Uncategorized

And scene (2017).

I peeled off my legendary  ‘mask of composure’ for all of two seconds but the tears continued dropping for roughly an hour. I had my Samsung in hand, plotting via Whatsapp text, the moves and manoeuvres I have prepared to carry into January 2018. Most of the faces on the other end of the line will not be able to tell that on some days my heart still shatters. On some days, I really don’t have it all together.

The year 2017 has been far more gracious than the two years that preceed it.  Thank God! So much so, I finally caught a glimpse of my not so familiar “happy weight” and I remember to eat at least twice a day. Again, there are earthly angels who have held my hand through even these things, that seem small, like chewing and swallowing more than one spoonful. 

My Montessori practicals brought about routine, which was necessary.  I had forgotten that my best days are Mondays, just before sunrise. Should I tell you about Mondays? The promise they carry? Maybe another time.  I am so beautifully privileged to live, learn, grow and love amongst children in the Montessori environment.  These humans cleanse my spirit. They are God’s tangible reminder that He can make anything new. And that when He creates He does this with great delicacy coupled only with the agape kind of love. That even through challenged speech, crooked walks and difficult tantrums there is so much beauty and potential. So so much. 

I laid my favourite uncle Stephan to rest on my birthday, 06-04-2017.  I walked into my parent’s living room and my father held me as if he would never let go again. My mother tried to break the news as gently as possible; This birthday like a few others would be heavy.  I smiled, genuinely on that Thursday afternoon.  Every mother who raised me, remembered that their little girl was growing up, painfully yes, but growing still. One mother sang quietly whilst holding me in the warmest embrace at the gravesite. Oh the joy.  My cousin sister Phumzile loved to sing. She had a stunning contra alto and was so humerous. She has 3 young children who with us bid her farewell about a month before. Death snatched her before her very own birthday.  The Wednesday after her passing, my mother would lose her cousin, my maternal uncle. I could continue with this morbid list but rather not. I will share this however; Never have I anticipated and yearned for a text from the being who became a stranger as I did during that time. If not for my comfort, just to know that they are still breathing.

I got rid of those dreadlocks that most of you had come to appreciate. And they will not make a return in the new year, or ever. There were a few lessons locked in those loose curl locs though, such as patience. Could we learn to be just a bit more patient with ourselves? Allow ourselves to break down so we can build bigger canvases for the masterpieces we were born to become. We are made of so much, to be so much, so why the rush? Who are you pitted against except you, that you must hurry sometimes with no plan or pleasure in the moments pocketed in your journey? 

I am realising that if I attempt to breakdown every pivotal piece in 2017, I may lose you half way through this blog. We can’t risk this in case I have some epic one liner to share right at the end. So please stay with me, almost there.

Music. We are still an “old married couple”. We bicker quite a bit but the love? Endless. I placed The Verse on a partial hiatus for many reasons, including seriously not having enough time to be as dedicated to the music and management affairs as I should be. Also because I am exhausted of coming home with only enough to cover petrol for a night and squeeze in those horrid burgers from that place which is closely matched to my surname. I have the pleasure however of working with the most talented artists, who constantly feed my soul and mind with their art. I am grateful for this. Theatre fits into the neat bag of goodies carrying the better part of my year. What a beautiful medium. Stories that break your heart and mend it all at the same time. Have you seen Masasa Mbangeni on stage? You should. 

“You need to own the fact that you are an actress” said the director after the acting workshop. “You are magic” said my gorgeous Tess after the shooting of a pilot with our mutual friend Kabomo. I had completely forgotten this. I became so familiar with appreciating what was around me, what was inside me was brutally silenced. I reach into the bag of better things and scream chants of gratitude to the angels that walk in dust as humans do because I am now AWAKE. 

I can not call you all by name but know that the God who sees me, sees you. 

I’ve stopped crying, for now. I have things to giggle about. I have things to sit in praise about. I have stuff to pray for and pray about.  Because I want laugh as I did in this year; tenfold at the break of a new season. I want to blush and bite my lip while my eyelashes fall in a dry(tearless) curl. I want to make you laugh too. I want to be strong for you. So I cry when life asks me to, so that I better understand your tears and gently drag you to a place of quiet.  You can then choose to burrow and break so that you can begin to rebuild but if you need a bit more time for it to make sense, that is okay too. I have been here. 

Mondays are full of promise. So is a new year. The 1st of January is just another day, if you choose to see it that way. I thankfully have OCD, hahaha, so the first of anything is brilliant really. Ask me personally about this

Happy New Year 

@Mluart 

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Thought Box, Uncategorized

UNdo (18.09.2012) 

Five years ago today, at roughly 08:00, I stood waiting outside the magistrate office. I would legally and otherwise bind myself to the picture of forever that I had carefully woven in my heart and mind. Today, I can’t commit to a celebration. So instead I will rabble in reflection below… 

“That only happens in movies” they said. We defied their limited notions with a timeless kiss in the dirty streets of Johannesburg, while clinging to our pockets lest those who picked them, found them. Weeks later a meeting you would have with a familiar stranger would anger me and have me tuck my heart’s keys away lest YOU found them. But your eyes sparkled with ambition and your hands struck me with desire; I loosened my grasp. 

My father said “dare not be unequally yoked, how then would you raise your children?”. He said this deeply simmering with delight at your wish to take my hand and make an honest woman of me. We lay excitedly gazing at the single pearl on my finger, speaking of what WOULD be. Rarely did we speak of what COULD be if we lost the keys we both had been entrusted with.

My diamond ring which pardoned the single pearl, after the familiar stranger made a mockery of it would be tainted still… My old lover would leave this earth. You asked me to mourn, maybe wishing that, that would wash the corners of my soul that you still hadn’t occupied. I could only dream of being called your wife. My tears were aimless. Was I mourning the one who was or what was predestined to be.

Before you watched me walk down the isle, fame, money and adoration found us. No, wait… It found you. I happily walked with you, sapphire and diamonds in hand. I had a piece of paper now that carried all the promises of “for better or worse, till death do us part”. This little piece of paper wrapped the keys inside of it and invited my mind to it’s warm abode. I became delusional. Your eyes never wandered and neither did mine, why worry about those would pry lustfully at my flesh and your status? Our cellphones carried no weight of passcodes. Our home reeked of pleasure and satisfaction. Our eyes glistening with promise. We have found what we were looking for in that timeless kiss on the dirty streets of Johannesburg.

I remember the first time I cussed at you. The first time I threw something at you. I remember how I broke the promise never to slumber in anger. See, we understood that heart’s stop beating in the mornings too. What we didn’t know was that the covenants of lovers had hearts too. 

“In 5 years we will review this contract.” We laughed loudly. 

I laugh now remembering the fourth. The fourth of six. Six years of analysing the colours in your eyes. Six year of birthdays and deaths, of humans and covenants too. I want to forget. The death of the colours in your eyes that painted my heart’s canvas. 

Year seven pending year five, I bought a bucket of paint. Black. I poured it over my soul. It dripped. Down to my feet and left bare the lessons I HAD to learn from YOU, from LIFE, from LOVE, that were specially crafted FOR ME. 

Love with no reservations. Love stupidly. Love completely. Love to death. Love beyond death. Love beyond pain. Love your scars. Love the flowers on the graves of your hand written happily ever afters. Love YOU first, after God. Love the journey. Love him. Love him despite. Love him inspite. Love prayer. Love commitment. Love recreation, rehabilitation, restoration. Love your children. Love their children. Love their joys. Love LOVE.

This piece of paper no longer holds my mind. This was no choice of mine. Life spat in my face often enough and entrenched it’s vile stench in my hands; Each time I dared to wipe my tears I would smell the struggle. The struggle to be who I promised to be while loving you. Loving us. Loving this. So my mind detached in search of cleaner spaces. 

Almost eight and safely at five, I would only changed two things. The deaths of the beings we coloured in hopes of creating masterpieces.

The rest should stay the same. How else would I undo the knots of premature promises I made to you. How else would I learn to celebrate what has become at FIVE.

It was/is NECESSARY 

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Uncategorized

But I couldn’t 

If only I could say what I really mean. 

With a passion for writing and a natural ability to engage, you would assume that I would take any opportunity to bare my raw thoughts, but I couldn’t. Not with prying eyes and spectators who are more concerned with the business of others. Not as a practioner in the entertainment industry who’s partner is growing daily in celebrity status. Not as someone who has already suffered front page stage lights and lashings on the Internet. 

I am also a musician. I could have written songs that tell my stories and choreographed dance pieces that paint the picture, but I couldn’t. My eyes would swell up with tears, my chest would grow tight, my hands numb with anxiety, I would simply buckle.

For a while now I have alluded through my blog, social media and other mediums that I am having some difficulty navigating this ‘life thing’. I can now attest to a human flaw in the digital age. We rarely can draw the line between what we share and our personal lives. From rants to encrypted status updates to bible verses, we hold back very little. People close to us however can usually tell. They will send a kind text warning you of the possible repercussions of airing your dirty laundry. But, when you are filled with enough ills you begin to emit the vile toxins, sometimes without intention.

My anxiety disorders are amplified when various stressors present themselves. My disorder also presents itself physically. If you have had to say to me “Mathunzi, you look tired”, this is probably why. In itself, anxiety is something that is very hard to explain. Even those closest to you, who have perhaps observed an intense panic attack, or have read a page with your diagnosis cannot always fully grasp what you are experiencing. I have grown tired of trying to explain it or how recent events make it almost impossible to get through it quickly enough. Everyone has a solution by the way. The most popular is “Pray”.  Do not get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate these sentiments. Sadly my silence does not give you a large enough scope to allow you to prescribe a remedy. (Prayer is always appropriate, but is it enough).

An emotion I experience quite often is rage. I am angry. And even angrier that I cannot speak as I please. I am angry that some decisions about my life were made void of my presence or opinion. I am angry that my temper and reactions to being taunted and abused were used to guilt trip me into submission to suffer more, and sometimes even more aggressive abuse. It upsets me greatly that, more so as a woman, you must find ways to mask your pain and still miraculously show up. The horror in discovering that women are woman’s greatest oppressor. From vague disrespect to out right cruelty. A generation of inhumane social predators.

Not all my experiences were cultivated by another person or people, some of it was beyond human control. It however does not take away from my failure to comprehend the active and purposed participation of humans in destabilising anothers entire existence. Obviously no one has the power or capacity to achieve this, but they will at least try. With a need to feel superior or greater than, humans who are made of weak moral fibre and poor self actualization will do just about anything to “thrive”. Sometimes sadly, the people closest to you will embark on this damaging assignment, leaving not only you and loved ones empty, but themselves entirely worn. When this occurs the most likely turn is that of ambition to bitterness, causing for more evils to stir.

Someone said to me recently that I refuse to accept that there is very little good in some people. This then poses as a problem in accepting my circumstances which are conditoned by such persons. Maybe this is why I fail to speak. I fail to speak because I am yet to process. I fear being ridiculed for premature outlandish vocalisations of my truth. I fear my decisions to protect myself may not be seen as “normal” enough to be found acceptable.
I have said enough in writing this to trust that my voice has not been consumed and one day I will speak. It’s funny how I always urge others to speak. Not only speak, but seek help and support. To value themselves and the one life they get to live. To love themselves fiercely. I ask them to come to be and never fear judgment. I ask God to make things right. To elevate them from the confines of confusion and hurt. But I couldn’t do this for myself.

I am not ashamed of my scars or my fresh woulds which are salted on occasion. I am simply enslaved by the fear of exposing what lays beneath these bandages in case I fail to recover. I love myself enough to have started the process off removing things and people who do not serve me well. I simply don’t know how one learns to ‘unlove’ in learning to better love themselves.

I will write about learning to forgive myself another time. What a necessary process. My apologies again to the reader whom I did not satisfy by leaving out all the tantalising details. Maybe over a cup of coffee 

 

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Uncategorized

Confessions of a young wife Part 1 

My sincerest apologies to all those who were getting ready to indulge in tabloid type gossip. Perhaps I will visit that realm in Part 4. There will only be 3 parts in the year of 2016 and I am hoping to have numbed all traces of “woman scorned” by 2017.This then suggests that Part 4 may never come to exist,(In short, don’t hold your breath). 

Growing up I spoke very little. I was extremely opinionated but I used my words sparingly. I then got married in 2012. The flood gates were opened and I just could not stop. My endless jabbering was fueled by the fact that my husband, who also spoke very little to most, and kept his opinions to himself, was responding. Not only to my commentary, but in equal quantity with his very own. Where lies the problem you ask? I no longer seem to know WHEN to simply keep my mouth shut. 

Marriage is a tricky maze to navigate. It requires excellent precision, patience and dedication. “Communication is key” is probably one of the most heard of statements by those embarking on a marital journey and those who are curious about it. What “they” (the people we assume know better) rarely emphasize that silence is just as, if not in certain circumstances, more important.

When dealing with annoying habits or when things get a little heated, what runs the fastest is the tongue. Sterotype exist for a reason. Woman tend to excel at this. I personally learned just how much I could say in moments of frustration. Put into play the power struggle of “who has the last word” and you have yourself a full episode of Game of Thrones in your living room or bedroom,in 4D. 

I have sat too many times in retrospect and realized that all I had to do was hold my tongue. “Winning” an argument could be a loss as far as the cause. Fighting to get your point across is a breeding ground for war. Listening is truly a skill many do not possess.

From a wife’s perspective, I wish our gift registries included a box full of ‘Shut Up’. Don’t get me wrong, I am an attentive listener, but in a fit of rage most of what you hear sharpens the weapons of your responses. Now, once things are said they can not be retracted. “I am sorry I said that” is not a marital vacuum cleaner. Some times what you have to say may be right on the money, but in the wrong place and/or at the wrong time it may turn into the most useless piece of information that is expressed on planet earth, in that moment.

The ability to ‘say something’ may also become the birth of spite. How many time do you say something simply to touch a nerve because you feel wronged? 

The tongue can be damaging. From either spouse, be it either sex, what comes out of your mouth may be the glue that keeps you and your spouse together or the match stick that destroys all you have worked so hard to build. 

This is a lesson I am still learning. I sadly seem to be a slow learner in this regard. When choosing a partner I’d assume one would pick someone with a decent level of reasoning power. Saying what is necessary and leaving your spouse to process the information, without interruption could allow for them to find confidence in who they can become for you. 

Once voices are raised and insults are hurled, the aim is lost.

Looking back, even if all it served was retaining my dignity in how I am considerate of my spouse in what I said, there are times I could and should have kept quiet. 

Knowing also the debilitating feeling of being on the receiving end shouldn’t one remain mindful? 

Not only in marriage, but in all engagements, I am going shopping for the biggest box of Shut Up. Empty vessels make the most noise. Thoughtless women destroy with their tongues. 

Cook or something,I hear it’s calming 

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Thought Box, Uncategorized

Finding hope in emptiness…

I saw two absolutely gorgeous girls in princess costumes. My heart leaped with adoration. Then it stopped for a second. Am I allowed to dream about the day when wands and ballets shoes fill my corridor. The day when soccer balls stain my walls. I have never seen so many expectant moms and young children in a short space of time,as I have at my most longing. Is the universe taunting me or am I just more aware because my dreams still haunt me. 

I have always been good with children. In fact I believe my life’s purpose it to create better spaces and a promising life for all the little ones I can reach. My studies, even in the arts are directed towards their well being. I am always the first to offer to babysit. Baby showers generate a ridiculous level of excitement inside of me. So with all this, what now? 

I believe in God, in his divine purpose, but never have I ever struggled so much to ask him what this plan is all about. All I have managed is a request for calm and a heavenly dose of pain management. 

I appreciate and adore my family and friends who have shown up and continue to embrace my struggle and give me reasons to smile. 

Recent posts have been pleas with the world to learn the art of not poking at situations that may be sensitive, but till this moment I am asked why in my 4th year of marriage I have nothing to show as far as children go. Why I don’t ‘bless’ my parents with grandchildren. I was always swift in my polite responses,but of late I use every inch of strength to hold my tongue and not sharply ask that you mind your own damn business. 

An advocate for adoption,I worry how in this space I can adequately do what Iv always sought to do,which is to love those who never asked to be born and tossed. 

Its pretty dark in here. So where do I find hope? 

Im writing and posting this as not only a step towards the liberation I seek,but a call to women and men alike to liberate themselves. Allow your heart to speak. Empty your soul,so when new hope is found,it finds a place to settle and bloom. 

   

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Music, Uncategorized

Ncamisa Nqana 

  
You could almost always guarantee that where she is present there is laughter and a whole lot of noise. In my first year in the Jazz & Popular Music department I knew Ncamisa as the girl who set the music building alight (not literally) with her quircky dances, fits of laughter and friendly banter with almost everyone. I had no clue as to what lay beneath all that sass. 

And then I heard Ncamisa perform ‘Body and Soul’ for a peer’s recital performance/exam and I was taken aback. Her rendition was almost flawless, shaming some singers who came before. This was jazz… We started talking and soon became friends. Ncamisa would assist me with music theory and backing vocals for live gigs. One of the few people who would give me feedback regarding the flaws in my performance, and I could walk away feeling enlightened, a better vocalist, as I knew it always came from a good place with the intention to help me grow. 

Many of us constantly nagged Ncami about going solo. Personally, I now feel I was still not aware of the magnitude of her talent. When I saw the poster with the details of her performance, my heart leaped. I had heard Ncamisa perform some of her original pieces at a charity event organized by her older sister (also a musician), family and I. Her writing was impressive. Her co composer is Teboho, who is also her and my pianist, ( His feature is coming soon). Now lets skip to the good part. 

Friday night, the stage was embodied with greatness. Clean jazz tones, creative lyrics, humor, classic vocals, a warm and put together band. Ncamisa had her moment and lived her truth. After what had been an intense week, my heart was lifted. Not only by seeing a good friend finally live her dream but what a worth while, quality performance. I cant really describe it, so here are a few snippets. 

Her name is Ncamisa Nqana, find her and follow her musical journey. 

 Link to Ncamisa’s biography will be added soon    

 

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Music, Uncategorized

Lu Chase media launch 

  

It was quite an intimate affair. Guests quietly mingled in the foyer of the Yamaha World venue, while waiting to meet and hear from Lu Chase in the venue’s theatre. Welcome drinks and finger foods were served as we waiting for the grand performance. I spotted the likes of RJ Benjamin as well as a few industry practitioners.     I was in attendance with my friend and assistant Katlego Katly Sethlare, and together we eagerly waited for the music to begin. The event’s commencement ran slightly over time, but we soon found it was all worth the short wait.  

 
We were met inside the intimate venue by grandeur. With her strong and well rehearsed band behind her Lu Chase shared with her audience her big voice, big personality and true passion for the music . Her sound, she has classified as ‘Soul’ but one cannot miss the tempo and excited aura of Rock n’ Roll. Through costume changes, choreographed musical movement of wings and songs that kept you on your feet, Lu Chase kept us well engaged and entertained. The set was not long, but its impact was felt.  Here is a short snippet, with a dash of long legs for effect

I met with Lu Chase to chat for a bit and below is a snippet of what I discussed with this talented South African beauty.  

• Tell me a little bit about yourself, where you come from and if it is allowed, how old you are 

I am 33 years old, I’m from Cape Town born and bred, but I now reside in Johannesburg and I absolutely love it here. It has really shifted my perspective on my brand and my industry quite a bit. I started off working in Musical theatre when I was 5 years old. So from 5 until 1997 when I performed for Quincy Jones I was doing musical theatre. After that I started a couple of bands and I was the head writer for a couple of labels, so I was writing songs straight out of high school, for a German label. I never thought that I would be the person in the front because my self esteem was so low, but through self discovery and costant seeking of the spiritual self I’ve now gotten to a place where I am ready to front. 

• Was music always your first choice and why or why not? 

It was always my first choice. As I said I suffered from really low self esteem so I didn’t think that I was worth it but, the very first thing I remember, being 5 years old, being pushed onto stage by my aunt and I had to sing a song. I got onto stage and I was so scared, but they gave me the mic and the light went on. The second that light went on I felt so safe. Im sure you can understand, its that feeling of absolute safety. There is nothing I can compare it to, its like home. So I knew at the age of 5 but, growing up in the area and community where I grew up, everyone always wanted me to sound like someone else. And so I always tried to sound like someone else. And then I did that show for Quincy Jones in 1997 and I said to him “everyone wants me to sound like singers you’ve produced before” but I don’t sound like Diana Ross or Tamia, my tone is so husky  and so dirty and he said ” But thats your tone. No on is going to come from America to South Africa to buy what they can buy in America honey”. So I said ok, and that set me off on a path of distinction. 

• Who are your 3 biggest musical influences and why? 

Prince! Prince just brings it man. You know he plays every instrument? And his ear is so tuned. He will go into a mixing studio and say “could you please cut 5mhz off the end of that bass roll” and if you don’t do it he will come back, listen and say ” well its good but I don’t hear that 5 mhz gone”. As horrible as he was, Ike Turner. Tina Turner has the voice that she does because she was blessed with it, but Ike Turner is the reason Tina’s voice came out the way it did. The musicallity around it just absolutely amazing. There are so many others that my brain is going like ‘ting’. I also love Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

• How would you describe your genre of music? 

Its Soul. It’s pure soul. Soul with a sprinkle of Rock n’ Roll. That is what it is. 

• Please tell us about your debut album, when it will be available and where we can find you on social media etc… 

Social media http://www.facebook.com/luchase  On Instagram it is @luchase26 Im born on the 26th of May not because I am a gangster. Twitter @msluchase. My album will be released at the end of Spring. It is my favorite season and a time for people to get social here in South Africa. The album is titled Soul’d Out because it’s all Soul. My first single has been released to radio stations, they are taking their time with it but coupled with the music video we have shot I hope it will take off. It is called ‘By my side’ and you can find it on 750 online platforms. Simply google Lu Chase – By my side and you will find it.  

 Thank you Lu Chase for the good music and the invite to enjoy not only your music but your being as a performer. 

Thank you Goldie Styling for allowing me to cover this event. It was a total pleasure. 

https://www.facebook.com/.GoldiestylingLoveLocal.Culture

Keep an eye out for Lu Chase’s upcoming album. Follow her on social media and check out her live performances. She brings a lot of heat to the stage. Something for the soul, rock n roll and live music fans to enjoy. 

Thunzy for Goldie Styling 

  

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