August Book 1 (The 12 Tribes of Hattie)

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Someone I follow on twitter told me about a debut novel that was getting rave reviews. I’m always up for trying something new, so I thought “hey why not?” After going to 2 bookstores and being told the book is sold out… Well, I gave up. I can’t remember where I eventually found it but here it is!

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The title says it all. It is the story of a woman named Hattie and it follows how her family has grown and why the different children turned out the way they have. Hattie appears to be an ‘unloving’ mother. to her children. But she is a woman who is preparing her children for a world that will not be loving.

I enjoyed meeting Hatties many many children and seeing how parents sometimes break their children without meaning to. I can’t say this book was one of my favourites but I can see why Oprah said “I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me quite this way, besides Toni Morrison.”

I’ve read a lot of Toni Morrison. She is majestic and an absolute genius. Perhaps that’s why I was not as moved as Oprah was. But… It’s not a bad book.

July Book 2 (Kafka On The Shore)

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I have always wanted to read Murakami. I just never found the time. Since this is my 30th year on earth, I thought I would treat myself to ‘nice things’. So I got Kafka On The Shore. Admittedly I didn’t know what to expect. A lot of time was spent trying to decide which of his books to start with. I’m not sure what exactly made me choose this one.

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I will admit that my schedule was a little crazy so I ended up reading the first half of the book in a very disjointed way. This may have interfered with my understanding/enjoyment. On a flight to Johannesburg, I decided to give it another try.

It’s a story about two seemingly unrelated characters who couldn’t be any more different. The first is Kafka; a 15 year old run away. He is not running from anyone but a prophecy. The other is Nakata (one of my favourite characters); a man who can speak to cats but isn’t very intelligent. Their stories intertwine in a magical and bizarre way that left me saying “what the…”

I’ve read many authors but none like Murakami. He really trusts that you will follow him into a world where everything makes sense but not in a way that you might understand. It is raw, honest, beautiful, real and unreal. In one of my busiest months so far, I allowed myself to steal a few minutes (between meetings etc) and get lost in Murakami’s world.

Award Winning Album & stuff…

A few months ago my Manager Lady (Marcee) told me about the Wawela Music Awards. “Wouldn’t it be cool if you were nominated?” she said. I shrugged and moved on with life. You could say that I am not exactly an ‘award artist’. It’s just not something I consider. I spend my time dreaming up fantastic songs, videos and performances.

A few months later I heard via Phiona, from Afripop Mag, that I was nominated for 2 awards. This all happened on Twitter.

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I excitedly called Marcee to let her know that I was nominated. She LOST her damn mind ha ha ha. I called my dad and said “I’m nervous because I am up against Lira in both categories.” My father responded “Lira is great but she is not unbeatable”. Knowing that my parents thought I could win was enough for me.

On the 28th (June 2013) we were all dressed up and ready for the big night.

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Marcee in the waiting area. She kept saying “My Afro is so well behaved tonight” ha ha ha. LOVE that Melody Ehsani neck piece she is wearing

Honestly, I was more concerned with my performance than I was about winning. Whenever I perform I focus all of my energy on the performance. Once that is done, I become normal again. I had just finished my performance when I heard “Black Porcelain”. It was for Best Creative Album.

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I don’t remember what I said. I hope I thanked all the right people. (pic courtesy of SAMRO)

Everything after that is a bit of a blur. I went and posed for a pic (forgive the crazy look).

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My mom always tells me not to pull funny faces. She says this smile makes me look crazy ha ha ha. (Pic courtesy of SAMRO)

I had to get out of my performance dress and as soon as that was over I thought I could relax. While I was looking for a wine glass, I heard “Black Porcelain” again. I couldn’t believe it. It was my second award. TWO BLOODY AWARDS!!

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Well this smile is not so bad (Pic courtesy of SAMRO)
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Aaaaand back to the crazy smile ha ha ha. I was the biggest winner that night. Surely that’s a good excuse for the crazy eyes? (Pics courtesy of SAMRO)

Needless to say Marcee and I partied (like it was 1999) and then took one last picture before we passed out (promptly)

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2 Witches. 2 Awards. We were exhausted at this point. Exhausted & happy team :)

So there you go! I can now say Invincible Summer is an award winning album and so am I. Ha ha ha ha. This silly post has taken me much longer than I thought it would. Love & strength to professional bloggers. I need a nap.

July Book 1 (Buddha In The Attic)

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I had actually selected a book for July. I was busy reading it when I found myself stranded somewhere for a few hours (waiting for Marcee). I was not feeling well so I just wanted to sit in my car and read a book. But I had left my book at home. So I begrudgingly went into a small book store and bought a book. They didn’t have any of the books I wanted, so I picked one randomly.

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The book is about Immigrant Japanese women who go to the US expecting their husbands (that they’ve ‘chosen’ through a matchmaker). This wonderfully written short book looks at their journeys from Japan to the ‘promised land’ until just before the war (WW2) as whole communities of Japanese families ‘disappear’. I finished the book in a day, that’s how beautiful it is.

It’s one of those books you wish you had never read. Just so you can read it (for the first time) all over again.

Johnny

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 0

On the 28th of June I performed at The Wawela Music Awards (post about that to follow). I performed a song that I wrote in my first years as a Songwriter. In 2005 I couldn’t read or write music properly. I bought a second hand keyboard and took piano lessons. One of the first songs I wrote was Johnny.

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Pic courtesy of SAMRO

 

To hear people tell me how much they loved the song… It meant so much. More than any of them will ever know. Ray Phiri (of Stimela) said he couldn’t believe that we (songwriters at the awards) were part of his legacy. I was truly honoured to have a legend like him say such wonderful things about my gift. It’s a gift that I am still exploring and having so much fun with.

June Book (The Shining Girls)

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June Book (The Shining Girls)

I had heard many good things about the works of South African author Lauren Beukes. Reading one of them was on my very long list of ‘good things to do for myself’. It wasn’t until I read the plot of The Shining Girls that I finally bought one of Lauren’s works… Look at me calling her Lauren like we’re friends.

The Shining Girls has everything that makes me happy; Time travel, serial killer, fantastic hero and LOTS of ‘mind fuck’ stuff. I don’t know how to review books. All I will tell you is that you will LOVE this book if you are interested in the things I listed.

I love creative women. They make me feel like I am not alone in my madness. I like Lauren even more because she is a South African. I want to read this book again before the end of the year. It is beautiful.

May book 3 (Home)

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May book 3 (Home)

Imagine how excited I was when I found out that Toni Morrison has a new novel… It felt like Christmas!!!

I noticed when I bought it that it was a short book. I paced myself and tried not to fly through it but… it’s Toni. How could I not?

The book is about a soldier, Frank Money, who returns from the Korean war and tries to integrate back into society. It seems as though he is failing until he get’s an ominous note saying “Come fast. she be dead if you Tarry.” This note take Frank on a journey he never imagined he would take. A journey back home and one that requires him to be brave and truthful.

I LOVED this book and will be reading it again when i need quiet and to be reminded just how UNREAL Toni Morrison’s gift is. Thank badimo for Toni. Haleloo!

May Book 2 (Left to Tell)

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May Book 2 (Left to Tell)

This book was recommended by a friend. I never really read books recommended by other people because I feel like reading is such a personal thing and we all have our own preferences. But I read it anyway because it was about the Rwandan Holocaust.

The story is an interesting one. I was very curious to find out about the holocaust from one of the survivors. I am in disbelief that something like this happened in the 90’s and very few ‘western’ and African countries did something about it. One day we will all have to explain to our children how something so awful happened AGAIN and why nobody came to the rescue of the Tutsi people.

There is another part of me that LOATHES what colonialism did to African people. I’m not willing to justify my beliefs and am certainly not in the mood to ‘debate’. All I’m saying is: if you don’t see how much colonialism has broken African people then… You’re a *CENSORED*!

The only down side to this book is that 60% of it is about religion. She mentions praying, God and religious things waaaay too much. Had I known this was a Hay House book, O would never have read it. I feel as though the author could have done less religious and the-secret-type-of preaching and focused more on the human element.

Read this book if you don’t mind the OBVIOUSLY preachy Hay House vibes. One half of me is glad that I read it. the other half? Meh!

Album Review (Rushay Booysen – PE)

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 0

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a review. I’m back with some more Summer 196 love. The last review was by Nadia from New York, this time we move back to SA with Rushay Booysen. I don’t change these reviews in any way. I copy and paste them as I receive them. So here is Rushay’s review —->

I’ve been graced with a long overdue taste of your debut album
“Invincible Summer” ,A delightful twelve track album that delivers on a
lot of highs. I’ve got to say this about your album its simplistically
graceful and delivers a musical punch.The album also manages to strike
a balance between production and vocals.I was extremely awed by the
slick production and how you maintained a message when the music could
easily have overshadowed your vocals and ultimately your message.Black
Porcelain manages to create an album that is musically and visually
appealing

Correct me if im wrong but this is a musical diary,written,compiled
and delivered by Black Porcelain! I can title this album jazz,soul,pop
but i would rather label it music cos it appeals to any person that
appreciates good music.There’s a number of standout tracks that caught
my ear but i will focus on “Hot Pink” a banger that could lace any
dance floor at Ministry of Sound or Pacha.I love how you able to
navigate through emotions and how well the tracks balance each
other.My favorite track on the album is  “Johnny” this piano laden
track also exposes Black Porcelain’s vocal range,while expressing some
heartfelt emotion over this “Johnny”.Without saying too much,purchase
the album and put on your Skullcandy’s

-Rushay Booysen

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Look at those eyes. Are those they eyes of a liar? NO! Rushay is no liar, so you better get yourself a copy of Invincible Summer
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That hat is EVERYTHING!!

The album is available from iTunes or you can get it from me and I will post it to you.

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