I went by this past weekend and it was truly the best use of my time. I enjoyed it and would happily recommend it to anyone. Below, some of the bits that best stood out for me.
Posted in home, life, marriage, school, working
Tagged Africa, Cape Town, food, growing up., marriage, motherhood, parenthood, productivity, recipes, Uganda
It is a really interesting time to be in South Africa, what with all the #Fallist talks and the different dialogues happening around race, culture and identity. Last week, I attended the Open Book Festival in Cape Town and happened to attend two talks that had me very excited.
The first related to decolonising institutions. Although most African countries obtained political and some level of economic independence, in the main very few countries embarked on that extra step to decolonise their culture, their thinking, their language and their identity. My personal view is that this is vital and regardless of the length of time that has passed from independence, no country is fully emancipated until they do this and I suppose this is where South Africa is at the moment. Slightly controversially, I think that it is the colonised
Black people that must fully lead in this process and set the agenda. Also, less clear to me is the question of language. Can a revolution led in the “colonisers” language ever be taken seriously? Or have that full acceptance and recognition? While I am not fully convinced it can be, I am not sure what the counterfactual is.
This talk also touched on the question of privilege which led me to think of my own story and my privilege. As I am obviously Black and female this makes class my privilege because through class, I can transcend some of the discrimination I would otherwise face. For example, I am really grateful that I am privileged to be able to outsource some of the things I don’t enjoy doing around the house to someone else and pay her to do them on my behalf. Some of the expectations that I am graciously excused from as a new wife by my extended family. I am extremely grateful but also, with privilege does responsibility also increase. To give back, to ensure justice and reduced inequality for others that are less fortunate. To do something.
The second talk was on feminism. The panel has become my ultimate girl/writer crush/ perfect dinner guest list/ people I must meet before I leave the earth. The moderator was Mohale Mashigo and the panelists were: Yewande Omotoso, Nnedi Okorafor and Pumla Dineo Gqola. After the session was over, I just wanted to sit and bask in the warm fuzzies generated by that session. Nothing I love more than passionate and educated women with a strong opinion that they are happy to share and loudly at that. For the hour that they spoke, it was nice to talk about common and sometimes not so common experiences we share as women. When did you first know that you were a feminist? How do the books that you read portray female characters? Media? TV? Is feminism for all? Is this brand of feminism accessible to all or are there some class privilege undertones? When the struggle is so tough, how do you reignite the joy and keep the focus? I am obviously not even summarising the discussion well but it was a very interesting discussion.
L-R Mashigo, Okorafor, Gqola, Omotoso
Posted in books, Heart matters
Tagged Being Black, Binti, Cape Town, Feminism, feminists, Gqola, identify, Mashigo, Okorafor, Omotoso, Open Book Festival, race, The Yearning, Woman Next Door
Posted in Heart matters, home, madness, working
Tagged alcohol, apps, Cape Town, eggplant, labour markets, productivity, recipes, relationships, salmon, sandwiches, women
- This article captures how a good policy intended for women can conversely benefit men.
- Tips to help one eat in moderation.
- Again this article on how African women’s bodies are fetishised and no one really cares for us. They never loved us!
- This place has been popping up quite often, should try and stop by before the cool kids monopolise it.
- For anyone looking to study for a PhD. Some valuable advice.
Posted in home, school, working
Tagged Cape Town, Feminism, healthy-living, Mulberry and Prince, PhD, study, women, women and work, work
It is currently 17 degrees in Cape Town, with 100 percent chance of showers from now until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. So the weather is a bit dreary but, I have been listening to some lovely tunes this morning.
Enjoy and thank me later!!
- Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad
- Cooking with lentils & beans
- Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
- This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
- Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
- Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
- Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
- Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
- A better way to think of your to-do list.
- Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
- On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
- This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
- Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
- How do you feel about motherhood?
Posted in design, Heart matters, life
Tagged AIDS, break-up, Burkina Faso, Cape Town, cooking, design, Facebook, friendship, gifts, Heart matters, Japan, life, lists, motherhood, parenthood, racism, recipes, relationship advice
This past Tuesday I attended an event called Pechakucha in Cape Town CBD and I loved it.
PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery/lounge/bar/club/creative kitchen, SuperDeluxe, in February, 2003. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format.
Check out the global site to see whether your city is hosting an event.
I went all alone, new city = few friends and the Mr had another engagement. It’s OK to go alone, you still have tonnes of fun but it’s definitely better with someone or better yet with a crowd. This past we listened to the following 9 talks as shown in the poster below.
My reactions? (Numbers below coincide to the numbered listing above)
- Given by Macio, Lloyd and Karien (VDMMA Architects). I never knew that architecture could be so sexy. They are re-purposing an old agricultural silo into the largest museum of modern art on the African continent. The presentation was very detailed but between their presentation style and the beautiful pics we have to look forward to, it was a very interesting talk.
- Presented by Sarah Joanna Kennan whose love for tequila saw her visit Mexico and start to grow the agave plant in the Karoo. I loved her talk because it dealt a lot with passion and life being a journey that helps you answer questions you didn’t know you had. Isn’t that beautiful? Other lesson: agave can be spun into fabric that can be used to make surfboards.
- Presented by Lawrence Batchelor who based his presentation on the Bates Method that helps people back to normal site. What I learnt from him is that, your eyes do get tired and that you should blink often and breathe. Blink. Blink. Blink.
- Kris Steyn managed to link his love for sailing with the creation of leaders. It seems that there is a shortage of young sailors and if you do know anyone interested, have them email him.
- Sarita van der Walt introduced us to biomimicry and how we can learn all these lessons from nature. Definitely learnt a lot and it was interesting to see how this philosophy is being applied in furniture design, software designs and other areas of our lives.
- Delroy Guzha urged us to think past exercise and fitness and look at introducing new habits into our current lives. I heard this talk in light of all the stuff around how sitting is the new (insert whatever morbid thought here). Little things, not slouching at your desk, sitting on a fitness ball to urge your lower back to kick in, walking and not sitting around all day.
- If I had met Dr Sahal Yacoob before I gladly dropped Physics 16 years ago, I might have kept at it. Imagine listening to an intense Physics talk at about half 8 in the evening and still feel captivated by his presentation. All I remember in case you are interested, Higgs Bisson, The Atlas Experiment, neutrons collide.
- Teagan Philips captured our imagination with her combined love for cycling and drawing cartoons. Great talk but you know how I do not know how to cycle,right?
- Zara Vorwek talked about positive psychology. I took away from her talk that she encourages one to be mindful and practice gratitude which is something that I am trying to inculcate into my life this year.
Overall, definitely go if they have it in your city. The next one in Cape Town will be held on the 3rd of May.
Posted in home
Tagged 20X20, architecture, Atlas, Bates Method, biomimcry, Cape Town, cartoons, healthy-living, home, mindfulness, movement, passion, PechaKucha, Physics, sailing, tequila, thanksgiving, travel, vision
Went to a fancy Stellenbosch restaurant for lunch with the Mr this past weekend and this is what I had.
Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.
- Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
- Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One, I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
- Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.
And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!
Posted in Heart matters, home, life, marriage, working
Tagged adulting, Cape Town, careers, growing up., Heart matters, home, life, life lessons, marriage, parenting, working
View of Table Mountain
- The mountain. On a beautiful or cloudy day, the mountain is majestic and I love how imposing it is!
- The water. Very beautiful but often just as cold.
- It is a much smaller town so most places are within twenty minutes of each other which is lovely. Very welcome respite from Joburg where standard driving is about 40 minutes.
- The shops around us open fairly early and close late. The nearest Woolies for example opens at 07h30 and closes at 21h00. Obviously not great for the workers but I am loving that flexibility.
- The beautiful and artsy CBD.
- I am finding the drivers are quite chilled and very law-abiding. I have on occassion been driving at 80km/h (aka the speedlimit) on the fast lane and have not had a single driver drive up close to me or overtake me at a weird angle to prove a point about my granny driving.
- Relatedly though, no one tells you about the insane traffic jams in Cape Town. Such a nightmare and mainly because of the mostly two lane highways!! Why now?
- The public taxis (matatus) have a tout calling out destinations and such. Much prefer that to Joburgs finger signs.
- It is standard to have buildings that have no parking and as a result I now park on the street outside my house. But, you have to be careful about where and how you park or you could easily pick up a hefty fine – I already have three for my efforts!
- Things work – so far, only one traffic light has been out, traffic got collected on Christmas and New Years despite those being public holidays.
- You could experience four seasons in a single day which was initially very distracting and difficult to plan with. But, you can get around that with jerseys at your desk or in the car.
- Much longer days with early sunrises and later sunsets. Initially disorienting but with time you adjust, except for the fact that we are eating dinner later and later because its hard to imagine eating dinner when the sun is still hot and out.
- Some malls charge a nominal fee for the toilet usage. Found out when I was so pressed and not sure I had a coin to pay!
- CAMPS BAY!
- The massive inequality between the haves and the have-nots. And indeed the cost of living which brings to mind the Kiswahili saying hii nchi ina wenyewe (this country has its owners). Of course Cape Town is not a country, but in many ways, it feels like it is!
Coming from a very diverse city in terms of race, language, ethnicity and nationality, Cape Town is quite binary in terms of White/Coloured; South African/ Foreign and there isn’t much of that in between grey layer that makes things all the more interesting. And this is what makes me miss Joburg the most. Joburg is not a classic beauty like Cape Town is, it’s not even as organised or run beautifully but there is an innate beauty it has, an edginess and a diversity that I greatly appreciate. Outside of that, Cape Town is a place I reside at but it is not home.
Posted in Heart matters, home
Tagged Camps Bay, Cape Town, City of Cape Town, first impressions, first time, Heart matters, home, Johannesburg, Table Mountain, traffic jams, views
I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!
- My theme this year was on obedience.
- Listened to great music too!!
- Took care of myself!!
- Really got into podcasts.
- Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
- I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
- Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
- Cooked some nice things.
- Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
- Made a personal announcement too!!
Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!
Posted in books, design, good, Heart matters, home, life, madness, marriage, school, working
Tagged about me, books, Cape Town, cooking, design, dot, good, Heart matters, home, life, little things, madness, marriage, motherhood, music, Podcasts, reading, school, theme verse, working, xenophobia
Of the mountain from my office
Love the mountain
My office in the foreground
Recently went to Paarl with a couple of friends, gorgeous weather and lovely views!!
Posted in good, home, life, marriage
Tagged Adele, Cape Town, education, friendship, good, home, life, love, marriage, Podcasts, relationships, school, sweet potato
…. this is a list of things I have to do!
Fun times ahead …. xoxo
Posted in home
Tagged #Feesmustfall, babies, Cape Town, Castor oil, cauliflower, children, cooking, death, fashion, Gilmore Girls, hair, home, Koili, Korea, life, Netflix, Olive oil, parenthood, Podcasts, Quinoa, recipes, Rory Gilmore
Seems like October is the month when I announce or detail changes in my personal life and this year is no different!
The Mr and I are headed to Cape Town and while a part of me feels meh! about it, I am also looking forward to it because I feel it will be a lovely time for us in this phase of our life. So packing, moving and getting used to a new city!!
Posted in home
Tagged about me, about us, Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium, change, changes, home, life, life lessons, marriage, October, Table Mountain
Following from Fridays post and this one two years back I would like to extend the list by a few things that say home to me and that don’t feel the same here
- Kenya has a huge tea culture. Even when families have a big do and people have been drinkin’ when tea time (4-5pm) rolls in, people – old and young, male and female, will all take a break and have a cuppa. Not so much in SA. How many times have I hosted people, offered tea and heard, ” well, we are drinkin’ so maybe not.”
- Also, just the fact we prefer tea to coffee. Despite growing and exporting both.
- Also, just the fact that it took me years to find a local brand of tea bags that was brewed as strong as the one I loved at home. Hello Five Roses African Blend which is perfectly strong and is sourced from Eastern Africa teas.
- Taxis that do not have a fare collector or someone that calls out the route. Meaning that the person that seats up front, next to the driver, has to take the fare and give back any change. Nerve wracking when I used to take a taxi where the fare was R11.50 per person and you had to quickly decide how much was due for all the 15 taxi passengers. Fast. It also never ceased to amuse me how the driver would be so uninterested i.e. if you needed him to give you two fifty cents for R1, he would look ahead and say he has no change! So what must happen?
- In addition, you have to learn all the different taxi signs to be able to signal correctly to the driver.
- All this, against the fact that I do not speak any Zulu, which is standard taxi language for Johannesburg. NERVE WRACKING!
- Also, I find that I still compare the price of taxi (matatu) fare in Kenya v SA. Very expensive in South Africa.
- Standard rice in South Africa is fat and Basmati is quite expensive. I will just leave that here because in Kenya we have different quality of Basmati rice for all!
- One ply tissue? One ply tissue? WHY? What does it do. I find that I totally judge any establishment that has one ply because ONE PLY TISSUE IS INEFFECTIVE!
- Fast food and eating out is much cheaper in South Africa than in Kenya. Although, the food in Kenya is naturally organic whereas it is highly processed in SA. On this, I would rather be in Kenya.
- Being asked all of the time (still) what my name means. Urrggh! Almost universal fact is that all South African names have a meaning and it is expected that similarly African names on the continent will be the same. Which for the most part is true. I just happen to be that minority with a name similar to a local name that has a meaning, but mine doesn’t. It would take a separate post to explain all the inappropriate places where I have been asked what my name means – just off the top of my head, calling for official purposes to speak to an individual and having to leave a message with the receptionist who will keep me on the phone longer to ask what my name means and whether I have heard of the local equivalent. Urgggh just urgggh!
- I miss the fruits in Nairobi that taste great all the time!! Not so much here where it’s a lottery of what you might get.
- Talk radio. Bye Bye all the morning drive filth in Nairobi. Just good bye and good riddance!
- How the country bleeds or shines when the Boks, Proteas and Bafana Bafana play. I don’t get it. I am most likely to be the person shopping because people are at home or at Sports bars and I can finally pack by the entrance to the shopping centre.
- South Africans have labour rights and a social security system that actually works. It still surprises me!
- The state of education. I argue all the time with people I know that it is unacceptable and that in Kenya poor people work hard and get the best quality of education that they can possibly get for their kids and the pass mark is much much higher than here. It saddens me that in Public primary schools, the kids get like half an hour of homework, Monday to Wednesday and maybe on Thursday and this stops almost a month to the final exams! Yes, I know there are private schools but there you get what you pay for – as it to be expected!
- Beach fronts in Cape Town and Durban are easily accessible to the public. You can park your car and walk to the beach and not to have to walk through a dingy path or pretend that you had gone for drinks at a hotel. Nah! None of that, you just walk across and sit beach side 🙂
- Expiring data??? Not sure if this applies in Kenya but where does expired data go? Does it slow down or what happens? I do not understand why data has an expiry date.
- Also just Kenya rocks for the fact that Wireless is widespread and the net speed is much faster.
- Our lackluster presidents. UK and JZ belong together and both sadden me!
If you have been to or lived in either country, please let me know your thoughts? If you have only ever lived in the one country, what makes it home for you?
Posted in home
Tagged about me, Cape Town, coffee, commuting, Durban, eating out, education, home, Jacob Zuma, Kenya, names, South Africa, taxis, tea, Uhuru Kenyatta
Posted in good, Heart matters, home
Tagged born, Cape Town, cooking, developmental states, good, Heart matters, home, home decor, IKEA, niece, parenthood, Sunday Reads, tea leaves, the IKEA Effect