My Little Stars

In 2009 I joined The Shine Centre as a volunteer. I was working in radio and had a feature on ‘people who are making a difference’. Everyone has a ’cause’ that is close to their hearts. Mine is education. I’m sure you can guess why. The older I get, the more passionate I get about the quality of education South African children are getting. This may very ‘Prophet of Doom-y’ of me, but I believe our education system is in crisis.

We didn’t perform very well in 2 International Assessments: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). It was not necessarily for me to read the numerous articles written on the state of our education system. I’ve known for a long time that it is lacking. Interviewing the founder of The Shine Centre made me want to be part of the solution. My years of complaining had, evidently, done nothing to improve the situation.

shine

I joined them halfway through the year and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I met a group of dedicated volunteers who work with one (sometimes 2) child. The volunteer is assigned the same child every session. So on Tuesday mornings I met a little girl, who we will call U, and we spent an hour together. During the hour we work on reading and writing. At first it felt like I was not making a difference at all. After 2 months, U still didn’t know the alphabet very well. Then all of a sudden she started reading 3 letter words and eventually she was reading longer words and making better sentences.

shine kids

It is my 3rd year as a volunteer at The Shine Centre and I am still amazed at how much progress these children make. Its also wonderful to see someone gain confidence and grow during the school year. When the year ends and they ‘graduate’, it is such an emotional time for me. I’m happy for them because they can read and write at their age level (and most times above). But there is a little bit of sadness because I won’t get to work with them anymore. Meanwhile they move on to the next grade and they perform even better than before.

One of my students loved to build this word because she always got a hug afterwards :)
One of my students loved to build this word because she always got a hug afterwards :)

This year I had the pleasure of working with 4 very bright Grade 2 learners. There were many hugs, high-fives and tears. Well… The tears were from one little angel V. She is very hard on herself and would often get so frustrated if she didn’t ‘get’ something. On mornings like that I would just hug her and then we would build words (see pic above). She score above 90% in her year end assessment!

shine (2)

My mornings are so empty now that school holidays have started. I often wonder how different South Africa (and the world) would be if we all became the ‘solution’ instead of complaining. I know… You’re gonna call me an idealist blah blah. But just try to imagine.

Time flies

posted in: Ramblings | 0

Time flies

Little bro has been here since August. He leaves next week :( It honestly feels like he’s only been here for 2 weeks. We laugh so much. Love him! Gonna miss him :(

Serenades 3 (and some radio)

posted in: The Music | 0

This week was lots of fun, I was interviewed on 2OVfm and I serenaded the One Small Seed and Entertainment Africa teams.

Hanging out with Kamini at 2OVfm
I don’t know how to be normal
They have a podium and a ‘fake’ dog. Why wouldn’t I do this?
Singing for folks at One Small Seed :)

Launching a new single is much more fun this way. I can actually see how people react to the song. Instead of just sending it off to radio and then being sent on a wild goose chase. Woza Album!!

Manager Lady tells me we have a few more exciting serenades and radio interviews lined up.

Have you pre-ordered the album yet?

Serenade 2

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 1

This week we hosted another one of the Serenades. It was at Seventeen (SA) and it was also their 6th birthday. I added ‘Happy Birthday’ to the set list ;)

I don;t need to tell you how happy performing makes me. This week has left me feeling grateful and excited about the album launch. Its been almost 2 and a half years (on and off) and now I am doing all the things that we (Marcee and I) have been planning for months.

The response to the new single (Hot Pink) has been so overwhelming. I wrote that song when I was feeling low and I thought people might not get where I was coming from. When I sing it and I see that people can relate, I feel not-so-alone.

Janine wanted to take a pic of the shoes I had on. That has NEVER happened to me before :)
I’ve always had fantasies about working for a magazine. I had to look around. They have such a great working space.
I think I was singing… Or talking… Or both!
The audience :)
With the fabulous editor of Seventeen (Janine)

Every time I do one of these serenades, I thank the people who allow me and my team into their working space. They honestly don’t know what to expect and they are always so awesome. Thank you Team Seventeen!

Serenades 1

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 0

Although my music is on the playlist of countries in 36 countries… I’m still finding it hard to get radio here in South Africa to play my music. This isn’t one of those ‘woe is me’ type posts. I am the queen of D.I.Y when it comes to my music.

Manager Lady and I decided to go straight to the people with the release of my new single ‘Hot Pink’. So we started ‘serenading’ people at their offices. It is A LOT of fun to rock up at people’s offices and have fun with music. This week we did 4 of those Porcelain Serenades.When we arrive at the offices everyone is a little reserved because this is not something that happens all the time. But I have them singing along in no time ;)

Thanks to the awesome people at Cape Town Magazine, Rolling Stone, Have You Heard and Liquorice.

At Cape Town Magazine offices
They were an awesome bunch to start the serenades with

At Rolling Stone, that’s the editor (Miles) in the corner of the pic

Got Pink cupcakes for the masses. The song I’m launching is called Hot Pink :)
At Liquorice. I was expecting just a few people and it turned out to be more than 20 of them he he he.

I can’t wait to do this again next week. I told you its been awesome week.

A Week Ago

posted in: Fun and Games, The Journey | 0

Exactly a week ago I ran 10km (Gun Run). I had never run 10km before and I didn’t know what to expect. A few months ago we ran 5km at the Spar Women’s Race, but we felt that 5km was not enough. Twice a week Marcee and I run about 7km, so it’s not like we hadn’t prepared. That race will go down as one of the toughest and most fun thing we’ve done this year. The last 2km were definitely more difficult. I felt like my legs were turning to jelly ha ha ha.

I always used to think that I was not a ‘physical’ person, but I was wrong. I enjoy pushing myself and that great feeling after having done something that you thought you couldn’t do.

Posing with the medals. My legs were threatening to ‘give in’.
I forced little bro & Marcee to take a ‘leisurely stroll’ through Green Point Park, the car was parked so far away from the Finish :(
The other runners making their way to their cars
So impressed with the recycling bins at the park. Nice one!

I was going to post the photo of my little bro helping me along as my legs were seriously letting me down, but he asked me to delete it.

Rose Tinted Saturday

posted in: Fun and Games, Ramblings | 0

Friday night was spent drinking LOTS of wine at a friends house, sitting around a fire.

Didn’t feel like making breakfast, so we walked to our favourite breakfast spot in our hood (Hout Bay). Pretty neh?
Marcee… She says she was still drunk lol. She DID have too much tequila ha ha ha.
In last night’s clothes. Go ahead and judge me :(
Went to go an pick up a book that I ordered 2 weeks ago. This is my December book :)

Once I got home, I got back into bed and DIED. The only reason I got out of bed, showered and wore ‘fresh’ clothes is because we had to go to the launch of wine whiskers. We won prizes (wine he he he). Had lotsa fun with friends. I didn’t take any pics at the event because I feel weird asking people to stop telling awesome stories and pose for the camera. Nobody wants to be that person. Don’t be that person :(

This was actually on my bucket list: taking one of those mirror pics. It was our first time, so we didn’t do a very good job ha ha ha.

September Book (Maru)

posted in: Book Worm | 0

Over at the last blog I used to ‘review’ books that I was reading. Why? At the beginning of the year I decided that I would try to read at least one book a month. I am very happy to say that I have been VERY successful. That is not a humble brag. I AM bragging. The only month that I didn’t finish a book was August and that is because I had a very big writing project and a very tight deadline.

My September book is Maru by Bessie Head. I had been searching for this book for 2 years and couldn’t find it any book stores. Darling little brother got it for me as a birthday present this year (how sweet is that guy?).

Maru is so beautifully written. I was drawn in from the first sentence. The story is about, orphaned Masarwa, teacher Margaret Cadmore and her arrival in the small village of Dilepe. Most people like her are slaves and the town is not sure what to make of her. Something beautiful happens and that something leads to some awesome and inexplicable events. I hate getting into the details of a book, for fear of spoiling it for you. I felt like the book was too short and I’m definitely going to read it again (during the holidays).

Bessie Head

The book is written by the incredible Bessie Head. A South African who later moved to Botswana and wrote till she died. She died young (48) but I am grateful that she wrote. I am a lover of Bessie Head. Her writing is nothing short of a gorgeous display of genius. Thank you Bessie Head.

I will share some of the books that I read and shared over at my last blog. In the meantime get familiar with Bessie Head.

Red Lips

posted in: Things That I Like | 0

I’ve always wanted red lipstick and I have been struggling to get the perfect shade of red. Today while Marcee was getting some lip balm from Mac, I started looking for the ‘perfect red’. Sadly I didn’t find one, but I did find lip liner that I could use as an alternative. Its bold and it doesn’t clash with my skin tone. Her are pics of Marcee (my best friend and manager lady) posing at home.

I won’t lie… I’m mad that MY perfect red looks so perfect on Marcee
There was something in my eye. *sniff*

MARCEEEEEEE!!!!

SO happy with the Perfect Red. Watch out folks, I will be pouting all day tomorrow ;)

Rainy Day

posted in: Ramblings | 0

I’m sitting in my car in the middle of town and its raining outside. I tried to take a picture, but it just didn’t capture how beautiful this morning is. Today didn’t get off to such a lekker (nice) start, but I’m grateful that I got up early and decided to work from my car. Rainy days are best experienced from inside your car or bed :)

This is PERFECT weather for a studio session. A glass of red wine to get things going and then put down some vocals. Awwww man! *Kicks rocks*. For the next album, I’m going to schedule studio sessions on days where its rainy.

Peace

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