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



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.


“GODritude” (an attitude of gratitude towards God.

God is described in so many different ways by different people. In fact, to some He does not exist. Not the God of christians or that of spiritualists, there simply is none.

Gratitude is relative. It is experienced and expressed in various ways and forms. I for instance have spoken of “love languages” which are sometimes used to express gratitude for the existence of others or their presence in one’s life. Or to share in what one has been blessed with.

So what is “GODritude”?

The simple answer; A term I coined whilst rolling around on my bed on a Thursday night, while trying to avoid this somber trail that has befallen my timeline. Listen, there was some quarrel about how to form the word, if to use it, how to use it and how it would be received. I honestly wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Thankfully, the meaning I have attached to my newly formed favourite word, allowed for the progress of this piece.

I complain, a lot. Sometimes in the private rooms of my mind, but boy I can go on. I sometimes complain myself into literal depression and lose an entire day sobbing hopelessly in bed (I seem to really like my bed huh?) Anxiety has it’s hand in this but we will revisit that topic another time.

I also get snippy with God a bit too often of late. I am of the Christian faith, but I have had the privilege of experiencing God as a similar but different (in a good way) entinty to friends of different religions, cultures. I suppose I have had quite a few meaningful conversations with my maker, but more recently, I imagine He has thought of extending his being into a human hand big enough to slap me upside the head and bless me with a godly dose of sense.

Yes, I wish I could only speak of good things, share good memories, make use of a completely healthy & clean tongue but as life would have it, this is pretty close to impossible. However, isn’t there still so much good surrounding one’s existence? If you have become blinded to your blessings, which happens often to most of us, try this here trick. It’s old, but it works, and we will give it a modern twist.

Thank heavens for social media (See, the gratitude seeping in). Now log on to twitter, scroll past the celebrities, blessees and bloggers and click on the handle of a reputable newspaper outlet. Now read only the titles. As you do, provoke your imagination to place you in some of those situations or events. Your mind may fail in some instances to simulate the very emotions, mental burden, trauma or confusion that would have gushed generously over your being had it been you. Unfathomable.

In my complaint state, my mind has moved from “I wouldn’t cope with this, and it could happen to me” to “God, but why should it happen at all, to anyone?”. And as written in a blog post long before He simply responds “If not you, then who”.

A friend of mine sometime ago insisted that we never fall asleep until we affirm something we are grateful for. This friend would call, listen to your long story about your long and horrible day and still remember to ask, “So what are you grateful for?”. In the same way that we make an adult choice as far as who we wish to be and how we wish to live, one must make a choice about how you perceive your God. I have the option of God the tyrant who is waiting on every false move to whip me in to shape with pain, death or disaster. The other option is God of love, the God who is love who decided to honor me with the task of proving His love, power and greatness by costantly scooping me out of the filth (sometime my very well crafted home made filth) in this already defiled world.

A heart of gratitude is so much easier to carry. So is the belief in a higher power or higher being. Too much happens in this life for me to walk about not believing that someone is walking me through it. Humans will fail you. Humans will taint your happy. You, in your human state have managed to dismantle structures of living and living well that others have built. So we choose Him. Or Her to some. I am not here to speak you into conversion. I am her to ask you to take a second, stop and say thank you or thank goodness.

Be grateful also in your ability to be. Look at what you have experienced. The moments where your heart was pretty much yelling that it was ready to stop. You lived through it and now you have this long text of mine to get through, haha. The ability to be, the potential to be more, the grace to manipulate your circumstances so that you can be in a space that constantly says no.

Now be. See God, see you, and be. Don’t forget your manners, say Thank You.


I took a walk… (Short Poem) 

I took a walk mid watching ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ for the 3rd time, to ease a sudden panic attack. I thought perhaps I was responding to the movie and the rather sad story, but as soon as I picked up my phone all I could think to write was…

For each breathless, chest clenching and heart wretching anxiety attack I suffered at the memory of the hurt you generously supplied to me.

For the days when my legs failed to carry me out of these four walls that suffocate me because the pins and needles had almost become visible.

For the tears I watched my mother shed because her heart bleeds when my skin breaks.

For the humiliation of giggly girls and boys who aged only in years and inflate your ego with falacies.

For the days when I forgot how to pray… I hope I learn to forgive.
I pray to forget

Confessions of a young wife Part 2

Before we go any futher, let me mention that although I have improved greatly, my mouth still has its moments. It is as if the more you uncover in marriage, as far as your spouse as well as challenging dynamics are concerned, the more you have to say. Anyhow…

There are many ‘love languages’, and today I want to share my experience with the kind that has less potential of causing emotional damage. Funny though, as much as it is commonly related to the physical, I personally find it emotionally and mentally stimulating.

A wife who cooks and cleans. (Feminists just put down their mobile devices, kidding). Growing up, cooking and cleaning was a chore. A hideous one at that. Possibly one of the reasons the above ‘cliched statement’ grew to be a sore point for many women. Domestic duties became an exercise set to prepare us to adequately perform in our ‘wife’ capacity within the institution of marriage. To cushion the blow we were told that “a way to a man’s heart is through the stomach”. I battled to associate a pot belly with happiness, the harms of literal thinking.

I am generous at heart. This translates in to me being what I call a ‘feeder’. I want everyone to be fed, and fed well, all of the time. This however does not mean I have an interest in cooking daily. Bless the soul who developed the concept of Mr Delivery. I also did not suffer the stereotypical behaviour expected from black/african men (Come home and demand you plate full of home cooked food). Many attributed this to my husband having an English father and being of Scottish decent, but this sadly is not the cause.

My husband spoke a similar ‘love language’.

Why do I believe cooking is more than a chore? My husband’s reasons for taking his turn to cook, do the dishes or make a cup of tea were varied, but at its core his wished to remind me that he was present and wished to meet my needs. He came how one evening, after we had consumed take outs for a while (way to long honestly) and said “Tonight you are cooking, what do you need”. I turned around with such vigour and enlarged my playful eyes and responded quite swiftly “What the hell for?”. His response was simple “I miss my wife’s cooking”.

My husband did not miss my cooking (as good as my cooking can be if I say so myself), he missed my attention, consideration and warmth. The things that homes are built on. Cooking, when done well, is an art. The reason our ‘quick meals’ and failed lasagnes are found acceptable however is the heart behind the art. Someone took the time to consider my physical and mental needs. The body and mind sadly do not function on romantic utterances.

Look at the concept of negligence. Failing to meet the physical and mental needs of a child by failing to provide regular and wholesome meals is considered negligence. Marriage doesnt suddenly allow us to evolve in to super beings whos needs suddenly differ from those of all mankind.

The mind also requires a sense of order in order for it to function in an orderly fashion. Creating a space where this is attainable speaks more of your ability to sympathise with the needs of those you care for than your domestic finesse.

I am appealing to the part of our beings that are able to put the needs of others before those of our own. This speaks more of us than it does of those who receive. An abundance of self love allows for an extension of genuine care an affection. With no expectation of a word of gratitude. How much more happier would we be if we found contentment in simply knowing that we have done good and we did it well.

Food speaks to all of our hearts. So men should not shy away from learning and speaking this here language.

I probably should mention that we live in an age of food channels, food blogs, cook books, cooking lessons, Woolworths (hahaha) so excuses have been reduced.

Explore the human condition. Relationships thrive on the reciprocating of meeting human needs.

Let me cook… Not

Ofentse Modiri – Asaman 

Asaman sits down with 27 year old entrepreneur and music enthusiast Ofentse Modiri.  

What do you believe defines manhood? 

 That’s a deep question, a question that’s subject to opinion informed by many things. Il try give my view on the matter. A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing to compromise when compromising is wrong. A man must provide for he’s family and love his wife as Christ loves the church. A man must be strong yet tender, he must be able to discern which battles to fight and which to let Go. Most importantly Manhood is about leading by example by Fearing God and respecting all man. For me these are what Manhood is about to me.

 What do you do on a professional level and are you fulfilled in that particular field? 

I’m a civil and construction contractor mainly. I run a small but growing company in this very exciting sector and loving every minute of it. I feel very fulfilled in what I do, it’s a sector that embraces change and is ever growing. I know I’m in the right place and will continue to grow and learn.

Who are your male role models and how have they impacted your life? 

My father has to be the first up there. Bg Modiri has been a big role model and influence on me and many other young men. From a very young age he not only kept telling me but showed me that there is no limit in what one can achieve. He’s achievements alone as a father,entrepreneur and a preacher man were and continue to bear testimony to that.

“Attitude and not Aptitude will determine your Altitude” ” Your busy becoming what you will become ” are but just a few murmurings he’d always remind me of and helped me build the character I boast today as a young man.

Mr Sizwe Kweyama and Mr Ralph Nkomo, are the other two gentlemen I look up to. As a young boy or man there are those silent role models you can relate to from a distance. In short these gentlemen taught me determination is key, taught me how to embrace my weaknesses and accepting them in turn nullifying them as weaknesses. Through their ambitions and aspirations respectively showed me it’s possible to punch above your weight and go for whatever it is your heart desires.

What are your thoughts on in regards to how women are commonly objectified?  

I think objectifying is a problem both genders face to some degree, yes it can be more so in the context of woman. My stance is simple, it’s wrong period. I do however feel that as much men need to adjust their outlook on the matter and realize there’s more to woman than mere objects, I feel woman collectively can and should take active steps to impose and express their independence.

As a man who has recently committed to start a family, what values do you believe a man should possess within a home to make it a home of substance? 

As a man about to start a family there are a few things I intend to be the corner stones in our marriage. Love, Respect, Fear of God, Honesty and companionship. These are the values I want to impart as a man, as a husband and one day as a father. I hope to be decisive and lead by example.

Why do you prefer being addressed as a entrepreneur instead of a businessman?

The reason I prefer to be addressed as an entrepreneur instead of a businessmen is because fundamentally these are different and I boast entrepreneurial characteristics over that of a business man.

Fundamentally A businessman can make a business out of an unoriginal business or product idea. He enters into existing businesses, such as franchising and retailing. He chooses a hot and profitable business idea regardless of whether it is his original idea or borrowed from someone else.

A businessman defines success as the success of his business and its stakeholders. Its stakeholders include himself, co-owners, employees, customers, investors, and even his community. An entrepreneur doesn’t define success. He simply do his job and let history defines the success that he accomplished. Remember that this list is only according to my own opinion, and I don’t mean to put one of them on top of the other. Both businessmen and entrepreneurs are supposed to be the kind of people that our world needs. A businessman needs an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur may also need a businessman. There can also be a person who is partly a businessman and partly an entrepreneur.

Do you think businesses do enough in terms of social development projects, and what could they do better to make this process a tangible one? 

I honestly think that businesses do take their social responsibilities very seriously and have very adequate social development programs in place. In South Africa opportunity as a young ambitious somebody opportunities are plentiful in this sector. I think the disconnect is perhaps in educating people on these opportunities rather than there being a lack of them. As a young black man I bear first hand testimony to this, determination and perseverance have no substitutes. Be diligent as a young man and rest will fall into place, take my word for it.

The word ‘musician’ is loosely used quite often. As a person who enjoys music and performs as well, what are your thoughts on the above mentioned? 

Yes it’s true that the term Musician is over used and abused. As a scholar of music and a serious lover and appreciator of music I’ve come to realize that there is no regulatory measure in music and arts in general as opposed to corporate or business perhaps. This Is why people feel their entitled to call themselves musicians after learning 3chords on the guitar. It’s really not for me to say if it’s wrong or right however I do feel that if we are to cultivate the quality we aspire we need to respect the art of music and be more focused on learning the Art of music. I feel if we respect the art as maybe we do the medical field the term musician will be as carefully carefully used as “Doctor” perhaps, intern cultivating excellence in this beautiful art we love dearly.

What is integrity to you? 

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

Bob Marley

That’s what integrity is to me.

  May I never forget, on my best day that I need God as desperately as I did on my worst day 

Photography by Aaron & Hur 



Simphiwe Kulla – Asaman 

Asaman meets with 27 year old musician and producer Simphiwe Kulla. A member of the fusion band The Muffinz. Here is what he had to share  

How would you define manhood?

 Manhood is a responsibility for all men who want to define themselves worthy of being man.

Has a career in the music industry always been your first choice or did you have different prospects?

I probably was the most confused kid around my peers. My grades were always sub-standard till about grade 9(std 7), and even then when my grades improved, I still didn’t know where I’d end up in life. I always dreamt of a lot of things, but felt some of my dreams and aspirations were influenced by my surroundings and society. A reality I battled with for three years in my varsity life. It hit me hard, so hard I sought counselling. Music was always there, a gift God gave me to keep me happy and sane. It just got to a point where it was a no brainier for me. So yes, I think music was my first choice. I just kept avoiding it because of how my surroundings were setup. Music wasn’t an encouraged form of income or career.             

How did your family, especially your father respond to your decision to pursue a music career 

Firstly, I think my parents didn’t do too bad with me. Actually, I think they did great, especially my dad. But I don’t think he understood how much of an impact he had on me as a person. He inspired me in ways he wasn’t aware of. It’s like uploading a video on YouTube and not realising how viral it might go. When it does go viral, you try your best to avoid the attention it comes with. I think that is how my dad raised me. He wasn’t for the whole music idea, society had successfully influenced him in thinking it wasn’t a proper and fruitful career. But yet, he bought me all the music I desired in the world. He supported me with my dreams and all my extra curricular activities as a kid. He bought me musical instruments. He flew me across the world to experience life in its totality. He didn’t know it, but he gave me a story to tell in my music. He helped stretched my influences and inspiration. He shaped me to have the mind for music production. Definitely a man worthy of the title father.            

Do you feel or believe children are well exposed to the Arts in this country? 

No not entirely. I feel like a lot more is done in selling sports, and economic benefits. It’s deemed better for you to represent your country in sports than in the arts. Funny thing this, ’cause Europeans and Americans are known more for their everlasting artwork. Even under colonisation, us Africans were taught more about the west’s art and its history as opposed to the random sportsman or sportswoman. It’s quite ridiculous actually. Back to the arts.  ‘Celebrity’ is more the focus than the actual art. Peoples skills are not being developed because the plastic world is what’s being sold to them. There is a huge gap. This is a matter that is very personal to me. Not enough is being done.   

Women tend to be objectified in the industry, what are your thoughts on this?

I think any real man who loves their lady dearly wouldn’t want her to be objectified… This topic is quite sad, in the sense that woman find a liking to being objectified. To be honest I even find myself liking it too. Sex sells, that’s the force, if you are not for it, you are considered conservative, therefore you are not progressive,hehe, ya ne! Self appreciation has been twisted. I don’t think I’ve also quite grasped my head around this topic. I’ll don’t think I have all the answers in life generally. I really don’t believe what society says is the end all and be all though. I can’t stand for something I don’t believe in. I fear for the day God blesses me with daughter.      

Do you think, with the values you currently live by, you could be what we term ‘a good father’, and how so?

Good father. I think only my future child can truly determine that. All I can do is try my best. But yes, I do believe I’m grounded enough to be a father. But nowadays that doesn’t seem to matter much, we focus too much on the expectation part of parenting forgetting  that this human we are raising is a person in their own right. All parents can do really is guide. Children will determine on their own where they want to place their beliefs. 

Rest assured, I’ll be going into fatherhood with the experience of being an uncle ;  the experience of being raised up by an amazing father ; and having the ever so good and faithful Lord by my side.  

 Do you participate in any social development programs for the younger generation and how do you feel about the Asaman campaign? 

I used to. I loved teaching others about music. Did it for about three years straight. I’ve stopped to concentrate on my career. As for the Asaman campaign, its needed. A lot of the wrongs in our society can be rectified by men who can take a stand and be progressive in the betterment of our current trying times. We need to drive ideas of a “good man” and not just an “ok man”.

Have your religious beliefs been compromised by the lifestyle adopted when pursuing such a career?

No my beliefs are still the same, from the foundations of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. My lifestyle isn’t lavish or plastic. It’s still similar to the days of my upbringing.    

Please share any other things you would like to pursue and how you feel they would benefit you and those around you? 

I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I’m still going to be pursuing other avenues of music and the industry. I’m still finding myself in this big and scary world of music, it’s going to be a beautiful journey ahead. I’m currently in school furthering my studies in my passion. Education is something necessary to us all. Knowledge is a treasure for me.  
The fear to pursue what we are passionate about is a common error, driven by possible ridicule. Ridicule of this nature usually comes from those closest to us, who have chosen to only believe what is true to them. Music also seems to be a popular topic in the Asaman space. I wonder why 

 I pay attention to every single detail in my life. Especially in my work and interactions with people. It helps me to be a step ahead and to appreciate the beauties of life 

Photography by Aaron & Hur