Bongeziwe Mabandla: A 21st Century Psalmist

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart..” Samuel 13:14

Bongeziwe
Photographs by Micha Serraf & Kaeli Justus

‘Acoustic, intimate and very African’ are the words Bongeziwe Mabandla uses to describe his music in an interview with Often headlined as the new face of Afro-Folk Bongeziwe’s first album ‘umlilo’ was nominated for two SAMA awards for best newcomer and best adult African album. Taking the stage at rocking the daisies, his sounds now play to global audiences, by some he is compared to the legendary Vusi Mahlasela.  Indeed, the quality of Bongi’s artistry can not be questioned. Nonethless It’s not his accolades I’d like to dwell on in this post, rather the deep sense of spiritual invigoration I have gained in the past few weeks from his latest album, ‘Mangaliso’.

bongeziwe .jpgIt was midday, Sunday the 21st that we sat to listen to the sounds of Bongeziwe Mabandla. There’s a melancholy to his acoustic sound, a mixture of folk, storytelling, mild-rock, traditional African music, orchestra, and purpose.

On this immersive May noon, the festive flair at the Old Biscuit Mill felt eclectic and inevitable. As the dark-skinned young man with sharp features and a fresh fashion sense took the stage women quickened to the floor, men unchivalrously rushed to do the same across the lawn. Oranges and glimmering yellow lanterns scintillating above the crowd.  Continue reading “Bongeziwe Mabandla: A 21st Century Psalmist”

Time Wasters /Life Wasters

Hello Apple Crunchers 

It’s been far too long. I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

I am home for the week and of course far deeper in thought than usual. There is something about home that refocuses your energy, makes you ponder your paths, habits & plans etc. This includes how I am using my time. Got my beloved mother to sit down with me and converse on themes we’ve identified as time wasters which equate to wasting your life.

Continue reading “Time Wasters /Life Wasters”

Practical Tips on writing, editing & publishing from renown S.A authors

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Copies of the rustic poetry pages kept since the mid 90’s

In 1997 my mother had a collection of poetry written in isiXhosa that she had submitted to Shuter & Shooter Educational Publishers. At the time they could not accept her contribution to African authorship. With the passing of time, raising children single-handedly, keeping a 9-5+ job what would have been a book, became a dream deferred.

Dry(ing) up like a raisin in the sun. Sag(ging) like a heavy load

A decade later and the ache to author had ma and her beloved friend Mandie visiting the Mother City to meet publishers, authors, translators, and government writing institutions such as The National Library. Continue reading “Practical Tips on writing, editing & publishing from renown S.A authors”

Defense(s)less The cousin you never call Pt2

Part 2 of The cousin you never call (Pt1)

(names, village networks, shame, community violence, difference,  absent fathers)

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Siki was raised. Yet his birth had been unexpected. Mother (Zolelwa) had been delinquent. They hid in the garden and sank beneath a bush camouflaged by overlays of flattering brown grass to cover their sin. She (Sikis’ mother) shifted and settled her back on the grainy surface of the large brownish rock. She lifted the hem of her dress, and let Bhut’Sbongile rub in-between her dry legs. His callous hands’ cupping, caressing the supple bits of her inner legs, pressing where the back of her thigh rolled in to join her plump bum. His ballpoint fingers tendering, rising then falling primly on the smooth, soft flesh where her panties rested. Quick. Stolen. Short gluckings from the slight dampness that dewed over their thighs.

Sikis’ birth, a byproduct of scurried sex.

Continue reading “Defense(s)less The cousin you never call Pt2”

The cousin you never call (Pt1)

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Growing up, Siki’s mother (Zolelwa) lived with makhulu (Her mother’s sister). Makhulus lineage was the blessed one, not Zolelwas’ mothers’ line. From makhulus’ waist emerged the brightest minds. Teachers, nurses, school principles, community leaders and clerks. Her children were of the few who managed to complete form 5 and later on move out of the village, not to toil underground in the mines of eGoli. They moved further – attended night schools – could recite stanzas from Sonnet 116 –  became teachers in small towns – married young – bore and or raised children immediately. All in sequence.

Though Zolelwa (Siki’s mother) was in the same age range as makhulus’ first set of grandchildren they were always destined to have a different future to hers. Though they splintered from one trunk, born of the same seed, awakened by the same rhythmic beat that drummed when their clan names were loudly proclaimed, tangled in blood, knotted in the connectedness of their last names… even so, it was clear that she and they would branch out differently. Continue reading “The cousin you never call (Pt1)”

Congruence “I meet together, I agree”

S E L F   P O T R A I T |  I N C O N G R U E N CE

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Her body is history. Two decades long and counting. History is winter, autumn, summer, spring. Seasons & bones. Alike they break and reset.

Ashen winter logs, autumn leaves crayoned in fades, sapphires & burning  oranges. Spring floristry peeling open like artwork at the sharp angle where her cheek and eye muscles join.

Soft summer rainbows reeling from her shoulders, sinking in her collar cleft, climbing up her neck line, pirouetting into yellow dots, inked over her strong cheek bones. Rising, till the soft bend of her brow.  Continue reading “Congruence “I meet together, I agree””

Flights, Fortune, Freedom & Friendship

“Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets (legibly) so one may easily read it/ that he who runs may read it.”  Habakkuk 2:2

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This morning whilst scrolling through old emails, I found a note from Siba to our ladies connect group. A love note full of prayer items that God has since soo faithfully answered.  

Siba  (whom I affectionately refer to as my roomie) captured and followed to send back  an email singling each of our said goals stated at cell group. Our Outcries. Our hearts hopes & Anxieties. Ambitions. Pleadings and prayers. She ends her note with these words

we need to follow-up. Accountability is key so that we keep track of the work that God is doing in our lives..I am willing to facilitate this process each month.”

Continue reading “Flights, Fortune, Freedom & Friendship”