Showing posts from August, 2015

#ForBlackGirlsOnly Picnic 2015

Yesterday was the first #ForBlackGirlsOnly Picnic hosted by Black Love Sessions at Trenchtown, Observatory. For weeks, Sivu has been promoting the event on social media, letting people know that this opportunity was not to be missed.
The event was organised in response to the lack of spaces in Cape Town where young black women from different backgrounds can come together to talk, learn and grow.
#ForBlackGirlsOnly is explicit in its purpose: this is a space for black girls to be themselves in an uncensored and unapologetic way. There is no room for detractors who want to say "but what about x-type of girls?" No. This is our time. 
It is no coincidence that I felt the best music to get ready to was by Rihanna and Janelle Monae, two of the foremost examples of Black Girl Magic. It was a foreshadowing of the type of dynamism I would experience at the Picnic. As guests started to file in, I noticed this electric air of anticipation. Seeing all the women gathering with purpose wa…

[Theatre]: "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead" at the Baxter Flipside

On Wednesday night, I went to see Atandwa Kani and Mncedisi Shabangu in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead.Athol Fugard, Winston Ntshona and John Kani debuted the play they had collaborated on in 1972. It deals with the themes of politics, race and identity in the time of Pass Laws in South Africa.

I did a quiet squealing-gasp when I noticed Kani Senior (who directed this version of the play) walking into the room. A living legend was among us! I was jealous that I wasn't sitting in row D: I could have had the chance to shake his hand.

I had a smile on my face from the minute the lights went down, until the applause from the standing ovation died down. The show was just that good.
I loved the way that Atandwa played Styles, the factory worker turned photographer who narrates the story. The word "charisma" comes to mind. He engaged with the audience, and there was never any doubt about his dedication to honouring Styles' character. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that he is a…

[Theatre] : Experiencing A Pop Culture Phenomenon - West Side Story

West Side Story. For years I have been picking up references to this play in books, TV shows, and movies. Just like The Lion King, it was one of those pop culture things that I just knew about, without actually knowing any detail. It's that Romeo and Juliet adaptation - the one with the song about 'feeling pretty'. Right?

When I saw that a local production of the play would be staged at the Artscape Opera House, I jumped at the chance to finally put all the fragments I had in my mind together. Early reviews already promised a spectacular show, with Jonathan Roxmouth's version of Tony getting very high praise. I was also keen to see the set design: the choices directors make when trying to bring the scenes to life are always interesting.

From the first scene to the last, the music of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra gave an ambience to the play. While it would be easy for a performer to be overpowered by a full orchestra, Bianca le Grange (Anita) , Filipa van Eck (M…

Day Out at the Cape Town Street Food Festival

Last Sunday, I went to the Cape Town leg of the annual South African Street Food Festival in Woodstock.

 After arriving at the address, finding a locked up, eerily quiet building, and walking around a few ominous corners looking for the festival, I found a security guard in the nearby parking lot, and asked for directions.

The venue, Side Street Studios, is actually three separate spaces in Woodstock. I was at number 32, when I needed to be at number 48. (How many other people who relied on the information they found on Facebook had to take a detour...?)

Anyway, once there the Festival proved to be worth the early Saturday morning. Food trucks and stalls offered a wide variety of dishes, and it was possible to have a 4-course meal right there on the hill.

The selection of street food staples like samoosas, hotdogs and bunny chows was rounded out by pizza, curries and tacos. Once again I realised that I have a strange relationship with all-you-can-eat situations like this: I want all t…