For you and for me…

Micheal Jackson sang:

“There’s a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much
Brighter than tomorrow…

…Be God’s glow.
We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel
You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we’ll cry happy tears
See the nations turn
Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.”

I don’t think we took Micheal or that song seriously enough. He gave us some of the best dance music ever but the message behind that heal the world song man… I think its most relevant to me right now. There is SO MUCH violence in the world. In our time, there are people making bombs out of pressure cookers. Men beating grannies. “Friends” beating on each other and as though war and AIDS were not enough, there are people killing strangers for their material good. For meer possessions.

My friend was murdered in a hijacking this past weekend. When I heard I felt like finding a mountain where everyone who inhabits the earth would hear me screaming at the top of my husky ability. “Help!!! Someone help me make it right!!!”

I thought of so much. There I was, crying on my bedroom floor. In pain from the inside out… I hadn’t spoken to my friend in such a long time. But there was something else behind the pain. My pain was for these people who are so lost, whose lives are so far gone that not only are they stealing from innocent hardworking men (UNlike themselves. Better than them) they are also taking lives??? What evil spirits are these that nurture the rotting of souls in our communities??? How broken is this situation though. My pain is for my son and his children.

Why is the world this way? When did we start losing humanity? Is it really because people don’t have jobs? I’m scared of the things happening around me. As a mother. As a sister. As a woman. Im in pain. I feel like I should be doing something. Like there is a key/a chain/pattern, SOMETHING! Something we’re missing that could tell us what we can do to heal the world. These acts of violence. These brutal killings. Isn’t there something that can be done???

I really feel sick and desperate right now. Had to get it off my chest. We can’t live in bubbles. I want to make it right. I feel responsible. Its so overwhelming though…

Beyonce sings:
“I will leave my mark so everyone will know. I was here. I want to say I lived each day, until I died and know that I meant something in, somebody’s life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave. That I made a difference, and this world will see
I was here.”

I think the most powerful ways of ridding the world of darkness is making sure you’re a raging fire/light where you are. A positive force of love and goodness.  Im not saying open a homeless shelter but there’s actually so much that seems small or meaningless that makes yhe world of a difference. Im figuring out how to help you do it.

As an artist I think I’m fortunate enough to have a platform. A voice. I want to use that voice. I want to be your voice too. If you allow me we will do amazing things you and I. For generations to come. For love and peace. For you and for me.

Advertisement

Nomagungqu. (A mouthful of Glori)

image

“Gungqu” is a xhosa word for round sweet. When we were younger and visiting my mothers village, amagungqu amnyama (more commonly known as nigger balls) were one of our favourite treats.

image

I was given the nickname “Nomagungqu” because of the way my cheeks pop when I smile. (And because I’m a sweet thing 😉 I, Nomagungqu am a growing brand based on a smile and all the nice things behind it.

image

You know that smile that makes your eyes wrinkle, light up and sometimes water all at the same time?
That warm, fullfilling feeling somewhere between your belly and your chest. You get it from the good stuff in your life. Teaching a child how to make something from scratch. Making your deadline with an impressive product to show for it. Having a good night with your family. Being awarded for a job well done. Getting a new recipe right the first time around. Figuring out how to overcome something that’s been challenging you.

image

Being happy isn’t just about money. Its not just about your relationships and your background. The imperative is NOW. The messages you emulate. Beyond just the company you keep. Music.

image

Its about loving yourself and making sure that regardless what your circumstances are, your life is fullfilling. More than satisfactory. Food. Conversations. Fashion. Comfort and progress. Sometimes it’s about calling someone out or being “selfish” to preserve your “gungqu feeling”. Those moments when you have to say Niks mapha nge gungqu lam (you can’t have my gungqu)

image

Taken by Liam Lynch

Group growth. Sharing. All this and more are what I consider (really) nice things. Things that give hearts smiles. A lifestyle that promotes connection and ubuntu.

image

Nomagungqu is a brand about a smile and all the nice things behind it.

The Girl next door

“I went to a Word N Sound session the other day and Rosie Motene and Ntsako Mkhabela had been invited to the platform to speak about activism. Ous’Rosie was up there saying things like “the individual can constitute the majority” and “as artists we have a responsibility”

image

Rosie Motene

This sparked something . I felt charged! There are so many things I want to change, (and just because they are important to me does not mean they will be if top priority importance to you but) these women were basically saying can we just make sh*t happen already.

It felt like a defining moment. A time for action. “If these things move you,they may move someone else out there” my inner voice was loud and talking about the power of a meaningful conversation. The power of Skuif  (Sharing) but more importantly, the urgency and necessity of action.

“You don’t have to be those chain yourself-to-a-tree type activists to make a difference.” But you can’t just talk about it.

image

Ntsako Mkhabela

Sista Ntsako shared how Miyela was founded. Miyela means “keep quiet” (think about the things that resonate with your spirit and then ACT)Taking qualified individuals to under-privileged and disadvantaged educational facilities for instance in an attempt to improve the quality of education. They call this project “teacher’s pet”. They see the lack of employment for young graduate students and the desperate need for good education, take time to think about the situation and possible solutions then “boom” Progress!

Since then I’ve been trying to understand and express my understanding of activism and I think this might the best way to articulate my thoughts right now.Lets entertain this analogy for a moment…
Imagine yourself as the owner of that “dream home” situated on the corner of two really long streets. Just take a moment to visualize it. Your dream home. Do you see it? Ok. Now, do you see the other houses? Imagine them too. Other people’s dream homes surrounding yours. All sorts of houses with all sorts of people living in them.

image

The-house-on-the-corner-Chris-Lord

The houses represent our characters and personalities and they are furnished by our life experiences. Our upbringing and what we have been exposed to.Still with me? The neighbourhood represents life. Your neighbours are everyone from your mother to the lady who cleans your workspace and the old man you buy your morning coffee from. The people in your life.To upgrade your hood(life) you need to upgrade your neighbours(family, friends, associates and such)
House-keeping guys.
We all have that unresolved issue/broken shelf that we refuse to deal with/throw away.You get it right? We need to be supportive and interactive and be aware of our surroundings and
contributions/investments. As a young woman, mother and sister, every child on this block is part of my responsibility. Call young girls out for wearing close to nothing when they go out with the intention to draw the right attention and score a good time.

We have a lot on our plates as human beings;Global warming. Racism. Poor health care. I promise you, I think about those things but I’m also worried about the young girls and boys being exposed to sex,violence and other harsh realities prematurely. I worry about the things they are exposed to by the media and I think about my role as a mother/sister/artist/woman. As passionate as I am about Aids awareness and prevention, I know we also need to find ways to empower young  minds so that they make the best decisions. So we can feel safe in our neighbourhoods.

Things that will make your neighbour happy.
•keep your household in check
•keep your house looking good
•invite them over to break bread with you sometimes

image

•be considerate
•don’t let their home burn down•skuif your nice things
•let your kids play with theirs
•look after their children/plants/pets when they need you to
•love their children as if they were your own.(I’m sure I could come up with a really long list but I’m going to stop now)

Fyi I’m fully aware of the idealism in all of this but here’s how this life/property business works. You can’t always control who buys a house in your neighbourhood but everyone has to contribute to neighbourhood watch and community development.

How any times have you walked past a scenario in your neighbourhood that made you sad/angry/numb and done nothing about it?

A neighbour is someone who is nearby wherever you are.

image

Ben and Suzanna

image

Karabo

image

Joe

Be a good neighbour.
Love your neighbour as yourself. 

Nomagungqu.

That groupie Love.

If we all got to choose what we do for a living. Like.. what you get paid to do. What you dedicate the majority of your time and efforts to. I think i would spend my days as an appreciator. Like a proper groupie of nice things.  (I am not sure why but this word, “groupie”, it seems to make people uncomfortable. Almost as though its demeaning to the person acting “like a groupie”)

Anyway,thats what i would do. Id fly/drive/sail/walk/cycle and swim to interesting places and then write about them. Meet different people,eat different things,skuif stories by as many fire places as i could and then sit down and reflect with you. ..

Im like that. I like nice things and i like skuifing (sharing) and im also a believer in the power of “nice things” so im vocal about them! SKUIF!!!! LOL

Ok anyway I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to an amazing artist who happens to be a very good friend of mine. Ruramai “Rudo” Musekiwa. The hands and eyes responsible for both LoveGlori and Nomagungqu logos and the heart smile behind Niks Mapha.

168394_485229932829_5857748_n

the day we met

Ruramai and i met in 2009. We were facebook friends who decided to do tea( with a mutual fb friend) lol. Anyway,almost 4 years later our friendship has grown and strengthened through chill, conversation & chow(breaking bread together on any level is good for a relationship)

One of our most recent conversation off-ramps was the lesson of sisterhood and it inspired us both to write and reflect. Ive added both pieces for your reading pleasure but before that id like to share a little about Niks Mapha

“Niks Mapha” is a township slang phrase, loosely translated as “you cannot have this”.

It  has been widely used amongst township children around the country

By Ruramai Musekiwa & Nozuko Mapoma

By Ruramai Musekiwa & Nozuko Mapoma

as a playfully protective statement to fend off other kids from sweet treats

The “Niks Mapha” campaign is a campaign founded by Ruramai Musekiwa

that makes use of this phrase in a different context:

Encouraging young people to take an introspective journey and examine

what is of value to them. The question posed by this campaign is:

“What wouldn’t you give away?”

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Niks Mapha soon.

Now for that reflection….

time’s labour…

me’s and you’s scattered in time…

i loosen my grip on curious notions  that conceal a wounded heart,

165584_485757582829_5722523_na heart that never knew how to love..

till now.

a part of me had been saying goodbye since the day we said hello,

bus-stop, mickey-mouse T… a sunny kind of energy…

converse prints on rugged pathways.

today I found a love in surrender, release.

a love unscathed by passion’s flames.

the twilight of a day that I stored in my mind is here,

the sun never set on that day until tomorrow beckoned…

i must have lied when I said those words,

for true love would die…

Let me love differently, sister…

as all else subsides, giving way to a love unknown to

fragile, fickle hearts.

The journey to love is for the courageous heart,

Venturing in and out of the blackness,

Fiercely dismissing fear’s ramblings…

Sister.

Ruramai Musekiwa

Sista…

What if you were my sister?

What if we sat and sang together..

Prayed together and raised our children to be Kings and Queens.3069_75950857829_6593933_n

What if we stood in a line

Sister what if we ploughed  our way forward together,

through life’s soil instead of as we are now,

Fresh and furtile ground to playful fingers, “Just chatting”.

Perfect hands “ just tickling”.

Peripatetic  arms “Just hugging.”

And passionate  toungues, weaving a different version of the story that ends without you or i ever realising we ‘ve been fooled.

I think we’ve been caught up in our flesh and the foggy illusions of forever. Fleeting favours.

Our desperate voices saying, “there aren that many *good men around,take what you can get,he doesn love her anymore anyway”

What if,when your confidence was low and your spirit deflated,i would be there to remind you of your elegance and suave feist.

Tell me,would you mind too much if we took turns leaning on each other?

We could trade.

I will be your mirror 

I would see your majesty in my own reflection

We could enjoy the high together and in my lows you would lift me

Because id skuifed you all my nice things  🙂 

What if you were my Sister?

Sista what if we just learnt how to accept each other (as different as we all are) as norms in the universe.

Like stars, each with its own spot in the sky but a universe smiling when they shine together.

What if you were my sister?

Nomagungqu.

kThanksBye!

IMG-20130309-WA004

I am Ready.

A few years ago I found myself in a “heavy hippie headspace”. In the midst of all the crime and negativity, I had this idealistic belief that we could be a “soul society” ; One people who practiced ubuntu, believed in a higher power that has created us equal, cared about the environment & human rights. A Love, Live and Let Live situation.

I was writing a lot. I was writing about things that moved (or tickled) me. Random things.
Some things very relevant. I remember how scared I was on the day the energy caused by the xenophobic attacks shook a patch of Esselen street in Hillbrow/Berea. It was real. I was moved and i shared my experience because I believe in the power of sharing (release/passing on lessons/better understanding of the experience and lessons through the dialogue that results)

My Name is Nozuko and my name means Glory. I am here to share my experiences and opinions with you in an attempt to grow (from) the spaces I fill (and I intend to take up a lot of space, lol).
I hope that you will grow(me) through our dialogues. So.. before i get lost in typing this; You and I are here to share. I will probably do most of the sharing…

It’s 2013, I am an African woman residing at the foot of a beautiful continent… Writer,Singer and Composer.
I am turning 25 in June (shout out to the Gemini’s ). I am the mother of an amazing 3year old and my causes are: Child Protection, The preservation of the black woman’s dignity, The spread of Love as a vehicle for change, Learning and the empowerment of Artists in my country. I enjoy travelling, cooking and socialising… Long walks in the city aaaand having meaningful conversations with God’s creations (especially my family). My other interests include fashion, theatre, photography and film.

My brands: Nomagungqu (will tell you so much more about that soon) & LoveGlori.

Brand Bucketlist: SA Post Office | Converse | VW | Apple | Yamaha | Poetry | Sass Diva | Mr Price

Groupie Moments: Letta Mbulu. Simphiwe Dana. The Brother Moves On. About That Life. The Fridge.
The Muffinz. L8 Antique. Umle. The Soil. Andre3000. Amel Larrieux. Common Bond. Lauryn Hill.
Erykah Badu. Norah Jones.

FYI: I believe, strongly, that part of my purpose on this earth is to glorify all things I feel deserve Glory. I really do.
I saw a status update by Sinethemba Hope Magona today that read “Writing liberates me,really”. I could not help but express my agreement and this was her response: “eish,its a painful and beautiful trod but we must write, our pains, our rights and wrongs, our laughs,our cries, our screams,our chants for liberation, our everything nje. So power to your pen sista”. 

I think we’re gonna have some good times here 
I know that we all have hopes and dreams. For ourselves(lives). For our families. Our communities. Our people. I’m hoping this little corner will make a difference. I’m ready to see the patience I wrote about all those years ago represent a greater message.

This is a personal blog and i want you to understand that everything i share here means something to me, but this does not mean that I consider my views to be superior to anyone else’s. I’m simply expressing my unique and purpose-filled space in an infinite universe. Infact I challenge you teach me your ways and learn mine. For growth. For the lessons. For control.
Image
I am Claiming my space.
I am here.
I am grateful.
I am Nomagungqu.