives at home because home is only standing thanks to zanu.
zanu is not some ephemeral, untouchable force of evil, zanu is people.
Before tweeting about change, what have you done to advocate for change with the people you call family and friends? Before you answer that let me remind you that words mean nothing. Action is what counts. Who must do that work?
zanu is you not holding your circle accountable and instead actually benefitting from the corruption and oppression of others. Ever wonder how that friend always ends up in the VIP section at national events with a per diem allowance in US$, or how that NGO stays getting funding and government contracts? You don’t wonder because you know it’s thanks to alignment with zanu, and you don’t really care except on social media or when it’s trendy to perform outrage as it is now.
zanu is tweeting with one hand and receiving zanu largesse with the other.
zanu is complaining about zanu policies to your zanu lover while making love with him in your zanu-funded house after he comes back from his zanu job.
zanu ain’t going nowhere because zanu is us.
All of us.
When you say #zanumustgo but also keep zanu close because well that’s my family, or that’s how I get those tenders and contracts and how else would my business survive if I don’t do business with zanu, what kind of change do you really want and how do you think it will come?
Which zanu must go when you are zanu?
We see you but we don’t judge you because you are us and because idla lapho ebotshelwe khona. But respect us. Just shut up, sit on your typey fingers and eat that zanu blood money quietly.
Zanu is going nowhere. We are zanu and zanu is us.
Bulawayo is telling truths only these days kanti kusani? I’m here for it. Khokhela sambe we Nyongolo, mbabazane eyahaqaza amabhunu lasemasendeni, okwatsho imbongi.
I swear I don’t go looking for these things, they come to me.
The first time I saw this Facebook ad I ignored it because there’s a lot going on and I didn’t have the capacity to deal with ‘Mthwakazi’ rhetoric, which is what I expected from a track titled Nyongolo.
The next time it came up on my feed I ignored it again. Guiltily, because #cityofkings, and because this post is still fresh however, no capacity.
Third time’s the charm though because I finally clicked the SoundCloud link and…
It’s one of those tracks that makes you want to Google the lyrics so you can sing-along, immediately.
Not only is the beat perfectly suited to the cadence of the rhymes/bars (or vice-versa, whatever) but the lyrics – oh my God the lyrics. Pretty simple on the surface but if you know the history (as in, the history) then you know that whoever wrote this knows a lot more about Nyongolo and isiNtu than they’re letting on.
I developed an instant semi-crush on whoever wrote this track because damn, the big dick energy hinted at will be something to behold when this fire matures and settles into smouldering unquenchable heat. It’s the difference between a black man in his 20s and one in his 40s. Both are virile and strong (please, I’m not talking about your sugar daddy with the beer belly) but there’s something that comes with age that Ben 10 just doesn’t have.
I’m saying. Rappers flexin’ is kinda boring to me but once in a while along comes one who flexes and my ovaries and I sit up and take notice. Give this man a few years and he could really make me pay attention and like it. Of course I don’t know him, have no idea what he even looks like, all I have is this SoundCloud link and an inclination to see what else he has done. His talent is undeniable and that’s hella sexy to me.
If you know anything about Nyongolo, about Bulawayo, you’ll love this. If you love isiNdebele rap/hip-hop, you’ll love this.
If you love isiNdebele, period – well… you’re welcome.